domenica 9 dicembre 2018

I have already written all my positive impressions on the Tecsun S-8800e in another post here in my blog. But: since I get a lot of emails asking more and more information about this receiver which are mainly coming from abroad Italy, I like to make a new post in English. Sorry ’cause my English is not that good, but I hope I can manage to make it understandable as much as I can.

I own this receiver since March 2017, I bought it from the European dealer for 355 euros delivered to my home. Nowadays you can find on the web at 315 Euros + transport. It’s a little expansive but surely less than other SWL receivers of wellknow brands which basically provide just a little more of performance and filters. One remark on price, in Australia on the web page of the local distributor, the device is sold at 380 $…which I guess are Australian Dollars, if this is the situation, then I have to remark that at today’s exchange ratio, 380 AUD are 239 Euros, means that SWLs from that part of the world may benefit of a much fair price than we here in Europe.

In two years with the Tecsun S-8800e I could receive almost everything in the SW band; in all digital modes for Ham Radio (JT65, JT9, RTTY, PSK, FT8) and for utility broadcasting (SITOR, DSC, HF FAX, RTTY) receiving stations from all continents. Even difficult coastal stations could be received like GMDSS calls from Curaçao Island Radio on 2187.5 kHz or AAsiaat Radio from Greenland as well on 2187.5kHz, same frequency Shangai MRCC in GMDSS. The most interesting receptions in HAM radio were VK9MA the DXspedition from Mellish Reef Pacific Ocean received in FT8, 3D2TS from Fiji Islands, ZF1DM from Cayman Islands.

In MW band all the Navtex stations which can be received in my area on 518 kHz were copied and decoded, same on 490 kHz.
I am not using this receiver for NDB hunting, for this activity I prefer much more the use of an SDR because having a look at the full reception band on a waterfall helps a lot to identify NDB signals which are affected by strong QSB in short timeframes.
I am not using this S-8800e even for MW DXing where, as well, I prefer to have a look at the full spectrum on the waterfall because this helps identifying signals at 10kHz steps – like the US stations – from ones which are distributed on the MW with 9 kHz steps – like European stations. I anyway use this receiver in MW for general listening purposes due to its “warm” and “full” sound which makes me satisfied a lot.

In LW broadcasting activity is limited to maximum 15 broadcasters which I can receive 24h a day connecting an external antenna to the high impedence connections on the back of the device. For this use I normaly connect my PA0RDT Miniwhip with a proper connection adaptor. I use two short pieces of wire connected to an adaptor banana-BNC, the miniwhip fits with the BNC adaptor.

Few words on VLF reception: the S-8800e differs from the standard S-8800 because the European version can receive down to 20 kHz, it can be identified from the S-8800 standard, because the switch on button is green instead of red, in both the devices the model is identified as S-8800 without any “e” after the number, thus the colour of the button is the only way.
We should keep in mind that in VLF this is not a superperforming receiver. Below 30 kHz the receiver is almost deaf, moreover it does not receive in CW so all frequencies are to be tuned almost 1 kHz lower (e.g. DCF77 has to be tuned on 76.5 kHz instead of 77.5, MSF on 59 instead of 60 kHz, etc..). Last: to have an acceptable reception inside the house you need a proper external antenna like the above mentioned Miniwhip otherwise with the internal ferrite antenna you can just receive (barely) the DCF77 and the three EFR radio stations between 128 and 138 kHz.

I would say that to have a portable receiver like this with VLF, is just a matter of owning an oddity or a curiosity for radio collectors. Should you like to do serious VLF reception with the Tecsun S-8800 please consider to buy a VLF upconverter, I have one from Eelettrofficina and with this non expansive device you can get a lot of fun in the low frequencies. With this setup I could receive the beta time signal of RJH66 from Biskek Kyrghizstan on 25 kHz VLF (28025 kHz with upconverter), SAQ 17.2 kHz (28017.20 kHz with upconverter).
Otherwise if you are really interested in VLF reception a good SDR, a marine professional receiver as my old ITT Mckay Marine type 3031-A or a selective level meter, would do this job in a better and cheaper way.

BIRDIES
The Tecsun S-8800 is claimed to be affected by birdies, which I believe. The point is that I could not identify, in mine one, as many of these birdies as others are claiming. I could identify around 5 to 10 birdies all in reception bands where there’s almost nothing to listen in my location. So in this case my approach is: who cares as long as there are not hundreds of birdies.

