beginner questions about a Tecsun PL880

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Aug 6, 2016
redmond, wa
i am new to shortwave (SW) radio.
i just bought a Tecsun PL880 and i have a few beginner questions
-should i set the time to UTC ?

-can i receive SW indoors ? (i have a Kaito T-1 Radio antenna attached to the sw antenna jack)

- the radio shows SW A and SW B - what is the difference ?

-how do i auto browse for stations ? pressing VF causes the radio to rapidly move thru frequencies, but it doesn't stop when it detects a good station.
Thanks, Peter


Wiki Admin Emeritus
Jul 22, 2002
Bowie, Md.
Hi Peter- while I don't have a 880 (yet), I can answer a couple of these questions;

a. Re setting the clock to UTC - most online groups that report logs (at least in the SW world above 2 Mhz) do so in UTC, and for that reason, I suspect most set the clock up that way

b. While you can receive SW indoors, it's less than optimal - your biggest enemy is noise. Noise from just about anywhere in the home (lots of appliances generate noise in this region). The antenna you have will do for a start (the 880 comes with its own wire antenna, so keep that handy). It's far better to get the antenna outside, and as far from the home as you can.

I will add one or two things - I would avoid running the radio from the supplied wall wart. It's not uncommon to have an el-cheapo wall wart cause lots of noise. Charge up the battery first, then start your experimentation.

SW (what we more commonly refer to as "HF") reception is not like your FM or scanner stuff. It's heavily influenced by the sun - or lack of it. For now, concentrate on hearing things above 10 Mhz during the day, below this at night. The sun's activity is a big influence on what you hear, or don't hear, and this site (which requires your Flash player to be active) goes a long way in giving a basic explanation of this phenomenon (referred to as 'propagation'). By the way, links are always blue in color...

Propagation Primer - Flash Movie by AE4RV

Finally, there is a dedicated PL880 Yahoo group; joining it will get you access to other 880 users (apart from those you might find here), as well as several useful files in their files section...

We have a dedicated set of forums for HF folks below...feel free to join in

HF / MW / LW Monitoring - The Forums

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