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 Post subject: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Sun 06, 2018 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5559
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

This is one of two radios I bought at the IHRS meet in Kokomo, IN Friday---first time I'd ever bought anything at a gathering... The price was very high, but it was so clean that I kept looking at it. It did have some scratches on the front, though... The seller finally told me to just make an offer since there wasn't any other interest, so I did and he accepted. Found out when I got on-line later that my offer was still around twice what a couple had sold for on Ebay recently and that two of the emblems were missing---arrrghhh... It appears to work with scratchy/noisy controls and somewhat distorted audio, so will need attention. My neighbor had bought one off of Ebay when he was still alive several years ago and remember how impressed I was with it, but at that time they were selling for more than what I wanted to pay... Believe this is the "top-of-line" Panasonic Radar-Matic portable set of the time having bi-directional, electric tuning---no winding this large & heavy set ! It was also designed to be used in a vehicle with a separate under-dash docking unit...

Below is a quick pic taken after returning home Friday...

Believe that a couple other people here have these---would appreciate a performance and audio quality "report" ! Also hope to find the two missing "emblems"---the small square one on top and the round from front---anyone have a junker ???

John


Attachments:
ARF RF-880 BEFORE.jpg
ARF RF-880 BEFORE.jpg [ 196.65 KiB | Viewed 1762 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Wed 09, 2018 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
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Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
That’s a good looking radio. I never owned an auto tuning radio. When I used to attend the MARC events, a seller had one (I don’t remember the make and model) that appeared on his table at every event, but he wouldn’t budge on price and I was stubborn, so never did buy it! Wasn’t a lot of money either, I was just being cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Fri 11, 2018 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey Colin---I almost wished this seller hadn't come down now since those emblems are missing ! But it is a neat radio...

No time to do much with it yet...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Thu 17, 2018 12:43 pm 
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I had one of those for a while. Neat set. The one thing I noticed was that there was considerable play in the manual tuning part of it. I.e., it took a half a turn of the knob or so in either direction for the pointer to move. I was told by the seller that it was normal. Don't know if that's true, but the auto tune worked great so it didn't matter. I sold mine a couple years back (i'm in a purge phase). I also had a table top Panasonic stereo radio that had the auto-tuning and it too had a fair amount of play in the manual tuning dial. Sold that too. Still have one small wind up Radar Matic. Guess I'll keep that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Fri 18, 2018 3:18 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey John---The "slop" in manual tuning IS normal (but annoying)---my neighbor also has one that her late husband bought a few years back. And another ARF member has one that he did a YouTube presentation of... Which "wind-up" model do you have ?

Pulled the back cover off of mine and was grateful that the ferrite antenna rod was still intact, but still need to find why the AM performance is so so-so...

Time still tight here with family issues and great outdoor weather, so will probably be awhile before this one ever gets completed... Did give it a preliminary "wipe-down" with damp cloth tonight while sitting outside on deck...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Sun 20, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 01, 2009 2:23 pm
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xrhonda91 wrote:
Hey John---The "slop" in manual tuning IS normal (but annoying)---my neighbor also has one that her late husband bought a few years back. And another ARF member has one that he did a YouTube presentation of... Which "wind-up" model do you have ?

Pulled the back cover off of mine and was grateful that the ferrite antenna rod was still intact, but still need to find why the AM performance is so so-so...

Time still tight here with family issues and great outdoor weather, so will probably be awhile before this one ever gets completed... Did give it a preliminary "wipe-down" with damp cloth tonight while sitting outside on deck...

John


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R 1000. Kind of dusty...it's just been sitting on the shelf in my shop. Someone actually gave it to me at an ARCI meet. I've always been fascinated with signal seeking radios, ever since my dad bought his 56 Cadillac with the Wonderbar radio in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: May Fri 25, 2018 3:54 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey John,

I've got one of those ! 1st signal-seeking transistor portable I bought/refurbished for collection...

Was also fascinated with the signal seekers after seeing a Delco Wonderbar radio as a young kid. My Dad was an engineer at Delco Radio in Kokomo, IN from '58 to '94 and remember seeing a whole wall of Wonderbar sets being "burnt-in" during an open-house visit almost 50 years ago---you can probably imagine the sound they made during continuous seek cycling !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Thu 07, 2018 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5559
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Have put off working on this radio for quite awhile and finally "dug in" today...

Had Hernia surgery Tuesday and am off work the rest of this week---feeling halfway decent today, so pulled the chassis, attached threaded standoffs for support, and detail cleaned the knobs and buttons. As complex as it is, not really a good project for recovery, but am doing a bit at a time...

