Sony Corporation, Tokyo
ICF-5500 M / Captain 55
überarbeitet am 23.10.2010
In the seventies, Sony presented several shortwave travel radios with a
"military" style appearence and a typical square cabinet, the ICF-5500M / Captain 55
as well as it's bigger brother ICF-5800 / Captain 77 were both single conversion
analog receivrs. The ICF-5900W had a similarly shaped cabinet but a completely
different circuitry and was a double conversion superhet with a crystal marker
and a linear interpolation dial.
In the seventies, several multi band receivers with a somewhat "Army look"
had their appearence, on of them was Sony's ICF-5500 / Captain 55.
As found in other early Sony radios, the layout of the front panel controls
is somewhat extraordinary: The speaker grill is located in the bottom part of the front panel,
in the top part, You find a sliding control to adjust the volume, two rotary controls
for bass and treble and two switches for loudness and dial illumination in the
left upper corner.
At the top face of the receiver, You find the telescopic antenna that pops
out of the cabinet when You press the antenna release button. Next to it the
main ON/OFF switch, the control for the 60 minutes sleep timer and two switches
to set the meter to indicate signal strength and battery power and as AFC (FM)
and DX/LOCAL switch on AM.
The Captain 55 designed as a travel portable is nowadays too bulky to be taken on airplane trips, but it still finds good use as a home radio in the kitchen or workshop or in a holiday appartment. FM and mediumwave performance is good, shortwave reception is mediocre: You can of course listen to strong signals on the shortwave bands but the dial marks are too coarse to identify a frequency correctly or to tune in to a station on a certain known frequency and to be more or less sure, You monitor the correct frequency, if the signal is strong enough. There is no BFO to monitor CW or single sideband amateur radio communications.
© Martin Bösch, 26.3.2009