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 Post subject: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 3:30 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Been thinking about one of these to play with and to use as a "reference" set, but didn't want to spend the money for a "newer" radio... But tonight I found one that appeared to be in good condition other than a chip in plastic by antenna which was still fairly high price-wise, but lower than what they typically sell for and bought it...

Have read quite a bit about them both here and at other sources on-line and it seems that they are considered one of the very best BCB receivers---but would like to hear any and all opinions from those here who own or have owned one.

Thanks for all input !

John


Last edited by xrhonda91 on Feb Sat 10, 2018 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 7:31 am 
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Joined: Mar Mon 17, 2008 5:05 am
Posts: 5314
Location: Ashhurst, New Zealand
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4922

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Cheers - Martin ZL2MC


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19821
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I've had mine for about 15 years. Its AM performance is hard to beat even though there is no TRF stage. The rotatable ferrite antenna is a great advantage in nulling out interference from co-channel, adjacent channel, and local locally generated interference. The FM section is also hard to beat for a portable. But I still am pretty disappointed in its shortwave reception even after fixing a design issue which allowed local, high-power FM stations to blanket the SW bands with interference. Appropriately placed ferrite beads was the answer. But even with the interference gone, performance on these bands using its built-in whip antenna is OK but not great.

I've had two issues with shorted tiny ceramic caps. One was mounted inside a 1st conversion IF transformer causing no SW reception. The other was inside an RF coil in the FM tuner section causing extremely weak FM reception. Both issues happened within weeks of each other last year.

My performance standard for an AM/FM/SW portable is my Zenith R-7000-2 but I still use my RF-2200 regularly for AM and FM DX because of its more convenient size and weight compared to the Zenith. I also have a Sony ICF-2010, a Sony ICF-5900, a Panasonic RF-3100, a Grundig Satellit 500, A GE Superadio II, and several other respectable portables but none quite compare to the RF-2200 for AM DX performance.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much for the info, Guys---am sure looking forward to "playing" with this set !

Dave---did you replace all the electrolytics in yours ? How much improvement in MW performance did you notice after alignment ? Read that alignment is almost always necessary with these as old as they are now...

Below is one of the Ebay pics...

John


Attachments:
ARF 2200 ebay pic.jpg
ARF 2200 ebay pic.jpg [ 191.08 KiB | Viewed 1505 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 3:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19821
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
That looks like a nice, clean example. Mine was purchased from ebay and was (is) in similar physical shape. It did need some touch-up alignment on AM and FM (as mentioned in the reviews) which did make a noticeable difference, especially the lower part of the AM band. I was not able to successfully align the SW bands until I fixed the interference problem. I did not replace the electrolytics since there is no evidence that this is needed on my example, thankfully. The controls needed a treatment with DeoxIT but hasn't needed it again after all these years. Battery life is exceptionally good for such a sophisticated radio. I don't believe I've ever used it on AC power. I hardly ever use AC power with any of my portables. One disappointment is that it does not fully cover the 80 meter ham band. What were they thinking?

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 3:44 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 27, 2012 1:24 pm
Posts: 844
WOW. Nice looking radio. Hope it works well for you.

Panasonics generally made good MW radios. Even without a TRF stage, the 2200 apparently has an FET RF amp, which undoubtedly helps.

My RF-B45 (the last digital portable Panasonic actually made) is one of my best performers on MW. Even with the smaller sized loopstick, it matches a Superadio most of the time. It's too bad Panasonic got out of the radio business.... but that's life.


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 3:55 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Guys !

Got it today and cleaned the deteriorated foam pad residue out of battery compartment so I could try it...

Works well to a point, but does need attention---more details tomorrow...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 29, 2015 3:33 pm
Posts: 31
Glad you went ahead and got one.

I've had mine for a lonnnng time, and it is still essentially THE reference radio for MW performance in a portable of any kind, in my opinion anyway. It does FM very nicely, and audio is warm and loud on all bands, I am sure you have discovered already.

Congrats on the acquisition. If it's at all possible, I'd love to see/read your repair adventure. :)

73 de N0TLD
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 4702
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Let's hope it's not one of the Lemons... :shock:

:) Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 1:07 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Mike ! Can already tell it's a fantastic radio even with the several issues that need resolved---will definitely post pics and details when able.

