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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Panasonic DR26 Help


Reviews Summary for Panasonic DR26
Panasonic DR26 Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: European version of the RF-2600 which added longwave coverage (146-
405 kHz) and a built in preselector.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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KQ4O Rating: 4/5 Sep 9, 2018 18:08 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice Overall  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio for its longwave coverage and found a few pleasant surprises in using it which I hadn't expected.
First of all, I live in a condominium and had the usual RFI from neighbors. Running a wire antenna across the full length of the condo (35' then a bend of 10') brings in a lot of stations all over the HF coverage range. This was before we reached the current sunspot low which killed almost all HF reception. The external antenna was a huge inprovement over the whip, which is adequate but really, use a good length of wire. The RFI that killed reception on other receivers wasn't a problem with the Panny. I also tried a DR29 and that had the same resistance to noise. Don't know how they did it... The preselector can be turned off so comparisons are easy. It does a great job and I never experiences images showing up on HF. Really peaks signals. Like the DR29, the audio is a but muffled even with the wide filter, just a bit less so because it has wider filters. I use Telex Airman 760 headphones which have a frequency response for voice which fixes that problem, otherwise an external speaker with audio filters would work as well. Off tuning a little helps though.
FM reception is perhaps too good. Its a very sensitive receiver with display to XXX.xx MHz that pulls in tons of stations but with images interfering with some weaker distant stations. It actually tunes down to 86.7 MHz and I find it to overload with a few stations from higher up the dial here. It could be because I'm on the third floor so signals are stronger. Orienting the whip antenna does help some. Audio through the large 5" speaker is very good on FM. The RF-2200 is very good on FM but the DR26 is better overall, and has digital readout as well, but know that it's an analog radio.
MW is not bad at all, but the RF-2200 is noticeably better here, both rf-wise and ease of use with the rotating ferrite antenna. The preselector does not cover MW (the DR29 preselector does, and on longwave too). The DR29's preselector does make a difference on MW with peaking a signal over the DR26 and for MW that would be the better choice of receiver.
Where the DR26 is best IMO is on longwave. Coverage stops at 405 kHz, though. Very sensitive for hunting NDBs and the notoriously poor BFO is actually useful here, it helps you detect a carrier as you tune toward it and since you're only listening for slow CW tones (unlike SSB speech) it doesn't really need to be stable. Using the narrow filter and BFO works great for finding beacons, and here the emphasis on lower audio frequencies from the speaker helps with taming lightning crashes. I can DX for beacons all night and have no listening fatigue. The DR29 has a noticably harsher sound regarding these crashes, and the high Q preselector needs constant peaking when bandscanning but on LW doesn't really help much since signals are generally weak, unlike on MW where it cuts down on strong signals close to where you're tuning.
Overall this is a terrific radio, and well worth seeking out for both MW/SW/FM broadcast listening and DXing on all bands, providing you understand its limits. I kept this one and sold the DR29 because this one is better for my needs. If I wanted a MW specific radio the DR29 would be an excellent choice with very good LW/SW performance. FM is a bit behind the DR26, though.
 


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