This popular Panasonic portable from the 70's is considered by many to be one of the best analog portables and remains a favorite for MW DX'ers today. The radio is labeled as "8 Band Model No. RF-2200, Short Wave Double Superhetrodyne." The nearly all-black radio tips the scales at nearly 8 lbs. (with batteries installed) and measures approximately 12"W x 8"H x 4"D. A handle strap facilitates the movement of this hefty receiver.
The shortwave bands are broken up into six band segments. SW1 = 3.9-8 MHz; SW2 = 8-12 MHz; SW3 = 12-16 MHz; SW4 = 16-20 MHz; SW5 = 20-24 MHz; SW6 = 24-28 MHz.
Coverage holes on the RF-220 are from about 1.7 - 3.9 MHz and 28 - 30 MHz.
Panel Layout - Left Side
Panel Layout - Right Side
The signal strength/battery life meter is located directly to the left of the dial. Like other Panasonic offerings of the day, the meter reads from right to left. A bank of 4 switches are located directly below the meter: FM AFC on/off; Bandswitch wide/narrow; 125 kHz crystal marker; 500 kHz crystal marker/calibrator.
Underneath the tuning dial is a fast/slow switch which enables the user to control the tuning speed of the tuning knob.
Side of Radio
Side of Radio
AM/MW - Tuning is straightforward. A nice feature of the RF-2200 is that spacing is "even" across the band. A lot of analogs have wide spacing in the lower part of the AM band and then cram the upper segment frequencies very close together. Not so with the RF-2200. The dial is marked every 100 kHz (i.e., 600, 700, 800 ). Every 20 kHz has a hash mark on the dial.
FM - Straightforward tuning. The dial is marked every 2 MHz (i.e., 90, 92, 94 ). There are 8 hash marks between each 2 MHz marker.
SW Tuning - For an analog, it's darn good. The main tuning dial has a numerical marker every 500 kHz (i.e., 6.0, 6.5, 7.0 .). For more accurate tuning, Panasonic provided a 1000 kHz bandspread dial just above the tuning knob. By using the 500 kHz calibrator switch, you can accurately set the SW bandspread dial as you change bands. The 125 kHz marker can show you how close you are to be calibrated as you tune around. I find the system to be quite accurate. On the main tuning dial, approximately 5/8" of dial space is allotted for 1 MHz of tuning. The major SW bands are marked on the dial.
AM/MW - Outstanding. The RF-220 was a prime MW DX portable in its day and is still prized by those who chase signals on the MW band. Excellent selectivity even in the wide filter mode. The gyro antenna system is superb for nulling/peaking signals.
SW - Very good for separating and copying SW AM signals. The excellent audio makes reception of SW broadcasters a pleasure. For reception of sideband and cw, I can only give the RF-2200 an average rating. If Panasonic had provided a fine tuning control, it would have made this a lot easier. I find that sideband/cw signals drift and the main tuning backlash makes it a chore to tune them in initially. You wouldn't want the RF-2200 to be your main receiver for sideband/cw reception.
An easier to read dial would be nice but at least the black print
on the white background helps. Also, as mentioned previously, a fine
tuning control for better sideband/cw reception would have been nice.
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