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Reviews For: Swan Cygnet 270-B

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Swan Cygnet 270-B
Reviews: 15MSRP: 499.95
10 thru 80 meter HF tranceiver
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K3ATO Rating: 2015-11-01
Really fun to operate a rig which is almost 45 years old. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I was able to do a bit of horse trading at a recent Hamfest and ended up with a very nice Swan 270B. I've been getting great reports on CW and the receiver is very good, although when the bands are crowded it can be a challenge to hear a station which is not very strong. I do miss RIT and semi break-in but overall I am having a ball with this vintage transceiver. I get about 90 to 100 watts output into a resonant antenna and usually receive good signal reports on CW. I have not operated on SSB very often but when I do I normally get reports of communication quality audio with what was probably a CB handheld microphone. I think one of the most difficult things to do with the Cygnet on SSB is to get it exactly on the frequency of another station. I purchased a new Swan 350 in the middle 60's, used it for many years and had pretty good results with it, but always wanted to try a 270. The built in power supply allows the rig to fit almost anywhere. As with any of this vintage Swan transceiver the tuning procedure must be carefully followed in order to prevent damage to the final(s). I have had a lot of fun using this radio!
AD4DQ Rating: 2014-01-31
Great tube rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Swan really did a great job with thie rig. I owned one over 20 years ago, sold it then picked one up a couple years ago. I still use it daily and it is a hot performer. On transmit I get from 100 watts on 10 meters to 160 watts on 40 and 80 meters. The radio tunes up easily on all bands. The receive is pretty good for a radio made back in the late 60's. If you can hear them then you can work them. The VFO is so smooth on this radio and the dial is pretty and easy to read. You can easily find tubes for this radio and repair is simple as well. The only drawback is no sidetone or break-in for CW. It does a fair job on CW. This radio was released as a smaller rig for mobile use.... it does a great job for what it was built for. If you find one pick it up and you will have a blast working DX with it. I prefer this radio over many tubes rigs. It is alot of fun to operate.
NA7CS Rating: 2008-03-21
Great rig. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a fantastic rig for those of us that could care less about having the latest and greatest rig from the JA-PAN Company with all the bells & whistles.

For me, the radio is easy to tune, does not drift after warmed up for a few minutes, has fantastic audio on transmit / receive and is an overall pleasure to operate. An added bonus is, I can open it up and repair/replace components if needed. The pi-network on the final stage is very forgiving with high VSWR. I have tuned up on 75M into a >3:1 match and made several contacts. I then added my tuner and tuned for as close to a 1:1 match as I could. The other stations saw absolutely no difference in my signal. I would not even considering transmitting into anything over 2:1 with a transistor radio.

Place an Autek Research QF-1A filter in line with your audio out, and have filtering that rivals today's DSP filters built into modern rigs. CW is also easy, just flip a switch and go to town. If you are one of those that can not/will not do real CW and prefer to use a computer, just add the VX-2 VOX unit, plug your computer into the 270 microphone jack and your off.

Tubes are still plentiful, relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. Besides, once you have a spare set or two, you will be set for a long time. This radio will probably be operating long after I am gone. I recently had to replace two of the original 30+ year old tubes. For a whopping $5.00, my rig was put back on the air.

