on August 2, 2011
I had some goals in mind when I purchased the Tecsun PL-360: I was looking for an easy to use, very portable, AM/FM/Shortwave radio for under a hundred dollars, that was not demanding on batteries and provided decent reception.
So, here is what I found when the PL-360 went to work:
The first thing I did with it, out of the box, was to scan the SW band with ETM. The Easy Tuning Mode button locates audible stations and then lets you flip through them with the tuning dial. This feature can be run at any time to update your location or add to the list with antenna changes. The Tecsun scanned the SW band indoors with just the whip antenna and locked onto 38 stations. 2300-21950khz continuous. Later, with the addition of an outdoor antenna, the PL-360 (during evening hours) using ETM, scanned and locked on to over 135 shortwave stations. Not bad and I felt that met my expectations for SW. I am not real fond of the clip-on antenna rigging. But, it will add to the ETM station count. ( Note: I got to my outdoor antenna by soldering a alligator clip to the bitter end of the supplied clip-on antenna wire. I am sure you are on your own when you do this since it is outside the design and not in the user guide.)
When the PL-360 locks on it is discriminating and holds the station well. Little to no bleed over or fade beyond the nature of the band.
AM/FM radio and features: Just fine & handy too. Stereo radio sound is surprisingly decent with my Skull Candy headphones. I also tried three other types of headsets; over ear and soft inserts with differing results. Basically, better phones improve sound. You get about what you would expect from the small onboard speaker.
Features are easy to access. Faceplate buttons are small but snappy and clean with room to disallow "fat finger." There is not so much clutter that it is confusing. Noted in one review was the tuning knob as being crisp and solid with good indexing. I agree with that. The buttons support a "short press," and "long press" action to manipulate features.
The little AM antenna that fixes to the body and makes it look like a TNT igniter is okay. In fact, it is directional. There is a signal strength indicator on the LCD and that responds clearly to movement of the bar antenna.
Holding the radio in the left hand allows my wrap around fingers access to the tuning knob and volume knob. In the right hand the thumb is in charge. LCD Display and button markings are easy to read at arms reach as if holding a book. The LCD screen lights when buttons or knobs are moved and turns down with inactivity.
Scan and memory features are handy. Very briefly: You scan using the VF button and the radio holds a station for a few seconds then moves on. You can use the tuning knob to stop the scan and fine tune. Also, there is an up and down button feature in the four button Band selector and Auto Tuning Storage section that makes gross moves from band to band while the LCD provides a quick band reference as you troll. The band you are on flashes for about two seconds. (It took me a while to catch this indication. Two seconds is kind of quick. So, you have to be looking for this.) So, if you like 31m, you just push the up or down button until 31m shows in the upper right corner of the LCD. You can then scroll through the band. A press of the memory button drives a station you like to one of the memory sets for later use by the VM button as a preset.
The Alarm (wake up) mode is easy to use and set. The auto off timer has a surprisingly large selection of time choices. A blinking sleep icon flashes in the upper left corner of the LCD when setting this feature. Also, the LCD shows ambient temperature. This is listed in Fahrenheit when North American step settings are selected for AM.
I did purchase NMH rechargeable batteries to use in the radio. The PL-360 needs to be told it has NMH batteries installed. I found the setup for this easy and the Intelligent Charging Feature handy. So far, the radio does not appear to be a power consumption hog.
Overall, the PL-360 is a nice surprise. I feel the radio met all the goals I had in mind and provided some very nice extras that made it well worth the price paid. Also, the learning curve is not too bad and even the user guide is compact as well as straight forward.
on May 14, 2011
This is an interesting packaging of the new DSP radios coming out of China. Don't expect miracles out of the very small rotating am/lw antenna or tiny speaker, but if you do not need ssb or selectable sideband and want a travel radio with am, fm and shortwave, this may be of interest.
There are multiple tuning and entry options, along with an interesting "seek" function that seems to work better than previous implementations of this idea.
With an external direct or passively coupled loop antenna, the am is on par with my DE1103 on the "wide" setting.
