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Sony Corporation, Tokyo

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ICF - 5500 / Captain 55
ICF - 5800 / Captain 77
ICF - 5900
ICF - 6500
ICF - 6700
ICF - 6800
CRF - 160
CRF - 220
CRF - 230
CRF - 5090 /
Earth Orbiter
CRF - 320
CRF - 1
CRF - V21
shortwave reception
RTTY decoding
receiver list
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portable sets timeline
varia / copyright
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überarbeitet am 23.10.2010

In the field of consumer electronics, Sony managed to construct some miniaturized sets that became milestones of the development. Not only Sony's Walkman(r), the Camcorder(r), the Diskman(r) were very famous sets, Sony also supported the travelling shortwave listener with excellent sets. They covered the whole range from the miniaturized double conversion SW-1 to the large and heavy sets in the CRF-series, but Sony never entered the Amateur radio market.
The portable ICF-5900 W with it's double conversion design, a reliable dial combining a crystal calibrator and a linear dial with a 250 kHz segment around the calibrator centre frequency, and SSB reception using a BFO became very popular in 1976, it was soon followed by the legendary ICF-6800 W. This set, specially the later version with orange colour lettering, soon became the DXers dream receiver. With it's digital frequency readout, reasonable rejection of spurious signals by means of a preselector and two IF bandwidths, the ICF-6800 W was one the earliest portable rigs outperforming the bulky heavy hollow state receivers still relying on meins power supply. The CRF-320 was too large, too heavy and too privey to be carried around the world on trips; of the CRF-1 - a set resembling desktop ham receivers from Kenwood or Yaesu - only very few set's made their way to Europe.
Another milestone was the ICF-2001, Sony's first microprocessor - controlled fully synthesized double conversion receiver with it's direct frequency entry keypad and six (!) digital memories. The successor ICF-2001D / ICF-2010 with it's SYNC detector, which made automated single sideband reception of only one sideband of a AM signal available with pushing one button and with it's frequency display telling You the nearest 100 Hz of the reception frequency has been unequalled as travel portable set for many years. I still rely on this set for shortwave listening in my holidays despite of it's slightly bigger size. The later ICF-SW77 with it's alphanumeric memory channels and world clock timer did not catch up with the sensitivity of the ICF-2001D / ICF-2010.
Sony is still very well known for squeezing very advanced technology into a tiny cabinet: the ICF-7600D was the first synthesized double conversion receiver featuring fine tuning and SSB reception on the market, this model has been followed by a whole bunch of radios in the same pocketbook dimensions and superior reception quality. This kind of gear, is the one I would take on airplane trips.
In the last years, Sony produced even more mini - mini fully featured sets like the ICF-SW1 (double matchbox size) and the ICF-SW1000T with it's integrated cassette recorder, which is not much bigger then the box of an audio cassette itself.

Desktop Shortwave Receivers

CRF-150 (1968?): FM, LW, MW, 10 x SW (160 - 75, 60, 49, 41, 31, 25, 19, 16, 13, 11 m), FM/AM, (no BFO!),
analog dial, S-Meter, two IF bandwidths
CRF-160 (1969/70?): double conversion, FM, LW, MW, 10 X SW bands; FM, AM, SSB(BFO),analog dial
CRF-220 (1967?): double conversion, FM (88 - 108 MHz), LW, MW, 19 x SW (1,6 - 29,8 MHz), FM, AM, SSB(BFO), linear analog dial
CRF-230 (1968): double conversion, 2 x FM (64 - 108 MHz), LW, MW, 19 x SW (1,6 - 29,8 MHz), FM/AM, SSB(BFO), linear analog dial
CRF-5080 / CRF-5090 / "Earth Orbiter" (1972): single conversion, FM, LW, MW, 5 x SW(1,6-26 MHz), FM,AM,SSB(BFO), analog dial
ICF-5500 / Captain 55 (1974?): single conversion, FM, MW, 2 x SW (1,6-14,5 / 4,5-12 MHz), FM (VHF), AM, analog dial  
ICF-5800 / Captain 77 (1974?): single conversion, FM, MW, 2 x SW (1,6-14,5 / 4,5-12 MHz), FM (VHF), AM, analog dial  
ICF-5900W (1976): single conversion, FM, MW, 2 x SW (3,9-10 11,6-28 MHz), FM,AM,SSB(BFO), analog dial with crystal calibrator  
ICF-6700L(1978): double conversion, FM,MW,SW 1-30 MHz, AM,SSB, preselector, digital frequency display (1 kHz), 2 IF bandwidths
ICF-6800W(1978): double conversion, FM,MW,SW 1-30 MHz, AM,SSB, preselector, digital frequency display (1 kHz), 2 IF bandwidths
ICF-6800WA, orange: double conversion, FM,MW,SW 1-30 MHz, AM,SSB, preselector, digital frequency display (1 kHz), 2 IF bandwidths, later version with improved front-end
CRF-320A / CRF-330K with cassette recorder (1978): double conversion, FM,LW,MW,SW 1,6-30 MHz, FM, AM, SSB, digital frequency display (1 kHz), clock/timer
CRF-1(1978): double conversion, AM 10 kHz - 30 MHz, digital frequency display (1 kHz), AM,SSB, 2 IF bandwidths, preselector
ICF-6500W (L) (1982): double conversion, FM,LW,MW, SW (3,9-26,1 MHz), FM,AM,SSB(BFO), digital frequency display
CRF-V21 (1989): double conversion, FM, AM 9 kHz - 30 MHz, AM, AM-Sync, SSB, FM-n/w, digital frequency display, 350 memories, HF/NF- spectrum analyzer, RTTY/FAX - decoder, printer, clock

Desktop Receivers with Casette Recorders

CF-950S (1976): Receiver basing on the ICF-5900 with mono casette recorder
CRF-330K (1978): Receiver basing on the CRF-320 with mono casette recorder