PL-660 | Tecsun

Tecsun » PL-660 — Specifications & Manual

Double-conversion portable world receiver with FM-Stereo, Long Wave, Medium Wave, Short Wave, VHF aeronautical band. SSB and Sync-AM mode, selectable IF bandwidth. Ideated in P.R. of China.

Reference market : ham-radio / consumer

General :
Frequency coverage 0.1000 ~ 0.5190 MHz
0.5200 ~ 1.7100 MHz [1]
1.7100 ~ 29.9990 MHz
76.0000 ~ 108.0000 MHz
118.0000 ~ 137.0000 MHz
Modulation mode SSB / AM / AM-S / WFM
Tuning step 1 / 5 KHz
1 / 9 / 10 KHz [2]
10 / 100 KHz [3]
1 / 25 KHz [4]
Receiver :
Sensitivity SSB 1.1 uV typ (14 MHz, 10dB S/N) [5]
AM < 5mV/m (LW band, 26dB S/N)
< 1mV/m (MW band, 26dB S/N)
< 20 uV (SW band, 26dB S/N)
< 5 uV (Air band, 10dB S/N)
WFM < 3 uV (30dB S/N)
Selectivity AM (W) 18 KHz (-40dB)
AM (N) 10 KHz (-40dB)
FM 400 KHz (-30dB)
RF attenuator Local / Normal / DX [6]
Intermediate frequency 55.845 MHz (0.1~30 , 118~137 MHz)
10.7 MHz (76~108 MHz)
455 KHz (0.1~30 MHz , 118~137 MHz)
Features :
Memory 2000 total memories
(100 regular memories for LW)
(100 regular memories for MW)
(200 regular memories for SW)
(100 regular memories for FM)
(200 regular memories for SSB mode)
(1200 regular memories in 12 pages)
Display 1 KHz frequency resolution
5-segments signal meter bar
Power supply 4.8 ~ 6V battery (4 x AA Alkaline or Ni-MH)
6 VDC external
Power consumption 70 mA typ in LW, MW, SW, VHF-airband
50 mA typ in FM
80 uA typ in standby
Audio power 450 mW
Connections Jack 3.5 mm (headphone)
Jack 3.5 mm (antenna)
Plug (power supply, center negative)
Mechanical and environmental data :
Dimensions 187 (W) x 114 (H) x 33 (D) mm
Weight 470g without battery

[1] For 10 KHz steps, frequency coverage 0.522~1.620 MHz for 9 KHz steps
[2] On MW band
[3] On FM band
[4] On VHF aeronautical band
[5] This parameter, not in official data, was obtained with direct tests
[6] On LW, MW, SW bands

Description :

This TECSUN model is one of the few world receivers that in addition to long, medium, short and FM waves also tunes the VHF band of 118 ~ 137 MHz where it is possible to monitor aeronautical radio-traffic on a regional scale. The device also allows SSB listening over the entire range 0.1 ~ 30 MHz to demodulate the maritime transmissions, utility, amateur radio. In the AM mode the user can activate the synchronous detection function (AM-S) by choosing between LSB or USB so as to improve the audio performance in the presence of a strong interference on an adjacent frequency. Also in AM, two bandwidths are available, narrow and wide, for the filter of the 2nd intermediate frequency (IF) at 455 KHz. Remarkable is the space where you can store your favorite stations, as many as 2000 locations adequately divided into specific sections by band or mode, plus 12 pages of 100 locations, each freely definable. Multiple modes to tune the device, using the keyboard by directly enter the frequency, by acting on the corresponding knob on the right side, with automatic scanning and 5 seconds of preview, with automatic scanning and storage (ATS).

Other features: selection of three-position RF gain (Local, Normal, DX), two audio tone profiles, signal strength meter (S-meter), clock, double alarm, snooze, sleep timer from 1 to 120 minutes for automatic radio switch-off, keypad lock, internal ferrite antenna for LM / MW band and extractable stylus for SW / FM, battery charge indicator, charger included. The package includes a wired antenna and a mains power supply.