San Francisco and Vancouver BC stations are an easy catch most autumn and winter nights. I've gotten one or two East Coast stations.
Small enough to slip in a big pocket, and it has a mini-usb charging port for the three AA cells. You will need that, as this radio seems to run through NiMh battery charge very fast, at least compared to my DE1103.
on July 5, 2011
Tecsun has several DSP radios utilizing the IC Si373x from Silicon Labs of Austin TX. The AM/FM/SW/LW digital tuning radio is shaped more like a TV remote compared to its other DSP cousins. It doesn't standup easily, nor does it fit in your pocket well. I don't think this design lends itself to any advantage other than putting an antenna on the end of a skinny block.
The unique feature of this radio is the Medium Wave AM radio antenna input, and the supplied external ferrite bar antenna. Testing the AM sensitivity for me is not easy as I live in a high QRM (man-made interference) area of my city, with commercial buildings all around. For me the supplied ferrite bar antenna performed well pulling in stations clearly up to 50 miles away that I know are under 2.5KW. I also tried Tecsun's AN-200 Loop antenna with direct connect to the radio. Not surprisingly a noticeable increase in reception, with late PM full of signals I could not identify in the World Radio Tv Handbook. So with the right antenna, this radios AM reception is very good and allows for experimenting at a reasonable price.
The FM and SW receptions are surprisingly good using the stick antenna. However, I mainly purchased the radio for the MW input as I'm planning a large loop antenna to take to the Eastern Seashore for Trans Atlantic DXing. As one of many Tecsun Ultra Light Radios (URL) with Digital Signal Processing (DSP), there fun, useful, work well, easy to use, light weight, and priced right. I like Tecsun because of their DSP radios, highly recommended.
on March 8, 2012
I ordered this radio so I could have a good emergency radio. The characteristics I was looking for were: Compact, lightweight, coverage of FM/AM/Shortwave, and easy to use.
I'll touch first on what you want a radio to do, which is be a radio. My favorite feature of this radio, especially on shortwave is the ETM button. The ETM feature allows you to scan the whole band (or multiple bands on SW) for stations that are coming through. This is especially useful for shortwave since the content you can receive varies greatly based on time of day, and solar conditions. So before I sit down to start listening I just perform an ETM scan of the shortwave band (give it about 2 minutes to complete the scan, you can watch what freq it's on with the display), and then I can just dial through the handful of stations I am receiving instead of tuning around endlessly looking for something. this feature isn't as needed for FM and AM since the stations you listen to in your area are pretty much always there. Great for travel, though.
It seems sensitive enough. I like the fact that it actually displays the signal strength and signal to noise ratio on the screen so you can adjust the position of the radio, or your antenna as needed to really lock in to the signal. Also, having a digital display is a huge advantage in SW so you know exactly where you are in the band instead of guessing more or less.
The included external AM antenna works great, but generally I can pick the signal up by just rotating the radio around a bit until it sounds clear. But since AM reception is highly directional having the external antenna on in the headphone style jack is nice so you can just twist that around instead of your whole radio.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that hitting the display button rotated through several options including the temperature, which as near as I can tell is accurate.
As other reviewers have stated, it's about the size of a TV remote which makes it very easy to stow away in a small compartment in any of my backpacks, or a magazine pouch on a vest. It's not heavy, but it's not so light that it feels flimsy. I haven't tried throwing it against any walls, but it doesn't feel like it's going to come apart in my hands.
On the note of its physical build, there's one thing about it that I really like that I hadn't thought of before ordering it. The expandable whip antenna is housed inside the radio. So if you have the antenna pushed all the way in to the unit, it's not going to catch on things and get torqued off while stowed away with other gear. One downside to this is that it doesn't rotate but I haven't really found the need to gripe about that in practical application.
I've had the radio for a little over a week now, and I'm still on the same 3 AA rechargeable batteries that I put it in when it arrived, and the battery gauge is still showing full. I use it for a couple of hours daily.
