Sony Corporation, Tokyo
CRF - 220
überarbeitet am 23.10.2010
In the early seventies, Sony brought out their "giant" portable multiband receiver CRF-220; this pricey and quite heavy and bulky radio has obviously not been sold in large quantities. The CRF-220 is technically very similar to the CRF-230, but does only provide one VHF band covering the FM broadcast band - so it could be sold in Western Germany.
The Sony CRF-220 comes in the shape of a large and heavy portable multiband
radio, it probably is one of the largest and heaviest shortwave radios ever built
by Sony - aside from the CRF-320. The leatherette covered radio comes with a
rugged carrying handle and two antennas at it's top face, the detachable front
cover is equipped with a time zone calculator disc and a compartment for the
logbook and the user's manual.
The top third of the frontpanel is taken by the speaker grill with the oval
speaker of 8 x 12 cm diameter, all controls are arranged in the rows below the
frequency dial windows, in a bottom row, You find all necessary connectors and
some switches for less important functions.
In the middle window, You find the vertical dials for SW1, medium- and longwaves, use the resepective pushbutton to select the waveband an the tuning knob below to tune in to the desired frequency, the frequency marks are quite coarse and there is no fine tuning knob provided.
At the right, You find the frequency dial, the waveband pushbutton and the tuning knob for the VHF / FM broadcast band. In contrast to the CRF-230, the CRF-220 tunes only the standard FM broadcast band 87,5 - 108 MHzto avoid problems with postal admission.
In the bottom row of controls, You find the tone controls for bass and treble and the
volume control as well as the mains switch below the signal strength meter. Below
the volume control, the RF gain control is located, manual gain control is active,
when the button is pulled out.
On the rear, You find an antenna selector switch and screw terminals for LW-SW1, SW2-19 and VHF antennas.
The CRF-220's operation scheme in the LW, MW, SW1 and FM bands is mostly self explanatory.
Connect to mains (make sure to have selected the correct voltage), set the power switch to "ON",
adjust the volume, press the respective white bandswitch pushbutton and tune the set
until You can hear something. The set has two telescopic antennas located on the top face:
the left one is the AM antenna for shortwaves, at the right, there are two antennas
to be pulled out for FM reception. To unlock the antennas, press them in to unlock
an then pull the antennas out.
Technically, the SONY CRF-220 acts as single conversion receiver with an intermediate frequency of 455 kHz on long-, mediumwaves and SW1 and as double conversion receiver with a first i.f. of 1,6 - 2,2 and a second i.f. of 455 kHz in the ranges SW2-19, the U.K. version uses an intermediate frequency of 468 kHz. The band selector connects the linear 500 kHz VFO for the different shortwave bands. In the FM broadcast band, the CRF-220 acts as standard single conversion receiver with an i.f. of ZF 10,7 MHz.
The bottom line: the Sony CRF-220 is a collectors set only rarely found on the used market as it's catalogue price was exceptionally high. This technically quite sophisticated set will be surpassed by modern shortwave reeivers as far as shortwave performance is concerned by far, it it a good set for program listening, but it does not cover out of band listening and the tuning scheme is a bit old fashionned; so quick frequency checks are not made that quickly - but the CRF-220 is a great radio not only to be stored somewhere in a damp cellar or workshop.
© Martin Bösch, 12.2.2005