As mentioned earlier, the AM sensitivity & selectivity are not that great indicating a problem. Tried jumpering the "docking" connector pins on bottom with no result. There is a switch which controls antenna selection that is activated by a "push-in" linkage and am going to examine it next---will probably install small jumpers for "portable-only" use...

Stay tuned !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Fri 08, 2018 3:08 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5559
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Took pictures of two labels with dial-cord stringing and component locations inside cabinet if anyone interested---see below (I marked the 455 kHz IFT's with yellow)... Will send the "un-enhanced" originals if desired---just PM an e-mail address...

Cannot find a clearly readable schematic (reference designators especially) on-line and wonder if anyone here might have one they could scan ???

Thanks much !

John


Attachments:
ARF RF880 DIALCORD.jpg
ARF RF880 DIALCORD.jpg [ 209.18 KiB | Viewed 1284 times ]
ARF RF880 COMPONENTS.jpg
ARF RF880 COMPONENTS.jpg [ 248.69 KiB | Viewed 1284 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Sat 09, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Making progress...

Was a lot of work to clean in order to preserve the labels---had to clean most of cabinet little-by-little with small cloth patches and Q-tips...

Removed the top panel and polished the yellowed and finely scratched tuning dial with Novus-2.

Gettin' closer...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 4:54 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5559
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Got 'er done (as far as possible) today---finally !

Much dirtier than it appears in previous pics---brown film (nicotine ?) which required Windex to remove along with paint spots and film on grille which required Isopropyl alcohol. Hours upon hours of work... Thankfully, there was no battery leakage as compartment is glued in and was difficult just to clean a thin film of dust/dirt off of the thin felt linings.

The cardboard tube on bottom of antenna assembly was glued on with some type of rubber cement and had to be removed for disassembly. Reattached with Permatex Ultra-Black RTV...

Discovered that the disk insert in center emblem is there---just badly faded... Still need the tiny square on dial-panel top, though...

All the IFT's peaked well very near factory markings and was able to improve selectivity somewhat, though not quite as good as I think it should be. Need to find the factory manual to check alignments in the signal-seeker "trigger" circuit---wonder if Roy Rogers had a copy ?

Used Deoxit Faderlube on noisy volume and tone controls---both now okay... Applied small amount of Deoxit Gold on slightly erratic power switch contacts and they, too, are now fine...

Jumpered all the edge connector switching contacts and removed, spliced, and taped all the wiring on the lever actuated antenna switch for portable use only which can be "undone" by future owner if desired for originality---was disappointed that this made no noticeable difference in performance.

This was certainly a "deluxe" radio with FM stereo mux output along with the other audio in/out and remote connectors. Has anyone seen or heard of the stereo multiplex adapter which was to be used with this set ???

Turned out pretty well appearance-wise. Still need to "play" with it a bit more once I find a service manual...

First group of project pics below with 2nd in following post...

John


Attachments:
1ARF 880 HARDWARE.jpg
1ARF 880 HARDWARE.jpg [ 225.71 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
2ARF 880 SPKR FRT BAT CMPT CVR INS CLN.jpg
2ARF 880 SPKR FRT BAT CMPT CVR INS CLN.jpg [ 194.1 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
3ARF 880 HANDLE ANT PRTS CLN.jpg
3ARF 880 HANDLE ANT PRTS CLN.jpg [ 215.98 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
4ARF 880 KNBS CLN.jpg
4ARF 880 KNBS CLN.jpg [ 173.27 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
5ARF 880 BK CVR INS CLN.jpg
5ARF 880 BK CVR INS CLN.jpg [ 206.07 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
6ARF 880 BK CVR OUT CLN.jpg
6ARF 880 BK CVR OUT CLN.jpg [ 211.85 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
7ARF 880 FRT CVR INS CLN.jpg
7ARF 880 FRT CVR INS CLN.jpg [ 200.69 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
8ARF 880 FRT CVR OUT CLN.jpg
8ARF 880 FRT CVR OUT CLN.jpg [ 224.87 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
9ARF 880 DIAL PNL INS CLN.jpg
9ARF 880 DIAL PNL INS CLN.jpg [ 106.94 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
10ARF 880 DIAL PNL OUT CLN.jpg
10ARF 880 DIAL PNL OUT CLN.jpg [ 93.45 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 4:56 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5559
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Here are the remaining pics---please see previous post for first installment...