The only two cons I can come up with are: It uses 3 batteries, which makes it odd for using batteries that you recharge in pairs or fours since you don't want to mix weak batteries with full batteries, and you can't directly enter a frequency. This is only slightly painful on shortwave, but you can use the band up and down buttons to get you within thumbwheel scrolling distance. I also wish it had SSB receive capability, but for its size and price I couldn't expect it.
All in all, this is a great radio that does everything I want it to do! You'll get to hear plenty of distant shortwave stations with the included clip on antenna, or you can do yourself a favor and get an alligator clip and a spool of magnet wire to run outside (but not too much, or you'll overload it.) Have fun!
on January 31, 2014
I bought the Tecsun PL-360 a little over a year ago on a whim when Amazon first started offering them. Having owned several communications transceivers with DSP I wanted to see how well it was implemented in a small shortwave receiver, and the price of less than $40 didn’t seem to be much of a hit to my wallet. I was intrigued by the funky elongated design and external removable ferrite antenna; it would definitely be a first of its kind in my collection of many radios. That’s where the love began and I anticipated its arrival.
Once unboxed and in my greedy hands, I marveled at its unique shape – It feels like a slightly oversized television remote. Build quality feels OK but not great, a little on the “cheap” side. I tossed in some freshly charged NiMH batteries and powered it on, FM was the default and I dialed around. Sensitivity and selectivity seemed good and using just the telescopic whip I could pick up one of the low power college stations almost 50 miles away. This was a good sign being that I live in a rural area surrounded by tall trees and hills. I switched to the SW band and did a quick scan using the convenient ETM function. This is a very nice feature, no wonder Tecsun is working on a patent for it, it makes finding listenable stations on every band easy as pie. Once finished I turned the tuning thumbwheel and there was about 35 listening choices on SW, some signals better than others but this was to be expected. Immediately I noticed what I thought to be an anomaly, stations that were marginal and fading were going up and down in volume, kind of like turning a light off and on with no smooth fade transition. I ignored it and went directly to MW since this was going to be primarily used for MW Dxing, or so I thought.
I plugged in the external ferrite antenna and decided to manually dial around and get a better feel of the radios sensitivity and selectivity on this band. I started around 530 kHz and once reaching 570 – BAM! there was a station about 100+ miles away coming in fairly clear and listenable. I thought to myself “This is good, but something doesn’t seem right. Why did the volume jump up again so abruptly when receiving the signal and then down again when tuning off?” This was the beginning of the hate fest, and investigation into the Silicon Labs si4734 DSP chip function most notably dubbed as “soft mute”. Soft mute is the way the DSP chip handles unwanted noise and interference once it reaches a predetermined threshold. If you receive a strong or fairly strong signal it locks on and the DSP kicks in full steam. If the signal is marginal, fading or equal to the rejected noise, the volume is reduced or “muted”. In my world this is unacceptable and takes all the fun out of dialing around and DXing. After all, any cheap AM/FM/SW radio can receive strong signals, why make DSP technology a hindrance to the hobby? Rather than bash the PL-360 I’m sure this behavior is a firmware or chip programming issue because it’s barely noticeable in my PL-380. Tecsun? Are you listening to us yet?
For most of the year I more or less ignored the PL-360 due to the soft mute and listening fatigue attributed to it. The other day I had some time to waste and I fired up the PL-360 to remind myself of how much I hate it. While dialing around on MW I noticed that if I stay one kHz off the main frequency listening is quite tolerable and soft mute is virtually disabled even when signals fade, yet the DSP function still remains. OK, maybe this isn’t so bad after all? Quirky but workable. Since the PL-360 has an external ferrite bar antenna and jack, I tried plugging in my Radio Shack loop (this is almost identical to the Kaito AN-100). I normally couple this to my radios passively but wanted to see if it would overload the PL-360. I tuned to some very low power Department of Transportation Traveler broadcasts on 1630 and 1650 kHz (1631 and 1651 actually, we no likey soft mute), tweaked the loop to frequency and there they were coming in just as strong if not better than on my Sangean PRD-5. Not bad at all for such a small and cheap radio.
