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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Panasonic RF-2200 Help


Reviews Summary for Panasonic RF-2200
Panasonic RF-2200 Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $On ebay as of 12/14/05, can be h
Description: General coverage receiver with AM/FM
Product is in production.
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K0OD Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2014 06:09 Send this review to a friend
Nice 36 years ago. Outdated now.   Time owned: more than 12 months
It's described as "legendary" and the "holy grail" of AM analog portables. For BCB DXing, it was THE radio to own. Yet my Panasonic RF2200 has mostly gathered dust since I bought it in 1977. It never struck me as anything special, an 8 pound behemoth that was soon replaced for travel by a sleek Sony ICF2002.

It bothered me that the cultish adulation included no lab tests and few specifics. We'd hear about "warm and satisfying sound." One reviewer praised "its ability to make distant and weak signals sound more like locals," Why no effort to quantify the performance, especially on the challenging higher bands? My own side by side tests found nothing miraculous especially on the BCB. With its nifty rotary ferrite antenna and signal strength meter, the RF-2200 is useful for tracking down local noise sources. But it's hardly cult-worthy.

For this quickie review I decided to focus on the 2200 as a ham band receiver, comparing it to my lab quality Flex-5000 transceiver as a frequency standard, and mainly on 40 meters.

Frequency accuracy: Once set to 7.000 MHz with the built-in crystal calibrator, the dial impressively tracked within 3 KHz across the ham band.

Selectivity: From my tests the narrow setting is about 6 KHz at 6 dB down. The wide bandwidth is about 9 KHz. Both settings have extremely broad skirts. That utter lack of selectivity probably explains the radio's "big" AM sound. Hams will be less impressed!

Drift: My first tests showed enormous drift of more than 10 KHz an hour! Replacing the four D cell batteries (one was even starting to leak) slashed drift to a miniscule 100 Hz/hour on 40. Once warmed up well, stability was tolerable even on ten meters.

Tuning: The large main tuning knob with finger dimple offers two tuning rates. Both are smooth, but the slower rate has noticeable backlash that makes tuning CW/SSB a chore.

This radio was a nice product in 1977 and is still adequate for AM listeners. Most units have held up in terms of aesthetics and performance. However the 2200's lack of selectivity and spongy tuning make it obsolete for SSB or CW. Its AGC is too fast for sideband. It's spec'd only to 28.0 MHz, but mine goes up to about 29.0 MHz. Be aware that bad things happen to this radio in its higher ranges where hand capacitance and the especially the RF gain control affect tuning.

The RF-2200 was a 5/5 36 years ago. Today it's mostly a curio. On the used market, they're often overpriced curios.
 
K0KNX Rating: 3/5 Apr 24, 2013 19:10 Send this review to a friend
Don't get the hype  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned a 2200 for several years buying one after reading all of the rave reviews. Don't get me wrong, I like the look and the old analog thing but c'mon, it's an average radio at best. I don't doubt it was a good radio for it's time but sheez, with the options out there these days for SWL and AM dxing, it ranks low. After getting a Grundig 800, I never used the 2200 again and eventually sold it.
 
KD5MTB Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2012 06:57 Send this review to a friend
QUALITY LIKE THIS IS HARD TO FIND  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I HAVE OWNED THE RF-2200 FOR ABOUT 3 MONTHS. IT IS ONE OF THE FINEST RADIOíS THAT I HAVE OWNED. I WILL BE COMPARING IT TO MY KENWOOD R-2000 FOR SW AND TO MY GE/RCA SUPER RADIO III FOR MW LISTENING. FIRST, LET ME MENTION THE THINGS THAT I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS RADIO, EVEN IF THEY ARE PETTY. 1. I WISH THAT THE LIGHT COULD BE TURNED ON AND THE RADIO OPERATED HANDS FREE INSTEAD OF ON A SPRING LOADED CONTROL THAT TURNS IT OFF WHEN YOU LET GO. 2. I WISH THERE WAS A POP OUT FOOT ON THE BACK SO THAT THE RADIO COULD SIT BACK AT AN ANGLE WHEN IíM USING IT. 3. WITH A HEADSET, IT IS MONO AND ONLY HEARD IN ONE EAR. (EASILY FIXED WITH RADIO SHACK MONO/STEREO ADAPTER, BUT STILL...). 4. NO EXTERNAL ANTENNA JACK. (AGAIN, A RADIO SHACK PLUG ATTACHED TO A SHORT WIRE WAS A QUICK FIX.) 5. IT DOES TEND TO DRIFT A BIT WHEN LISTENING TO SSB, BUT IF I WANT TO LISTEN TO SSB, I FIRE UP MY HF RIG. BUT I HAVE NEVER FOUND A SW RADIO THAT I LIKED TO USE FOR SSB. BUT THE 2200 IS AS GOOD AS I HAVE FOUND FOR SSB LISTENING.

