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March 27, 2010



Ed M.: Instead of saying these Panasonic radios were built very well to be enjoyed for "years to come" you could have made that "decades to come."
Reading Dan's description and your account of these sets and looking at the photos, it's clear that these tanks have the build quality and materials to go for the long haul. The fact that your Dad paid $200.00 for one of these radios----40 years ago----that does indicate that these were an investment for people who cared about their listening. It's now easy to say "In today's dollars, it would cost too much to make a radio like this." or "This is why you can't compare yesterday's radios to today's---we can't expect the same quality." etc. I disagree. Technology gets cheaper. A pocket calculator in 1975 cost over $100.00. Today, many pocket calculators are GIVEN AWAY as premiums/promotions----and they are far more sophisticated, and do more, than those from 35 years ago. The "guts" of today's STANDARD BROADCAST radios: transistors, "technology" has been paid for many times over. Materials? I can buy a chrome toaster oven which is all metal for around $35.00-$45.00. You mean to tell me a radio manufacturer can't put chrome trim and knobs on a decent quality vinylized plastic cabinet for under $200.00? Like anything else, it's a commodity. It's about profit. There was a competition in the late 1960's to build a better radio tank. Even the lower end players got into the mix, providing heavy duty rigs with very nice quality cabinets and trim---I know it because I've picked some of these up. You can do a clean-up like Dan did, and bring these to "almost new" standards in appearance. After some contact spray and a few hours of use, they work pretty much like new too. Contrast that with my Sangean CC radio and there is no comparision.

Radio Russ

Speaking of calculators: While working for DuPont Engineering Department I well remember the introduction of the Texas Instruments SR-50 scientific calculator in 1974. This was the first to have trig and log functions and sold for $170 back then. This was the holy grail for engineers and was highly sought after. Now you can get one that has more functions and is programmable to boot for under $20.

Dan Somers

I really appreciate the additional information you provided about the Panasonic RF-7270 Royal-Aire radio/recorder and its cousins. I'm enjoying my 7270 very much and can't believe how heavy it is every time I pick it up to move it.

I'm not surprised that the RF-7270 will consume batteries quickly if played loudly. The cassette mechanism's motor and the audio amplifier's power transistors (with heatsinks!) combine to pull several hundred milliamps from the five D cells.

Before your article, the only info I could find about these radio/recorders is in a photo caption at the top of page 75 of the February, 1971 issue of Popular Mechanics. If you're interested, click on this link and scroll down to page 75:


Yesterday, I was goofing with my Panasonic RF-1150 and comparing its AM performance with that of my RF-7270. Surprisingly, the RF-7270 held its own, even though the RF-1150 has a much larger, gyro-style ferrite antenna. I've got to do more testing before I'm convinced that the RF-7270 is as good on AM as the RF-1150.

Thanks again for your good work, Ed.


Anybody know where I can get a microphone for this piece of equipment?

Jeffrey M. Martire

Great article thanks. Jeff

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