Look Inside This Radio Receiver! The Collectible Panasonic RF 4900.

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“Everyone and welcome to another episode of mr. Carlson s lab. Today. We re going going to take a look inside a future restoration which is a panasonic rf 4900 receiver.

Very collectable receiver should be a very fun restoration lots of alignment points inside this thing is going to be quite the beast to a line in the near future at any rate. Let s take a look inside here is the very handsome looking panasonic rf 4900 communications receiver and as you can see it s a pretty large receiver takes up a big chunk of my desk space. And it does have a no fair amount of weight to it for a solid state receiver now it s nowhere near as heavy as a raquel or colin s or national receiver. Something like that but for a solid state receiver it does have a fair amount of weight and they give it some really nice handles to move it around these receivers have quite a following and when they do work they do work very very well if you re thinking of purchasing a receiver.

Like this the tipping point of where you should possibly go okay. I better look around still would be that vacuum fluorescent display or vfd on the front here so if the vfd is broken missing or burnt out that s kind of where you re gonna want to really think about it because this is a component that really isn t all that incredibly easy to find if the unit doesn t power up and nothing turns on chances are that s going to be an easier fix than finding a vacuum fluorescent display or if these don t light up or anything like that it doesn t make sound in the repair. Man s world or technicians. World that s not too big of a deal if the vacuum tube.

Which is the vfd here is burnt out or weak or broken. You re not gonna be having a digital display so unless you can find a part to unit or a donor or something like that you might want to keep on looking now when i went to go get this receiver. I wanted to see if at least the thing even receives anything so i ve created a thing in the past and i use this for audio troubleshooting and everything. And i ve released this this is another one of my inventions or creations.

I ve released this on patreon. It s called the cncs ip or carlsen non contact signal injection probe. So it s the opposite of the super probe the suit provine signals. This thing will inject signals into nearby components.

So if you re doing audio troubleshooting or something like that or if you want to test out a receiver it looks kind of like a magic wand. And i ll give you an example here so. When i showed up to to pick this thing up. I came with this thing right here so i ll just focus in on this.

So. This is the cncs ip. So this is the head unit as you can see it s just made with off the shelf parts. This is a disorder and pro band and this is the unit here that sends a signals out so what i ll do is i ll turn this on i ll turn on the receiver on first here turn this thing on and i ll just put this off to the side focus back on the receiver.

Here. There we go and turn the volume up and as you can see is all the switches are dirty is very common for this no one ten hooked up or anything he just wave. This thing around you can actually find out where rf would leak through the panel in the front singing tellers good shielding over here not so good shielding here. Really open here really really open here so anyways.

I can tell that it s receiving just by doing that very handy little tool. This works for audio as well to just use this in audio. Circuits and you can inject signals right into components. Without even coupling into them you just put this near the component.

And it ll put audio right into the component. It s a very handy tool to have i use this thing. All the time this is just another one of my creations that are it s up on patron that i m sharing with everybody so all the plans and everything for that are up there to build them at a rate so back to this thing here so the receiver. It appears to be working the display lights up the vacuum fluorescent display is working and that is a huge bonus.

And it s nice and bright as you can see now one of the things that i kinda don t like about this is you can see it only lights up the window of use so if i move this around you see it lights that one up now. But this one shuts off and it kind of really takes away from the look of the receiver..


So what i d like to do i ll just turn this down so what i d like to do is i d like to have both windows lit up a certain color and the one in use would be highlighted maybe by a different color and then when you switch it it would just move back and forth. And that way the whole front of the radio receiver would stand out if this is supposed to have a dial ight which i don t know at this point. It s definitely not working so there s if this is supposed to be backlit and that would have to be fixed. So.

If you have any ideas for the colors for these let me know in the comments below. I ll take it into consideration. This is that incandescent. There s an incandescent lamp in here so it s kind of that i don t kind of a dull kind of golden hue.

I was thinking i have some really nice blue they re a powdered or a sky blue colored led that would very closely look like this display right here. It s a little bit in the camera this looks a little darker than it is in reality. This is more of a powdery blue and we re in the camera. It s a little bit darker.

