Racal came on the market with the RA-1772 in the year 1978: it's a commercial
all wave receiver with digital frequency display, a very similar set with
decadic switches instead of a tuning knob carries the designation RA-1771, this
version is better suited for fixed frequency operation then for bandscanning.
The RA-1772 is a communications receiver in a 19 inch rack design, it's dimensions
are 48,3 x 17,8 x 41 cm and it's weight 21 kg. It comes with an integrated power supply
for a great variety of voltages.
In the upper dark grey coloured part of the front panel, a small monitor speaker
is hidden behind a small speaker grille in the left upper part of the front panel.
In the middle, You find the switch for the thirty 1 MHz ranges, the LED display
for the kHz digits of the reception frequency (the frequency is indicated with
an accuracy of 10 Hz) and the signal strength meter at the right hand.
Below, You find at the left side of the big well balanced main tuning knob
the controls for the manually operated preselector RF TUNE, under certain conditions
it can be bypassed in the WB (wide band) position, which will result in a certain
loss of dynamic range. Next to it, You find the rotary controls for the two AGC
speeds and the tuning speed, for fixed frequency operation, the main VFO can be
locked. Below next to the headphones jack the I.F. gain to control the amplification
gain of the intermediate frequency stages and the BFO control.
The reception modes switch is located at theright of the main tuning knob,
use the AM position for the reception of standard AM / A3 signals and the position
USB+BFo for all A1 / CW signals. Only in this position and the USB position
for single sideband reception, You can select from all I.F. bandwidth filters,
there is only one I.F. filter available for LSB (lower sideband) reception.
In the positions ISB-U and ISB-L You can select one of the sidebands in independant
sideband mode. The suffix numbers and letters behind the model designation on
the typeplate will inform You about the installed I.F. filters and options,
You find the explanations in the user's manual or at the
radiomuseum.org website. The measuring instrument can not only be switched
to act as signal strength indicator, but also as an aid to tune the receiver
exactly to the carrier frequency, etc.
In the bottom row of controls, You find the main switch, the volume control
AF GAIN, a switch for automatic frequency correction which will lock the
receiver on the carrier of a transmitted signal, plus another headphones jack.
On the rear face, You find the voltage selector and the mains fuses, the
connectors for the I.F. and oscillator signal outputs (the receiver can also
set to operation locked on the input of an external high stability oscillator)
and the ISB intermediate frequency. The antenna jacks for 50 Ohms and long wire
antennas are BNC connectors.
The operation scheme is uncomplicated: just connect the receiver to the mains
outlet and connect a random wire at the long wire antenna input. Adjust the AF gain
control for a slight noise to be audible from the monitor speaker.
The RF TUNE switch should be on WB, so You don't have to bother with preselector
tuning, set the AGC speed to SLOW, reception mode to AM. USe the switch at the left
of the frequency display to select the desired MHz segment (e.g. "6") and use the main tuning
knob to tune to 0 7 5.0 0, You should be tuned to Radio Deutsche Welle from Cologne now.
In case, the reception frquency is not changing when You operate the tuning
knob, make sure, the TUNING RATE control is not set to the LOCK position...
For single sideband reception, select the sideband with USB or LSB, use the position
USB+BFO for CW reception and adjust the pitch of the morse code signals with
the BFO control. The set offers excellent narrow I.F. bandwidth filters to "cut"
that signal out of interfering stations.
The RA-1772 comes without some features known from amateur radio receivers
like passband tuning, notch filter and has no electronic frequency memories.
The RA-1772 is an excellent receiver for DXing and for bandscanning, You might
have a bit more work (or switch on another receiver with some electronic memories)
for a quick check of parallel frequencies, but nowadays, not very many broadcasters
still offer their signal on different parallel frequencies. The performance
on the shortwave bands in AM as well as in single sideband mode is excellent,
so this receiver can still ce recommended as a dedicated DXer's tool.