Manufactured by National Panasonic.
In 1991, Panasonic presented the RF-B45, a travel portable capable of demodulating single sideband signals. The „little brother“ of the travel receiver RF-B65 is similar in dimensions and technical specifications to the legendary ICF-7600D from Sony. Those who know this receiver will also have no problems with the Panasonic RF-B45.
- 204 x 119 x 37 mm, weight 0.62 kg
Nearly in the same year, when Sony presented the ICF-SW7600, Panasonic introduced the RF-B45, a double conversion travel radio with SSB capabilities. The small set powered from four UM-3 / AA cells is based on PLL synthesizer technology and comes with a frequency entry keypad, 18 memories and a clock with timer functions.
With a size of 204 x 119 x 37 mm and it's weight of 620 g, the small travel radio has the dimensions of an average pocket book. Is has a fold out stand and the back like the similarly sized Sony sets. The telescopic antenna has a flexible joint and can be moved in vertical position.
The left part of the front panel is taken by the speaker with a diameter of 7 cm.
At the right part, you find the liquid crystal display, ten numbered keys for direct frequency entry, and at the right the UP / DOWN pushbuttons for tuning and the main switch. The LCD panel will display the frequency, in the long- and mediumwave ranges with 9 kHz channel spacing as commonly used in Europe, in the shortwave range in 5 kHz steps; also the memory channel number and a three step signal strength indicator is displayed. The time is displayed, when the receiver is switched off. Small pushbuttons next to the frequency display will activate the time setting (MEMORY/TIME SET), the wake time setting of the timer (STANDBY SET) and activate timing mode (STANDBY). The small grey keys will activate AM or FM operation of the RF-B45. The key FREQ will initiate frequency entry with the numbered keys, press ENTER to finish the frequency entry procedure and the receiver will be tuned to the desired frequency. By pressing ENTER/METER and one of the numberes keys, the receiver will jump to the lower edge of one of the common shortwave broadcast bands.
If the receiver is tuned to a certain frequency, this can be stored in one of the nine memory channels by pressing the button MEMORY/TIME SET followed by a number key. Press the same number key later again to recall the station from memory. By pressing the bigger buttons TUNING + or -, you can tune up or down from he active frequency in the shortwave band. The tuning speed increases, when you press the button for a longer time. The button AUTO TUNING activates a scanning mode stopping at the next active active channel with a carrier above a certain treshold. The pushbutton OPERATION with a green backlit LED will switch the radio on or off, use the key SLEEP to let the set play for another 90 - 60 - 30 minutes until automated shut off.
Similarly as found in the ICF-7600D, some controls are located at the set's right small face: the volume control and just below a small switch for tone (LOW/HIGH). The MODE switch in position NOR/FIX will activate 5 kHz tuning steps, in NOR/VARIABLE the small fine tuning control is active and you can vary the frequency to tune in signals in between the 5 kHz channel spacing (the exact frequency will not be displayed), SSB/VARIABLE will activate the BFO for the reception of SSB and CW signals, use the fine tuning control again to select the tone pitch. I think, this arrangement does remember me slightly to a set in our kitchen made by Sony…
At the left small face of the cabinet, you find the jacks for a center - negative external 6 V DC power supply, earphones, a tiny attenuator switch DX/LOCAL and an antenna socket (not for sets sold in Germany), a simple random wire antenna comes with the RF-B45.
As most of the buttons are self explanatory, operating the RF-B45 is not a difficult skill: When You turn on the radio, the button OPERATION is backlit green - yellow. Press the keys for AM, FREQ - 6 1 5 5 - ENTER, and you should arrive at receiving the signal of Austrian Radio from Vienna, at least as long as you life in central Europe. If this is not the case, make sure, the telescopic antenna is pulled out completely, the attenuator switch at the left face should be on DX and MODE at the right face of the radio in position NOR/FIX.
Shortwave performance is what you would expect from a decent shortwave portable: In comparison with Sony's travel radios from the '7600 series, sensitivity and readibility of a signal seems to me slightly better with the Sony's. The sound of my old Sony ICF-7600D has more volume and bass, the RF-B45 gives a more technical sounding reproduction, the faint signal coming from WWCR just above the 19m band is coming in slightly better with the Sony. With the more powerful signals of the European shortwave broadcasters, the quality is identical for the Sony and the Panasonic sets.
Of course, the performance of a used Panasonic RF-B45 is miles ahead of anything you hear from a cheap discount store portable from a Chinese manufacturer. In contrast to the older analog radios with only analog bandspread dials, you can tune into a known frequency with perfect accuracy and you are absolutely sure whether there is a signal and reception conditions are well or there is nothing, you are trying at the wrong time or poor conditions are the reason, you don't have to think whether you might have tuned a few kHz to high or to low.
The set performs much better then even the cheaper Chinese digital radios which usually come without a BFO for SSB reception and without a fine tuning arrangement to tune in to frequencies between the 5 kHz channel spacing - the RF-B45 is a real small „World band receiver“.
Double conversion superhet, digital PLL synthesis circuit.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.