FOR SW LISTENING, IT HOLDS IT OWN WITH MY KENWOOD R-2000. THE R-2000 IS ON AN 80 FT. LONG WIRE ANTENNA TOPPED OFF WITH A MAGIC WAND ANTENNA (PURCHASED ON EBAY FOR $20.00). MY RF-2200 IS USING THE PULL UP ANTENNA. SO FAR IT IS AN EVEN MATCH. SOMETIMES THE KENWOOD DOES BETTER, SOMETIMES THE 2200 DOES BETTER, SOMETIMES ITíS A TIE. I THINK THE 2200 HAS BETTER NOISE REJECTION.

FOR MEDIUM WAVE LISTENING, I THINK THE 2200 BEATS THE SUPER RADIO III HANDS DOWN. EVERY STATION THE SR III PICKS UP, THE 22OO DOES ALSO. THE RECEPTION IS CLEANER, WITH LESS NOISE ON THE 2200. PLUS THE TUNING DIAL IS MUCH MORE ACCURATE, SO YOU CAN TELL WHERE ON THE DIAL YOU ARE. ALSO, THE ROTATING MW ANTENNA IS A SUPER PLUS.

THE SOUND ON THE 2200 IS AS PLEASING TO THE EAR AS THE FRONT FIRE SPEAKER ON THE R-2000. I REALLY LIKE THE TONE CONTROLS BEING SPLIT BETWEEN BASS AND TREBLE. THERE IS A REALLY WIDE RANGE OF CHOICES TO MAKE THE SOUND PLEASING TO MY EAR, AND FOR ELIMINATING ANNOYING NOISE.

EVEN THOUGH THIS IS AN ANALOG RADIO, IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO CALIBRATE IT, (WHICH ONLY TAKES A FEW SECONDS ONCE YOU GET THE HANG OF IT) IT IS DEAD SOLID ON THE MARK ON THE BAN SPREAD DIAL. YOU DO HAVE TO CALIBRATE AS YOU GO FROM BAND TO BAND, BUT THAT DOES NOT BOTHER ME. ALSO, I LIKE THE BAND WIDTH FILTER. THE NARROW WIDTH IS STILL PLEASING TO THE HEAR, UNLIKE MOST RADIOS. I ALSO USE THE NARROW BAND WIDTH TO FINE TUNE STATIONS.

MY OTHER PORTABLE RADIOS ARE THE GRUNDIG G5, G6, KENWOOD R-600 AND SANGEAN ATS 818 ACS. WHILE ALL ARE FINE RADIOS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, NONE BEAT THE 2200 IN MY OPINION.


I HAVE USED THIS RADIO WITH MY SONY ANLP-1 LOOP ANTENNA AND THE RESULTS WERE SUPERB. I HAVE NOT HAD THE RADIO LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW ABOUT BATTERY CONSUMPTION. I AM USING RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES TO SAVE ON THE COST. IF YOU CHOOSE TO BUY ONE, BE SURE IT HAS THE CARRYING STRAP. THIS RADIO IS A LITTLE HEAVY AND IT WOULD BE AWKWARD TO MOVE AROUND WITHOUT ONE.

TO SUM UP, THIS RADIO IS A REAL PLEASURE TO OPERATE. IT IS MADE OF QUALITY MATERIALS AND REEKS OF QUALITY IN ITíS FEEL AND PERFORMANCE.
 
KA2AYR Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2010 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Wish I still had mine  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one of these as a teenager, I guess around 1976. At the time, shortwave was a hopping place and there was much to listen to. It seemed very sensitive compared to several other receivers I had at the time. Yes, the receiver is analog, but was quite precise as a consumer product of the day. Yes, I do remember it drifted and needed a course correction once in a while. It had excellent broadcast band reception with the rotatable ferrite loop antenna. Also had an on-board power supply and ran on D cells. Seems like there are quite a few on eBay.
 