Performance and practical notes :

Undoubtedly the PL-660 offers considerable potential while being offered on the market at an attractive price. We have had the opportunity to test this Tecsun on the field (editor's note: with the exception of the aeronautical VHF band) obtaining a very positive opinion. We begin by confirming that the practical use is very easy, this was not obvious given the many options but the choice of using a multi-function knob (for tuning, setting the alarm timer, selecting the memory bank) helps to make intuitive the different settings. The keyboard group / buttons on its side clearly indicates where to intervene to manage the radio, this whether in the primary or secondary functions. About the performances the synchronous AM proved to be really effective and stable, a good aid for stations even of low intensity that are encountered in the short wave boroadcasting segments (SW) where the crowding and a separation between the signals of only 5 KHz is the norm. Remaining to the amplitude modulation (AM) it was found that the wide selectivity guarantees an excellent sound, appreciable typically in listening to the local stations during the day - in the absence of interference, while the narrow selectivity even within the limits of a modest filter shape has respectable characteristics.

The SSB is another strong point of the PL-660 but requires clarification. There is a way to set the LSB or USB via the dedicated button, at the same time the knob for the BFO is present under the tuning adjustment. Usually in the world receiver there are not both commands. The solution adopted here is justified by the fact that the tuning adjustment always takes place at a minimum of 1 KHz, so the BFO has the task of fine tuning for the SSB. In the daily use of a compact device this configuration is convenient because the broadcasters often operate on a frequency devoid of decimals (eg: 8930 KHz and not 8930.4 KHz) and therefore once the BFO is tuned the steps becomes fast using almost exclusively the knob of main tuning.

Being a compact receiver a compromise on performance is naturally intrinsic to the design of the apparatus. Among the shortcomings there is a propensity to intermodulations when using an external antenna and the sensitivity is set to the maximum in the "DX" position. This position is therefore useful with only the supplied stylus antenna. Even the image frequencies, origin of spurious signals, are not particularly attenuated.

Valuation :

Sensitivity
Selectivity
Dynamic range
Spurious response
Audio
Signal functions
Control functions
User friendly

Stars: 1=insufficient, 2=just sufficient, 3=mediocre, 4=good, 5=excellent

PL-660 manual :

The Tecsun PL660 manual that we report on this page has a separate elaboration from the official documentation that accompanies the radio, text and images do not violate manufacturer and importers copyrights.

Front and side panel

These the control locations and the input / output connections. Every silk-printing in red, or orange, with brackets means that you can only operate it when radio is off.

Front / side panel and connections

Reference Description
1 Power / Sleep button
2 Time set button
3 Timer "A" Alarm set button
4 Timer "B" Alarm set button
5 FM / SW Telescopic Antenna
6 Light / Snooze / Step button
7 VF / VM / SCAN button
8 +/- PAGE buttons
9 Air Band button
10 Single Side Band mode (SSB) button
11 Synchronous mode (SYNC) button
12 FM Stereo / AM BW select button
13 FM / AM (MW and LW) / SW Band / ATS buttons
14 Delete / Enter button
15 Key lock button
16 Memory / Battery button
17 Hand Carry Belt
18 FM / SW Antenna Jack
19 Antenna Gain (DX / Normal / Local) switch
20 Treble / Bass Tone Control
21 Earphone Jack
22 DC 6V Jack
23 Metal Stand
24 Tuning Knob
25 SSB BFO knob
26 Volume knob
27 Reset button

Display

Display

Reference Description
1 Battery consumption, 3-segments from empty to full
2 Signal strength, 5-segments from very weak to strong
3 Digital number display. With radio off, time & system settings. With radio on, frequency or error
4 Sleep timer
5 Alarm timer "A" or "B"
6 Charging
7 Digital number display. With radio off, preset alarm time and charging time. With radio on, time / page & memory address / SW meter band
8 SW meter band
9 PAGE, memory page number. PRESET, memory address number
10 Alarm timer "A" or "B", on/off indicator
11 Key-lock indicator
12 Synchronous demodulation
13 SSB indicator, USB or LSB
14 Tuning speed. Slow, slow tuning mode. Fast, fast Tuning mode. KHz, frequency unit for LW/MW/SW. MHz, frequency unit for FM
15 AM filter bandwidth indicator. Wide or Narrow
16 FM, MW, LW and SW band indicator
17 FM stereo indicator
18 Air band indicator
19 Ni-MH rechargeable battery indicator

Power supply and initial steps

Open the battery compartment located on the back of the unit, install 4 x AA alkaline (or Ni-MH) batteries observing the polarity diagram on the back of the radio or/and connect the unit to the regulated power supply. Press on the "POWER" button to turn on the radio. If the radio is unable to turned on, please check if the batteries were installed correctly, battery capacity is sufficient or the lock function had been applied with "Key" displays on the screen. Press & hold the "Key" button to unlock.

