Tag Archives: Panasonic

Panasonic RD-9820 Antenna Coupler Operating Instructions

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who shares a PDF copy of the Panasonic RD-9820 Antenna Coupler we recently mentioned in a post. He notes that he can’t remember how he found this manual, but thought he’d share it.

Click here to download the RD-9820 manual as a PDF.

Thanks, Bill!

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Mark loves his National Panasonic RF-1150 and could use some advice

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Lane, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I have been reading the SWLing Post for a few years now but hadn’t contacted yourself since I announced my re kindled interest in SW and radio in general when I purchased a Sony ICF2001D a couple of years ago.

Well since then I had also bought a couple of modern travel radios but was hankering after something more retro.

I recently was lucky enough to receive a small bonus from work and thought it was an excellent opportunity to have another hunt for the European version of the Panasonic RF2200.

I had heard so much about this radio and really wanted a good analogue set. However, trying to find one in good condition in the UK was proving difficult to say the least.

Whilst hunting, I did find a radio that peaked my interest. I had not come across it before but was intrigued, initially by the looks and then read up on it a little. The Panasonic RF1150. After a few days of debating I took the plunge and bought one.

I don’t know if any other readers of the Post have or have had this radio but I must say I am very impressed with the MW and deep sound on this radio from the large speaker.

I am no expert, still learning all about radio and I am on the fence about the SW performance, but I did snag a Ham from Barcelona calling for North America on the first night of operation. I did have to work the BFO to keep the signal in check but it was enjoyable. There is something about these old receivers that keeps me listening. I do love my 2001D but it’s nowhere near as much fun as tuning the RF1150.

I just thought I would share the details of my new purchase and also wondered if anyone had any tips on maintaining a radio of this age as this is all new to me. It’s in pretty good shape but there is some crackle from a couple of the pots.

Also there is a switch in the left had side of the radio which I think is to allow input of an external device. The issue I have is that if I so much as knock this switch it turns it from ‘radio’ to ‘phono’ and it is nearly impossible to get it back. Not sure what I can do about that.

Anyway keep up the good work in helping keep radio alive!

All the best.
Mark

Thank you for sharing your find, Mark! The Panasonic RF-1150 is a handsome radio–no wonder it’s such a pleasure to operate!

The feel of tuning the RF-1150, RF-2200, and other solid state radios of that era is simply unmatched. I imagine like the RF-2200, the shortwave tuning experience especially employing the BFO, is a little “loosey-goosey.” Still, it’s incredibly fun and produces the most amazing variable het sounds!

Regarding the sticky pots and radio/phono switch, I suspect this is due to a little oxidization on the contacts. At least, if you wiggle or slightly budge the switch and the audio pops back all of the sudden, that could be the case. A very careful application of contact cleaner may solve your problems.

I have no history with the RF-1150, however, so perhaps readers can comment with their experience and advice!

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A trusted companion: The Panasonic RF-2200 never lets me down

One of the great things about sheltering at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, is I have time to complete some projects that would have otherwise waited until much later this year.

Lately, I’ve been making a serious effort to have our firewood cut, split and stacked so that it’ll have time to cure and dry before winter.

I’ve got a load of wood in my truck to process today so decided to take the Panasonic RF-2200 outside and do a little AM BC listening to make the splitting session pass a little faster.

The Panny ‘2200 is ideally suited for this task: it has robust sound and is one of the best AM DX portables ever made. I knew it would easily lock on to WTZQ 1600 kHz (some 25 miles away).

But as I sat the ‘2200 on the tailgate of my truck, I noticed that the power switch was already on!

My heart sank. The last time I had the RF-2200 out was well over a week ago and I was certain I had no D cells charged and ready to replace these.

But then I turned up the volume and there was static. I tuned to WTZQ and it sounded like it was one mile down the road. I turned up the volume a bit more when I heard Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel.

Turns out, there was a lot of battery life left. The Panny ‘2200 never let’s me down.

The Panasonic RF-2200 is a Holy Grail Radio. Plain and simple.

Do you have an RF-2200?  Please comment!


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Panasonic RF-1405: Mark seeks advice cleaning handle on thrift store find

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

Going to a local UK charity shop will usually turn up a grim selection of romance novels, old DVD box sets and children’s toys. They do a brisk trade in clothing, shoes and bags, but technology often consists of dire examples of cheap DVD players, phone cases, and small TVs.

It’s those very occasional gems that keep me going back.

Last Sunday a Panasonic radio turned up, and being a canny eBay savvy charity, they put a proper price tag on it! Aside from a scratchy volume control which was easily sorted, it seems to work fine. Spanning the whole of shortwave on a single band selection makes for tricky use of the big tuning knob, but back in the eighties I suspect this wasn’t a problem.

Finger marks and general grime have cleaned up fine, but the handle is strangely marked, and after fruitless cleaning with cotton pads and a little water I’m wondering if this is some kind of oxidation below the shiny surface.

I’m wondering if other readers are familiar with this kind of problem?

What a great score at the thrift store, Mark! I have several receivers of the same era that have the same issue on their chrome/metal parts. It’s almost as if the chrome/metallic finish is pitted in some way.

Readers: Do you know how Mark could safely clean the marks off of the chrome finish on the handle of his RF-1405?

