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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Commercial/Military/Marine adaptable to ham use | Japan Radio Company NRD-93 Help


Reviews Summary for Japan Radio Company NRD-93
Japan Radio Company NRD-93 Reviews: 1 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: The NRD-93, manufactured by Japan Radio Company, was made for
marine/professional applications but is also a superb receiver
for amateurs and shortwave listeners.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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DXACE1 Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2016 09:39 Send this review to a friend
A Top-Gun Beauty  Time owned: more than 12 months
As a JRC fan and owner of other top receivers by the company (NRD-515, NRD-301A) I had always been taken by the beautiful design of the pre-301/302 receivers, the NRD-93 and NRD-92. These radios are like fine watches and were made for the commercial/marine market, frequently found in the HF radio shacks of ships. As SDR and satellite comms have taken over we are seeing more and more of them appear on the used market, particularly from sellers in China and South Korea who have somehow managed to obtain them there.

The features on the NRD-93 are pretty clear cut and visible on the front panel. From the left you have the S-Meter which like all JRC marine receivers is not illuminated. Then S-Meter control toggles as well as headphone and separate speaker output jacks. Next you have the memory controls which included A/B bank options, and then the CH/MHZ/READY and MEM controls. The NRD-93 has an interesting memory entry system, combined with the large memory select knob which doubles as a MHZ select for random tuning. This becomes even more challenging when the receiver is combined with the separate NDH-93 memory expansion unit (which also adds a lot of beauty to the set) that is made to sit atop the radio. Next we have the BFO control and RF gain followed by the main tuning knob.

To the right of the main tuning knob, you have the UP/DOWN slewing buttons. This is similar to the later NRD-301A, though that radio substantially improved the buttons, followed by the Passband Shift knob and the AF gain. Note that both the BFO control and the PBS have their own separate LED readouts in the large readout panel. Farther right, we have the ATTENUATOR, NOISE BLANKER, and AF FILTER, below them are AGC and main power.

One characteristic of the NRD-93/92 as noted by Dave Zantow in his excellent review of this radio at http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/nrd93.html is the extremely slow AGC when using that position. I was shocked at how slow this can be, after owning a former Greek shipping NRD-93, and at first thought it was a fault but realized it is not. However, and this is important -- the slow AGC is not the same from unit to unit. I now have a NRD-93 which did not see shipboard use and it has much better AGC performance.

A comment about the toggle switches -- many of these receivers using the very attractive barrel type toggles suffer from switch failures. If this is happening, the best thing is to replace the toggles with smaller and more sturdy toggles -- it reduces the visual appeal of the radio, but the point is that sooner or later these original JRC toggles will lose their contact ability, requiring one to either perform a total overhaul/cleaning of the toggle, or replace them.

On the top right we have the pushbutton controls for mode, providing LSB/USB/CW/DSB/FSK/FAX, and below that the selectivity options, as marked on the cabinet 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, 6.0 and AUX. Frequently, AUX position is not filled on these receivers, but can be filled, though note the following from the Zantow review:

"Limited Voice Bandwidths / Non JRC Filters A Pain To Make Work: IF bandwidth filter arrangement for voice modes is not perfect for broadcast voice use. You have either a 3 or 6 khz as it came new. As usual for me the 6 khz was a bit too narrow for my tastes. Thank goodness I still had around a 8 khz filter that I had pulled from my old "early version" NRD-535 that fit the bill real well. From information that I received via Rob Sherwood (Sherwood Engineering), you have to be careful installing filters in a JRC receiver. JRC filters use a 600 ohm impedence (termination). Most other filters including the ones that he sells are around 2000 ohms. No cigar if this is not met. You can modify most JRC radio's to work with other voice bandwidth filters from other sources. JRC never offered any optional voice filters. I was not up to sending if off to have any mods done and the 8 khz (perhaps closer to 10 ??) filter worked good for me. I cannot help it, I like the wider filters. I used manual ECSS with the 3 Khz filter for the trouble spots on the dial."

As mentioned, the optional NDH-93 Memory/Scanner unit greatly enhances the physical appearance of the receiver and adds 300 memories. These external units were made with pushbuttons and later with LCDs, but as I was informed by a JRC specialist in Belgium, the LCD versions eventually suffered from readout issues so it's probably better to stick with the mechanical pushbutton versions.

NRD-93/92s that were used shipboard were frequently set to 220 volts, rather than the switchable versions. I had a Greek shipping NRD-93 and had the power supply converted to 110/120 with no problem.

A word on the pushbuttons. On many of these radios appearing on the used market, the UP/DOWN slewing buttons and MEM buttons have been abused, losing contact, and on many receivers have been replaced with different color buttons or even non-JRC buttons. If you're considering one of these radios ASK ASK ASK questions of the seller and ask for a video of the radio in operation so you don't have a nasty surprise.

I really love the appearance of the NRD-93 -- they are truly pro looking radios, hard to beat. It's likely that more and more of these will come on the used market as ships are converted to SDR for HF communications. I do not notice the issues noted by some reviewers, involving LED noise, and have not noticed any power supply hum or issues with either my 93 or my NRD-301A.

In summary, these are killer looking radios and excellent performers. I especially enjoy the fine tuning capabilities of the NRD-93 with its separate readouts for PBS and BFO, which are linked to the selectivity options.
 


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