To summarize: I have a new found appreciation for the PL-360 even with all its quirks (I’m sure my wife feels the same about me). I’m disappointed that I can’t use it “as is” and what most of us expect as normal function out of the box. I like the size and features, sensitivity and selectivity is above average, MW antenna jack turned out to be a real plus in my situation. I was hoping and intending to use the PL-360 as a MW DX “Ultralight” with some casual SW listening thrown in. But it seems better suited paired up with my external loop, which isn’t easy to fit in a pocket.
on October 8, 2014
Got here fast. It's actually a very nice radio, has a feature called ETM which makes finding stations a breeze, speaker is acceptable.
I wouldn't suggest using only the internal speaker for music,as it's rather tinny sounding but for talk radio & such it's just fine and signals on shortwave are usually rather noisy anyway.
It has an FM stereo option, includes earbuds, I don't recall if it says it in the description but they even include a long wire antenna for shortwave reception it has a clip for the antenna and a clip to attach to something like an aluminum window frame.
If you only use the telescoping antenna you will probably not be happy with the SW reception, at least I wasn't in my area (25 miles outside Los Angeles), it does improve with the included SW antenna though.
The included AM antenna does help tune in local AM stations, it even has two dials on the ends for "Fine tuning" AM reception.
You can use rechargeable AA batteries, it will even charge them through an on-board charging circuit just plug in to a USB port on you PC or other USB charging device, the cable to charge is not included but it accepts a miniature USB plug, I had one laying around so I was able to use that.
The build quality is quite solid, it doesn't feel like it's going to break if you use it, the tuning dial is detented and has a nice "Feel" to it, made in China (Of course) but you wouldn't realize that from the quality.
Overall a good purchase, I'm sure it will last for a long time.
on October 3, 2014
Just received my PL-360 today. Here are the first impressions after 10 hours of ownership.
Build Quality - I've seen reviews criticizing the build quality of the unit. I don't see it. The unit feels substantial, the buttons have a very quality feel to them. The unit isheavy, but not uncomfortably so. The printed graphics on the unit are straight and quite legible. The volume and tuning dials do not feel cheap and give positive feedback when used. The headphone and antenna jacks are tight. The antenna is substantial and moves easily. In total, the unit seems to be well built and seems as though it will be durable.
Reception and Sound - In use, I'm quite impressed with the reception and sound quality. I live in the high desert area of California and, while the bands are crowded, we are quite a distance from the cities and reception tends to be a very spotty affair. We also are on the eastern side of mountains so shortwave reception tends to be horrible. This unit is performing better than any small radio I have owned, and better than a lot of larger and much more expensive units I've seen. My other small radio (a Chinese made Grundig) receives, on a good night, 3 stations on shortwave. Without an additional antenna this unit is picking up over 25. I am getting 25 clear AM stations and 15 FM stations. I am clearly receiving AM from San Francisco and Radio Havana, two stations I've never managed to even get a hit on with previous radios. The external AM antenna makes a tremendous difference in AM reception.
The ETM function (Tecsun's proprietary "Easy Tune Mode") works extremely well. It scans the band and pulls out the frequencies where it finds stations and allows one to scan through without manually hitting all the frequencies. A very nice feature.
The speaker sounds fine, I agree with other reviews that it is a bit tinny for music but is fine for AM talk radio and shortwave, which are the two primary uses I will have for it.
What's In The Box? - The unit comes with an external clip style antenna, a set of ear buds and a nice padded case.
A couple of caveats - After spending some time with the unit I must say that the one weak point seems to be the connection point for the external AM antenna. I believe that any solid blow or one drop could very easily cause either the female connector to break within the unit or the male connector to shear off. Something to be aware of, and careful about. The other fault is with the belt clip, which is a nice feature but seems flimsy and poorly made in comparison with the rest of the unit. I don't trust it and have removed it from the unit completely. A small issue, but one which is inexcusable in such an otherwise well-made product. This is compensated by the case, which has a nice two way belt loop. Would be nice if the case had a storage area for the MW antenna and external SW antenna, but that is just nitpicking.