The low-noise of the dual-conversion receiver is outstanding as well as both AM & FM performance. Have never had or used a radio that is anything like it ! Just as most reviews state, it receives stations you didn't even realize were there and with the lack of noise, are clearly heard ! The FM stations just "snap" in as you turn the dial---again, some that aren't even heard on a lesser radio ! Shortwave is also great, but BFO does drift as others have mentioned. And the audio is excellent...

Basically it seems to be a very good communications receiver built into a monaural "boom-box"

Have several of the "typical" problems described in the many reviews I've read and will detail them later. At least the volume & RF gain controls are smooth and noise-free !

Greg---I'm already nervous about getting into this radio, even with the manual...

And already feeling a little "sorrow" since my old sets probably won't get as much "playtime" now...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 --- reviews wanted !
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 2:57 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19821
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
There is something a lot of people don't know about this radio. I didn't know it until someone on this forum mentioned this some years ago....

The 125 kHz marker switch gives a bit of a bass boost when listening to FM. I don't believe this is mentioned in the user manual.

I'm glad you are happy with your new RF-2200.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 5:00 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Dave---just tried it and you're right !

Below is a summary of faults...

ELECTRONIC:
Band switches are slightly erratic
Bandwidth switch erratic/unstable---kills wide-band reception intermittently
Image of strong local 1430 kHz at about 520 (2X 455 down)
Dial calibration slighly off at ends of AM band
BFO drift
Tuning meter not working on FM

MECHANICAL:
Band indicator stuck on AM
Gyro antenna latch broken---won't stay in "up" position
Slight "lash" in tuning knob
Few sections of whip antenna slightly bent

COSMETICS:
Chip of plastic on back cover missing at right side of whip antenna base
Small areas of corrosion on knob skirts
Foam on battery compartment cover was disintegrating, cleaned residue out of compartment and off of cover with Isopropyl alcohol before installing batteries.
Several paint splatters---mainly on back & bottom.

Thought that the clips for removable carry handle neat design...

Hope to disassemble, clean, and "treat" switches with De-Oxit Gold tomorrow---and reset band indicator drum if gear(s) not damaged. Radio overall appears clean, but there is a lot of dirt/crud in gaps/recesses...

Stay tuned...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19821
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Be careful when cleaning the band switches. Depending on which formulation of DeoxIT that you use, you may need to wait several days for the RF alignment to return to the way it was before cleaning. Try not to allow the cleaner to get on other components in the area. However, in my opinion, DeoxIT is still the best cleaner to use if sparingly applied. I have only needed to clean my switches and controls once and that was many years ago.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1395
Location: Mount Pleasant UT 84647 (from Coventry, UK)
Very nice. I have never had the opportunity to play with one of these, but apparently they are excellent radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 5:32 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Dave & Colin !

Am really concerned about spraying anything around all the trim-caps in area---plan to mask off area after pulling PCB for electrolytic cap replacement. Even though set seems to work well, have found several of the electrolytics with significant leakage corrosion at leads... This will be done in future due to present lack of patience for such a tedious task...

Pulled covers this morning and plan to at least try to get the detail cleaning done this weekend. Looks like someone has already been inside which is not a good thing---at least to me...

The band selector indicator fix was easy, thankfully---lever which rides on FM/SW/AM switch cam was jammed fully upward and once released, worked perfectly ! Only thing that could have caused this was someone's careless "tinkering" since it's under spring tension...

Found the cause for tuning knob "lash/slop" at one area---the band-spread dial gear is badly warped and it binds slightly at certain point during rotation causing slippage...

May just temporarily jumper the bandwidth/AFC switch on PCB until I disassemble further since it's the most erratic/unstable switch on set---don't want to spray anything is this area, either, without masking off meter and tuning mechanism...

Hope to post more info and pics this evening---looks like this might become a long-term project !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 19821
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
It's probably best to not use "spray". Perhaps you can spray some DeoxIT liquid into a small bottle, then dip the spray tube into the bottle, put your finger over the top to pick up some of the liquid, then release your finger to drip it into the controls. This way you can avoid overshooting. YES, by all means, avoid getting it on or into any trimmer caps.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 7:16 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Dave---I have De-Oxit Gold liquid which I'll try to apply with the "trusty hatpin" when PCB removed in future for electrolytic replacement.

Whew---got the "1st phase" completed today ! Morning till late night...

As mentioned in earlier post, the band indicator mechanism lever was jammed upward and once released, properly rode the cam on selector switch allowing it to work correctly.

