A Photo Tour of the National Capital Radio and Television Museum

On Tuesday afternoon, I made a pilgrimage the to the National Capital Radio and Television Museum in Bowie, Maryland, USA.  The museum is located in a modest and beautiful historic house on the corner of Mt. Oak and Mitchellville Roads in Bowie.



Museum Curator and volunteer, Brian Belanger, kindly gave me a private tour of the museum collections (the museum is closed on Tuesdays). Brian

Many thanks to Brian for taking time out of his day for the tour, and for allowing me to take some photos for the SWLing Post!

The museum has a number of display rooms with radios broadly grouped by style and decade. The first room offers examples of some of the earliest radios produced–including the venerable crystal radio (below).

[Click photos to enlarge.]



Like Brian, numerous volunteers work to keep the collections in working order. This isn’t a place where vintage radios come to die; they actually come to life here.


1920sRadioEven examples of some of their earliest radios are on the air and can be tuned to local and international stations.  Radio5

RCA-Radiola-60 RCA-Radiola-60Dial

This RCA “portable” (below), housed two batteries on either side of the center faceplate. Note the ad on the wall above–a couple enjoy the RCA as they recline on a beach.

RCA-Portable RCA-Portable-Dial Radiola-X-RCA Radio10 Atwater-Kent-Black Atwater-Kent-Black-Interior

Speakers of the day were pretty amazing, too–check out this hand-painted 1927 Air Chrome Double Cone Speaker, below.


The museum also has an extensive collection of studio and off-air recordings that can be played over an AM carrier throughout the building.


By the late 1920s and early 1930s, radio manufactures built gorgeous console radios, features in the living rooms and parlors of many lucky homes.




This E.H. Scott All-Wave 23 console (above and below) sported not only twenty-threee vacuum tubes, but a large, robust internal speaker. Radio collectors consider the All-Wave 23 to be one of the finest performing radios of the vacuum-tube era. Scott-Console-Radio-Dial


The museum also features the Zenith 12-S-232 tabletop radio with working shuttle dial–a futuristic band-switching mechanical wonder with a stunning dial.

Zenith-Shuttle-Dial ClintonModel-445X

A number of tabletop and portable radios that span the decades have found their homes in this museum.  No doubt many SWLing Post readers cut their teeth on these classics!

Zenith-Trans-Oceanic-6500 Zenith-Portable American-Radio-AssociatesRealistic-Model-12-173 Garod-Model-582

I love the design of the Garod Model 5A2–wow! And I’m sure many kids of the fifties wished they had an official Hopalong Cassidy AM radio (below).HopAlongCassidy-Radio

The museum, of course, also houses a large number of classic televisions.

Pilot-Model-TVHallicrafters-TV Philco-TV Philco-TV-ControlsRadio stations and benefactors have also donated many items used in the industry, both in broadcast and retail.

NBC-Chimes PhilcoSign Midwest-Magazine SylvaniaSigns 980KC-MicBrian was also kind enough to take me to the building, next door, where they repair radios and store others for eventual rotation into the collection.

Workshop Repair4 Repair2

Museum volunteers also teach radio repair and restoration classes.Repair1 Repair3

GE-RadioThe number of classic ham radios, home brew receivers and transmitters was simply amazing. Indeed, I felt like a kid in a candy shop!

Radio1 National-NC-46 HalliDial Hallicrafters-SX100 Hallicrafters-SX62A Hallicrafters-SuperSkyrider Hallicrafters-Super-Skyrider CollinsTransmitterBy the end of the tour, I had decided to become a member of the National Capital Radio and Television Museum. Even though I live a few states away, I like knowing that my membership funds not only help preserve vintage radios and televisions, but also provide me members-only access to many of their scanned archives. Click to view a full list of benefits for a modest $25 membership.

Again, many thanks to Brian Belanger for the amazing tour of this wonderful museum!  Brian, I’ll be back next year…

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Blinq sale: Sony ICF-SW7600GR $89.39 shipped


The online retailer, Blinq.com, has posted a number of used Sony ICF-SW7600GR radios for $89.39 US, shipped. This is an excellent price for the ‘7600GR–even used.

