Mike’s thrift store find: a Panasonic RF-888

Mike's Panasonic RF-888 (left) and his  GE Super Radio II (right)

Mike’s thrift store Panasonic RF-888 (left) and his GE Super Radio II (right)

SWLing Post contributor Mike (K8RAT) writes:

I happened upon a good find of a vintage radio recently when I visited my local Goodwill store in a small city in Ohio.

Among the electronic equipment on a shelf I discovered a Panasonic RF-888. I was not familiar with this radio. The large speaker along with switches and knobs for features found on the better radios impressed me.

The price on the sticker read $3.50. I paid at the counter and motored away not knowing what a bargain I had received.

The RF-888 audio is very good on FM and good on AM. Sensitivity and selectivity are very good on both bands. The tuning meter is useful.

I recommend visits to local second-hand stores. You never know what you might find.

Mike, K8RAT

Many thanks for sharing this story, Mike, as it provides a good lesson for us all: never pass by a thrift store! I’ve never had the good fortune of finding a gem like the RF-888–or a Sony ICF-2010 like Vlado–but I shall keep searching.

Panasonic RF-888s sell on eBay for $100 US and higher–at $3.50, I’d say Mike snagged a deal.

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5 thoughts on “Mike’s thrift store find: a Panasonic RF-888

  1. Justin

    I happened to come across one at a local thrift shop in Augusta KY. Paid $10 for mine but it’s well worth it. The sound is unbelievable. It was a great find. Only thing missing was the mic.

    Reply
  2. Greg Shoom

    I found a Sony ICF-2010 at thrift/junk store for $10 last year. It was very dirty but works perfectly

    Reply
    1. Michael Black

      It happens, someone donates an item, and the group has no idea of its value.

      The real puzzler is that someone donates it in the first place, but the receiver may have been left behind, and someone just clearing it out.

      As I’ve said in the pat, I got a Grundig Satellit 500 for $40 at one non-profit rummage sale, but that was the first time I’d seen a good shortwave receiver at such a sale, maybe first time I’d seen any SW receiver at such a sale.

      A couple of years later, I found a Grundig Satellit 700 for $2.00 at a Rotary Club sale.

      I found a Sony 2001 (the original Sony synthesized receiver, no synchronous detector) in pieces in a box on the sidewalk. I’ve yet to get look at it closely.

      I got a Sony Sw-1 complete in carrying case with active antenna for ten dollars, though it needs some adjustment. Same day, I found a Grundig 300 mini traveller for three dollars t another garage sale.

      Three or four years ago, I got a TMC GPR-90 for $20 at a garage sale, someone clearing out the house.

      In June I did well, got an Icom IC-02AT walkie talkie for $60 at a garage sale, just a few blocks away. I got my ham license in 1972, but this is my first ham walkie talkie. I guess that was my early birthday present.

      But then a week or two later, I found a Panasonic RF-1600 at a garage sale. It just looked like a heavy am/fm portable until I saw the time conversion wheel on the back. A multi-band portable, the dial only shows one band at a time. Only five dollars, but it was the first sale I went to, and it got heavy as I visited others. Volume control needs cleaning, but I got the weather station on first attempt.

      That was kind of a disappointment. I remember lusting after multiband portables at the store as a kid, a friend’s father had one with rotating loop for the low frequency band, and then once I got interested in electronics, they were everywhere in the magazines and catalogs.

      But, the Panasonic looks like stereo equipment. No sense of adventure that would be found on the shortwave or police band, even having one band showing at a time isn’t as spectacular as seeing them all lined up together, maybe with some markings to show where you’d hear Tibet or Antarctica.

      Even a few years later, Panasonic went in big for the “military look” which at least looks better than stereo equipment look.

      Michael

      Reply
  3. James Patterson

    That particular GE,(General Electric) portable radio was sold in New Zealand,as a Long distance AM receiver,mostly to country liveing people such as Farmers.Back when these radios were being sold,New Zealand only had a very few AM broadcast stations,and these radios were advertised as very good long distance receivers.They were quickly sold out,and now I havent even seen any at second hand shops,or market places.They are acturly a collectors item,in that they were sold mostly for that very purpose.

    Reply
  4. Moshe Ze'ev Zaharia

    Beautiful radio!
    First time I see this model, loved the “Headset Capable” sticker (:
    Enjoy your radio!
    Moshe.

    Reply

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