Attachments:
11ARF 880 CHASSIS CMPLT BOT.jpg
11ARF 880 CHASSIS CMPLT BOT.jpg [ 218.3 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
12ARF 880 CHASSIS CMPLT TOP EDGE.jpg
12ARF 880 CHASSIS CMPLT TOP EDGE.jpg [ 176.97 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
13ARF 880 SPKR HNDL INSTLLD.jpg
13ARF 880 SPKR HNDL INSTLLD.jpg [ 207.11 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
14ARF 880 CHASSIS INSTLLD.jpg
14ARF 880 CHASSIS INSTLLD.jpg [ 235.93 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
15ARF 880 BK CVR INSTLLD.jpg
15ARF 880 BK CVR INSTLLD.jpg [ 192.11 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
16ARF 880 CMPLT REAR.jpg
16ARF 880 CMPLT REAR.jpg [ 196.37 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
17ARF 880 CMPLT FRT RT.jpg
17ARF 880 CMPLT FRT RT.jpg [ 177.06 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
18ARF 880 CMPLT FRT LFT.jpg
18ARF 880 CMPLT FRT LFT.jpg [ 210.98 KiB | Viewed 1178 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 5:20 am 
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Very nice work John, it looks almost new!
As to the supposed mux unit, I've never seen one. It seems quite a few Japanese radios had "mux" jacks fitted, but I have yet to see any matching mux units, for some reason they never got made it seems. I have however seen a matching stereo adapter for a Schaub Lorenz portable, but that's all that comes to mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 2:24 pm 
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Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
Very nice John. A friend of mine in Michigan has a system with a stereo adapter. I will see if I still have photos of it.


Last edited by Colin Ames on Jun Tue 12, 2018 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5559
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much Guys !

Matt---good to see you're back ! Thankfully, the scratches don't show at all angles---there is also paint residue left on cloth behind grille... How do you rate performance on yours (see my comment below) ???

Colin---would like to see the pics if you find them ! Is it an RF-880 ?

Listened to radio this morning since it was late when completed---selectivity still not great with strong adjacent stations. My favorite low power DX oldies station only came in at listenable volume with strong local 30 kHz away still heard in background. All IF's peaked fine as well as ANT trimmer---but still think something is wrong. Need to listen to neighbor's set and see how it does... Have 6-transistor Panasonic sets that do better...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 7:18 pm 
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That is a sharp looking radio, nice job, looks complicated tho.

it would be nice to find the matching stereo adapter but any other brand should work just fine.

I have the Sony TFM-110W with the matching STA-110 adapter.

The Sony stereo adapter also works perfect with my Transonic AM/FM (a re-branded Toshiba) with excellent stereo separation.


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TFM-110W-STA-110.JPG
TFM-110W-STA-110.JPG [ 80.78 KiB | Viewed 1158 times ]
TFM-110W-TRANSONIC.JPG
TFM-110W-TRANSONIC.JPG [ 80.59 KiB | Viewed 1158 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Nice work as always, John!
If you want to DX with that set and have adjacent channel interference, use a tunable loop in order to null the other station out.
Could also be that one or more of the IF's aren't tuned sharply enough. You could try setting the radio to that particular station and adjusting the IF's to see if you can isolate it from any interference. Then power up your generator, and rock it's dial above and below 455 Kc, to see about where they are tuned to. Hopefully right on.

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Tue 12, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Location: The Old Dominion VA 23518
xrhonda91 wrote:
…..

Cannot find a clearly readable schematic (reference designators especially) on-line and wonder if anyone here might have one they could scan ???

Thanks much !

John


John, I have the microfiche - no scan, but it's a start. Lemme know if you need/want it.

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Wed 13, 2018 2:17 am 
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, Guys !

Rocco---thanks for pics ! Was the connection same on Transonic ?

Richard---All AM IF's were nearly dead-on as they were and had already tweaked them very slightly while on my DX station which made just a tiny improvement. This isn't adjacent station "splatter", but the stronger signal is just there clearly at a lower level along with the weak. Have a few radios now with this same symptom including two Zenith Royal 755M/74 sets which I tried to troubleshoot with no luck---do have a couple more which work perfectly, so know it's a fault. Am sure the problem is common to all and need to give more time to them when motivation "strikes"...

Went next door to check my late neighbor's set and found that the AM is completely dead on it---his widow uses only the FM, so it was of no help...

Brian---I could absolutely use it ! Will scan at library and make files available to others as I did with previous ones. Am sending PM---thanks very much !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-880 Radar-Matic project---what a radio !
PostPosted: Jun Wed 13, 2018 4:42 am 
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Hey John,
some radios are just not as discriminating as others when it comes to adjacent signal rejection, which is why I suggested using a tunable loop. Also, the aging process including if the set was used in a dry or damp climate can affect performance, so two of the same model can perform differently. I've got plenty of examples of that.

As for using a loop, I have a semi-distant station in Bakersfield, KUZZ, and a DX in Phoenix, KFYI, both at 550 Khz. There are times when I can position the loop to pick up one station and reject the other, then turn it perpendicular, and receive the other, nulling out the first.

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