N9EWO Review :
Japan Radio Co. JRC
NRD-535 HF Receiver

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The JRC NRD-535 HF Receiver.
Hissy IF noise trait that plagued the NRD-525 was cleared up.
However now it was a digital noise problem with the NRD-535 (traded one noise for another).  
D version added a poor performing "Sync Detector" along with a mediocre variable
 bandwidth feature. RS-232 port was now standard via a DB-25 connector. (Paul Lannuier Photo)

Country of Manufacture : Japan
Test Sample Approx Serial # :

N9EWO's Review on the Japan Radio Co. (JRC) NRD-535 HF Receiver

Discontinued Receiver

We are in need of reader DONATED properly working test sample for us to write a extended review on this receiver. Please contact me directly if you can help. See the main page for contact information.

"Thank You"
Dave N9EWO

Paul Lannuier NRD-535 note (former USA JRC Sales Manager) :

Nice Ass (Button)!

One of the more humorous episodes to occur during the NRD-535 design review meetings at JRC was the now-infamous saga of the ASS Button. In 1990 the then-current marine/GMDSS HF receiver, model NRD-240, had an interesting function called "Automatic Scan Start", enabled by pressing a front panel button labeled "ASS". This had already been the source of great amusement at SWL festivals where I distributed brochures on the NRD-240, not to mention the endless ribbing I endured by attendees at the Dayton HamVention where we had the '240 on display.

Now, as the NRD-535 was being conceived, the ASS button made it's way into the discussions. As the only person at the meetings whose first language was English, I felt it was my responsibility to make them understand the marketing implications of having the word "ASS" appear prominently on the front panel. This involved a combination of spoken word and insane hand gestures, with some translation help from Shiono-san. It was bad enough that they used the prefix "NFG" to denote the JRC line of antenna tuners. "Please," I begged them, "don't make me market a product with an ass button!" A moment of silence was quickly followed by an eruption of laughter as it finally became clear to the group what my fuss was all about. The ASS button was scrapped, thankfully.

Dave N9EWO
N9EWO, all rights reserved
Ver 0.0

"Caveat Emptor" - JRC Display Failures

Display failures are now very common with the JRC NRD-525, NRD-535 Receivers and even with the JRC JST-135 Transceiver. These radios all use a "custom made" florescent type display and now being quite aged are suffering from ever weakening brightness and then just failing completely in time. They have not held up well with age. One could TRY and replace the 4 high voltage (35 to 50 volt) electrolytic capacitors in the display DC-DC converter circuit, but usually when these go out.....that's it (it turns into a great doorstop or computer controlled only set) Sorry...no new parts are available anymore.  So a "MAJOR" Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) if you are considering any used sample for purchase !!

The later NRD-545 Receiver (plus the JST-145 and JST-245 Transceivers) uses a negative LCD with a "CCFL" (cold cathode florescent tube) back light. With it's ever increasing age are also subject to become weak and in time total failure. Just as with the more elder JRC sets , parts and repair from JRC are no longer available. So once this tube fails, it becomes a computer controlled only receiver unless a owner workaround is figured out (some other way to back light the LCD and or substitute parts) ??

A general reminder, as it goes with all vintage "solid state" radio receivers / transceivers one should be aware any major ills of any certain used model before a purchase. Check it out throughly before and then cross your fingers after.

JRC NRD-535 Links (all subject to change without notice)

NRD-535 eham reviews

NRD-535 Owners Manual

NRD-535 Service Manual

Thomas Nilsson's JRC "NRD 535 and NRD 525 comments and modifications"

Paul Lannuier - "Notes on the JRC NRD-535 Receiver (sorry pictures are missing)"

JRC Amateur and SWL gear (groups.io)

JRC Marine (groups.io)

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