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Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Panasonic RF-2900 Help

Show all reviews of the Panasonic RF-2900

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SCOWL  Rating: 3/5 Jun 8, 2013 21:32  Send this review to a friend!
A pretty good receiver back in the day  Time owned: more than 12 months
My RF-2900 is almost useless right now. The complicated bandswitch is the weakest point of this receiver in the long term as it will fill with dust and stop working with no easy repair. The bandswitch on mine was left on FM for too long and is now is stuck on it making it an FM-only radio.

But back when I bought it when it came out, it this was quite a dream receiver. I was able to receive lots of hams all over the country with just the whip antenna and receiving any shortwave broadcast was easy. It worked great as a table top receiver and as a serious DX machine when connected to a real antenna. There are complaints about SSB performance but I don't recall ever having trouble understanding anyone with the BFO. The selectivity was very good and MW performance was great. The big speaker gave great audio (and mine still does as an FM radio). There is even a MPX output for those who wanted to decode FM subcarrier services.

Drift? Of course it did unless you kept it on all the time. Electricity was cheap in those days!

The receiver has great looks with rack handles (as if you would rack-mount it!) for easy carrying. All the knobs are black with silver trim. The power switch moves too easily but with six D cells, this never killed my batteries.

The "analog" frequency display is mostly useless and is now horribly out of alignment but does show the amateur and shortwave broadcast band in case you forgot where they were. The big tuning knob has push/pull tuning speeds and felt perfect until the gears aged and everything got tight and squeaked. Since all of these gears are deep under the main receiver board and built into a plastic container, it's quite a project to lubricate or realign the tuning mechanism. This is probably the receiver's second long term flaw.

Of course the big selling point of the RF-2900 was the bright blue fluorescent digital display. This was a futuristic feature at this price point even if it only displayed an approximation of the actual frequency -- there's an SW CAL control to align it which you had to do whenever you turned it on or switch bands. The analog band dial even reminds you where to find WWV which was a subtle hint that you needed to set the SW CAL before tuning a frequency. Since the highest band starts at 16 MHz, this didn't work very well unless you could pick up WWV at 20 MHz.  
Product is in production.
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