But having these display windows lit up the same color as this may look very nice or some other color. So just let me know in the comments below. It looks like only one side is lit up. Unless is an actual bulb on the other side that s out again.

I know virtually nothing about what s inside this thing at this point. I ve purchased this and we re going through this thing. Together this is my very first look at this receiver. So as i m opening this thing up and discovering what s inside you re discovering it at the same time.

So. If there is an incandescent bulb on this side that is burnt out you can see it s only lit here. But if we go here you can see this side is only lit as well so i m thinking that it might only have one bulb. I could install a bulb on each side and really make that display stand out so there s so many things that can be done let me know in the comments below.

What you d like to see. And when the restoration. Come comes you know to the time. We ll actually go through and really enhance the look of this thing now.

I imagine there s gonna be a lot of alignment points inside this thing because it is quite the receiver. So what i ll do is i ll turn this around we ll take a look at the back side and then we ll go inside. And see what we re up against here s the backside of the rf 4900 and as you can see. It has lots of antenna jacks here and a bar antenna rod antenna up at the top.

So we have an external jack here to put 12 volts in and this has the factory ac line cords. Which is really nice that it came with this here so i can use this cncs ip to see which one of these jacks is active right now. See if the front end of this thing is actually working so i ll just grab that again and we ll see what happens here. It s picking it up from here.

See this is pretty quiet getting louder. Very loud and of course. This is fm. It says fm there so we can see that it s active.

I ll just tune tune this this year. You can tune this with this control right here..


And this also turns the power down you can see when it s red it s at maximum power. So it is very sensitive. I m about right now i m two feet away from the jack and i can still hear it i don t know if you can hear that i m about two feet away from it right now. And i can still hear it so chances are the front end of this thing is just fine.

Which is nice so that means that i m imagining. It s going to need a switch cleaning. It s gonna need an entire alignment maybe. A recap and the thing will probably just absolutely shine.

This is such a nice receiver. It s definitely worth putting the time into. Unfortunately. It does have some cosmetic flaws like somebody s dripped epoxy on the case.

There s two little spots of epoxy on the lid. Which i don t think is going to come off and some of the lettering on the the front is a little bit faded. Somebody s been dragging their fingers on the plastic and they ve taken some of the white lettering off. But i imagine i can probably get around that i can fix that up so.

What i ll do is i ll get the screws out of the case and let s take a look inside well after removing enough screws out of this case to start my own hardware store. We re ready to take a look inside so what i ll do is i ll just prop the front of the receiver up here with a screwdriver for a moment. So i can get my hands. Under the case slide this back a little bit and like so just get this out of the way put this behind my chair as i ve mentioned before i will not roll backwards over that lid and completely crease it and destroy.

It okay. I ll just zoom on in let s take a closer look. Yeah. What s in here.

It s looking pretty good so far at least. It s complete so as you can see you know there s a dust and debris that can be cleaned out not too big of a deal all the electrolytic capacitors that you see will have to be replaced because even if one of them is bad it ll affect the performance of the receiver. So they re hiding all over the place. So there s quite a bit of work in that and as you can see these are all online points.

And they are everywhere. And there seems to be more underneath. These boards as well all these are alignment points. Have crystals down and here be interesting to see how close these oscillators actually are if not might have to work on trimming those crystals up to make sure that they are where they re supposed to be a lot of the times over times.

You know crystals they go off frequency so so hopefully that s all happening. It s all okay see all these electrolytic they are everywhere lots of electrolytic. See what s on the side. Here cobwebs.

Yeah get some light on that yeah. You can see boards are hiding on the bottom side. Here. So it s gonna have to be components.

Most likely looked after there there may even yeah. There s on alignment point..


There as well fun times tip this the other way see what s on this side. Here. You can see there s another board in there oh look more electrolytic what a surprise wow. Lots of electrolytic sits like an ocean of them in there.

So that ll have to come out. And i ll have to replace all those nice little blue. Looking. Electrolytic.

