National Panasonic RF-1103

National Panasonic RF-1103

The RF-1103, also known as RF 1103, is a 3-band portable radio manufactured by the National Panasonic Corporation, at their Matsushita Electric Industrial facility in Japan. This vintage radio has FM, MW, and LW band reception and takes power from either three “C” sized dry cells, or AC mains at 240 V 50 Hz. In the late 70s, National Panasonic made many radios that were similar in style to this. There was the RF-1103DLBE, and RF1103VJB versions sold in different countries. The RF-1110LBE had a smart tuning meter and four bands, whilst the RF-1105DLBE had a brushed aluminium front and could receive in the short wave (SW) band.

This is a super-heterodyne receiver with the IF operating at 470 kHz. Consequently, the reception and sound quality is extremely high.

This radio is compact and it is surprising to see that the Japanese managed to achieve all the wizardry using approximately ten silicon transistors. If you are into designing and building radios, then here is a list of some of the transistors I spotted in the design.

  • C945
  • A564
  • C1359
  • D592
  • C1675

The 2SC1359 is a VHF Oscillator / Mixer IF Amp, and the 2SC1675 performs FM / AM, radio frequency (RF) amplification. If you like building single stage amplifiers, for your crystal radio, then these transistors will perform extremely well.

Left Side
Tuning Dial
Right Side

Secret Handle
Back View

Cost / eBay

This delightful little radio has good reception, produces high-quality sound even after all these years, and consequently it is a desirable item. These usually turn up a few times a year on eBay and there is usually an interest from radio enthusiasts and experts. If you are into building radios, or collecting pocket radios then this is a nice example to have in the collection.

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