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sabato 21 marzo 2015

Panasonic RF-2200 restoration adventures - Part 1

Some time ago I wanted to buy a vintage portable receiver for trying a bit of MW listening with good performances even without the need of external antennas or the complexities of software defined radio (SDR). I went through the web and read a number of reviews and finally I choose to look for a used Panasonic RF-2200. I liked its look very much and felt it was just the kind of radio I was looking for. I found one on eBay in fairly good conditions and at a reasonable price (compared to how much these sets are usually rated). Also important it was that that National Panasonic DR-22 (also known as RF-2200BS) came from Europe, without the additional costs for shipment and long processing time at customs that affect similar purchases from the U.S.. Being targeted for the european marked, the DR-22 was also equipped with an AC mains selector (220V/50Hz or 110V/60Hz) so it can be used in Italy (where I live) without the need of an additional AC-AC transformer.
Here below a photograph of the set as it was depicted on eBay:

When the radio arrived in my hands, I quickly tested it to find out if it was fully functional, what of course was partially unexpected, given the age of the receiver. While it looked fairly goon on FM (where it was possible to receive many strong signals from local broadcast stations), apparently it was almost deaf on medium wave and shortwave bands. I knew a common problem with these sets is bad contacts in front panel switches and potentiometers due to long inactivity, dirt and oxidation. So I tried to operate them a bit and something started to come out of the speaker. Well, at least it seemed that there were no major faults. The short video below shows these initial tests:

OK, even after having verified that (apparently) the unit didn't suffer from major issues, it was still apparent that MW sensitivity was quite low and the same it was in SW. Probably a realignment was needed to improve the overall performamce. Also, the switches and potentiometers required a deeper and more durable cleanup. The service manual was available in digital format from the web. It was to time to plan a restoration. More on next episodes of my RF-2200 restoration adventures.

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