Batteries and power supply. Turn on the radio

The radio has intelligent charging function. With radio off, install 4 x AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries to activate the built-in charging function. Use the external adaptor to connect the radio for charging. The symbol will advance from the bottom to top during power charging. It stops when batteries are fully charged. For Alkaline batteries, please switch off the rechargeable function - press the "BATTERY" button until the is disappear at the top left corner of LCD when the radio is at off mode. Please note, insist to use up all power of rechargeable batteries before charging again. This could extend the usage time of battery and keep them in good conditions. Please don't charge on any non-rechargeable battery in the unit, this will cause a hazard or damage to your radio.

Important notes. The Clock memory will be gone if the unit has no power supplied by either batteries or adaptor for a long time, but the pre-stored frequencies will still be kept. When the battery power is low, the symbol in the display will flash to alert you for changing new batteries. And it will turns off automatically when the power is gone. Mix using the used & new batteries would cause damage of radio and incorrect display of power capacity. In order to avoid leakage, always remove the batteries when the unit will not be used for a long period of time.

Tuning

Select your desired band by pressing "FM", "AM", "SW" , or "AIR" button. In case of receiving FM / AIR / SW broadcasting fully extend the telescopic antenna for a better reception. When receiving MW and LW broadcasting please rotate the radio or change it's location to achieve optimum reception. Now, you can turn into your favorite stations with any of the follow tuning methods.

Manual tuning

Press the "VF / VM" button to switch into frequency mode with frequency short-flash on the display, and then rotate the "TUNING" knob to select your desired station.

Auto browse tuning

Press the "VF / VM" button with frequency short-flash on the display to switch into frequency mode. Now press & hold the "VF / VM" button to scan from one station to another, staying on each station for about 5 seconds. To stop the auto browse function simply rotate the "TUNING" knob or press on the "VF / VM" button again to confirm on your desired station. Please note: While operating the Auto Browse function, you can press the "MEMORY" button anytime to store the station into memory, and the radio will keep on auto browsing the next available station. Also, the Auto Browse function can't be employed under Air band and on SSB mode.

Direct entry

Press the "VF / VM" button with frequency flashing on the display to switch into frequency mode. Now press the numeric keys "0" ... "9" to enter the station frequency directly. Please note: Ignore the decimal point for FM band when entry the frequency numbers, for example 93.5 MHz just enter "9" "3" "5". If the entered frequency rate is not within the covering range the display would display error symbol.

Tuning step

The intelligent tuning step function is activated by default. You can also press & hold the "STEP" button to select fast / slow tuning with radio on. Fast/Slow tuning is shown in the chart below for each band.

Tuning step

Memories

There are in total 2000 memories for PL-660, please note the chart below. Memory page 0, noted as "P0", consists of 800 memories, 100 assigned for FM/MW/LW, 200 for SW & SSB and 100 for AIR band. Memory page 1~12, noted as "P1", "P2", ... "P12", each consists of 100 memories.

Memories

Storing station manually

Press the "FM", "MW/LW", "SW" or "Air" button for band selection, then tune into your desired station. Press the "MEMORY" button with the next available Memory Address flashing. Rotate the "TUNING" knob to specify the storing memory address. Press the "MEMORY" button again to confirm. You can also wait for 3 seconds to auto store the station into memory.

Semi-automatic storing station

While operating the Auto Browse function, you can simply press the "MEMORY" button to store the station into memory.

Automatic tuning storage (ATS)

FM: Press & hold the "FM" button with PRESET flashing and the frequency start running, then you can scan and store the available stations within the memories. When the frequency stop running, it means the ATS operation has been completed, you can rotate the "TUNING" knob searching for those scanned and stored stations. During ATS process pre-stored radio stations will be replaced automatically by the new searched stations.

MW/LW: Press & hold the "AM" button for ATS MW or LW. During ATS process pre-stored radio stations will be replaced automatically by the new searched stations.

SW: There are two modes for ATS tuning on short wave. Mode A: Press & hold the button to ATS the stations within all meter bands. Mode B: Press & hold the button to ATS the stations within present meter band only. With ATS in mode A, pre-stored radio stations will be replaced automatically by the new searched stations. With ATS in mode B, those existing memories will not be replaced - all the newly found radio stations would be stored in the blank memories addresses.

