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Scanner / Receiver Equipment Reviews - A forum for reviews of scanner and receiver hardware along with related accessories. Please read the forum Sticky before creating a thread.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2012, 5:58 PM
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Default Tecsun PL-660

I purchased this radio about a week ago and I have to say I am very impressed considering the relatively low cost. Before anybody starts, Yes it is a Chinese made radio, but have you checked the 'Made in" label on your radio? The wall wart is questionable and the included rechargeable batteries are junk. But I never use the wall wart, I don't recharge my batteries in the radio, and in fact I prefer good old alkalines.
My main desire was for a decent portable shortwave receiver. This one is nice. Seems to be solidly built, knobs are not loose and wiggly, buttons feel firm and solid. I like the looks of the Grundig rubberized coating and this radio is shiney black but thats ok. I plugged in my long wire (about 60 ftl) and the radio does a fine job of pulling in shortwave frequencies. I live in western Tennessee and its not the ideal area for shortwave reception but his little portable does an admirable job. It has SSB and synchronous detection which I really haven't done much with yet. The external atenna doesn't seem to overload the radio as much as some of the others I've had. I had a Grundig G5 some time back and I got rid of it (big mistake) but this PL-660 is a good or better than the G5. Glad I took the chance on it. For my needs it will do the job.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:13 PM
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Great little radio. I can't believe what it does for the money. Right now I am listening to a five kw station in South America on it and it sounds almost as good as my main radio.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:52 AM
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I have a Tecsun PL 660 too. For about a year now. I got it mainly as a travel radio and for AM DXing. I think the overall construction is very good, and thank goodness it has a tuning DIAL, not arrow buttons. Some of the programming is not how I would do it, but that's typical for small devices with lotsa buttons. I rarely agree!

The AM performance is good, especially when I use an external AM loop. On SW I am not as enthusiastic as I'd like to be. I have not had success connecting a longwire of any kind. I get "no difference" no matter what or how I connect. I am still playing around with it to see if I can improve the SW.

The power system is odd. You can't run it with AC adapter only. You can only use the AC adapter to charge some rechargeable batts. I hate rechargeable batts and never use them. So, this is for me, a "AA powered radio." That's ok. It gets pretty good mileage on AAs.

A real bonus of this radio is that the size is great. Not a pocket radio, not a table radio. Easy to grab and go.
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Old 07-18-2013, 5:31 PM
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Just removed all batteries, and plugged in ac adapter and it works. You can also press and hold the battery button to CHA ON or NI-MH Battery to turn on the built in charging function. The radio is default to use rechargeable batteries for power supply. In case of using regular batteries, you should switch the radio system to regular batteries mode. In the upper left corner of the display you will see the battery power symbol indicating battery life and below it you will see NI-MH battery indicator. If not using rechargeable batteries, make sure this is not showing or damage can be done to the radio.
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Old 07-19-2013, 9:57 AM
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Thanks Const. Can you run with the AC adapter while it has alkaline batteries installed?
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:35 AM
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mstephens21, yes. Just make sure to switch off the rechargeable function. With the radio off, press the red battery button on the bottom left side. It will read either CHA ON, or CHA OFF, press battery button to CHA OFF.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cronst10 View Post
mstephens21, yes. Just make sure to switch off the rechargeable function. With the radio off, press the red battery button on the bottom left side. It will read either CHA ON, or CHA OFF, press battery button to CHA OFF.
Thanks. I feel stupid for not knowing that about my radio! I must have done something wrong on day one, then never went back to investigate. Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:46 PM
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How does this radio do on the civil aviation bands?
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Old 08-08-2013, 5:23 PM
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Default Tecsun PL-660

I haven't had great results with the air bands on this radio, with the whip or with a Radio Shack ST3 antenna in my attic. My psr-500 seems to pick up more air traffic with just the rubber duckie antenna.

Having said that, I really like the 660.

I've owned the Sangean ATS-606, Yachtboy 400, and the sony ICF-SW7600 portables and the Tecsun is better at pulling in weak signals. And it's pretty quiet too.
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Old 08-09-2013, 6:40 PM
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The Tecsun 660 is one of my keeper radios. Everything it does, it does well. Air band works well for me, but I'm close to 3 major airports.
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Old 11-07-2013, 3:24 AM
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I love my Tecsun 380 and 660. Great little DSP radios!!
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Old 11-01-2014, 4:30 PM
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I have a 380, 660, and an 880 from tecsun along with the grundig 750. The best radio among them is the 660 in my opinion. I regularly listen to the HF air traffic on the east coast on SSB and a variety of amateur and other utilities on SSB. The 660 seems to be the most sensitive of all of these radios on a random wire without getting overwhelmed. It has a 3 position antenna attenuator switch that also helps with this. The 750 and 880 radios also have 3 position attenuation but it works best on the 660. SSB transmissions are also clearest on the 660 compared to the others. The 660 is the cheapest of the 4 radios mentioned.
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Old 10-19-2015, 9:55 AM
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I just ordered one now...I thought that it is quite a good price and it could be worth it...I mainly want to see what it can do with the air band...I live and work right in the airport.
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Old 10-19-2015, 1:30 PM
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The air band is not exceptional on any of these SW radios. If you are right at the airport that will definitely help, but a scanner with air band will always work better than a SW radio with air band.

For aircraft, I use these radios to monitor off shore aircraft traffic in HF shortwave, where the normal air band doesn't have the range, and use a scanner for the air band (the one included on these radios and the ones that are not)

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Old 10-24-2015, 6:52 PM
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I found the PL660 to be pretty good on airband actually. I was hearing an ATC ground station 82 miles away, almost as well as a 'real' scanner could hear the same signal - weak, but clear. The path is mostly over water, but still... a ground station 82 miles distant! Definitely can't complain about that.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2015, 11:33 AM
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Comments like these make me more anxious to get it!
I live about 4 klicks from the airport and there are airliners landing and taking off overhead all the time.

My work is right between the runways...surrounded by taxiways and the Tower

It should come this week...hopefully...

Last edited by Deboradio; 10-25-2015 at 11:44 AM..
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2015, 8:51 AM
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I am picking mine up tomorrow...The local post office sent it down town....to the other post office....wouldn't tell me why, but the silly smile on the guy's face was very telling..
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Old 11-03-2015, 9:21 AM
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Being in a desert enviornment, where I'm told static electricity issues that blow front ends can be a common problem, the little circuit at the bottom of this thread is highly recommended. Better to blow a couple of cheap diodes that you can replace yourself rather than having to send a radio for service, particularly from Oman...

http://forums.radioreference.com/rec...r-project.html

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2015, 12:48 PM
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Still no luck....it appears in the Omani post office system, but it hasn't entered their sorting system yet, so i can either get it tomorrow or more likely on Sunday.
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Old 11-08-2015, 7:45 AM
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Got it today...Played a bit with it for 10 minutes, could hear ATIS very clearly...Anxious to try it out..Really inconvenient that it came today, it is the Missus birthday...
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