OPERATION OF THE RECEIVER
The receiver is supplied with a remote control from where you can operate the device very easily. Unfortunately this is not what I like to do: I prefer to push buttons and to turn knobs by hand. During first operations I noticed that the receiver is quite light and turning the frequency knob with one finger may results in making it falling down. This I solved building a wood box which takes the receiver always standing, also during fast tuning.

Other aspects for operating the receiver are OK; the only things that I would make different are the switches on the right side of the radio. There are two switches: for DX-Local (attenuation) and for selecting internal-external antenna. There is not a reason to have them different from now: to me they are just uncomfortable. Using the high impedance antenna for MW-LW-VLF, the switch internal-external aerial, seems not to be effective as if the external antenna is always connected somehow to the internal ferrite rod by some kind of induction or in another way.
The receiver is able to manage strong signals and within certain limits there’s no overload, but in MW-LW-VLF, connecting an external antenna the s-meter is almost always on the maximum value either with a station tuned or outside any tuned signal. Wherever you are tuned the s-meter is anyway 5 and using the attenuation Lo-Dx there’s no effect on this. I would comment that for a receiver in the 300 euros range, this could be improved, even the PL 880 (which I bought 2 years ago in Hong Kong) has a much better signal measurement.
A good improvement in the S-8800 – compared with the PL 880 – is the possibility to tune the volume of the audio line out. In the S-8800 this can be done using the volume buttons of the remote control. I could not find any way to do this on the PL-880 with which you must work on the inlet volume of the lap top sound card.
The big volume Knob on the S-8800 just change the volume at the headphone or at the speaker, but not the one of the audio line out.

BANDWIDTH FILTERS
Sound management is the best feature of the Tecsun S-8800e, bass and treble knobs improve efficiently the sound quality. The 4 bandwidth filters available for AM reception are well effective with amplitudes of  2.3 – 3 – 4 – 6 kHz as visible in following picture, lower part of waterfall is 6kHz wide filter, while upper part is done with 2.3 kHz filter (received station is Chaine 3 Algerie on 252 kHz LW)

In SSB the story is slightly different, in theory the receiver provides 5 filter amplitudes at 0.5 – 1.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 4.0 kHz, the point is that – in the device I own – I do not see any difference for 4 and 3 kHz filters. This is clearly visible in next picture.

at 18:32 I have changed filter width from 4 to 3 kHz without any difference in the waterfall, while most of the signal “ends” at around 2.7 kHz, at 18:33 filter width is changed down to 2.3 kHz with a visible effect in the waterfall, at 18:34 the filter is changed to 1.2 kHz and before 18:35 is changed again down to 0.5 kHz.
Out of all this filters story I can conclude that in SSB the real usefull maximum width of the spectrum is no more than 2.7 kHz. This can be an issue for example once you want to decode JT65-JT9 together in same decoding session using WSJT-X. Same problem I noticed on the PL-880.

CONCLUSION
The receiver is full of features which I do not use for example it comes with an extensive number of memory slots for storing preferred stations, in relation to this you can read the user handbook available on the web in pdf format. For me is just easier to dial the needed frequency than remembering the slot number where it is stored. The Tecsun S-8800, like the PL 880, has hidden features which you can find here in the blog in an older post (in Italian).
If the expectations of a buyer for a portable BCL receiver are not too high, the Tecsun S-8800 will be amazing and the owner will love it as I do. For utilities and HAM Radio bands reception I personally  found this receiver great for the price, same for Broadcasting stations in short waves. MW and LW could be improved: for example on Navtex frequency 518 kHz sometimes the receiver goes almost muted as if overloaded, but even in this way Navtex signals can be decoded although the volume on the decoder is equal to zero. Tapping on the LO-DX switch this muting goes away but it may come back in a randomic way. During evening reception, using an antenna which is providing a strong signal (like the miniwhip) many spurious signals can be identified, this happens mainly in LW and VLF. In this case the use of the attenuation (LO-DX) provide an efficient solution without affecting the quality of desired signals.
Anyway since facts are better than words, I can suggest to browse my blog, click on the tag “tecsun S-8800e” there are many posts of great receptions that I did with this receiver.
Finally would I buy it again in case of need? Surely yes.

Over the past eight weeks we have been running a competition to win a Tecsun PL880 radio. The purpose of the competition was to generate excitement around the capabilities of shortwave and promote Radiogram to budding amateur radio enthusiasts.

Read more

Want to see your decoded radiograms featured on our website?
Remember to tag @TecsunRadios and #DecodeToWin!

