Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi, who writes:
Hope you are doing well. Spotted this J.I.L. receiver on eBay, never heard of this unit before.
Thanks for the tip, Mario! This is a new one for me as well–what an interesting stack-able set of up/down converters. RigPix has a few more details.
Post readers: Can anyone comment about this until or its performance on the HF bands?
GREAT RECEIVER PERFORMED A LOT BETTER THAN THE IC-R7000 BY FAR
It looks great though doesn’t it? I love the early 80’s styling of radios like this and the Magnavox D2999.
I have a SX400 that worked until it didn’t and found it to be a fairly typical scanner of high complexity and a bit unique in some of its tricks. I also have the SW up converter and have played with it a little bit. My recollection was that the converter was fairly impressive and tried it on other radios and seemed to work fine. I seem to remember that this was expensive equipment in the day, very rare today (especially the converters- these are the first down converters I’ve EVER seen offered), and somewhat unique for what it was and did. Unless a collector (as I am to some degree), this equipment largely falls in the “who cares?” category, and is a novelty at best, in my opinion.
I rushed out and bought the smaller SX-200n in about 1980/81 and was amazed, despite its many shortcomings. Before then I used to tune VHF on various cobbled-up converters, TV tuners and homebrew rat’s nests. This thing tuned everywhere and stayed put! OK, it received everything twice due to poor (or non-existent) image rejection and it over loaded whenever a nearby paging TX came on. I kept looking at the 400, but it was a lot of money and didn’t seem to offer much more. I later flogged it to a friend and bought the truly wondrous Icom R7000. Happy days…..
Sold for the asking price.
I had a “way overpriced” SX-400 back in it’s day and it has to go down as one of the biggest pieces of garbage for a radio I have ever used !!
Dreadful RF performance, very noisy / quirky microprocessor and it hissed like a snake in heat when squelched (super hissy bad it was) !! It did have the “cool” analog s-meter, which was unheard of in 1984. The Icom IC-R7000 was a couple of years away.
I did not have the HF converter, but I have been told it BARELY worked (if at all).
The SX-400 model put J.I.L. out of business after the word got out it was a real D.O.G. I figure they must have had many engineering $$’s into it and got zero out.
I guess a collector might want it (as a $ 50. paperweight). This one is missing the whip antenna (which sticks out of the front of it).
see Oct 1984 MT Review (page 7): http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Monitoring-TImes/Monitoring-Times-1984-10.pdf