The good thing about this radio is most of the drawbacks can be fixed to make it a much better radio for portable or home use.
As I mentioned earlier, the radio mutes the speaker when tuning. This is extremely distracting when trying to find active stations, chasing DX, or fine tuning SSB signals. I will show you how to disable PLL muting. It takes about 15 minutes to do this mod.
Luckily, Sangean and Radio Shack incorporate the muting signal on IC403, pin 47. A single wire travels from the controller board to the receiver board circuitry. We can cut one wire to eliminate it.
DISABLE PLL AUTO MUTE
Minimum tools required: Phillips screwdriver, wire cutter, electrical tape/heat shrink tubing
Time required: 15 minutes
- Disconnect all power from the receiver including the D and AA batteries for 30 minutes before opening the case. This is necessary to discharge the memory backup capacitor and avoid PLL lockup.
- Remove the volume knob by pulling it straight out.
- Turn the receiver over and remove 5 black screws. One of the screws is in the battery compartment.
- Separate the two halves of the receiver and lay the radio back down on its face.
- Locate and remove 5 silver screws from the circuit board.
- Gently flip over the circuit board while making sure not to bump the AM antenna wires. You will have to slide it sideways to clear the headphone and ext antenna jack.
- You will notice two connectors near the bottom of board nearest to the battery compartment.
- Locate the connector CNT1. This is a multi-wire connector that has 12 pins. The pin numbers are printed on the board.
- Cut the wire going to pin 10. Make sure to leave about 2 or 3 inches of wire to the connector in case you want to reverse the mod.
- Apply electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing to prevent the cut wires from shorting.
- Place the circuit board back into place and secure it with the silver screws.
- Put the back of the receiver on and secure with the black screws.
- Put the batteries back in and turn on the receiver to test it.
- If you are having trouble hearing stations on shortwave or AM after the mod, remove the batteries and let the radio sit without power for a few hours. This is is a result of the PLL chip lockup and the reset is needed. The radio utilizes a memory capacitor that must be discharged.
Your receiver now has the capabilities of SW radios that cost much more. Enjoy DX hunting! The next part of this series will cover the backlight timer. I will show you how to extend the 15 second limitation of the backlight and add an LED.