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The ocean racing yachts that will set off on Wednesday’s Sydney Hobart Yacht Race are required to carry radio equipment that includes both VHF and HF radios.

Perpetual LOYAL competes in the 2014 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Image courtesy of Michael Cratt
Read more

This week Federal Labor has announced that if elected to Government next year it will provide $2 million in funding for the ABC, specifically to bring back shortwave radio services across some of Australia’s most remote areas.
Read more

Tecsun S-8800

The Tecsun S-8800 has been a long time coming to the Australian market so we’re very excited that Silicon Chip Magazine has featured this great new addition to our range of radios in their most recent July 2017 magazine!

S-8800 review

The Tecsun S-8800 review is on Page 57 of the July 2017 issue of Silicon Chip Magazine!

Here are some of the great things they had to say about the P-8800.

“If you live in, or go “bush” and want a radio that will let you keep listening where other radios have given up, or if you’re a city resident who wants to give DX listening a go, try the Tecsun S-8800.”

– Silicon Chip Magazine

“The S-8800 is right up there, even exceeding many higher-priced sets in its ability to not only resolve distant stations but to maintain them at an enjoyable level.”

– Silicon Chip Magazine

“The shortwave section covers just above the broadcast band (1.711MHz) through to almost 30MHz (actually 29.999MHz and with its single sideband plus AM reception, along with fine tuning, you’ll be pulling in stations that you didn’t know existed!”

– Silicon Chip Magazine

And the Silicon Chip team aren’t the only ones excited about this great new addition to the Tecsun family of radios. Here you can read Garry Cratt’s full review here, and watch the video demonstration!

 “Although the frequency range is stated as 520-1620kHz (when the receiver is set to 9kHz spacing), it can be extended by setting the receiver to 10kHz spacing and then it will be possible to tune 520-1710kHz. By using slow tuning steps (1kHz), and station can be tuned.”

– Radio expert Garry Cratt (VK2YBX)

The S-8800 was featured and reviewed in Silicon Chip Magazine alongside the new Tecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital Radio!

The Tecsun S-8800 High Performance AM/FM Radio has been designed to provide maximum performance on the AM (MW) bands, allowing listeners to receive fringe AM radio stations with unmatched audio clarity.

The Tecsun S-8800 is the only radio in the Tecsun range to provide an infrared remote control in the kit. An absolute luxury for the user as all functions are able to be controlled by the remote. The remote uses standard AAA batteries to make using the remote hassle-free and cheap when it needs recharging.

The Tecsun S-8800 is available and in stock now, right in time for Father’s Day! Find out what else is new for Father’s Day! 

And check our Father’s Day Shipping Schedule to make sure you get what he really wants for Father’s Day on time!

You can click here to subscribe to Silicon Chip Magazine to read the review and find out more about our exclusive Father’s Day 2017 offers, and stay up to date on all things

Subscribe to Silicon Chip Magazine today to keep up to date with all of our new product announcements and reviews!

Here’s what’s new from Tecsun Radios … just in time for Father’s day 2017!

Tecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital RadioTecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital Radio

The new Tecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital Radio offers Dad excellent reception of the DAB+ radio services available in most cities in Australia. With a large colour display that shows the selected radio station, current programming, news and weather information when enabled by the broadcaster, the D-008 DAB+ offers Dad superior audio quality with all the bells and whistles he could ask for in a desktop radio!

Designed with the radio-lover in mind, the Tecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital Radio can accept an external antenna input for the reception of DAB+ digital radio stations, this mean listeners in areas of fringe reception can utilise a Band III VHF TV antenna to greatly extend the reception range of the receiver.

The Tecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital Radio also offers Bluetooth connectivity allowing the connection of smartphones and other audio devices to stream the audio through its large speaker. Connection of audio devices without Bluetooth is also possible via the AUX (Auxiliary) input (3.5mm socket).

With a huge range of features, the Tecsun D-008 DAB+ Digital Radio is perfect for every Dad this Father’s Day!

 

[button link=”https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/product/tecsun-d-008-dab-digital-radio/” size=”small, medium, large” target=”_blank or _self” color=”white, yellow, orange, red, blue, green, gray, black, alternative-1, alternative-2, alternative-3″ lightbox=”true or false”]Order now in time for Father’s Day![/button]


Tecsun DE13 Emergency AM/FM/SW Solar Radio

Tecsun DE13 Emergency Radio

Perfect for the dad who loves camping and bush walking, the Tecsun DE13 Emergency AM/FM/SW solar powered radio is perfect to pack in your rucksack to keep in touch with the rest of the world. The Tecsun DE13 includes an inbuilt solar panel and dynamo hand crank charger to recharge the internal battery on the go.