I purchased the PL-360 to use at my job. I work in a very solid building with quite a bit of steel in the construction and a lot of fluorescent lighting. My previous small radio had massive amounts of interference from the lights. I am very eager to try the Tecsun and see how well it performs. I will post an update when I've given it a thorough test.
Other than the small issues above I am very happy with the PL-360 and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
UPDATE: Wanted to add in some other thoughts after a few more days with the PL-360. This thing isn't just easy on batteries, this thing SIPS batteries! I've had the same three standard alkaline batteries in this radio through over 40 hours of listening and the battery display JUST dropped by 1/4. Amazing. And having now used it several nights at my job I am very impressed with the AM reception. Only in the very center of the building do I have an issue with reception, but even there it's still listenable, just a bit noisy. BUY IT!!!
on November 17, 2014
This is really a "3 star" radio, performance-wise. Considering price and the above strengths, it gains at least one star. It's doubtful you can do any better for $50.
Before going on in detail, an important word about shortwave radios in North America. Signals are often only available an hour or two a day, and the signals are often weak. It's important to recognize what is possible and form realistic expectations of what -- and when -- you can hear programming from afar.
A good analogy is listening to FM is like going to the store and buying a fish. It's just there waiting for you any time you want one. Listening to shortwave is more like learning when the best time is to fish, and being there at the right time and patiently waiting for the fish to bite. Sometimes you will go home empty-handed. Conditions can vary from day to day, even hour to hour. I listen to Radio Australia overnights on 9580 Khz and 11880 Khz in the mornings, and it's great. 4-7am local is the best time to hear lots of signals at my location on the west coast. Your best times may vary.
Also, spending a lot more money on a shortwave receiver will not necessarily result in major improvements in reception, because often background noise is the biggest limitation to the ability to hear signals. In almost every case, a better antenna will do far more good than a better radio.
OK, setting realistic expectations that shortwave is often a fishing game:
There are exactly two outstanding characteristics of this radio, both due to its DSP Si4734 heart: 1) outstanding selectivity typical of a much more expensive radio, and 2) scanning performance you can't even find at any price in other radios. The second benefit is testament to a good implementation of the DSP's ability to report actual signal to noise ratio rather than just signal strength -- something relatively new to SWL radios.
Then there are the shortcomings typical of a small and cheap radio: sound and volume are OK but not great, there's no room for a proper direct-entry keypad, and (probably my radio is proof of this) quality control may be lacking.
I've been an SWL on and off for close to 30 years and have owned and used dozens of shortwave radios (Drake R8, Sony SW7600G, Grunding YB400, Sony SW7600G, and others). For this reason, I'm going to focus primarily on shortwave performance, secondarily on AM/BCB/MW performance, and only lightly on FM. (FM was disappointing.)
Keep in mind that shortwave is a weak-signal game for many in the USA, as there are no stations inside the US worth listening to, and few international broadcasters "target" the US anymore, so the "salad days" of many booming signals carrying fascinating programming (and fascinating propaganda too!) are largely behind us. This means your best bet is using this for travel or catching regional signals or international signals generally meant to be received elsewhere -- thus having a good antenna and an electrically quiet listening location is very helpful to maximize your enjoyment of the hobby. However, that said, on the West Coast of US Asia/Pacific stations can often be quite strong from the wee hours onward. Some cool frequencies to try are 11880, 9580, 11725, 9595 || 3925, 5025, 5040, 6000. Also check out short-wave.info for further information!
Sensitivity is good, selectivity is excellent, and sound is louder and less thin than you'd expect from such a small radio. There is no meaningful bass, however.
The tuning features are frankly outstanding, with ETM being a stand-out as convenient for SW at different times of day, and for FM and AM when you travel. I instantly took a liking to this useful feature. The memory system also works well and there are more memories than I can imagine ever using.
But what really stands out is its "best-in-class" scanning performance on shortwave (and AM).
