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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
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Panasonic RF-2200 and RD-9820

Another from my shortwave radio collection. This is the Panasonic RF-2200, along with the (quite rare) RD-9820 antenna coupler, an accessory which helps the radio use external antennas more effectively. The RF-2200 is probably one of the best price/performance bargains ever conceived for a portable of its vintage. It is very sensitive, quite stable, more than adequately selective, and boasts an extremely accurate mechanical tuning system (to about 5 kHz) with built in markers for alignment to 125 kHz and/or 500 kHz within any SW sub-band.

It's also a great radio for listening to AM; the antenna on top can be flipped up and rotated, which means you don't have to turn the radio itself to get the best reception on AM broadcast bands. Which in turn means the radio is easier to operate and easier to listen to. It's even got real bass and treble controls, RF gain, wide/narrow IF bandwidth selection and fast/slow tuning rates. It covers 525-1625 kHz (US AM broadcast), and 3.9-28 MHz in six shortwave bands; also US FM broadcast. It has record out, headphone out, and an external antenna connection. Audio is monophonic, and the radio runs on six 'D' batteries for literally hundreds of hours.

For sideband and CW, it has a BFO, but I don't consider this a very functional way to try to listen to these modes. It has one quirk, common in Panasonic SW designs; the tuning meter indicates backwards — that is, stronger signals cause the meter to deflect to the left. The meter is properly marked for this, but it has always been a little disconcerting.

This warhorse has been with me on more trips than I can recall; I've had one since 1979 when they first hit the market; later, perhaps convinced by bright LEDs and fancy digital features, I replaced it and sold it off, only to find that the new rigs just didn't have the performance this one did... and so I bought another, and I still have it. Think of that. Thirty years, and it's still a great radio, with features and performance right up there with the best.

#radio

EXIF:

Width: 4586
Height: 2229
Company:  Canon
Camera:  Canon EOS 50D
Shot On:  2009:12:30 17:06:40
Aperture:  ƒ/5.6
Focal Length:  39.0mm
Metering Mode:  Pattern
Exposure Mode:  Auto
Flash:  Did Not Fire
Exposure Time:  1.0 second
Exposure Program:  Aperture Priority
ISO:  100

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