Dave repairs a Sony ICF-6500W


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who noticed my comments about the Sony ICF-6500W in the Shelby Hamfest photos and replies:

Speaking of the Sony ICF-6500W, I just brought one back from the dead. Have a few comments I just added to the bottom of my Sony page.


The good old long band selector switches were extremely dirty in my case (it has 2). Not sure if the 6500W has the nasty “well known” bug that plagues ALL similar designed Panasonic sets from that era (RF- 2600 / 2800 / 2900 / 4800 / 4900 etc..) , where those switches TOTALLY fail in time. In the case of this Sony it was just the extremely dirty switches (at least for now).

Very cool, Dave. Honestly, I don’t think I had ever seen the ICF-6500W in person until Saturday. The seller had noted that the pots were “scratchy.” I suspect it needed some healthy, strategic doses of DeOxit!

Thanks for sharing your experience!

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6 thoughts on “Dave repairs a Sony ICF-6500W

  1. Thomas Franklin Giella

    I bought one new in 1984. I had it for a long time. It was the first radio receiver I owned with a digital read out.

  2. Richard Bardos

    I have one that I bought new many years ago and works well, better then any of
    the other portable SW radios. Live in an are where there are only 2 AM stations
    and can barely pick them up on high priced receivers with ext antennas but the
    Sony picks them up with it’s internal antenna .
    Not sure what I will do with it for I have so much stuff to get rid of.

  3. Phil Ireland

    Hi Dave,
    I’ve just picked up a 6500W from ethingy which is in good working order. However, the front fascia panel is in poor condition and would really benefit from replacement. This is fairly easy on this radio as it is only held in place by a series of tags bent onto the plastic cabinet. If I can locate a replacement, it will complete restoration on my radio.
    So do you have any suggestions on where I can find either the fascia or even a complete front half of the cabinet? Perhaps you or your readers may have a 6500W that’s dead or in pieces that would sell to me.
    They are a good radio, very sensitive with good audio and for what it is, a radio for program listening to major SW broadcasts (drift aside!).
    Look forward to any reply and well done with the restoration of your 6500W.
    Cheers….. Phil (VK2GJF)

  4. Mario

    Regarding those Panasonic band selector switches – back in the 70’s when I purchased a brand new Panasonic RF-2200 I noticed that if there was a strong shortwave station on a particular band, it could also be heard, but weakly on the adjacent higher band position. I always thought that was kind of weird, so it is possible that those band switches, even new, were problematic from the start.

  5. Joe patti

    The 6500W was my first serious SW radio back in the 80’s. Used to listen to RCI and Jeff White’s “Radio Earth” on Radio Clarin. DW and RNW too. Lots of BCB DX’ing as well. Great radio. Great with the AN1 antenna too. Sold it many years ago, but got sentimental when I saw one on ebay a couple of years ago. So I “reacquired” a 6500W and an AN1. Fun stuff…


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