The Panasonic Radar Matic RF-880

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

Came across this very unusual Panasonic Radar Matic RF-880L radio on eBay:

Click here to view on eBay.

Very interesting model from the mid-60’s that automatically tunes for radio stations; apparently there’s a motor mechanism to accomplish this.

Some other links for this remarkable radio are:

Click here to view on YouTube.

I was not aware of this unique Panasonic model, Mario.  Thanks for sharing!

Mario points out that the tuning mechanism on this Radar Matic RF-880 does not function. Any eBay bidder would have to be willing to repair this otherwise very clean unit.

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3 thoughts on “The Panasonic Radar Matic RF-880

  1. Rod

    General Motor’s Chevrolet Division introduced the “Wonderbar” in 1957 as an option and these were expanded to other car lines over the next decade. The “Wonderbar” radios were available till about 1969 in both AM and FM.
    The “Wonderbar” circuit was set by the user for signal gain by mixing a hetrodyne or ‘beat’ signal to the antenna circuit. The actual motor used to tune the radio would stop at any station that the user set as a ‘beat’ level when that level signal would be detected. The motor would stop at the intervals where the ‘beat’ would mix with the incoming radio signal at the level set by the user. This can be considered a search function.
    I would say the Panasonic used much the same motor-sensitivity detection as the GM design. The electronic seek and scan would replace the motor in the 1970s.

  2. Bill

    A number of years ago, I had a couple of small Panasonic Radar AM only portable’s. There was a wind-up key on the back, and you would it up using a clockwork style mechanism. It would then make a whirling noise and it tuned to the next station. It actually worked pretty good.

    Smithville, NJ

  3. Eric A. Cottrell

    Interesting radio. There appears to be two models. The one on ebay is a RF-880 and has “Marine Band” (1.6 to 4.5 MHz). The RF-880L shown in the Radio Museum link has Long Wave and likely for the European market.


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