Panasonic RF-B65 / RF-B65DL
Manufactured by National Panasonic.
As a late successor to the RF-B60, Panasonic released the RF-B65 with SSB capabilities as a top-of-the-range travel portable around 1989. The shortwave travel radio is equipped with a PLL synthesizer and covers the shortwave range from 1615 - 29999 kHz.
- 198 x 118 x 34 mm, weight 0.6 kg
The PLL synthesized superhet is powered by four UM-3 / AA batteries for radio operation and two UM-3 batteries for clock operation and memory retention or from a centre - negative 6 V power supply; it has a keypad for direct frequency entry, 36 frequency memories and a clock with timer functions. The HOLD switch on the right-hand side of the unit locks all keys and tuning elements; the function, which prevents unintentional switching on in the suitcase, is indicated on the display.
With its dimensions of 198 x 118 x 36 mm and a weight of 625 g, the travel portable has roughly the dimensions of a paperback book. Similar to the small Sony travel radios, the RF-B65 also has a fold-out stand on the back, which allows operation in a slightly tilted position. The telescopic antenna is equipped with a ball joint and can be easily adjusted to a vertical position.
The left half of the front panel is occupied by the 6 cm diameter loudspeaker. The ON and OFF buttons to switch the unit on or off are located above, the button for the 60-minute SLEEP timer and, next to the red SSB mark, the switch for normal AM and SSB reception, from this switch you can recognize the difference to the older RF-B60.
On the right side of the front panel you find the LCD display, the numeric keypad for direct frequency entry, the tuning wheel and the UP / DOWN buttons for tuning.
The LCD display panel alternatively displayes the frequency with an accuracy of 1 kHz or the time, an LCD bar informs about the signal strength. Three buttons on the right of the display frame are used to switch between time & frequency display, select one of two time zones and activate the clock setting.
The flat tuning wheel is located at the right side of the display, with which the frequency can be tuned, it has a look and feel similar to Sony's ICF-SW55, a knurled wheel on the right face is connectet to the main tuning wheel and is sometimes more practical for tuning. A selector switch on the right face can be used to set the tuning steps to 5 kHz (FAST) or to 1 kHz (SLOW), or to lock the tuning electronically. A small knurled wheel on the right face of the set is used for fine tuning, which is essential for SSB or CW reception, for example. Alternatively, the UP/DOWN keys underneath can be used, longer pressure activates a scanning function.
Below the display, the keypad for direct frequency entry is located. To tune in a station on a known frequency, first press the FREQ key under the blue DIRECT ACCESS marker, then enter the frequency directly with the numbered keys, pressing ENTER makes the receiver jump to the desired frequency. Based on the frequency input, the unit automatically jumps to the longwave, mediumwave or shortwave range, and entering a corresponding frequency with a dot switches to FM reception without having to select the FM range first.
With the FM, LW, MW, SW keys, the unit jumps to the last frequency in the corresponding frequency range. The DIRECT ACCESS > METER key followed by the corresponding numeric key causes the receiver to jump to the lower edge of the shortwave radio band indicated in grey as the secondary function.
When the receiver is tuned to a certain frequency, this frequency can be stored in one of the 9 frequency memories per frequency range by pressing the M key followed by the memory location number, the number displayed in a field with yellow markings in the lower right corner of the display indicates the memory channel number. The memory can be called up directly by pressing one of the numeric keys.
The STANDBY SET key below the tuning elements allows you to program an alarm time at which the set will automatically switch on, STANDBY CANCEL deactivates the alarm function.
A number of controls are located on the right-hand face of the receiver: The knurled wheel for tuning, the switch for tuning speed, FINE tuning; the tone switch, the volume control and the slide switch LOCK which is used block all buttons against accidental activation in the luggage.
On the left face there is an antenna socket, the attenuator LOCAL / DX effective in the AM bands, and the sockets for the centre-negative 6 V power supply and the earphones.
The RF-B65 was the top model and the only SSB-capable pocket receiver produced by Panasonic. The reception quality is good and the unit has all the features expected of a good shortwave travel radio. Even today, the Panasonic RF-B65 fulfils the expectations of a traveller; however, it can rarely be found in good condition on the used market.
Double conversion superhet with PLL frequency synthesis.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.