Commander 6100 DS
Distributed by Bogerfunk.
The Commander 6100DS was distributed in Germany by Bogerfunk (a well known importer and distributor for amateur radio equipment) and was probably also sold under other names and brands. It is an inexpensive all-wave receiver, which seemed to be quite attractive due to the coverage of some „forbidden“ VHF frequency ranges and the favourable price, but it cannot satisfy the expectations in terms of performance. On shortwaves the set is almost useless…
- Principle: Single conversion superhet, IF xxx kHz / FM 10.7 MHz
- Frequency range: MW, SW 6 - 18 MHz, VHF 66-88 MHz, VHF 88-108 MHz, Air Band 108-135 MHz, VHF 135-175 MHz
- Frequency display: analogue dial, digital display 10 kHz !
- Frequency memory: none
- Features: two FM presets, squelch
- Sensitivity: AM (A3) / Selectivity: kHz (-6/-60 dB)
- Mains operation: 220 V
- 360 x 240 x 120 mm, weight 2.5 kg
The Commander 6100DS, which has some similarities in its appearance to the Sanwa 6090DF, is a cheap all-wave receiver that also covers some „forbidden“ frequency ranges in the VHF range, this fact helped through the appeal of the „forbidden“.
The portable receiver with its plastic cabinet measures 36 x 24 x 12 cm and has a weight of 2.5 kg. It can be operated from 220 V AC or six UM-1 mono cells.
In the upper part of the front panel, on the left, you will find the red digital LED frequency display, which has only an accuracy of 10 kHz even on the shortwave bands, so the value for shortwave reception is extremely reduced - the display is only useful because the calibration marks on the analogue dial are even more coarse and thus almost completely useless. Right next to the display is the very sensitive field strength meter and a push-button to activate the dial illumination.
On the right, there are the horizontal analogue frequency dials, another negative point is that the set has only one shortwave range, which is divided into two lines on the frequency dial, labelled SW1 and SW2. But in reality it's only one range and the band switch has only one position for the common shortwave range SW1/SW2, so more appearance than reality.
In the lower part of the front panel, next to the loudspeaker grill in the middle, are the knurled screws and rudimentary frequency dials of the two multi-turn potentiometers, which are used to preset two FM frequencies - similar to the Sanwa 6090 DF. The band switch and the main tuning knob with a concentric small knob for fine tuning are right next to it.
Below that is a row of switches, next to the main switch there are the switches for battery/mains operation, the frequency counter, the AFC and a switch for PA operation; the rotary controls for the SQUELCH, the tone and volume control are right next to it. In a bottom row are the jacks for the headphones (6.3 mm jack) and earphones (3.5 mm jack), the tape input and an external antenna.
In operation, the Commander 6100DS is simple: main switch on ON and for mains operation on AC, frequency display „DISPLAY“ „on“, the mode switch for the single shortwave band on SW1/SW2, search with the tuning knob around 6.15 or 6.16 for the strong signal of Austrian Radio from Vienna on 6155 kHz. In the FM broadcast band or the VHF bands, tuning is just as easy; in the AIR band, it may be possible to tune in to weather reports from the nearest airport. In the VHF bands, not much can be heard since the TV stations have left VHF range I in analogue mode and most of the „interesting“ radio services such as the police, fire brigade and rescue services have switched to digital trunked radio.
As only performance on shortwaves is regarded, the performance of the Commander 6100DS leaves a lot to be desired. At least a reading accuracy of the digital frequency display of 5 kHz or better would be a minimum requirement for use, and in addition the single shortwave range makes tuning very challenging as the stations are very close to each other.
I cannot comment on the quality of the VHF ranges.
In summary, the Commander 6100DS is not a performing shortwave receiver, despite its appearance, reminiscent of the sets related to the Panasonic RF-2800. The set at best fits into the collection as a documentation of „everything that was sold as beeing a world band receiver“.
Single conversion superhet with frequency counter for digital frequency display.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.