Capacitors and this. Big one right. Here. 6800.

At 16 transformer. Nice and golden hue to that what s back here. And a little board right. There that s not looking too bad so lots of stuff that should be interesting to get in here and get those out.

I ll probably have to remove all the controls off the face and remove this board from the bottom you can see there s a screw. There you see that there s some mounting screws here on the bottom stuff to remove the bottom panel. Most likely remove the controls you can see all the vrs on the front. There they ll all have to be cleaned anyways and have to take that entire board.

Oh so quite a job. So if you own one of these things in you have some technician that you really like that you re asking to repair one of these things and he quotes you some pretty crazy price don t be surprised. There is a lot of stuff. Let s get that out of the way.

There s a lot of stuff to do you have to remove the entire front panel remove all of the knobs and everything to get some of the boards out get in behind there. And do some tuning so lots of work to redo this. But all in all it s complete. I noticed.

There was a little plastic gear in the front there that looks okay. Many of the older. Sony s like the you know crf 320 cr. 330.

They have broken plastic gears this gear. Looks absolutely fine. Which is nice the gear is okay let s check this out here these are all looking okay and they feel nice and solid. See the movement down in there.

I don t know if you can see that let s zoom on into that second check that out a little closer. See how they move actual top side of the switches. A gear gear on the gear in there you can see right down inside. There you want into that any closer this one here.

So what s the stuff. That s working in this which is really nice so if one of these was broken you can imagine that kind of grief that there would be trying to get something like that working again you d need two parts donor or you d have to make up a part with you know a 3d printer or something like that do some measurements..


So it s nice that that is all there as you can see it s just gross that s all from the vent just dust and crap settling in here and so that ll all have to be cleaned up as well so all in all it s looking like quite a project and it s not looking like it s gonna be too incredibly you know big of a deal other than just incredibly time consuming you know changing out all the caps and getting to the underside and removing the face. And everything oh and the dialing scan. We see the die lights in here. No it s probably gonna be hiding between the panels.

There oh there s one right there one right here. And there is one wait one right here and one get that in the shot right here. So it is only lid on one side. So there s a chance that it can actually be lit on both sides.

And i wonder if we can actually see them. If there s a meter light down there and i don t see any light so it may have a light and it may not i m not really too sure. But we ll find that out when the time comes so all in all it s looking like a pretty decent project. I m looking forward to getting started on this these things are very sensitive receivers.

When they re working they work really really well so it should be a lot of fun to see how well this thing performs after its restored. Here s a little bit of rf magic for you so. Let s give you an idea of how well this pushes a signal into some components. So.

This is an led brand new brand new led so what i m gonna do is i m gonna take this thing. And i m gonna twist the leads together and it completely short of this led okay so both the leads are tied together. Okay. So i ll put this around.

Here. The reason. I m doing this is so that i can slip the probe through this here so see that i m gonna twist. These leads together like so so there s no trickery.

No batteries or anything you see that okay completely shorted out so it ll just i ll hold the led i ll turn on the signal injection probe. And that s the kind of strength. This thing has to push signal into a component has enough signal with an led that s completely shorted out to light. It up and light it up very bright at that there you go lots of time went into the development of this device.

And it works extremely well i can t tell you how many times. I ve used this to make my troubleshooting all that much easier so very handy little tool to have around if you re enjoying these videos you can let me know by giving me a big thumbs up. Then hang around there ll be more videos like this in the near future. We ll be taking a look at vacuum tube and solid state electronic devices alike so if you haven t subscribed now would be a good time to do that as well and if you want to be notified as soon as i post a new video don t forget to tap the bell symbol.

If you re interested in taking your electronics knowledge to the next level and learning electronics in a very different and effective way and gaining access to many of my personal electronic designs and inventions. You re definitely going to want to check out my ongoing electronics course on patreon. I ll put the link just below the video s description. And i ll also pin the link right at the top of the comment section.

So you click on the link. It ll take you right there alright until next time take care bye for now. ” ..

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