How select memory page

Press the "MEMORY" button with memory address flashing on the upper right display corner. Now press the "- PAGE +" button to choose your desired memory PAGE, then rotate the "TUNING" to select your preference memory address. Press the "MEMORY" button again to confirm or wait for 3 seconds to auto store the station into memory after ATS.

How delete memory

Press the "VF / VM" button with Memory Address showing on upper right corner of the display to enter the "Memory" mode, and then follow these methods to delete those unwanted stations.

Delete single memory manually. Rotate the "TUNING" knob to select the memory that you want to delete, press & hold the "DELETE" button with DEL flashing, then press the "DELETE" button to remove the unwanted memory address. Please note, if DEL is flashing more than 3 seconds without confirmation, it will exit the delete function automatically.

Semi-automatic delete memory. Press and hold the "VF / VM" to auto browse stations, then you can press the "DELETE" button anytime to direct delete the unwanted station, the radio will keep on auto browsing the next available station until you press any other button to stop this function.

Delete all memory within the page. Press & hold the "DELETE" button for 3 seconds and notice both Memory Address and DEL flashing, then follow with Memory Page and DEL flashing on the upper right corner of display. Press the "DELETE" button again to delete all memory within the selected page. Please note, if the "DELETE" button has not been pressed within 3 seconds to confirm, it will exit the delete function automatically.

How retrieving from memory

Select band and then press the "VF / VM" button with Memory Address shows on the upper right corner of display to enter the MEMORY mode, press the "- PAGE +" button to select your desired page, then apply any of follow tuning methods to tune around those stored stations.

Memory tuning. Rotate the "TUNING" knob to tune around the stored station.

Auto browse memory. Press & hold the "VF / VM" button until PRESET flashing to auto scan from one memory to another, staying on each station for about 5 seconds. To stop auto search memory, simply rotate the "TUNING" knob or to press on "VF / VM" button again.

Direct memory address entry. Press the numeric keys "0" ... "9" to enter the memory address directly, and then press the button to confirm. Please note, if the display shows "----" symbol after entering the number, it means the entered memory page/address does not exist.

Reception functions

FM mono / stereo

While listening to FM stereo stations, press the "FM ST." button with appears in the display to activate the "STEREO" listening. If the received FM broadcast signal is too weak, it is recommendable to turn off the stereo function by pressing the "FM ST." button again with disappears. While listening to FM stereo stations by speaker, it is recommendable to turn off the stereo function by pressing the "FM ST." button with disappears to improve sound quality. The stereo function will not be activated and will not appear if the FM station is not stereo broadcasting.

AM bandwidth

Press the "AM BW" button to select your desired bandwidth for MW, LW, SW, and SSB. Wide band, symbol , has better audio fidelity when receiving strong signals or local stations. Narrow band, symbol , it is suitable to receive weak & distant station as narrow band is able to limit the interference from adjacent strong signal and reduce the background noise.

AM synchronous detector

When receiving AM broadcasting, if there is interference from adjacent strong signals, you can activate the SYNC function to improve the reception. Press the "SYNC" button to select between or for optimum reception. To deactivate the function, just press the "SYNC" button repeatedly with the symbols and dispearing.

SSB

In Shortwave mode, press the "SSB" button repeatedly to select Upper side band or Lower side band. "USB" showing on the display indicates Upper side band selection. "LSB" showing on the display indicates Lower side band selection. Then fine tune with the "SSB BFO" knob to achieve better sound fidelity.

RF gain

Push the "ANT. GAIN" switch to "DX" position for normal listening. But when listening to the stations with strong signal or strong electrical interference, push the "ANT.GAIN" switch to either "NORMAL" or "LOCAL" position to reduce background noise or interference.

External antenna

Use the external wire antenna plug into the "FM & SW ANTENNA" jack, and then hang the other end outside the window for better FM and SW reception.

Audio

Tone control

Push the "TONE" switch upward for "TREBLE" listening, downward for "BASS" tone.

Clock

Setting the clock

Press & hold the "TIME" button with hour flashing, then rotate the "TUNING" knob to adjust the hour. Now, press the "TIME" button with minutes flashing, and then rotate the "TUNING" knob to adjust the minute. Press again the "TIME" button to confirm the setting. Please note, if the "TIME" button has not been pressed again within 3 seconds the radio will automatically confirm the setting. You can also direct key in the number to set the hour/minutes instead of rotating the "TUNING" knob.