BROADMEADOW Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2009 19:51 Send this review to a friend
My favorite  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio new in early 80's while in medical school. Since then I have acquired an Icom R71A table top, a Grundig 3400 Professional, a Sony 6800, a Zenith Trans-oceanic, a Sony 2010, and a Sony SW55 and still have all of them. The Panasonic is by far the least expensive of the bunch but has the BEST sound and is as sensitive a receiver as any. I agree if you want to listen to ham chatter, this is not the one, but for pleasant listening to general shortwave and AM/FM if you can get your hands on one of these units, this is about as good as it gets ...for real.
 
KB0XR Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2009 05:42 Send this review to a friend
Still have mine  Time owned: more than 12 months
I think I bought mine back in the 70's. It still performs well for me. I also have the accessory antenna tuner designed for it and it helps a bit with reception. I have a shack full of digital receivers/transceivers but somehow they just don't feel as nice as an old analog receiver.

I won't sell mine.
 
KB8DNS Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2009 20:36 Send this review to a friend
Awesome analog!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just picked this today at the monthly flea market at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville... Found in after most of the day went by and after a little haggling scored it for 16 bucks! I know some of the legend about this radio and even though it looks dirty and the battery compartment is filled with corroded batteries I wanted it. I know it is not a digital receiver with memories but I have a soft spot for analog rigs. Powered it up and the band switch is the worst, rocked it a few times and it receives! Listening now to NHK on 5960, (Compared it to my Alinco dx-70), analog readout is very close and the receive is super! FM and AM work fine too!
I am going to restore this fine radio and clean it up as best I can. This is going to be a fun project and the radio works well now! Just wait!!
There IS something about analog radios!

I'll post on the results.... 73 Rod KB8DNS
 
DARRYL34 Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2009 13:13 Send this review to a friend
It Is All Its Hyper Up To Be,And More,Really  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had owned one of these Panasonic RF2200's quite sometime ago(25yrs)as a rookie in my early MW/SW dxing days.To me,it didnt seem like much then,what happend to that old Rf2200,I cant remember.But,in thinking back about it,and other radios I've owned over the years,I decided to shop around to look for another one,and was surprised at all the so called hype,and prices they selling for,WOW!Did I miss out on something back then?Anyways,I ended up getting what I thought was a deal(it was)on Ebay.
The Rf2200 are going anywhere from $120.00 up to one at $400.00 just
recently,01/2009.Cosmetically,the one I received was from a reputable seller,and was in excellent condition.
As far as performance/reception goes it was,and is all its cracked up to be,and then some.The A.M. capabilities are superb,and re; a previous review,I agree,it is not only because of the gyro antenna as stated.This is just a small part of its superb A.M.performance.
One big surprise to me,is that none of the other previously posted reviews commented on the sw capabilities of this radio.The sw bands are really alive on this radio right off the whip,and in saying this,I am not meaning just the easy to grab stations.Adding a ground,and my 40' antenna make this radio a real sw dx contender.I have owned 30-40 receivers good and bad over the years,and this one is right up their with the best of them.
As far as the previous reviews giving this receiver a 2/5,and a 0/5,I dont get it?Perhaps their receivers have internal problems,or other issues,as I think this was the case with my old 2200 back in the day.
This Receiver was/is well worth hunting down,its a definate keeper ! Go get yourself one!
 
LW4DYI Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2008 17:09 Send this review to a friend
Medium wave master  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio deserves 5 out of 5 for its medium wave performance. Shortwave reception is very good (like the RF-2800, also from Panasonic), but medium wave, believe me, is fantastic. The gyro antenna is not the key of success, although it is very, very comfortable. That is, all medium wave capable receivers provide a ferrite-based antenna, so that is not a novel idea. The key is based on sensitivity AND selectivity values, both excellent. In other words, you will be able to bust not only weak signals: you will be able to do so in cases where you have a monster station at 10 KHz up/down. FM is also very good, but the outstanding feature is MW.
 
KI4RHC Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2008 18:48 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have to counter Counteract's review and zero rating, and say that I have absolutely no clue what problems he/she is referring to. I've owned three of these great radios over the years (I keep selling them to buy something else, and regretting it so I buy another). Never experienced drift even once! Backlash when tuning is another matter, there is a slight bit but once you release your hand from the tuning dial, the tuning DOES NOT DRIFT. A zero rating for this radio should ban someone from eHam. Sorry for this rant, but that is just too wrong and drops the overall rating which it doesn't deserve.
This radio is a real pleasure to listen to, shortwave sounds very good, MW is terrific using the gyro antenna to kill local noise and FM is really good, and very sensitive and selective, the best FM portable I've ever used by far for bringing in distant stations.
 
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