Tag Archives: Panasonic

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!

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Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

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

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Delivered: The Panasonic RF-B65

It turns out, I didn’t need to worry about the delivery time of the Panasonic RF-B65 I ordered on eBay Thursday evening. It was shipped from Washington state and arrived here yesterday (Saturday) via USPS 2 Day Priority Mail. I’m quite impressed with the delivery speed!

I haven’t had time to put the RF-B65 through the paces, but so far all appears to be in order. The unit is very clean, the battery compartment looks like new and the antenna straight and fully intact. This listing did not include a case, box or manual, but I’m fine with that.

I’ve only had the RF-B65 on the air for a few minutes to verify that everything works properly–so far, so good. This afternoon, I’ll start a “burn in” session to see if the radio will play for multiple hours on a set of fresh batteries. I’ve found in the past that if there are any capacitor issues, older portables like this could power down prematurely.

I’m hoping all will check out with the RF-B65 because I look forward to taking it on travels this week!

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Panasonic RF-B65s abound on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who notes that Panasonic RF-B65s are, Abound […] all over eBay–most I have seen in years.”

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Panasonic RF-B65 is one of the few “vintage” benchmark portables I’d happily add to my collection. I’ve been looking for one since last summer and have missed out on a deal or two. Very few have been posted. Dan, and a number of SWLing Post readers, have touted this radio’s performance many times, so I bit the bullet and ordered one of the units from eBay. I hope it’s in good shape–it does not include the manual or box, but I’m not looking for a mint unit–this will accompany me on travels and to the field. I have a padded bag that should fit it well.

I should receive my RF-B65 early next week and will look forward to putting it on the air!

Click here to search eBay for the Panasonic RF-B65.

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Doctor Vlado repairs the Panasonic RF-2200 (Part 1)

Panasonic RF-2200 at Hamvention

Last year, at Hamvention, I picked up a Panasonic RF-2200 for $70. It came with the original box, manual and was in superb cosmetic condition.

The seller told me that over the years he exclusively used the radio to listen to a local FM station.

At that price, I didn’t hesitate to make the purchase even if this would have simply been a non-functioning parts radio for my other RF-2200.

After I brought the radio home, I unpacked it and gave it a quick test.

FM worked brilliantly. Mediumwave and shortwave, however, were essentially deaf. I made the assumption that the ‘2200’s switches and pots likely needed cleaning with DeoxIT. The next day, I was leaving for a two month trip to Canada though, so I packed the RF-2200 back into its box and set it to the side of my shack table.

Fast-forward to yesterday…

While digging around my shack, I re-discovered the boxed RF-2200. Since I was planning to visit my buddy Vlado (the best radio repair guy in the world) yesterday evening, I thought I’d take the RF-2200 and do a proper contact cleaning. Several of the RF-2200’s switches and pots cannot be easily cleaned without removing the chassis.

(Click photos to enlarge.)

Vlado is familiar with the RF-2200 and since it’s not the easiest radio to work on, I asked for his expert hands on the job. Within seconds of handing him the radio, he plugged it in, tested the switches and pots, then removed the back cover (disconnecting the battery compartment leads) and then the front cover (disconnecting the speaker leads).

The magic behind the RF-2200’s classic analog dial:
Vlado offered a word of caution to anyone operating on their RF-2200: as you can see in the photo below, the dial string snakes around the front of the radio and is very close to some key components. You must exercise caution when having a soldering iron tip near the string, or using lubricants nearby.I didn’t realize this, but by the time Vlado started taking apart the RF-2200, he had already determined that even though the contacts needed cleaning, this wasn’t the source of the audio problem for the MW and SW bands.Vlado expertly pulled out the pot for the FM/AM/SW selection–not an easy task–began cleaning it, testing it and re-soldering contacts.

Vlado determined the pot was actually in good shape, thus started testing the rest of the circuit.

After a few minutes of performing tests and getting intermittent performance, he determined that at least one, if not more, of the RF-2200’s caps need to be replaced. Of course, neither one of us was terribly surprised. At this point though, it was getting late and I had an early wake up time in the morning, so I left my RF-2200 with Vlado.

Am I worried about this prognosis?  No, not in the slightest…

Doctor Vlado is on the job!

Vlado will have the RF-2200 back on the air in no time, working as well as it did when it was new. He’s actually performed a similar RF-2200 repair for an SWLing Post reader and I’m willing to bet this repair job is relatively simple compared to most he encounters (including the Icom IC-7200 he recently repaired after it was hit by lightening!).

I’ll try to post a “Part 2” update with photos of the RF-2200 repair.  Follow the tag: Panasonic RF-2200 Repair

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Dan spots a mint Panasonic RF-B65 on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following:

This does not appear to have the AC adaptor — not all kits included that, but they are findable on Ebay] OK, folks here’s your chance — a Panasonic RF-B65, one of the best portables of all time in terms of overall sensitivity and audio (in this size category) in what appears to be Like New condition. Price is about right for one of these complete with box, manuals, etc I usually jump on these but I already have two in this condition….

Click here to view on eBay.

The RF-B65 is certainly a highly regarded portable and Dan knows I’m on the hunt for one. Frankly, I’ll probably wait until next year to search for a deal. This model is not the cheapest, but looks incredibly clean and is being sold by a seasoned seller with 100% positive feedback. If you’ve been considering an RF-65B, this is a good one.  Thanks for the tip, Dan!

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