Sony Corporation, Tokyo
CRF - 5090 Earth Orbiter
überarbeitet am 23.10.2010
In the USA, the portable receivers "Zenith Transoceanic" with a vertical turret tuner arrangement were very popular in the middle of the sixties; Sony's CRF-5080 / CRF-5090 receivers had some similarities with this design. In later years, many other far east manufacturers produced shortwave multiband receivers with a similar design but usually much poorer built quality and shortwave reception performance.
The portable multi band receiver with it's horizontal dial drum and the
band selector switch to operate the turret tuner at the roght small face has a
quite similar external appearence to the late Zenith "Trans Oceanic" radios.
The CRF-5090 can be powered from 110 or 220 V mains, from a car battery with 12 V DC (a special sony plug is used, the socket has two connectors for 220V AC and another two for the DC input) or from eight UM-1 mono cell batteries.
The telescopic antenna is mounted at the top face of the radio, near the caryying handle.
The top part of the front panel is taken by the horizontal frequency dial drum,
the band selector acting on the turret tuner mechanism is located at the right
small face. Small plastic pointers can be used to remember the location of Your
favourite stations on the dial, a red LED glows on the dial pointer, when the
signal strength of a signal is sufficient. At the right of the dial window,
You find a nice analog signal strength meter.
The operation scheme of the CRF-5090 is no thrills: Set the power switch in the
"ON" position, adjust the volume, select the desired band with the band selector
at the right side of the radio and tune to the desired frequency...
This task is not so easy, as the frequency dial resolution of the receiver is
quite poor, on each band, You might find several shortwave broadcast or amateur bands.
So guessing, listening to a spoken identification or an interval signal is the way
to identify a frequency. All receivers with a digital frequency counter are much easier
to tune, but this was the state of the art for a domestic world band radio when
the CRF-5090 was new.
In the AM bands, the CRF-5090 acts as a single conversion receiver with an intermediate frequency of 455 kHz, in the FM band single conversion with i.f. 10,7 MHz.
In summary: the Sony CRF-5090 is a collectors piece in a classic design similar to the
one found in late Zenith "Trans Oceanic" receivers. It comes with a much better built
quality then similar looking later world band radios from far east prosuction such
as different Koyo receivers.
© Martin Bösch 6.9.2008, transl. 14.11.2010