Panasonic / National Panasonic,
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Osaka
RF - 788 L

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Panasonic RF-788L
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überarbeitet am 21.10.2010

Panasonic's RF-788L dating from 1979 is an example of an early portable radio with two shortwave ranges, it says "bandspread", but in fact, the bands are still very narrow as the complete shortwave spectrum is covered by only two bands with a dial width of around 5 cm for each band.

Single conversion, 455 kHz

Analog dial,


FM, LW, MW, two shortwave bands 6 - 18 MHz

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB


Tuning LED

The Panasonic RF-788L is early example of a small portable travel radio, it's a single conversion superhet with the dimensions 176 x 113 x 32 mm and a weight of 500 grams.
The set covers FM, long- and mediumwaves and the 6 - 18 m shortwave range in two bands.

Behind the speaker grill at the left side of the receiver's front panel, You find a small 8 cm diameter speaker.
At the right side, You find a red glowing LED as signal strength indicator, and just below the horizontal frequency dials. Dial markings on shortwave are very coarse, finding a station on a known frequency is nearly impossible as e.g. the 49 m shortwave band taked up only about 5 mm on the dial.
The band is selected with the sliding switch just below the dial, a mechanicyl green sign indicates the active band on the dial. The ON/OFF switch is next to the bandswitch; below, You find two sliding controls for volume and tone control.

The tuning knob is located at the right small face of the receiver.

Panasonic's RF-788L is an early example of a portable little travel radio. You can use it to listen to some local FM or MW broadcaster, the bandspread on the two shortwave band is only rudimentary, so You can listen to shortwave stations, but it depends only from luck which station You are tuned to - if You concentrate on the strongest signals and know the voices of the speakers of Deutsche Welle or BBC World Service, You might find Your way, but if You intend to hear the signal from Radio Habana somewhere in the middle of a band, You will get lost between the stations in the crowded bands.
For me, the RF-788L is a nice example how Panasonic made it's way from designing home radios to special world band radios.

© Martin Bösch 17.7.2010