Md. Jawed Ahmed
Experienced IT Professional based out of Kolkata in India.

Tecsun PL-660 : Tuner Knob defective


The PL-660 is one of the most widely used enthusiast Shortwave radios in use. It combines rugged make, high end features and affordable price in one small package.

But most of these radios are prone to getting the tuner knobs messed up. These are small digital encoders which do not age well. With time, due to dust and carbon deposits they do not track the incremental movements smoothly. This leads to erratic frequency adjustment when one is trying to tune into a specific station. Even when you try to go up, it may go up by a few Hertz and then it again comes down randomly.

The only solution to solving this problem is by replacing this digital encoder.

Where do I get the replacement tuning encoder for PL-660 Tecsun Radio?

Replacement encoders are sold by the company Anon-co from Hong Kong. They ship world wide.

I had a 10 year old PL-660 which had this problem. I purchased a replacement encoder and replaced it on my own and gave my radio a new lease of life.

How to repair the Tecsun PL-660 Radio?

I replaced the tuning encoder on my own by taking the help of some YT vidoes and blogs.

If you too want to repair your Tecsun PL-660 radio then the photographs below will help you.

Sharing the pics below to give you an idea as to how to go bout it in case you are interested.

The very first step in repairing your Tecsun PL-660 radio. The case needs to be opened.
There are a total of six screws to be removed. 4 are visible externally, and two are present inside the battery cover. Please do not remove the screw just below the Aerial. Its not required for opening the radio.
Location of the six screws which need to be removed to open the Tecsun PL-660 Radio
The position of the six screws is shown here.
After the six screws are removed, gently pry apart the upper case and keep it aside. You cannot remove it totally as the speaker wires are still connected. To make it easier, please use a soldering iron to remove the speaker wires from the terminals. You need to remove the smaller screws marked in Green and Red and then pull apart the ribbon connector shows with three yellow arrows in the image above.

Tecsun PL-660 Radio Internal View
Close up view of the radio internals
This thick wire needs to be removed with a soldering iron . Its fixed with a large amount of solder. So you need to heat for a few seconds and then gently pull the wire away with a tweezer. You should not hold it with your bare fingers as it will be very hot.
Now you need to remove the tuning encoder by using the soldering iron and a desoldering pump. You have to be careful not to heat the pcb for a long time as its close to the LCD and that might get damaged.
I have shown the place where you need to use the desoldering gun.
This is the new encoder. Before inserting it into the PCB, please ensure that the three pins are properly cleaned and wet with solder. This is important as you don’t want the soldering iron to touch the PCB for a long time. If the pins are properly wet with solder, then they will get attached with only 2-3 seconds after the soldering iron is touched.
The finished work. Not very proud of it. Its not clean enough and too much solder. Have done better soldering but was worried about over heating so did not do too many corrections. Once it was attached I left it at that.

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