What's special is both manual and automatic scanning tend to find *actual broadcast signals* rather than continually stopping on noise peaks. Most shortwave radios (at any price) have great difficulty distinguishing between an actual signal and a local noise peak, and end up stopping on a lot of junk signals that amount to nothing more than being louder noise than the frequencies on either side. To be able to push the "ETM" button or "VF" and find actual, even quite weak signals in a couple minutes without finding tons of spurious junk is just astonishing to me and apparently takes advantage of capabilities of the Si4734 DSP chip -- being able to compute signal to noise ratio -- that simply aren't feasible with traditional squelch-driven scanning. Welcome to a new Jeopardy category: "things you can do in DSP for $3 you can't do with analog circuitry for any reasonable price, Alex".
The supplied external antenna, taken outdoors, really helped boost marginal signals to good readability. I am surprised and impressed the radio showed no signs of overloading and almost no broadcast band breakthrough - just one spot on 3rd harmonic of nearby 50kW AM station was heard, and it was not very strong. Cheap radios often come to pieces when you put any sort of real antenna on them, so this is another pleasant surprise. Again, it won't win any awards for dynamic range, but it's better than many inexpensive radios I've tried.
As an aside, the AM antenna jack appears to go to the same input as the SW whip does, so you CAN attach an external SWL antenna with a mono jack into the AM in. However, according to the drawing in my manual there is a low-pass filter between the whip and the IC input that you will be bypass by jacking into the AM socket, so overload may be more likely. Then again, it might be fine depending on the particulars, so I'd say experimenting is worthwhile.
UPDATE: Connecting both ends of a 25 foot wire to the jack in a loop configuration caused TERRIBLE overloading. 36 spurious signals going all the way into the 7 Mhz region. So, a big antenna should not go on this radio through the AM jack. It's still OK for 25 feet of wire to the tip connector though.
Cons are various and mostly minor to me.
The tuning dial mutes. This is annoying as it destroys the fun of "tuning the dial" to discover new signals, because you have to step and stop constantly. Even the ancient Sony SW7600G can do this well (via holding the "slow tune" button down and disengaging the sync detector). Not sure if this is a shortcoming of the DSP chip or second-rate audio design.
In "VF" mode, tuning can take a while as you can only move at two speeds: 1 Khz and 5 Khz per dial "click". That's a lot of"clicks" to go from one end of a band to the other, though you can jump between bands with the SW up and down arrows to help out. This problem is inherent to having no numeric keypad and follows from the radio's small size, so it's just a trade-off you make in an ultra-light radio. If Tecsun wants to make a more excellent radio, making the firmware detect when the dial is going above say 7 clicks per second, to go to a 100Khz step to speed across bands. That would make the radio a LOT nicer to use. :)
The goofy outboard AM antenna on top did not appear to be significantly better than the built-in one. Swiveling the radio for maximum signal or mimimum noise on built-in, and moving the outboard antenna through 360 degrees in the horizontal plane, I could neither hear nor see on the S/N and signal meter any substantial difference between them. No idea if this is a manufacturing defect in mine, a problem with my test method, or it's just a cute gimmick. But I will be leaving mine at home because I'm not convinced it does anything very useful. That said, I could see doing some casual DXing on the AM band with this radio in either configuration.
I deducted one star because of a potentially fatal fault for some. It would be a deal-killer if I bought the radio primarily for FM stereo listening. There is a weak but continuous high frequency hiss on the headphones even with a full-quieting FM signal with the volume cranked all the way to zero. It's dead quiet through the speaker but very noticeable on headphones. Turning the volume up high to mask it is not an option as I would like to preserve my hearing. :) I suspect this may be an example of poor quality control rather than a design defect. At least I hope so. Please feel free to comment if you have similar problems (or definitely don't.) I'd be happier to discover this isn't a "feature" of this design.
So in summary:
1. Amazing value for money - five stars for value
2. Buy it if convenient tuning features and great scanning are important to you. These are winners.
3. Pretty decent shortwave - three stars (not considering price)
4. Audio is good - surprisingly so for its size and price. But see #5:
5. Headphone audio hiss - ignorable for AM and SWL, but this radio misses the target as the one travel radio to take everywhere if you can't enjoy FM stereo. Again hopefully this is a production defect and not a problem with all of these units.
