Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Another Deal, The Panasonic RF-565
Last Sunday's flea market jaunt brought another great bargain. There, sitting on a table in the sun was a Panasonic RF-565 amongst some other junk. Price: $1. It was dusty, its aluminum trim was dull. But nothing seemed broken, and the telescoping whip was still intact and straight. The dial mechanism felt tight and worked well. The volume control was intact, and not loose. There are possibilities here, I thought.
This little portable was built in the late 1960s and has a 3-inch loopstick MW antenna, ten transistors, and a little two inch speaker. It is battery operated off of four AA cells, but it also has the ability to run off the 110 volt mains. Forgetting my spare batteries to try it out, I forked over a one dollar bill and headed home with fingers crossed.
First off, to plug it into the 110 volt service. It works! Volume control was very scratchy. Tuning fine. AM stations came in across the dial, not strong, but I am inside a house with a lot of line noise. I opened the battery compartment. The battery holder was intact. One of the springs had a little bit of rust on it, easily fixable. Using a Phillips screwdriver, I pulled the back off the unit. It was very clean inside, a surprise. This unit was made to be serviced, as both the whip antenna connection and battery holder connections were unpluggable from the main board.
I gave the volume control a shot of cleaner, including the slide switches. Replacing the back, I then cleaned the rusted battery spring, and installed four fresh AA batteries. Switching the front panel switch to battery power, I turned on the '565. Volume control and switches now operated static-free.
Sensitivity on the RF-565 is good, better than average. Nulling is poor, and most of my ultralights have better nulling ability for some reason. Complete with tone control switch, plenty of sound is available out of the little speaker. And it even has a headphone jack. The AM band only covers 540 KHz to 1610 KHz, so the x-band will not be usable on this radio. No matter. This will be a great little portable to take to the beach or the mountains camping.