The PAN Crusader X, also sold als Pan or Marc NR-82F1 or Globephone
GS-8008DX, is a huge "quasi portable" wideband radio with a digital
frequency display based on a frequency counter.
The set has been used widely, as it did not only cover the common shortwave bands, but
also additional bands from the VHF Aircraft and police bands up to UHF.
In Germany, even possession of a set covering out of band frequencies was illegal
in the eighties and well into the nineties, You could risk Your set beeing confiscated.
That's why possession of such a radio was a thrill, and prices were respectively
In Switzerland possession was allowed, but You were not allowed to operate
the set on a frequency not officially allocated to public broadcasting - You risked
Your set beeing confiscated only, if the police caught You listening to e.g. a police band signal.
Also in Italy, the restrictions were not so strict, so a few of the sets have been imported
by Swiss or Italian importers.
Because of these sets have been banned by the authorities, quite often an above
average capability of capturing the faintest signals has been attributed to them -
the sub-standard sensitivity and selectivity quite often lead to disappointing
first contacts with shortwave reception.
The Crusader X with it's dimensions of 490 x 320 x 185 mm is equipped with a
carrying handle, but similar to Grundig's Satellit 3400 or Nordmende's Galaxy
Mesa, the receiver cannot be considered as beeing really portable - it's an
impressive desktop receiver.
The set can be powered from 220 V mains, from a 12 - 13,2 V DC source as
a car battery or from eight UM-1 / mono cell batteries.
It comes with three telescopic antennas, one each for AM/shortwaves, FM/VHF
und UHF and has a SO-239 / PL antenna connector for VHF/UHF and a simple
antenna/earth terminal for shortwaves at the rear.
The left part of the front panel is taken by the speaker, in the right upper
part You find the impressive horizontal dial for all wavebands and the fluorescent
frequency display with the counter calibrator.
Below, You find the squelch control and the main and dial illumination / frequency
counter switches at the left, the tuning knob at the right and in the middle
the selector for VHF/UHF and AM bands and the two rotary waveband switches. Just
below, the AM narrow / wide switch, the USB/LSB switch, the combined rotary
control for the BFO and the R.F. gain and the antenna tuner are located.
In the bottom row of controls, You find a headphones and switchable DIN tape
recorder socket and the rotary controls for bass, treble and volume.
For shortwave reception, connect the set to mains, pull out the corresponding
telescopic antenna (the set has a built in ferrite antenna for LW, MW and SW1),
switch the set on and adjust the volume control. The modes switch should be on
AM, the I.F. bandwidth switch on WIDE and the switch next to it on NOR. Make
sure, that the frequency counter is switched on (it can be turned off for reasons
of power saving and to avoid R.F. interference caused by the frequency counter
oscillator). The try to locate Your favourite station in the 49 m shortwave
broadcast band in band SW2 - tune to 6 0 7 5 kHz to find the signal of Deutsche
Welle from Cologne.
Usually, everything should be fine - but, the frequency counter's (like in the
older National Panasonic receivers DR-28/29 and DR-48/49) indication might
be incorrect, it might read up to 5 kHz or one channel off the correct frequency,
so if You are really sure, You are listening to a station on a known frequency,
think of correcting the displayed frequency with the calibrator. The signal
strength meter might be helpful to find the signal maximum, but usually the
Crusader X's signal strength meter reads very high. Try to tweak to signal
maximum with the antenna tuner ANTENNA ADJUST.
For reception of CW and single sideband transmissions activate the BFO and select
the desired sideband with the USB/NOR/LSB-CW switch, usually, LSB is used
in frequencies below 10 MHz and USB in frequencies higher then 10 MHz, most
utility stations use USB.
Performance on shortwave is mediocre and cannot compete with the performance
of e.g. the Sony ICF-2010D or a Grundig Satellit 3400 receiver, nearly all
tabletop receivers from Amateur radio companies (like Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood, JRC)
will give You far better performance. The major drawbacks are the wide I.F. filters,
the sometimes incorrect reading of the frequency counter and the receiver drift,
the radio drifts off a tuned frequency after half an hour of use, unattended
reception and tape recording is therefore not a realistic task.
For VHF reception, pull out the other antenna and set the mode switch to
VHF. On nearly all bands, where frequency modulation is used, the squelch
is active, turn it to minimum when not in use.
The squelch is not active in the VHF4 band, is this is the AM operated Air Band.
The sensitivity of the radio on VHF is poor, the set has to stay tuned on
a known frequency to monitor a utility frequency, e.g. the one of Your local
fire brigades, You mute the audio with the squelch, but You cannot use the
set to scan a certain frequency range. A few years after it's appearence,
scanners offering all these possibilities have taken the Crusader's place
in the shacks of the radio listeners.
The UHF performance is poor and You have no frequency display, so this
might only be used to monitor Your local 70 cm Amateur radio relay. Doing
this, You might remark another drawback: the set has only one tuning knob
and one dial pointer, in contrast to the Grundig Satellit or Nordmende
Globetrotter sets, You cannot tune to a frequency on shortwaves and the
switch over to Your local FM station on another point of the dial for the
news, the set has to bee retuned.
Overall: the receiver sold as PAN Crusader X, NR-82F1 or Globephone
GS-8008DX is a poor performer on shortwaves as well as on VHF and it's production
quality is substandard. It's huge, has no frequency memories and the frequency
counter on AM might read incorrectly, the receiver shows a significant frequency
drift - no a radio worth to spend to much money for. As the set was sold "For Export
only" in western Europe for quite a high price and has the reputation of beeing
a bit illegal, You find offers for a exaggerated price in online auctions
and even radio flea markets.
If You need a decent shortwave radiom get another one - and if You want to
monitor public services on VHF (nearly all of them have been replaced by
digitally scrambled trunked systems), go and get a decent scanner, there are
many of them around. If You only want to be remembered to those years, when
listening to the local fire brigade or taxi dispatcher was a thrill, the
Crusader X might still merit some space on the shelves of Your collection.