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Buying an XDR-F1HD on eBay

​(If you're selling, this applies to you too!)

Ebay is the easiest place to find these for sale but prices & condition vary wildly.  Some ebay sellers have no idea what these are or how to test one properly.  They plug it in, the display lights up and the clock flashes 12:00 so they call it good.  You could be buying a lemon in distressed TECHNICAL condition that has NOT been properly checked out and might not work correctly. 

​Some questions to ask an ebay seller:

  • Ask for photos showing the XDR displaying more than just the time or the "WAIT" message.  It needs to be tuned to a station, displaying signal strength bars.  Ideally it should be displaying a station's call letters or other data.  
  • Ask the seller to confirm both L & R audio channels are working, especially if the XDR's serial number starts with "8".  Early XDRs commonly have no audio from one or both outputs due to the jacks breaking loose (easily fixed if you know what to look for).  There should be clean hum-free stereo audio.
  • If possible get the seller to confirm that the audio is also OK when tuned to an HD station.  If there's a choppy "helicopter" noise, the HD module is blown.
  • Do all the buttons work correctly?  It's very common for the tactile pushbutton switches to get flakey.
  • Does it include the Sony RMT-CF1A remote control?

Unfortunately I didn't follow my own advice when I bought the XDR shown below, s/n 0D-129599.  The ebay listing did not show the tuner working, for a very good reason: It has a defective LCD panel.  This is why you want to see photos of the XDR actually turned on and tuned to a station as described above.  I returned this one for "Item not as described".  The same seller re-listed the same bad tuner on eBay again without disclosing the bad display in the description or in the photos.