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June 30, 2013

Comments

Gary

My PL-380, which I bought from anon-co on eBay three years ago, came with three Tecsun 1000 mAh NiMH AA batteries. The radio can run on alkaline or NiMH AA batteries, and it can charge the latter internally.

herculodge

Gary, how many hours with the rechargeables?

Gary

Jeff,

I never really measured the total battery life on one charge. I only use the radio sporadically, mainly for shortwave. Sometimes I use it as a spotter for my better shortwave radios, because the PL-380's ETM mode can scan the entire shortwave band in a couple of minutes to see what frequencies are active. On the AM broadcast band, too many stations are accompanied by annoying spurious tones that are generated within the radio, apparently due to the DSP design. The FM works well, but the sound through the speaker is pretty thin and shrill sounding to me. The radio can't be used effectively on AM when charging, because a typical mini USB charger is a switching design, and generates a ton of hash.


herculodge

Thanks, Gary. I'll stay away from it.

Gary

Jeff,

Whether you'd like it or not depends greatly on your intended use for it. The ultralight DX crowd likes it because of the superb selectivity (including 5 filter choices) and good sensitivity on MW AM, and the excellent selectivity (just 1 filter choice) and excellent sensitivity on FM. Many of the ultralight DXers have installed a 7.5" externally-attached ferrite bar to greatly increase the sensitivity on MW AM. Others couple the internal ferrite bar to more exotic external antennas like FSLs or big box loops.

For casual listening to local MW AM stations using just the internal ferrite bar, there are probably better choices for clean reception (without spurious tones) and speaker sound quality.

For listening to FM through headphones, the PL-380 is quite good, with excellent reception and the potential for very good sound quality. It can be forced to mono reception on FM to clean up weak, noisy signals, which is a big plus.


Vimal Oberoi

Any radio would not sound good on AM,using wallwart/charger.So it's probably not fair to judge PL380 on AM while using charger.Just my one Cent.

RADIO-TIMETRAVELLER

Not sure why Amazon shows a lithium ion battery requirement. That is incorrect. The radio runs on standard AA's or rechargeable AA's.

Bill
RADIO-TIMETRAVELLER

Gary

Vimal,

The point is that the PL-380 uses a mini USB charger, most if not all of which are switching power supplies that create lots of hash. I have many AM radios with linear power supplies that sound fine (no excessive noise) when using the wall wart.

Richard Merriam

I found a cell charger (Motorola 5 volt, 550ma).
It has the mini USB connector. It works perfectly to power or recharge the batteries. When I've scrapped phones, I always keep the charger. This time it really paid off!

Richard Merriam

Update on the PL380. The internal charger appears to not fully charge standard Eneloops (white label). When I used the Panasonic BQ-CC17 smart charger, the radio ran a lot longer on a single charge.

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