Tecsun PL-360 LW/AM/FM/SW DSP radio

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Among all Tecsun radios, the PL-360 is interesting due to its narrow and long body resembling a walkie-talkie. There is an external antenna socket for AM only and is meant to be used on antennas with very specific impedance and not a generic home built AM antenna. The unit I was given also comes with the MW DX Super Ferrite antenna which claims to provide much stronger AM reception than the factory antenna and is available from various sellers on eBay:

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The PL-360 does not have SSB capabilities; for that you will need the PL-365. The latter is also available from various sites under the name CountyComm GP-5 SSB. The PL-365 covers shortwave frequencies until 30MHz whereas the PL-360 supports only up to 21950kHz.

For what it is, my PL-360 is a good radio with strong reception on most frequencies. Nevertheless, I will not recommend this radio to anyone, unless you want to experiment and like the form factor.  The antenna socket will not last long as the antenna plug will rotate around and stress it. Using the Super Ferrite antenna will increase the stress further and decrease the life expectancy of the device. A workaround is to use a very short male to female 3.5mm mono audio cable to avoid having to connect the AM antenna directly to the socket, but then the antenna cannot be rotated as designed. Not that there is a need to rotate the antenna, as you can simply rotate the entire radio instead. The antenna socket does not work for SW or FM, only for AM, and the bundled wire antenna leaves a lot to be desired.

The telescopic antenna cannot be extended without putting the ferrite AM antenna in a vertical direction, but then the radio cannot lay flat on my table. The form factor resembling a walkie-talkie will also draw the attention of security personnel even though it is only a receiver. Although advertised as a dedicated AM receiver, AM reception is not much better than other more common portable digital receivers, even with the Super Ferrite antenna connected. The lack of numeric keys for frequency input makes it hard to navigate the entire shortwave band. The single speaker is tiny and suitable only for voice when standing close to the radio. To listen to FM music, you will need stereo headphones, otherwise the sound will be terrible.

My advice is to avoid this radio and save the money for the Tecsun PL-310 or the PL-600 instead.

 

 

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ToughDev

ToughDev

A tough developer who likes to work on just about anything, from software development to electronics, and share his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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