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July 17, 2009

Comments

David

Ed... That's a nice looking radio!

Mike W

Clean radio, well-written review, jealous of the whole $52 thing.

I got a C. Crane twin coil ferrite antenna today and did a little experimenting myself. Had one before, but too long ago to matter.

It is too soon to pass judgement, but tried it directly connected to a Grundig Satellit 800, a BA Solo, a Sony ICF-SW7600GR.

WBBR 1130 from the NYC area about 175 south of me served as my early evening benchmark. Results were mixed, but you know what blew them all away? The old Panasonic RF-2200, which I have neglected of late.

I am still hanging on the old shortwave hobby by my fingernails, so SW reception mattered to me when I paid up for the RF-2200. Since getting it, however, I notice that I prefer to use digital receivers for what little SW I listen to. SW is simply not the RF-2200's strength.

So perhaps it makes sense to get one of the older Panansonic or Sony PSB radios for a cheaper price and use it as a mediumwave workhorse.

Kit

I liked your review of the RF-1115. I have the same one I luckily picked up at the Northrop (TRW) swap meet here in SoCal.

It's a great radio, but I have one problem with it. There is way too much free play in the tuning dial.
I took the back off and could find NO way to tighten the tuning dial assembly, no screw, nut or anything. Even if I were to remove the board/chassis I can't see where it would tighten.

If anyone has any tips or has had this problem fixed, I'd love to hear about it. It's still a great radio, but tuning is not as fun or easy anymore.

Thanks, Kit

Ed

Kit: Small world, I've been going to the same TRW Hamfest in RB for decades now. Recently I bought a GE SRII there for 10 bucks.
You might have a unit with a problem I've heard of in RF2200, 2600, 2800's--a stripped or broken plastic gear in the tuning mechanism. There's no fix for it, unfortunately. My 1115 tunes fine so far.

Bill Karda

I purchased an RF-1115 on Ebay a year and a half ago for $35. It had a lot of cosmestic surface scratches and no UHF loop antenna (but a small SW reel-in antenna pluged right in and I got great UHF reception). Electrically it was in excellent condition. I also own a Sony ICF-EX5 (bought new for $200 through an online japanese dealer). I recently compared both on a very low signal strength MW station in daylight. To my surprise, the 1115 pulled in a higher strength more readable signal! So, don't overlook this far cheaper radio if you want to do some nice MW dxing. A big advantage of the 1115 tuning dial is that it's not only linear, but its nicely marked off and larger in overall size than the cramped MW dial on the EX5.

Bill Karda

Further to my review of the RF-1115 on 8/16/09, here's a great trick I found for doing real nice FM Radio Dx-ing. Just fold down the whip antenna all the way down, and attach any reel-type wind-up wire antenna that has a standard 3.5mm jack at its end. Plug the reel antenna into the UHF jack. Then tune the FM dial slowly with the AFC off and reeling out some wire (5-6ft.). When you hear a faint signal, stablize it watching that great tuning meter on the 1115. Then, flip on the AFC and the faint station will jump to life, coming in loud and clear. For example, I live in flat Florida. Each night using this tuning/antenna trick, I'm able to receive a Jacksonville NPR FM station over 90 miles north of me (again over a flat terrain). I have a Redsun RP2100, and the RF-1115 not only has a higher FM capture ratio, but the Panasonic also sounds better. Don't ask me why you can get super FM reception from attaching a reel-type antenna to the UHF jack. Just trust me, it does the trick!

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