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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Panasonic RF-1150 Help

Reviews Summary for Panasonic RF-1150
Panasonic RF-1150 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $125.00
Description: 1970s vintage analog portable shortwave/general coverage receiver.
Product is in production.
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KC0EKQ Rating: 4/5 Jan 4, 2017 00:01 Send this review to a friend
Typical Panasonic Goodness  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm a bit of a National/Panasonic junkie and my most used and best working/sounding analog portables are the RF2200 for its superb MW performance, and the RF2600 for its FM selectivity and smooth audio.

The RF1150, though, is almost as superb as the 2200. It uses the same flip-up directional Gyro Antenna as the 2200, and is a real delight to tune and peak signals or null unwanted noise and interference, and does so about as well as its big brother 2200.

If the noise floor in your area is about average (for a city, say), the difference between the 1150's sensitivity and the the 2200's would be damned near impossible to distinguish by all but the most astute radio fanatics.

In the country or less RF noisy areas, there is a difference in performance, with sensitivity and selectivity not quite matching the 2200; the lower noise floor makes it plain.

But with all that said, compared to other analog portables it's superb. Compared to today's digital offerings from Tecsun, CCrane, and other respected (mostly!) manufacturers, it outshines on MW in sensitivity, selectivity and even audio performance.

It is not a SW powerhouse, though it is perfectly capable of clean, pleasant sounding program listening across the HF band. There is a BFO and a fine tuning thumbwheel but SSB/CW performance is no better than it is on most high-end multiband portables of its day -- stronger signals are easier to tune, but it's quite drifty and requires fairly constant twiddling with the fine tuning to keep signals readable; it tends to be fatiguing after a short time.

On FM it is almost as good as its Panasonic relatives from that time, in fact coming quite close to the FM performance of the RF2600 and 2900. Perhaps a bit hissier, and not quite full quieting on some weaker signals. But it is about as selective as those other radios, to be sure.

There is a switchable band of 'CB' reception, which performs, I suppose, as it ought to perform -- most CB audio is scattershot and of poor quality and the 1150 clearly reproduces the bad and the not as bad on 27 MHz. If there is a strong, nice sounding signal to be heard, it will sound just as nice... as unlikely as that may be, ten-fow-ur break-break.

The tuning meter is a little tough to read for my middle-aged eyes, and the dial lighting is its one real failure -- I'll never understand why any radio manufacturer thinks dim, un-directed lighting is remotely acceptable -- and it is not the easiest dial to read in the dark, though it certainly lights enough to read. It's just tiring to the eyes. I am thinking of swapping the lamp for a warmer white LED or simply stronger, brighter grain of wheat bulb.

Its ergonomics are fine to me, smooth and natural -- the layout is sparse and uncluttered, with a beautiful brushed aluminum surface accenting each switch and knob clearly. About the only real not-so-ergonomically friendly feature is the fine tuning thumbwheel but since SSB performance is so poor anyway, I never need to deal with it.

At the moment, it seems the RF1150 is fairly common on the used market, and if not common then nearly so. I happened to find mine in a flea market for $15 and for that it is a steal of steals. But I have seen clean, good condition units going from $60 to $100 these days, and I would have no issue paying such prices... but any more than that and you're moving into better radio territory, with one of the finer RF relatives being more desirable at such prices.

But at its average used price point, the RF1150's performance is more than commensurate and I think any analog AM junkie would have a fantastic time with this radio in their arsenal.
CARMEN Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2010 00:49 Send this review to a friend
great sound, clean design  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
AM 160 and 80, audio quality is 'standing right next to you' grade. a bit wide on BCB, 10KHz hets abound.

mine was sold "broken" but only the BFO seems to not work. probabaly just gunked up switch. a steal for twenty dollars

fine tune is an extra bit of capacitance that spins you through about 20 khz, but getting to the right place on the dial can be tricky, given the broad resolution

'mpx out' and 'rhythm in' are basically linein/lineout, so you have a kickass ipod dock with shortwave
KA2SHU Rating: 4/5 Apr 20, 2008 20:48 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Portable Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two examples of this portable radio that my evaluation will be based on. Before anything else is said, it is important to note that this radio was not designed to be a ham radio SSB receiver. It has MW and FM along with general coverage SW from 1.6MHz. to 30 MHz. The radio's strengths are as follows:
1) Excellent to outstanding MW reception through the use of a collapsable rotatable loop antenna.
2) Rich full sound via large speaker. The powerful audio can be altered with bass and treble controls.
3) Almost small enough to be considered a travel radio.
4) FM band is very sensitive and sounds terrific.
5) This radio has an clock timer with auto shut-off making it especially suitable for bed side use.
6) The radio has its own built in power supply and does not consume batteries at a rapid rate.
7) The radio has a CB band spread band for those who enjoy 11m.
The following comments are listed that would keep this radio from being a five:
1) The tuning indicator film is small making it difficult to read through its little window.
2) The dial lamp is very dim making night time use especially difficult.
3) The radio's BFO is weak and non variable making it a trick to tune in an SSB signal.
4) The radio's tuning meter reads in reverse. Strong signals are recorded as deflections to the left.
5) The fine tuning control as expected is very broad on MW and extremely sharp at 25M or higher.
6) The SW sensitivity is just adequate given the fact that it's a single conversion receiver.
Concluding, I must say that this radio admirably does what it was designed for given the time of its production. With the usual Panasonic sound quality and superior MW reception, it is a winner.

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