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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Mizuho SB-2M Help

Reviews Summary for Mizuho SB-2M
Mizuho SB-2M Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Mizuho's first 2m SSB portable, circa 1974
Product is in production.
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K7VO Rating: 4/5 Sep 4, 2003 12:04 Send this review to a friend
Decent 2m USB/CW portable  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was lucky enough to find a Mizuho SB-2M, the earliest version of their 2m SSB/CW portable transceiver, on the used market here in the US and the price was right. I already had the SB-2X and LA-2X, the later version and the matching amp, and I knew this rig would be pretty decent. It is, but, as expected, the later version has a few more nice features. The SB-2M is truly spartan.

The appearance of the rig reminds me a lot of the old Kenwood TR-2200A/Drake TR-22, except, of course, it's an SSB/CW rig. The rig requires 12-13.8V DC, either in the form of internal batteries (AA cells) or from an external power supply. If using alkaline batteries you have to use nine cells and a dummy battery, or else you can use 10 rechargable cells. Unlike the later version of the Kenwood/Trio/Drake rigs there is no charging circuit.

The rig, like an Icom IC-202, is VXO controlled, with each crystal providing just 50Hz of coverage, compared to 200kHz on the later SB-2X. 144.100-144.300 rocks for the four slots were provided stock from the factory. The rig isn't a great choice for satellite work, though, since like the original IC-202 it only operates USB. No LSB is available.

Receiver performance is excellent, and I really hear no difference between it and the later SB-2X. The rig is quite sensitive and selectivity seems to be decent enough as well. Like most better old analog rigs there is a very low noise floor thanks to the lack of digital or phase noise. Both transmitted and received audio are excellent, and I am using the stock Mizuho 4-pin mic. A pull-up telescopic whip is built in for true portable operation. Unlike the later SB-2X there is no noise blanker, so I can't imagine the SB-2M would make a very good mobile rig. It also lacks RIT, which was added to the later model. The rig is about as stable as most decent analog rigs: it drifts until it warms up and then settles down nicely.

The cosmetics and ergonomics of this rig are still quite good. The dial is not lighted on the SB-2M, unlike the SB-2X, so operating in the dark isn't really an option.

Output power is only 1W for this rig, which is less than comparable models from Icom or Yaesu. Several small amps like the Daiwa LA-2035 or several of the smaller Tokyo Hy-Power models can be adequately driven with 1W if you need more power. I'm not sure if Mizuho ever made a matching amp for this rig.

Tp sum up, the rig perfoms very well, much as you'd expect from a good rig of this type. If you've used something like an Icom IC-202 you know what to expect. The lack of a noise blanker, RIT, or dial light make this rig less desirable than the newer SB-2X model. These rigs are rare, but if you find one, and if you like the older style VHF analog portable rigs, you probably will enjoy an SB-2M.

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