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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | National RJX-610 Help

Reviews Summary for National RJX-610
National RJX-610 Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 5W 6m SSB/CW transceiver, similar to the NCG 15M/National RJX-715 15m rig, from the mid '80s
Product is not in production.
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KU4QD Rating: 4/5 Apr 29, 2003 22:20 Send this review to a friend
Interesting bit oversized old portable, great receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was fortunate to acquire a National RJX-610 from a friend in Japan last year for all of $80 (...or was it $75?). What a bargain! I've had a number of the older 6m SSB/CW portables before(Icom IC-502A, IC-505, Yaesu FT-690R), and this one is the best of the lot. Yes, when you look at the Yaesu FT-817 or the Tokyo Hy-Power HT-750, calling this rig portable seems ridiculous at best. It's huge by comparison. However, for someone looking for a very good general purpose 6m SSB rig at a low price, this old beast can't be beat.

The rig looks just like the NCG-15M 15 meter SSB/CW mobile rig from the '80s. The RJX-610 actually came out first, back around 1978. It has the same red LED display (not great in bright sunlight) and the same layout to the controls. Like it's 15 meter twin, this rig was made by Matsushita (a/k/a Panasonic), and I have yet to find one of their rigs that didn't perform well. Pity they dropped out of the ham market. One big difference is that if you take the top cover off you will find a holder for nine D cell batteries, and there is a big (full quarter wave) telescopic whip that swivels up from the side of the radio.

On the plus side, this radio has one HOT receiver. I've compared it with my NCG 7/21/50 and could not tell the difference when copying a weak signal. The NCG 7/21/50 has better sensitivity than the Icom IC-575H I had, which is a highly reqarded, much newer, and much more expensive radio. For the RJX-610 to hold it own against the newer NCG (National) speaks volumes about the radio, and it is why I like it so well. As a portable you can switch the display off to save battery power, which would be a really nice touch if the digital display weren't the only way to tell what frequencey you are on. Still, if you can keep from bumping the VFO knob during a QSO it is a good way to stretch the life of those D cells.

The negatives, and the reason it doesn't rate a 5, are the same as the ones I listed in my review of the NCG 15M. Tuning is course. CW must be MANUALLY switched from receive to transmit and back again, and there is no CW filter at all. That is much more tolerable on 6m than on 15m, but CW is clearly an afterthought. Also, the DISPLAY ON/OFF switch is where the delta-F (RIT) ON/OFF switch is on the 15m rig, so on this on RIT is ALWAYS on. Just another way to bump yourself off frequency with the display turned off :( There is also some drift until the rig warms up. This is to be expected as this is really an old analog design with a frequency counter for the display. Stability is good enough after half an hour or so.

Output power on this model is 5W on high power, 1W on low power. That is enought to make some very good contacts during an Es opening.

Overall, though, I like this radio a lot. It's a neat old beast that performs well enough to be practical on today's bands. It's not perfect, but for someone on a budget who finds one of these it's a great way to get on the magic band.

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