The Wacky and Rare Toshiba RP-2000F Now on Ebay

Is this a receiver designed by MacGyverThe Toshiba RP-2000F was a portable radio designed for the 1970s Japanese BCL (Broadcast Listener) and is not often seen on the used market.

A fine example of this model is on the USA Ebay site right now: https://www.ebay.com/itm/TOSHIBA-RP-2000F-Shortwave-Radio-Full-88-108-FM-Dial-Great-Cosmetic-Condition/253300518829

 

The $495.00 starting price is steep, but probably inline with the radio’s rarity and condition. Do any SWLing Post readers have first-hand experience with this model? How does it perform? Let us know in the comments below!

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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7 thoughts on “The Wacky and Rare Toshiba RP-2000F Now on Ebay

  1. Stratman

    I have the exact Toshiba RP-2000F receiver and it wasn’t the Japanese market version. It has the standard FM coverage (88-108 MHz).

    If my memory serves me well, I saw this one and only unit at a department store in Kuala Lumpur back in 1981 or ’82. It was priced very low (about a quarter than that of a Panasonic RF-2600) and I asked my parents if I could have it as my forthcoming birthday present. They said yes, and it became my first shortwave radio that I could call my own.

    It took some time for me to understand how the X’tal Band Spread Dial calibration worked and I wished it had an LCD frequency readout instead of the complicated mechanical calibration system. OK, I didn’t know that this model actually debuted much earlier in 1976, way before Panasonic had their fluorescent blue digital display like in their RF-2600.

    The telescopic antenna was something to be marveled at. I had never seen one that could extend that long and rotate in almost any position I wanted. It was a very sensitive radio and received distant MW and SW stations easily. Later on I decided to hook it up to a random long wire outside my bedroom window and that resulted in an overload of static on the MW and lower SW frequencies. Luckily the RF gain knob was there to attenuate the signal.

    Sometime in the late 80s, the radio literally took a tumble onto the floor. I was careless to have put it up high on my vertical book shelf and it was the kind of accident that was just waiting to happen (and it did).

    The Toshiba service center could not fully repair the set. I don’t think their had technicians who were skilled at repairing shortwave radios, let alone a model that’s not domestic to Malaysia.

    When I got back the RP-2000F from the service center, I remember the scrolling dial was off-center and the X’tal Calibration lever cannot be pushed down. The technician who attempted to fix the radio said that that was the best he could do as certain spare parts were not available.

    Without the band spread calibration I couldn’t tune to the near-exact frequency. The radio still turned on and so did the internal backlight, but I could no longer enjoy DX’ing as before. The rotating dial that had the frequencies etched on was totally useless.

    The BFO clarifier still worked before the tumble but it was near impossible to zero beat on SSB frequencies. My radio’s frequency drift became even worse and it was annoying having to retune to the station after 15 minutes. I couldn’t record a shortwave program unattended as the frequency would be off-center after a while.

    One feature I wished this radio had was a permanent backlight. I guess Toshiba didn’t want the D-sized cells running out of juice prematurely, so they fitted a non locking on/off switch for the illumination. The light only stayed on as long as I held it down with my finger. I had even tried placing rubber bands on it as a hack, but it didn’t work too well. They kept slipping off as the backlight switch’s tab was too short.

    Before I rediscovered this receiver, it sadly spent its last legs strictly as an FM radio and I put it in our maid’s room. She didn’t really listen to the radio and my RP-2000F literally gathered dust over time. I recall that by then most of the tuning disc’s numeral inscription had badly faded over the years’ of neglect. Two days ago I found this radio again after more than a decade! I didn’t know that our former maid placed it in the back store room and it was full of dust.

    After getting rid of the dirt and cleaning up the exterior parts, I borrowed an AC cable from another broken portable AM/FM radio and powered it up. I was expecting it not to turn on or worse still, cause a short circuit to my house.

    Much to my amazement, my RP-2000F still worked! All the potentiometers needed replacement as they must have been badly oxidized. Only the scrolling dial light works, leaving the S-meter and the tuning knob without illumination. The X’tal band spread calibration lever is still stuck like before. Its telescopic antenna is fortunately straight (not bent or crimped) but needs polishing.

    Both the BFO and Sensitivity flip switches work erratically as they have gunk inside them. It still pulls SW stations with the antenna fully extended but I can only tune coarsely.

    I’m not sure if I want to have this radio restored as I don’t think there are specialized radio repairers in my country. I’m sure it’s in dire need of replacement parts and the cost of repairs would be prohibitive to me. I’d rather spend on a new portable desktop like the Tecsun S-8800.

    I have good memories with this wonderful radio when it was fairly new and fully functional. I ?often brought it to my grandmother’s village near the coast of the Straits of Malacca, far from man-made interference like in the city of Kuala Lumpur where I live. I used the RP-2000F mainly for shortwave DX’ing. Medium wave DX’ing in Malaysia isn’t fun as the only stations I could hear were from Thailand up in the north and they none were English broadcasts.

    The only reliable and working shortwave radio that I have at this time is a recently purchased Tecsun PL-660 (firmware 6622). I bought it because I couldn’t get my old Sony ICF-SW7600G to work on batteries and the Sony service center in Malaysia declined to repair it sometime in 2009 – they said it was a “long discontinued model” and they couldn’t get the spare parts.

    I actually saw the ICF-SW7600GR back in late 2007 for sale, but at the time my 7600G was in semi-retirement and wasn’t actively listening to shortwave. I had forgotten to remove the old AA alkaline batteries and they eventually leaked, causing the Sony 7600G to malfunction.

    The reason I found this post was because I have recently revived my old DXing hobby with the Tecsun PL-660 and remembered I once owned this amazing large black Toshiba shortwave radio, but could not remember the model number. I thought I had junked the RP-2000F for good, but there it was, in the back store room hidden away from plain sight.

    Thanks for reading and for letting me share my past experience with the Toshiba RP-2000F. If I could go back in time, I would have properly cared for this wonderful radio.

    Reply
    1. Maurice Chew

      Absolutely agree.
      For $450 I would rather setitle for a new LCD big Screen TV- especially at this time of lock down.
      What a lots of sellers don’t realise is we want bargains for old stuff that still works. This isn’t vintage like a 1935 valve radio. It’s just some old Japanese junk.

      Reply

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