Setting the alarm by radio

Turn on the radio, then tune into your favorite station and adjust your desired alarm volume level. Now, press the "MEMORY" button and then immediately press the "TIMER A" or "TIMER B" button and notice or flashing on the display to confirm the preset alarm station.

For setting the alar time press & hold the "TIMER A" button with hour flashing in the upper right corner of display, then rotate the "TUNING" knob to adjust the hour. Press the "TIMER A" button with minutes flashing, and then rotate the "TUNING" knob to adjust the minute. Press the "TIMER A" button again, then rotate the "TUNING" knob to select from 1...90 minutes to set the Alarm Off Timer. Press the "TIMER A" button to confirm the setting. Please note, if the "TIMER A" button has not been pressed again within 3 seconds, the radio will automatically confirm the alarm setting. With Alarm by Radio the unit will turn on automatically and switch to the preset alarm station and time, it will also be turned off automatically when it reaches the preset time.

Snooze function

When the preset alarm is activated, you can press the "LIGHT/SNOOZE" button with or flashing in order to turn off the alarm temporarily, but the unit will turn on again after 5 minutes later. Please note, you can press the "TIMER A" or "TIMER B" button repeatedly to turn on/off the alarm by radio. If the symbol or shows on the display, it means the alarm by radio was activated, otherwise, it isn't activeated. If the preset alarm is activated, press the "POWER"button once to continuously listen to the radio, press it twice to turn off the radio. If the preset alarm is activated when you are listening to the radio, it will auto switch to the preset alarm station.

Sleep function

Press & hold the "POWER" button with the symbol of flashing on the display to enter sleep timer mode. Now, rotate the "TUNING" knob immediately to select sleep timer from 1...120 minutes or select permanently "On" (radio will be turned on after 1 second). Please note, default setting for the sleep timer is 30 minutes.

Other

Key-lock function

To activate the key lock function, press & hold the "" button with appears on display. Press & hold it again with disappears to deactivate the key lock function.

Intelligent light function

The PL-660 has an intelligent lighting function with which the backlight would be on for 3 seconds when operating any keys or knobs. For turn ON/OFF the backlight press the "LIGHT/SNOOZE" button to illuminate the LCD for 3 seconds, press & hold the "LIGHT/SNOOZE" button for permanently illumination. Press it again to turn off the backlight. Please note, when the unit is powered by the battery try to avoid setting the backlight to permanent illumination so as to reduce power consumption. When the unit is turned off the permanent illumination function will be turned off automatically as well.

Reset

If the radio does not function properly you can perform a reset by using a pointed object such as paper clip, into the "RESET" hole in the bottom of the unit, and gently press and release. Please note, station memory will not be removed after you push the reset button.

Radio setting in power off mode

FM frequency range

Press & hold the "FM SET" button until 88-108MHz, 76-108MHz or 87-108MHz appears in the display. Quickly keep on pressing the "FM SET" button to select suitable frequency range for your local FM.

Turn ON/OFF the LW band

Press & hold the "LW ON/OFF" button until "LW ON" or "LW OFF" appears in the display to turn ON or OFF the LW respectively.

MW tuning step

Press & hold "9/10 kHz" button until 9kHz or 10kHz appears in the display to select your desired AM tuning step.

Turn ON/OFF the intelligent light function

Factory default of intelligent auto lighting function is ON, with which the backlight would be on for 3 seconds when operating any keys or knobs. To deactivate the Auto lighting function, press & hold the "LIGHT SET" button with the "OFF" shows in the display, press & hold the "LIGHT SET" button again with "ON" shows up to activate it. Please note, after shutting down the intelligent auto lighting function, the "LIGHT/SNOOZE" key can still be operated to turn on/off the backlight.

Turn ON/OFF the charging function

Using alkaline batteries for power supply: In radio off mode, press & hold the "BATTERY" key with "CHA OFF" showing up & "Ni-MH Battery" disappearing to activate the consumption display of regular batteries and turn off the built-in charging system. Using rechargeable batteries for power supply: Turn off the radio, press & hold the "BATTERY" key with "CHA ON" and "Ni-MH Battery" showing up to activate the consumption display of rechargeable batteries and turn on the built-in charging function. Please note, this radio is default to use rechargeable batteries for power supply. In case of using regular batteries, you should switch the radio system to regular batteries mode in order to show the correct power capacity.

--- end manual ---

Review :

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