Panasonic / National Panasonic,
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Osaka
RF - B 45

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überarbeitet am 21.10.2010

In 1991, Panasonic presented the RF-B 45, a travel shortwave radio with SSB capabilities. The "little brother" of the RF-B 65 is very similar to Sony's legendary ICF-7600 D, anybody knowing that receiver, can easily operate the RF-B 45 without problems.

Double conversion,

Digital display, resolution 5 kHz, analog fine tuning


UKW, LW, MW, KW 1,6 - 30 MHz

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB


three steps signal strength indicator, attenuator

18 memories (of them 9 FM, 9 AM)

Nearly in the same time, 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 digital 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; You find also the memory channel number and a three step signal strength indicator. The clock is indicated, when the receiver is switched off. Small pushbuttons next to the frequency display will activate time set (MEMORY/TIME SET), the wake time of the timer (STANDBY SET) and activate timing mode (STANDBY). The small grey keys will activate AM of FM operation of the RF-B 45. The key FREQ will initiate frequency entry with the numbered keys, press ENTER to finish frequency entry 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 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. S 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 Min. until automated shut off.

Similarly as found in the ICF-7600D, some controls are located at the set's right small face of the cabinet: 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 thze small round fine tuning control is active and You can vary the frequency slightly to tune in signals in between the 5 kHz channel spacing (frequency not indicated in the display), 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 (nor for sets sold in Germany, a simple randow wirde antenna comes with the RF-B45.

As most of the buttons are self explanatory, operating the RF-B45 is not a real skill: When You turn on the radio, the button OPERATION is backlit green - yellow. Press the keys for AM, FREQ - 6 0 7 5 - ENTER, and You should arrive at receiving the signal of Radio Deutsche Welle from Cologne, 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 gibes 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.
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, and wrong time or poor conditions are th reason, You don't have to think whether You might have simply 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".

© Martin Bösch 17.7.2010