6. External AM antenna seems to be more gimmick than useful from my testing. On the bright side, you CAN feed SWL wire to the tip connector and avoid "clip-on" so long as it's not too long a wire, so maybe Tecsun would do better to re-label the connector "external SWL" antenna and put the filter in line there. It would arguably be more useful.
7. It's a steal. Better to spend $50 or so and discover SWL is not for you than start with a high-end radio that can't do a lot more, and be out $250 or more. I think it's a great starter radio and also a good candidate to take on the road with you wherever you go.
on July 2, 2013
Well I thought radio was a mature technology with few surprises left. These Tecsun portables have new features which now seem indispensable. Well made hardware & firmware.
THUMBWHEEL TUNING between PRESET Stations - very convenient - Quickly scan dozens of your presets
SIGNAL STRENGTH Meter: signal-power @ antenna, measured in dBµV (i.e. relative to a signal of 1 microvolt)
SIGNAL/NOISE Meter: measured in dB
FOUR Different TUNING MODES: ETM, ABS, ABM(with ATS), & Manual
AM ANTENNA: plug-in ferrite-bar antenna boosts AM signals by 30dB -- signal-power is increased 1000x. Allows you to adjust the antenna direction without moving the radio.
LONG-WAVE Option: the AM/MW band can be extended down to 150 kHz to include long-wave signals
Good RECEPTION and CRISP SOUND quality - clarity - projection - great for talk radio. Makes spoken word easy to understand. Music also sounds good. Great for outdoors - crisp audio cuts through background noise like wind or traffic. Would be nice if it had a wrist-strap
Good QUALITY CONTROL: we did a side-by-side of two PL-360 units - same performance - same meter readings - everything
RE-CHARGEABLE: mini-USB connector, 5-volt input to recharge Ni-MH batteries. Nice feature - System Settings adjust the battery-indicator for Ni-MH voltages. Can re-charge from any computer USB port. USB Cable to Recharge the PL-360
EASY on BATTERIES: goes a long way between re-charge. Works well with Eneloop Ni-MH Rechargeable AA Batteries
Comparison with Model PL-380 -
__ similar performance & meter readings - the PL-380 does a few dB better with FM/SW bands - the PL-360 does a few dB better with AM/MW/LW bands. This makes sense comparing the antennæ.
__ PL-360 has smaller speaker - diameter 40mm
__ PL-380 does NOT have a Jack for external antenna
450 Total PRESET Memories:
__ 100 AM/MW/LW
__ 250 SW
__ 100 FM
WEIGHT: 6.95 ounces - (with batteries)
DIMENSIONS: 6.1 x 1.9 x 0.85 inches
__ AM/MW/LW ferrite-bar Antenna: 2.6 inches, 1.15 ounces
__ AM/MW/LW: has 3.5mm Jack for External Antenna
__ FM/SW Antenna: extends to 18 inches
__ optional: Tecsun AN-200 AM Antenna - this tunable loop antenna can boost AM signal-strength as much as 40dB *above* the ferrite-bar antenna included with the PL-360. Typical signal boost ranges from 10dB to 30dB using this loop antenna.
DOCUMENTATION: 22-page Operation Manual - well illustrated. Sometimes mangled English but overall very useful
CARRY CASE: includes nice case - neoprene/leather combo, belt-loop, & belt-clip
on November 17, 2014
Very good radio. The only negative I can think of is the antenna is very stiff to extend and retract making it prone to damage if you aren't very careful. Also the antenna does not swivel or rotate, it only extends straight up. With it extended the radio will not stand up. You have to lay it down with the antenna horizontal so there's no way to angle the antenna for best reception. The radio needs a stand so it will stand upright and the antenna needs to articulate.
That being said, the perfect radio has yet to be built but in terms of performance for its size and cost this may well be the most bang for the buck yet made. The ability to scan the bands and automaticly program the active frequencies into memory positions ends the tedious searching associated with most other short wave radios. The sound quality is also outstanding given the size. This could be the best radio on the market for your bug-out-bag.