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

Reviews Summary for Panasonic RF-2900
Panasonic RF-2900 Reviews: 7 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $200-250 New -$150-190 Used
Description: This is an upgrade to the 1978-79 panasonic RF-2800 that featured an additional blue fluorescent digital display. Frequency Ranges: .525-1.61, 3.2-8, 8-16 and 16-30 MHz plus FM.
Product is in production.
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BROADMEADOW Rating: 4/5 Feb 6, 2016 07:29 Send this review to a friend
Nice backyard radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently got one that needed some cleaning off e-bay for a $100 and am very pleased. It is fairly similar to my RF-2200 but has the digital display and rack handles which are quite handy while just sitting outside, tuning while holding the radio in my lap. It has a nice sounding speaker and the feet on the bottom add to it's stability on a countertop.
K5SUR Rating: 4/5 Jan 31, 2015 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Good radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just picked this off Ebay for 150.00 dollars and when it arrived it was just like new. Clean and only needed a little squirt of cleaner on the band switch. Great AM reception, just keep it away from the computer. FM is pretty darn good too. Same applies to SW, great reception throughout the bands even with the antenna retracted. My digital read out is right on the money. This is a really nice radio.
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.
KA2SHU Rating: 3/5 Dec 28, 2008 08:08 Send this review to a friend
Nice AM/FM/SW portable  Time owned: 6 to 12 months

Excellent clean audio in the Panasonic tradition
Very professional looking
Extremely sensitive FM band
Reasonably good battery life
MW sensitivity is excellent
No rotating loop antenna so the radio must be turned to optimize a DX station on MW
The analogue dial is not the easiest to read
The digital frequency counter must be re-calibrated as you change from one band to another
The provisions for an SW external antenna are the slide lock type and are combined with the FM. This is a questionable arrangement.
While SW sensitivity is adequate, there are many crash through signals in the 16-30MHz. band.
Stability is very poor making SSB reception a real challenge. There is no user control for the AGC. The detector on SSB has a miserable note and the BFO is highly unstable. The tuning backlash causes much of the radio's instability.
The band switch is another cause of instability as well. After you change bands while listening to an SSB station, you will not necessarily return the the previous frequency. Repeated cleanings did not change this.
RK3BU Rating: 3/5 Dec 1, 2007 10:11 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Design only !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Excellent Design only!Becomes very good audio if to encreese AF capacitors between AM detector and
sound amplifier.Sencitivity is high enough,wich makes it to receive on SW close situated TV broadcust harmonics on full s-meter scale.The first maine oscilator,that tunes the stations has reepling tone wich makes SSB reseption unpleasant,don-t speak about stability.Almost all
analog radios are unstable.I love analog radios.
The SONY's ICF-5900W tone of main tuning oscilator has much much better,even musical tone.
The common noise floor is better,then SONY 5900W thanks to HF amp.The idea came,to change total
inside contens to R-1000 of Kenwood!There is a big lot of free space inside left for us.
My conclusion:Exellent MW receiver,coud be used for SW reception,all with good sound quality,a lot of free space inside,exellent design,
SSB is "moscito" type without AGC at all,wich overloads the SSB detector.
RF2900 Rating: 4/5 Apr 1, 2006 17:36 Send this review to a friend
good with an easy mod  Time owned: more than 12 months
i bought the 2900 new. there was a magazine ad for a collins mechanical filter on it's own board.i got the 2.9. great for am dx. an easy and free mod is to take the back off and push the rubber drive belt off the analog dial pullys. this leaves the didital readout only. it is gear driven. the frequency drifting problem is cured.i love analog radios but not frequency drifting. the audio on ssb can be quite good. i enjoy all radios from cheap to expensive. if you need more features like passband tuning or notch, spend more money. i have got a lot of hours of enjoyment from this one.
N8GTX Rating: 4/5 Aug 17, 2005 00:52 Send this review to a friend
Nice clean portable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Nice big radio with digital tuning. The digital display isn't a freq counter. If the radio isn't aligned on freq properly it will read off. Radio has a clean big sound to it and is fairly sensitive. No problem listening to 80m amateur stations at night with the BFO and whip antenna. It's a little touchy with the cogged belt driven tuner (suffers tuning back lash). The analog dial scale isn't easy to see nor is it accurate. Makes it somewhat useless in my book.

Over all the radio is a nice back yard portable for those times you kick back and want to tune around the globe. Communications receiver it isn't nor was it intended to be. I will add this, if your into FM BC band DXing, this would make a nice DXer. The FM reception with this radio is outstanding! Very sensitive & selective in that band.

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