The Panasonic RF-2200: an early birthday gift

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This week, I purchased a radio that I have lusted after for years: the Panasonic RF-2200.

I justified this eBay purchase because June is my birthday month and…well…do I need anymore justification!?!  Just look at this beautiful analog dial:

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In truth, I’ve been wanting a benchmark portable medium wave receiver for ages, and I believe there are few better than the venerable RF-2200.

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I picked the RF-2200 this morning and I’ve only had it on the air a few minutes. It effortlessly picked up my local benchmark medium wave and FM stations. The audio fidelity is brilliant and the ‘2200 appears to have a very low noise floor. I haven’t had a moment to truly cruise the shortwave bands, but I plan to over the course of this week and shall report back.

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20 thoughts on “The Panasonic RF-2200: an early birthday gift

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  4. James Patterson

    How does the BFO switch work with that FR 2200? Do you work the” slow” tuning to bring in either Upper or Lower Side band.My old Nat DR 49 ( Black beast) clearifies SSB really well,just like real speach,and there is no drift at all compared with reveiws of that radio that give it a bad drift report.Its a real good looker,the RF 22oo.I hope you have many good years ahead with it.

    Reply
  5. Phil

    I have the Australian model which was modeled as an DR22. Not sure that why is, but it’s a lovely radio to operate with beautiful audio. Mine sits next to the bed and is the ‘bedroom’ radio. It makes it way out for some more serious SWL from time to time, but I suffer from the same syndrome that most people on this site suffer from, lots of radios to choose from. Have fun.

    Reply
    1. Mark PASCOE

      Hi, Phil. I assume you are in Australia? I don’t know anyone in Aus. that has an RF2200, or knows anything about them. I have had mine for about. 6 years and use it everyday I live in Adelaide. Regards, Mark PASCOE.

      Reply
      1. James Patterson

        The RF2200 and DR 2200 were sold here in NZ aswell.Both are exactly the same.It depended upon what part of the world the radio was imported from.There are a lot of real good Nationals still arround.They did put alot of quality components into their radios.Most of them were just pure AM broadcast and Short Wave.Not many had the SSB circuitry.But the one’s that did gave it one of the best portable radios on the market at that time.If you are lucky enough to find a Vintage National Panasonic portable radio at a market place or Second hand shop,my advise is to grab it,no matter what the condition is.Just cleaning it up and restoreing it to it’s former glory is just half the fun.The other half is sitting back and listening to all those Short Wave,or SSB stations and compareing it with others you may have,or just loving what you have bought,and imagining what it must have been like back in the days when these radios were brand new,and well sort after in the “Radio Shops”.Happy listening.!!

        Reply
      2. Phil

        Hi Mark, yes I’m in Darwin. I have a few 60’s and 70’s classics which I enjoy dragging out for a listen. The DR22 is my favourite of the oldies though. Regards, Phil

        Reply
  6. Carl

    Excellent birthday present and in nice condition too, great find.

    Got offered one of these a while ago but they were not prepared to be more flexible about the price and it wasn’t in the best condition.

    As for justifying a new radio, your birthday has to be the perfect time. I’ve certainly sneaked a new set into the house with much less of a reason 🙂

    Reply
  7. Moshe Ze'ev Zaharia

    Hi Thomas and happy “pre”Birthday!
    This is indeed A great birthday present I would happy to get for myself…
    Enjoy this great radio, and again, Happy birthday!
    All the best,
    Moshe.

    Reply
  8. James Patterson

    Sorry, I see in the photos this National Panasonic RF 2200 does indeed have a BFO switch at the top next to the Light switch.The photo isnt too clear,so on first glance,I never saw it.Now this will be the reason for the CAL switch.Holding it down for a few seconds will correct any drift off the SSB station you are listening to.Try Military and Air craft frequencies in your area on HF.You will be amazed on what you receive !!.

    Reply
  9. James Patterson

    Lovely National Panasonic RF 220.National really went out of their way to produce these fine portables.I hope the Band changer is in good order though,because for some reason,this was a fault in most National Panasonic radios,it was always the first part that worn out,leaving the radio practicly useless.As far as the Re-Cal goes,it’s an Analog radio with mechanical scale tuning.So I dont know how that would work if the tuning was slightly out on eg 10mgs Time signal.Normaly these radios can be corrected internaly by re-aligning the coils,Only if it really needs it.But otherwise that RE-Cal should work if need be.It’s to get an offical frequency on “Top Dead Center”,more so when useing SSB,of which this doesnt have.Anyway from the Photos,it looks a fine receiver for it’s age.Pity it doesnt have the SSB as an extra and you would be able to get a whole lot more out of it!!.I dont buy second have receivers to use,unless they do have the SSB mode now,I feel that a true SW receiver,should be able to receive all that the SW bands have to offer,and that includes SSB,( Single Side Band). Happy listening!!

    Reply
  10. Guy Atkins

    That’s a sweet looking RF-2200, Thomas! It looks like one recently offered by Ebay seller Volodymyry123. I’ve purchased one of these models from him before, and he prepares and details them very well. I also think his pricing is very competitive. I often see lesser quality vintage sets offered at much higher Buy-It-Now prices from other sellers.

    The low noise floor is one of the benefits of the RF-2200 that I really like, and is of course characteristic of the better, analog sets of yesteryear. I hope you get the chance to take your RF-2200 with you camping this summer, or to some other RF-quiet location; it’ll be a blast to tune the bands.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Yes, indeed, Guy! I did make my purchase from Volodymyry123. I actually met him in person to pick up the radio since he’s local to me (I was able to save on shipping as well). The radio was precisely as described.

      I’m very much looking forward to spending time with the RF-2200!

      Reply
  11. Bruce Fisher

    Hi Thomas,
    The large bandspread dial looks very nice. If you get a chance I was wondering as to how one sets up the SW Spread Dial in conjunction with the chosen SW switch so that it will read out the frequencies accurately? Does this require the use of one of the X-Tal Markers? ps. Clever “Let’s make sure you’re human…” test. I failed on my first try – I tried to type in the word for the correct number (the provided box looks long enough!), not the correct numeral itself …

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Bruce, I’ll have to investigate and reply. I’m actually not at all familiar with how Panasonic works their bandspread.

      Reply
  12. Ernest Stagnetto

    Beautiful Panasonic classic RF2200. Alas they don`t make them like that anymore. My Yaesu FRG 7 still works a treat with the added benefit that if you fill its belly with the hefty LR20s and take it portable it also keeps you fit !

    Reply
  13. Ken

    I love the look of those receivers and the Sony ICF-5900W. Spent a lot of time with a 5900W one summer on a trip. Great little radio. Alas, never had the pleasure of using the Panasonic portables.

    Reply

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