The Tecsun DE13 radio itself can charge other devices like your mobile phone by connecting the radio with a USB or mini USB cable to the device. The radio also features a torch and emergency siren, and its compact size makes it perfect for emergency kits. Severe bushfire, cyclone, and flood emergencies highlight the benefits of having an emergency radio at your disposal. Long after the power has failed, the Tecsun DE13 Emergency AM/FM/SW Solar Powered Radio will keep you in contact with the outside world.

With the Tecsun DE13 Emergency AM/FM/SW solar powered radio, Dad will have the confidence of being able to listen to the radio, use a torch, and charge his mobile phone all with one device while he’s camping and bush walking!

 

[button link=”https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/store/product/tecsun-de13-emergency-amfmsw-solar-powered-radio/” size=”small, medium, large” target=”_blank or _self” color=”white, yellow, orange, red, blue, green, gray, black, alternative-1, alternative-2, alternative-3″ lightbox=”true or false”]Order now in time for Father’s Day![/button]

 

Click here to check our Father’s Day shipping deadlines to make sure you receive your delivery in time for Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day, to every dad out there!
Please note our shipping deadline dates below to ensure your Tecsun Radios gifts arrive before Sunday, September 3rd 

DESTINATION Last order via
STANDARD POST
Last order via
EXPRESS POST
Australia Order before 2pm on Wednesday, August 23rd Order before 2pm on Wednesday, August 30th
New Zealand Order before 2pm on Wednesday, August 23rd Please contact our friendly staff
Rest of the World Please contact our friendly staff

 

Check whether your postcode is within Australia Post’s Express Post network here.

Have you seen what’s new for Father’s Day 2017?
Read our blog post about the exciting new Tecsun models that have been released just in time for Father’s Day! It’s your fast-track to the perfect present! Read here.

Still need help?
From finding the perfect radio to arranging delivery, our friendly staff are here to help.
Simply email hello@tecsunradios.com.au

PL365

The Tecsun PL365 was recently reviewed by Radio Jay on his blog.

Here are just a few of the things he had to say about the PL365

“The ETM has its own, temporary 100 station memory which is perfect for travelling to new areas where you can quickly populate that memory bank with receivable signals in that location leaving all your other 450 presets untouched…very convenient.”

“Tecsun has done an incredible job of making SSB tuning as precise and easy as can be”

“Its overall performance is excellent for the size and price”

“Its layout and design were carefully considered and well executed”

“The general shape and layout of the radio make one-handed tuning as easy as possible”

We’ve had a bit of a play around with the Tecsun PL365 today too!

PL365PL365

Thanks to Radio Jay for this review very detailed review. Read the full review here.

Garry VK2YBX has prepared some great tips and tricks for using the Tecsun PL365. You can read them here.

Treat yourself to a great new radio today. Buy the PL365 now.

The Tecsun PL680 has been a long time coming to the Australian market so we’re very excited that Silicon Chip Magazine has featured this great new addition to our range of radios in their most recent December 2015 magazine’s Product Showcase.

The Tecsun PL680 is featured in Silicon Chip Magazine December 2015

The Tecsun PL680 is featured in Silicon Chip Magazine December 2015

“For keen shortwave listeners, you’ll notice the difference in the PL680.”

– Silicon Chip Magazine

And the Silicon Chip team aren’t the only ones excited about the upgrades. Here are just a few other reviews the PL680 has received:

“Worth the upgrade.”

swling.com

“Tecsun certainly gives you a lot of bang for your buck.”

Chris Freitas, On Radio Blog

The PL680 was featured and reviewed in Silicon Chip Magazine alongside the new Tecsun PL365 giving two of our most popular portable receivers a major makeover, making them even better value for money.

The PL680 radio with VHF Air Band is a great radio for communications enthusiasts with the radio providing excellent reception to all of the major frequency bands including AM/MW, FM, Shortwave with SSB, Longwave, and VHF Air Band.

The Tecsun PL365 is the only radio in the Tecsun range (apart from the Tecsun S2000 Desktop Radio) to provide an external antenna connection for the AM/MW band. The Tecsun PL365 Radio is an ideal radio to use for AM/MW EMI surveys because of its external AM antenna, ability to accept customised antennas and display showing signal strength in dBuV.

Both radios are available and in stock now, right in time for Christmas.