I personally could care less about having the latest and greatest radio with more menu functions than I will ever use, or chasing DX or contesters. I would rather enjoy rag-chewing with a great reliable classic rig. The DX comes over time, and is more enjoyable (for me) when DX joins just to chew the rag.
WB5LXZ Rating: 2008-01-28
Great Backup Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had four or five of these classic old rigs over the past 30 or so years. My Elmer introduced me to his in the late 1970's and I purchased it when he updated his station. Seems that I would buy and then sell them after a year or so. I used the Cygnet as a mobile, portable and fixed station.
The stability is excellent for a radio of it's age, and the VFO tuning is so smooth. The tubes are easy to replace if necessary, and repairs plus alignment are straightforward. The DC supply and VOX units simply plug into the back of the radio.
The most recent 270B I acquired was sent to a retired Swan Tech in Tuscon for a complete cleaning and overhaul....cost was $125, and that included a replacement tuning S-meter.
So.....I recommend as a backup and fun rig. Buy one and enjoy twisting the knobs and flipping the switches. They can be purchased for $100-$175, depending on condition.
N9OHW Rating: 2004-08-24
My first HF rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got this 3rd-hand when I was in high school in the 1990s. Was my first and only HF rig while I was an active ham. It was supposed to have something like 300W out, but never tuned up to more than about 70. The rig took about 15 minutes to warm up and stabilize, but was solid after that. The receiver was very sensitive, and the audio reports were always excellent. I think the bassy, full audio helped me get through some pileups in the past. I have nice memories of this rig while it still worked, and enjoyed starting ham radio with a nice old tube rig that I paid for with my own hard-earned high school money.
N5UV Rating: 2004-08-02
Great tube rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just got this rig at Hamcom in June 2004 for a mere $150 dollars. Wow, this is the best tube-only rig I've ever owned. NO receiver drift from what I can tell, great audio on the speaker. The tuning is definitely a little more complicated (carrier insertion and such), but not really hard after you learn it. I guess these used to be "mobile" rigs since the entire unit is self-contained (no separate PS units). I've been told that the audio is good, but I find that the Shure 410 hand mic that I have is lacking. Give this puppy a D104 and I'm sure it'll bust a pile up pretty good. I have yet to put this horse thru the paces, but I've had no problems with it yet.

Anyone who has connect PSK31 with this radio, please contact me at I want to know how you went about setting up your interface to work with it on a Swan rig. I have a guess on how to do it, but I'd like some advise on it first.

Either way, you can't go wrong with this rig...DL
AG4ZV Rating: 2004-06-23
GREAT RIG! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my rig for 18 years and I still prefer it to my other HF rigs. The Swan receiver is so sensitive and at the same time seems to be very selective. I enjoy the rich mellow sound that it reproduces.

I receive many fine reports from all over the world using my 270B. I have only replaced the final & driver once in the 18 years of use. My rig puts out 160 watts on 20 Phone.

I have found that it is best to allow the rig to warm-up about 15 minutes before tuning up.

If you are obtaining a swan 270b and are not familiar with the tuning procedures, please download the full manual and follow the tuning procedures.


KI0KM Rating: 2003-10-11
very stable rig with good power Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this 270 (not the "B" model) for over 7 years. This model has the AC/DC power supplies built in, with only a change of power plugs needed to switch between the two.
The rig is remarkably stable and quite sensitive, and has a SSB power output ranging from over 100 watts on 10 meters to nearly 150 watts on 80. CW output is internally limited to about 90 watts. I have worked dozens of DX stations with this rig,
and have come to expect many unsolicited reports of great audio.
The reviewers who reported instability, insensitivity and outputs below 100 watts must have been operating rigs either very worn, or in need of alignment
All in all, this has been a most enjoyable transceiver to operate, and is one I hope to use for many more years.
KC0QEV Rating: 2003-07-30
Great for starters Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just started out and don't yet have hf privilages but it sounds great and i can't wait to be able to use the transmit when i get my general, It is easy to use and is very stable, i can leave the dial on 14.295 and a week later turn it on and hear W1AW, It never drifts as it warms up so I find that retuning to a station i am listening to is not neccesarry unless it is by there rig drifting across the band.
I would recomend that anyone starting in the hf bands start with a tube radio, the Swan Cygnet 270B
W8OB Rating: 2002-06-20
excellant rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
all this talk of poor receive and drifty vfo's makes me wonder. I use mine from a cold start and have never experienced the drifty vfo on cw or ssb. the receive is super quiet and able to dig out the weak sigs, on 10 meters rx is down a bit but no big deal. If your into boatanchors and tube gear grab one of these if you get a chance you won't be sorry. puts out about 110 watts on cw does not have a lot of useless bells and whistles that one never uses and tunes up smooth
compared to the 350 and 500 models this baby is pretty stable. remember a real cw op does not need a cw filter to carry on a qso.. I purchased my first cygnet back in 1969 and recently grabbed onto another one, and I am glad I did.