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, the ICF-SW7600GR is one of my favorite shortwave portables. Click here to read a review that compares the Sony with three other benchmark portables.

Blinq states that the ‘7600GR is fully functional, but may show minor wear (scratches, etc), may come repackaged, but comes with a 90-day warranty.

Though I received a faulty radio from Blinq once, their return process was so effortless and efficient, I personally don’t mind taking my chances. I believe you can buy from Blinq with confidence.

Note that Blinq is also selling the Sony ICF-SW7600GR via Amazon for the same price–click here and search the “used” offer list to view.

Posted in News, Radios, Shortwave Radio | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Reception of the Shortwave Shindig

ShindigLogoWhiteThanks to so many of you who tweeted, commented and sent messages with live reception reports of the Shortwave Shindig! Despite a little technical difficulty with our Internet connection, which dropped the audio stream to WRMI for a few minutes, the show was quite a success.

And many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Chris Freitas, in Memphis, Tennessee, who writes:

This is audio from Shortwave Shindig at 9 pm Central time at the SWL Winterfest at Plymouth Meeting, PA on 2/27/15. It was transmitted via WRMI on 7570 khz & received in Memphis on Tecsun PL-660. As you can hear, it came in very well.

Reception reports from the east coast of the US, all the way to west coast were most positive. It’s amazing how well WRMI covers the continent.

Speaking of WRMI, we would like to extend a big thanks to Jeff White for extending the Shindig air time–what a great fellow you are, Jeff!

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Shortwave Shindig tonight–!

ShindigLogoWhiteDavid Goren’s Shortwave Shindig will once again broadcast live–in a few moments–from the Winter SWL Fest in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.

Tune in at 22:00-23:00 EST tonight (that’s 03:00-04:00 UTC, February 28) on 7,570 kHz.

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Radio Canada International celebrates 70th Anniversary

RCISWLing Post reader, David Iurescia, reminds us that February 25th, 2015 was Radio Canada International‘s 70th anniversary.

While we can no longer hear RCI on shortwave, David points out that we can listen to some of the anniversary specials (interviews and programs) online all week:


Many thanks for the tip, David!

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Radio Taiwan Test transmission

RadioTaiwanInternationalLogoMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, David Iurescia, who relays this translated message from Radio Taiwan International:

Frequency test for South America between 5 – 7 March, 2015

Looking for alternatives to transmit our programming to South America, Radio Taiwan International will carry out test transmissions frequency to the region  from Thursday March 5 until Saturday March 7, 2015 through 11920 kHz frequency in the 0200-0300 UTC .

We request the cooperation of our listeners friends who are in the South American countries , to verify that signal and send us reports of listening to the new test frequency to our e- mail soon: esp@rti.org.tw

Many thanks for your help!

Source: http://spanish.rti.org.tw/whatsNew/?recordId=8357

Many thanks, David! Perhaps some of listeners can help RTI by sending a listener report and also record a broadcast for the SW Radio Audio Archive.

Posted in AM, Broadcasters, International Broadcasting, News, Shortwave Radio, Specials, What's On Shortwave | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Moshe’s listening post at the office

SWLing Post contributor, Moshe, writes:

In the attached photos my Sangean receives Elliniki Radiophonia at 9420kHz at my working post. Note the amount of computers, screens and the fact that the radio sits on top of an HP printer.


Still audio is clear and clear reception with only telescopic antenna.


The other radio is my beloved Ben-Gal 1958 tube radio (Israeli made). It looks very much like German radios of the time.

[The Ben-Gal] is in daily use. Anyone seeing this radio loves it, especially when I turn it on!”



Many thanks for sharing these photos, Moshe! Your reception of Elliniki Radiophonia must be exceptional in Israel to overcome all of that office RFI.

The Ben-Gal must produce some rich audio; I bet it’s a champ on medium wave with that large internal ferrite bar! Beautiful set! Thanks again for sharing!

Posted in News, Photos, Radio History, Radios, Shortwave Radio, SWLers | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments