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Experience report Tecsun S-8800e


Experience report Tecsun S-8800e

By Georg Morawski from Hiddenhausen-Eilshausen, Germany

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the hobby colleague (Fernando "Fenu" and Henry Mohr), whether I could test the Tecsun S8800e in detail and compare with existing portable radios. This task I have gladly taken over and here my experience report.

The DSP radio I have in my Shack compared to my analog portable radios: Tecsun PL-660 Siebel version and S-2000 (modified by Henry Mohr: AM and FM filter as well as better adjustment of the telescopic antenna), Grundig Satellite 700 (110 KHz FM filter built by Jürgen Martens) and Sangean ATX-909X (modified by Henry Mohr: VHF range and built-in telescopic antenna amplifier). All radios were operated with new batteries and built-in antennas.

The radio has roughly the size of the Grundig Satellite 700. Included are a German-language BDA, remote control (including batteries) and a USB connection cable. The unit is solid on the table. The weight makes it possible to hold and operate the radio easily in the hand.

When the radio arrived, I immediately unpacked it and turned it on. The service is self-explanatory (very good!), So I could test the reception briefly. From the reception I was very positively surprised. However, there was also a small disillusionment. The control dials and the tuning wheels have a very big game and "egg" partly. That's too bad. With the Tecsun S-2000, the control knobs and tuning wheel are fixed, are more massive and work very precisely.

After the first "Aha" I unpacked the remote control. This is very well processed, clear, has big and very well marked keys.
The functions are self-explanatory and you can use the radio easily from a great distance.


The filter is changed by a rotary control (also tuning wheels) and you have to wait a few seconds until the desired filter is set. The DSP filters are very well chosen and allow the optimum allocation of the reception situation. The sound is very impressive, whether loudspeakers or headphones. You can listen for hours without stress! Also in this Tecsun the frequency change is only possible within the set reception ranges (LW, MW, KW VHF), a change as with the satellite or Sangean does not work. This is no shortcoming, as every manufacturer has its own philosophy.

Now to the reception test:

I tested the radio on a few weeks at different times, on workdays and weekends. The reception range starts at 20 kHz, but only 60 kHz, the first station can be heard from England (quiet but unambiguous), followed by a strong DCF77 signal of 77.5 kHz. Both stations with built-in ferrite antenna! On LW the reception with all radios was about the same, radio as NDB. The whole thing changed to MW. The S8800e was clearly the winner! It receives even more stations more clearly than the other radios. From the earliest dawn, he gives the right gas. By turning the radio one can separate the transmitters very well. I could clearly receive more stations than with the other radios! The satellite 700 followed in second place. The reception on KW both in AM and SSB decided the S8800e for itself. At the SSB the radio does not jump back as in the satellite in AM. The frequency can be set to 10 Hz. The built-in telescopic antenna is stable and very well adapted. Amateurunk but also UTILITY are not a problem. Also the 48m band brought many pirates clean and clear. I could not find any mirror frequencies. Very impressive for a portable radio!

The radio offers from LW to KW a good to very good reception. Unfortunately, this positive picture is clouded by extremely many intrinsic disturbances. The manufacturer has now taken up this topic and reworked it. The best results I have achieved with the built-in antennas. My test device did not tolerate external antennas and did not improve the reception. Another look at VHF. Here, on all test devices, the smallest tuning step is 10 kHz (except for satellite 25 kHz). The S8800e brings here rather average reception. The modified S-2000 emerges as the winner, followed closely by S-700 and ATS909X. The PL-660 and S8800e share the last place.

One more word about the S-meter of the radio:

It is similar to the S-meter of the PL-660 and S-700 and works similarly. The S-Meter of the S-2000 is clearer (larger, with pointer and S-meter scale).

The battery:

The radio I got with fully charged batteries and did not have to recharge them during the entire test! Furthermore, the radio can be connected to a PC via the USB port. This I have not tested, since I have no suitable software.


A portable radio with good to very good reception performance from LW to KW in AM and SSB. The processing of the rotary control / switch as well as tuning wheels should be improved.

Personal wish:

The receiving concept would give a better quality image in the other case, for example, of the Tecsun S-2000. A DSP filter selection as well as RDS for FM, synch. For AM and separate antenna inputs for FM as well as range (20 kHz to 30 MHz). But also the reception from the air traffic (with the S-2000 it works very well) and DAB + ...

postet: 09.04.2017


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