Tecsun PL-330

Published at 20:47 on 7 June 2022

Yes, I bought a new radio. Yet another one. Why, when I already own so many? Because this one was inexpensive, highly-reviewed, and compact, so it would encourage me to toss it in my pack on trips for which I would not want to spend the effort (or allocate the space in my bags) to a larger, more-capable radio.

First impressions follow:

It’s Small
Like, really small. Maybe the size of two decks of playing cards (but a little thicker). And surprisingly light. On the latter point, probably not too durable. But it is easy and painless to take with me. Just took it to the neighbourhood park, and it’s amazing how low the noise floor is once you get even a short distance away from houses and power lines.
It’s Somewhat Counterintuitive
No surprise here. It’s a software-defined receiver. Since it’s controlled by software, user interface is bound to suffer somewhat.
It’s Sensitive
Surprisingly sensitive, in fact. I picked up Saudi Arabia on 15170 kHz without much difficulty. New Zealand came in in 15720 kHz almost like it was a local station.
The Built-In Antenna Works Surprsingly Well
I did not use any external antenna in these tests, or antenna extensions. I tried the latter, and it seemed to overload the receiver, so I disconnected the extra wire.

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