Removed the Gyro antenna and discovered that the plastic retainer for detent spring and ball bearing had a "chunk" broken out of edge causing the bearing to fall out. Fortunately, it was still present in base of mounting recess. Rolled a very thin piece of aluminum of proper height around the spring to act as a sleeve to hold spring and bearing in position, but the fit of ball in end was so tight that antenna wouldn't move easily so installed in the "up" position. At least antenna is now sturdy and stable for use... With the proper I.D. sleeve, it should work as intended, but would have to find the right tubing and very carefully drill out plastic to accept its O.D.---another project for "revisitation"...

Using the service manual, located the connections for the bandwidth switch and jumpered the "wide" contact wiring to ground at the PCB---worked fine !

After disassembly, thoroughly cleaned the removed pieces. Since I didn't remove the PCB this "go-round", cleaned the cabinet interior carefully with Q-tips and small cotton cloth patches---water dampened, then dry and blew out carefully with compressed air nozzle. There were paint smears and specks of white, blue, and silver mainly on back cover which I scrubbed off with Q-tips and Isopropyl alcohol...

Soaked the carrying strap in cold water and dish-soap, then gently went over both sides with toothbrush. Rinsed thoroughly, removed as much water as possible with towel, then blew dry with compressed air...

Reassembled and radio now looks excellent (was dirtier than it appears in original pic) and is working great. Bandswitch now seems fine after cycling several times---thankfully ! The audio is also excellent and a pleasure to listen to...

Still needs electrolytic caps replaced, warped bandspread dial gear replaced, careful alignment, and switches treated with De-Oxit---but that will be at a later date since radio is working fine now... Could see that someone had already retweaked IF's from factory positions and wonder if they were just "playing" or knew what they were doing---will find out one day...

Project pics in the next two posts...

John


Attachments:
1ARF 2200 KNBS HRDWR CLND.jpg
1ARF 2200 KNBS HRDWR CLND.jpg [ 195.01 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
2ARF 2200 CARRY STRAP CLND.jpg
2ARF 2200 CARRY STRAP CLND.jpg [ 120.94 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
3ARF 2200 SPKR FRT CLND.jpg
3ARF 2200 SPKR FRT CLND.jpg [ 247.99 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
4ARF 2200 GYRO BASE INS.jpg
4ARF 2200 GYRO BASE INS.jpg [ 197.03 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
5ARF 2200 REAR INS CLND.jpg
5ARF 2200 REAR INS CLND.jpg [ 248.51 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
6ARF 2200 FRT INS CLND.jpg
6ARF 2200 FRT INS CLND.jpg [ 204.91 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
7ARF 2200 GYRO ANT CLND.jpg
7ARF 2200 GYRO ANT CLND.jpg [ 134.21 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]


Last edited by xrhonda91 on Feb Sun 11, 2018 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 7:20 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Here are the remaining project pics---please see previous post for first "installment"...

John


Attachments:
8ARF 2200 FRT PANEL INS CLND.jpg
8ARF 2200 FRT PANEL INS CLND.jpg [ 195.81 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
9ARF 2200 FRT PANEL SPKR INSTLLD.jpg
9ARF 2200 FRT PANEL SPKR INSTLLD.jpg [ 179.87 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
10ARF 2200 FRT PANEL OUT CLND.jpg
10ARF 2200 FRT PANEL OUT CLND.jpg [ 199.59 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
11ARF 2200 REAR PANEL INS CLND.jpg
11ARF 2200 REAR PANEL INS CLND.jpg [ 244.79 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
12ARF 2200 REAR PANEL OUT CLND.jpg
12ARF 2200 REAR PANEL OUT CLND.jpg [ 239.52 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
13ARF 2200 REAR CMPLT2.jpg
13ARF 2200 REAR CMPLT2.jpg [ 199.76 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
14ARF 2200 FRT CMPLT.jpg
14ARF 2200 FRT CMPLT.jpg [ 226.52 KiB | Viewed 1292 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1395
Location: Mount Pleasant UT 84647 (from Coventry, UK)
Looks like new!


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 Post subject: Re: Panasonic RF-2200 project...
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 5:32 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 5406
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Colin !

Too bad that a small "chunk" of plastic is missing at side of whip antenna, but might find a junker someday with a good back cover and bandspread dial gear... At least it looks good from the front and works well !

Need to make a dust-cover for it after all that work since this old house is so dusty...

John


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