PL660 - PL680 - PL880 for airband

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usclassic

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I live near MEM airport and like to listen to the pilots and controllers. Most reviews of these radios don't say much about airband performance yet this is very important to me. The C Crane Skywave has a squelch which may be nice but overall I don't think the sound is as good as any of these. I am retired on fixed income so I must choose one radio for all purposes leaving the Bearcat scanners, after much thought, out of the final mix.
I would like to hear from any of you that use any of the three Tecsun radios for airband especially.
Thanks, Larry
 

GeneseeCoMI

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Feb 5, 2015
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Mount Morris, Michigan
I live near MEM airport and like to listen to the pilots and controllers. Most reviews of these radios don't say much about airband performance yet this is very important to me. The C Crane Skywave has a squelch which may be nice but overall I don't think the sound is as good as any of these. I am retired on fixed income so I must choose one radio for all purposes leaving the Bearcat scanners, after much thought, out of the final mix.
I would like to hear from any of you that use any of the three Tecsun radios for airband especially.
Thanks, Larry
The PL-880 doesn't have VHF or UHF so it won't pick up your local airport, but its HF (MWARA) transoceanic air band reception is pretty good IMO. However its sore excuse of a scanning function is completely useless. It stops on every frequency you have programmed whether there's a signal or not, then continues automatically after five seconds, so it's better just to switch them manually. Watch this video to see what I mean. Fast forward to about 11:20 for a demonstration.
 
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usclassic

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Thanks for you comment Genesee. I have been playing around with my Skywave for a few days now. It does not scan airband. I programed the buttons by manually entering the frequencies here for MEM airport. Page one - top row ground, second row departure, and third row approach. Since there are a couple frequencies for each. Then I manually scan through by pushing buttons. Then on page two I have other frequencies for tower and various others as they are mentioned to fedex heavys - most of the traffic around here. The nice feature of the Skywave is the squelch which works very well on the lowest, #1, setting. The Skywave does have SW, weather, AM and FM as well. So for me there are plenty of band options and the stereo FM sounds very good through the included ear buds and even better through my HD280 Pros
 

GeneseeCoMI

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Mount Morris, Michigan
If you want to hear the VHF/UHF airbands, a scanner is the best option. There's plenty of used analog/non-trunktracking ones for cheap on Amazon, eBay and Craigslist.
 
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usclassic

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Mar 17, 2017
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Traded Skywave for PL-680 much better for airband

The PL-680 has a memory tuning feature that works great for my airband scanning. I programed one memory page with MEM airport frequencies. So now I can scan through only those frequencies by turning the tuning dial. I can go backward and forward to catch the action as well as add new frequencies and then autosort to get them in order. This works very well to follow pilots as they transition from departure to tower or center etc. as well as catch arriving flights on final and approach. Since I can now control which way I scan and how long I wait at any given freq. I find this setup ideal for monitoring this busy airport.
 
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