FYI, here’s a video of Mark’s RF-1405 tuned to CRI:

Mark, you certainly snagged a great radio at the thrift store!

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Radio Deal: Panasonic RF-2400D on Amazon

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who notes that the Panasonic RF-2400D is currently on sale at Amazon.com for $23.52 shipped.

If you’ve been looking for a super-basic, AM/FM portable radio, the RF-2400D is worth considering. The RF-2400D reminds me of the Sony ICF-38: slide rule dial, few controls and a power cord that plugs directly into the back (no “wall wart” style power supply needed). Like most modern portables, the 2400D is a DSP receiver, thus subject to “steps” as you band scan across the analog dial. It’s all pretty smooth, though and feels like an analog radio. I have spent a little time with the RF-2400D and thought it to be a pleasant, little simple radio. It’s not a DX machine, but can easily receive all of your local stations and night time flame throwers.

I often receive inquiries from readers who are seeking a simple radio for an elderly friend or relative–one that’s tactile, easy to operate, and affordable.  The Panasonic RF-2400D fits the bill!

Click here to view on Amazon.com (this affiliate link supports the SWLing Post).

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Mornings with the Panasonic RF-2200

It’s been a busy winter season here at SWLing Post HQ. Many of you might have noticed a slow response time if you’ve tried to contact me. I’m in the midst of a rather involved investment property renovation that’s consumed nearly all of my spare time.

Still, I’m keeping up with the Post and even managing a little one-on-one radio time in the early mornings/late evenings. Indeed, I’ve actually tried to turn my renovation project into an opportunity to play a little radio. The property is unoccupied and very rural, so there’s quite literally no RFI there. Woot!

Since I’ve been spending time evaluating the new CCRadio3 (click here to read my preview), I’ve also had the CCRadio EP Pro, Sony ICF-5500W and the legendary Panasonic RF-2200 nearby for comparison purposes.

All of these radios have their strong points, but the Panny RF-2200 is still the rig I reach for the most. That’s why I listed it as one of my daily drivers.

It also helps that my RF-2200 feels like a brand new unit after Vlado re-capped and cleaned it.

Band-scanning

Band-scanning with the RF-2200 is such a tactile experience. The ‘2200 tuning knob is quality and almost feels like a weighted encoder you’d find on a proper tabletop receiver. The RF-2200 even has fast/slow tuning gears and you can calibrate the dial so easily. Though tuning on the shortwaves feels a little vague, I find mediumwave is incredibly accurate.

Speaking of the dial and logging scale, I think it’s one of the most attractive from the 1970s:

Since I’ve been doing most of my listening around sunrise and sunset, it’s been a lot of fun to fit in a little mediumwave DXing as well. I see why the RF-2200 was one of The Professor‘s favorites.

If you ever find a good deal on a Panasonic RF-2200, don’t hesitate, just grab it!  Occasionally you’ll find one on eBay, but also check your local hamfests and swap meets! That’s where I’ve had the most luck.

If you ever find a ‘2200 for less that $100-125 that’s in decent cosmetic shape, with the original antenna, clean battery contacts, and is in good mechanical shape (meaning the tuning mechanism and dial work as they should), buy it! If there’s an electrical problem, Vlado can fix that. In fact, if your RF-2200 still has the original capacitors, you’d probably want to re-cap it anyway to keep leaky caps from eventually harming the board or internals. Plus, a properly re-capped ‘2200 will play like a new one!

My takeaway?  The RF-2200 is a keeper! I suppose that’s why I even have a spare!

Do you have or would you like an RF-2200? Please comment!


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Radio in the field: SWLing on the coast of the St. Lawrence river

Yesterday, the weather was gorgeous here in Québec, thus a prime opportunity to find a beach, start a new book and, of course, play radio!

I found a fantastic spot on the north bank of the St. Lawrence river near Baie-St-Paul, Québec. There were only a few folks at the beach, so it was all very peaceful.

I found a picnic table perched on the edge of the beach shaded by an apple tree–a perfect spot to relax, play radio and start a new book: Dark Voyage by Alan Furst.

I brought two portables: the C. Crane CC Skywave SSB and the recently acquired Panasonic RF-B65.

I had not checked to see if propagation was good, but tuning to WWV on 10 MHz and 15 MHz confirmed that signals were travelling. In fact, as I started tuning around–first with the CC Skywave SSB, then with the Panasonic RF-B65–I discovered some of the best propagation I’ve experienced in ages!

I did a relatively quick scan covering the 31 through 19 meter bands. Some signals were absolutely booming in.

I jotted down some of the broadcast details on a make-shift log and recorded a few videos.

Note that after making the first video, I discovered I had limited space on my phone, so most of the clips are quite short:

The Voice of America

Click here to view on YouTube.

Radio France International

Click here to view on YouTube.

Radio Guinée

Click here to view on YouTube.

BBC World Service Extra English

Click here to view on YouTube.

Here are the stations I logged in the clear:

All in all it was a brilliant afternoon and the short band scan reminded me that there is still so much content to be found on the shortwaves.

You just need a little propagation, and some time to listen and explore!

Post readers: Have you snagged any elusive DX recently?  Please comment!

Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

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