Radios With Rotatable AM Antennas?

The Panasonic RF-2200 sports a rotatable AM/MW antenna

The Panasonic RF-2200 sports a rotatable AM/MW antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi (N2HUN), who writes:

With your broad knowledge of radios, wondering if you can add anything to this list of portable radios, past and present, that have 360 degree rotatable directional AM ferrite antennas. Reason is I am looking for an AM portable for the nightstand for nulling out unwanted AM stations while also doing a little DXing.

The list I have from data mining the ‘Net is:

New models with rotatable AM antennas:

  • CountyCom GP5/SSB,
  • Tecsun PL-360,
  • Grundig Satellite 750,

Older (vintage) models:

  • Panasonic RF-2200,
  • Panasonic RF-1150,
  • Panasonic RF-877,
  • Panasonic RF-1180
  • most RDF (Radio Direction Finder) radios that were used on boats

“Boom Box” variety:

  • Radio Shack 12- 795,
  • Emerson MBR-1,
  • Rhapsody RY-610.

[RDF radios] are kind of big, however Raytheon, Ray Jefferson, and Nova-Tech did have smaller model RDFs that could be considered table-tops).

The alternative is to build or buy a passive indoor antenna.

Maybe readers know of other models?

Thank you for your inquiry, Mario! I will do a little research of my own because you listed every model (and more) I could think of off the top of my head.

Post readers: Please comment with any models we could add to this list.

I will take all of the suggestions and make a master list to post here on the SWLing Post so it’ll be easier for others to research in the future. I’m pretty sure this question has come up before.

24 thoughts on “Radios With Rotatable AM Antennas?

  1. Robert Gulley

    The Zenith Royal Navigator 790YM Super Navigator has a rotatable ferrite antenna on top (this was apparently added in later models, as the original Super Navigator does not have it.)

    Reply
  2. Curt Schwarzwalder

    Rhapsody RY-610 was also marketed as Radio Shack SW-100 (12-649) from 1993 to 2003.
    It’s similar to the Radio Shack 12-795 and none of them are particularly good performers.
    The Panasonic radios (especially the RF-2200) blow them away.

    Reply
  3. James Patterson

    The National Panasonic’s DR 48 and DR 49 well known as the “Black Beasts” of table top radio receivers of which were also well known for pulling in the most distant SW and AM/FM stations and both had a wonderfull SSB/BFO ciruitry giving natural speach and tone had ferite antennas,attached to the rear of the metal caseing.These rods were adjustable for antenna tuning,however they folded down against the rear of the case and once pulled out into position for receiption,could only be turned slightly.The main reason for the ferite rod attached to the outside of the caseing was because of it being metal,of which was connected to the earthing of the circuit.However these radios performed excellent in their day and a few arround the world are still very much in use.The only problem that Panasonic gave these was the very poor band changing mechanisim.The very fine brass “fingers” that slid in the band changer slide, wore out and would crumple inside leaving the radio useless.This part as far as I know could not be repaired.The whole circuit board needing to be replaced.But nowadays,there would be no new ciruit boards left,and I expect many of these radios have been discarded or put on a shelf for memory sake because of this one factor.They were indeed one of the best early receivers ever made.Pity the band changer was of poor quality.

    Reply
  4. DanH

    The Zenith Trans-Oceanic 500 and 600 series radios have a Wavemagnet loop antenna for the the standard broadcast band (AM). It may be detached from the top of the radio case and positioned as desired up to a few feet away from the radio.

    Reply
  5. Mario

    Interesting – Tecsun has a PL-360 and PL-365, never knew that. Have to see what the differences are. Thanks all for your replies.

    Reply
  6. Mario

    Great feedback guys, thanks. Here are a few more:

    Ventura Venturer 2959-2 (Boombox variety)
    Bendix Navigator 420 (RDF radio but looks like standard portable)
    National Panasonic GX-280
    National Panasonic RF-8000 (currently on Ebay with $6995 price)

    Reply
    1. Curt Schwarzwalder

      The Stewart ST-2959B is a six band radio with a dial scale that makes it took like 10 bands to the casual observer, just to look more impressive.
      For instance, “SW1” and “SW2” are actually a single 4 to 12 MHz shortwave band.
      This and the other boombox type radios are cheaply made and not good performers.

      Reply
  7. Mario

    Just found another version of the Grundig 750 – the Tecsun S2000. Not sure if there are any differences other than the model #.

    Reply
  8. Mario

    And the list keeps on going….just saw this one on ShopGoodWill.com

    Electro Brand 2971, boombox style with built-in cassette player. Very nice looking radio.

    Reply
  9. Fernand Marois

    The Panasonic RF-1130 also have the Gyro-Antenna with a ”local-dx” switch for the am and perform very well.

    Reply

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