Pan Crusader X
In the 1980s, a multiband receiver appeared that also covered the VHF ranges - as a „police communications radio“ its operation was illegal in Germany, which interested listeners twice as much. The set had a fame of having above-average reception characteristics, but this was far from reality.
- 490 x 320 x 185 mm, weight 6.2 kg
The Pan Crusader, manufactured probably by Standard under the designation NR-82F1, but also sold under the brand names Tokyo Crusader or Globephone GS8008 DX, is an all-wave receiver that was sold as an „export radio“ due to its coverage of numerous VHF bands and enjoyed some popularity due to its coverage of police radio and PSB radio bands.
Due to the less strict legislation, the receivers were more usually distributed via Switzerland; in this country, in contrast to neighbouring Germany, only the operation on illegal frequencies, but not the possession of the set was prohibited.
Due to the wide frequency coverage, the receiver was preceded by a fame as a receiver with which you can hear „everything“, this fame was also supported by appealing brochures - the reality of the reception performance was much different and not corresponding to the high prices still paid at online auctions by far.
The set's concept itself is weak and cannot compete with the performance of the later developed PLL synthesis sets.
The portable receiver with its plastic cabinet measures 49 x 32 x 18.5 cm and has a weight of 6.2 kg. It can be operated from 220 V AC or 8 UM-1 mono cell batteries.
On the left side of the front panel is the large loudspeaker, to the right of it the horizontal analogue frequency dials with the AM ranges at the top and the VHF / UHF ranges below.
Above the analogue signal strength meter is the green fluorescent display of the digital frequency display. Similar to the Panasonic RF-2800 or RF-2900, the frequency counter is not absolutely exact, the displayed frequency can be corrected with the „SW Calibrator“ control using the signal of a station transmitting on a known frequency.
The main switch and the switch for the dial illumination and the digital frequency display are located in the front panel area below the squelch, which is only effective on VHF.
Between the band switches for the AM ranges LW, MW, SW1 - SW4 and the VHF ranges 1 - 5 as well as the UHF range is the AM / VHF mode selector switch.
The controls below are only active on the AM ranges, the bandwidth switch NARROW / WIDE, the mode switch (USB / NOR (stands for AM) / LSB), next to it the concentric controls for the BFO and the RF Gain and the antenna trimmer. The main tuning knob is on the far right, below it the volume control and the separate controls for bass and treble.
The operation of the Pan Crusader / Standard NR-82F1 is straightforward, „Power“ and frequency display are set to „on“, the mode switch must be set to „AM“ and the band „SW2“ must be selected with the band range switch, the tuning knob can now be used to tune to 6155 kHz and to locate the strong signal of Austrian Radio Intl. broadcasting from Vienna.
For normal AM reception, the operating mode switch USB/NOR/LSB must be in the normal position, in an undisturbed reception situation, the bandwidth switch can be set to WIDE, and as the receiver often tends to overload, the RF gain may have to be reduced, and the antenna trimmer is used to peak at maximum signal.
If the signal maximum indicated by the S-meter does not does not coincide with the indicated 6155 kHz, the displayed frequency can be adjusted with the „SW Calibrator“ until the signal maximum appears exactly on 6155 kHz - the frequency stability of the ROI signal is much better than that of the Crusader's frequency counter.
The reception performance of the Crusader / NR-82F1 is far behind what the brochures from the eighties would let you expect and what would justify the price demanded and paid for the set at online auctions.
The selectivity even after selecting the narrow AM filter and the frequency stability both leave a lot to be desired, the receiver tends to overload already at medium signal levels, which cannot be reduced satisfactorily with the RF gain control.
The VHF ranges are not very useful, the Crusader has neither a search nor a memory function, which is necessary for band scanning. It can be used to monitor a single VHF channel, but in the context of digital voice encryption and trunked systems, there is not much to be heard on most channels - the best use of the set is to listen to FM broadcasting stations. The reception of aeronautical communications is almost impossible, since AM reception is not provided in the VHF ranges.
Thus, from today's point of view, the Pan Crusader and its technically related twins are generally overpaid collectors' sets with an outdated technical concept. A reasonable world band receiver with PLL synthesiser - and even entry-level scanners offer much more performance and the frequency coverage of the Crusader is not exceptional. The circumstances that a receiver covering the VHF ranges no longer has the odour of being illegal or secret, have caused the myth surrounding the „Crusader“ to fade.
Double conversion, digital frequency counter.
The set is semi-conductor equipped.