eBay find: Rack of classic receivers

Rack-Gear

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shared a link to this rack of classic cold war era receivers. The starting bid is $943.75 and there is no shipping cost as it’s local pickup only (no surprise there).

Here’s the description from eBay:

LOCAL PICK UP ONLY Paso Robles Ca. 93446. Good condition, rack of Communications and Amateur Radio receivers. Includes Hallicrafters R-46B loudspeaker, two each Hammarlund SP-600 JX-26 receivers with one frequency readout as shown above the top receiver, a National NC-300 receiver with calibrator accessory, and a Hallcrafters SX-101A receiver with calibrator accessory. The rack cabinet is included. All have normal wear for vintage electronics, worn with faded, chipped and rust spots. The SP-600 receivers (both) dial slips and may need repair. All units may need further repair, alignment, or refurbishing. Local pick up only, I can help loading into your vehicle. 70hi 22wide 20deep weights about 600 pounds

Click here to view on eBay.

I think this would be a great deal if all of the equipment was in working order. I suspect this seller hasn’t tested anything and is, most likely, not a radio enthusiast. I bet the reason the SP-600 dials are spinning freely is because the tuning lock is engaged on each unit–possibly a good sign that the previous owner took care of the equipment.  All of it looks good (cosmetically) for its age.

If I were interested, I’d go by and check this out in person prior to bidding.

US Signal Corps: Horseback mobile

SignalCorpsHorse

Source: Time Magazine; BETTMANN / CORBIS

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this 1940 photograph of the US Army Signal Corps communicating via radio in the field.

I bet that radio kit weighs almost as much as or more than the typical soldier!

Does anyone know what model of Signal Corps radio that would be?

Update…

Richard comments:

Thomas,

The original photo is at the site below.

At the link, https://tinyurl.com/hxp5akx

It’s a Radio Set SCR-203 (Phillip pack saddle mounted). Consisted of:
BC-228 transmitter – Transmitter, 2.1-3.1 MHz, 2 ea VT-25 & VT-50, Part of SCR-203
BC-227 receiver – Receiver, 2.1-3.1 MHz, Part of SCR-203
BC-235 control box – Control box, Part of SCR-203

The unit was powered by various battery packs and a GN-35 hand cranked generator and used a 25 ft whip antenna (Image: W.J. Schweitzer collection)

Thanks so much for identifying the equipment, Richard!

Stuart Sizer: Heathkit designer, dad, and “bon vivant”

Heathkit-Drawings-2Two weeks ago, through a radio preservation group, I met the son of Heathkit product designer of the 1950s-70s, Stu Sizer––”stylist, artist, maker of models, bon vivant.” His son described the discovery of a few vintage Heathkit brochures, photos, and illustrations his father kept in his family’s basement shop, many of which had been scanned at some point.

Stu Sizer––”stylist, artist, maker of models, bon vivant”––was tasked with crafting Heathkit’s user-friendly and attractive exterior designs. For many years Sizer was Heathkit’s only product designer, and was therefore often busy. “He was a great dad,” his son told me, “but he spent a lot of time in the basement proof-building kits.”  He adds wryly, “Let that be a lesson to the hams of this world.”

Sizer’s son kindly shared with us the following scans and photos of his dad’s work, many of which are original drawings; the series concludes with some clippings featuring Sizer.

PC241116 PC241108 PC241107 PC241106 PC241099 Heathkit-Drawings-16 Heathkit-Drawings-15 Heathkit-Drawings-13 Heathkit-Drawings-12 Heathkit-Drawings-11 Heathkit-Drawings-10 Heathkit-Drawings-9 Heathkit-Drawings-8 Heathkit-Drawings-7 Heathkit-Drawings-6 Heathkit-Drawings-5 Heathkit-Drawings-4 Heathkit-Drawings-3 Heathkit-Drawings Heathkit-Advertisement

On Stuart Sizer

Heathkit-Stu Walter SizerHeathkit-Stu Walter Sizer-3Heathkit-Stu Walter Sizer-2

Tuning the Scott Marine SLR-M at sea

Scott-Marine-SLR-M-Dial

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Vendel Boeree (K2DSI), who writes:

Hi Tom, I just wanted to compliment you on your fine website. As a kid I would listen to Radio Netherlands which made me quite the hit with mom because she was homesick for our native Holland for quite some time. I was heart broken to find out that Radio Netherlands went dark not that long ago.

Scott-Marine-SLR-MBack in 1967 my family moved to Australia and went there by freighter. Things didn’t work out as planned and we returned on an old American freighter, the “African Moon”.

I became friendly with the radio operator on that ship and he let me shortwave listen when he was off watch. The receiver was a “Scott” and appeared to be the same as yours. They also had a “Scott” receiver in the lounge that had a slide rule dial that was used for entertainment purposes. I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio operator.

Needless to say I didn’t follow through on that dream and I suppose that’s just as well seeing as how ROs are a thing of the past.

Take care and keep up the good work.

Vendel Boeree/ K2DSI

Thanks so much for sharing those memories, Vendel! I bet reception was nothing short of amazing while you were at sea. I’m guessing the slide rule model Scott you listened to in the lounge was the model SLR-F (click here for a photo).

Just the other day, my wife looked around my radio shack and asked what radio I would grab if the house were on fire. My answer was the Scott Marine SLR-M. It represents everything I love in WWII era receivers: built like a tank, great sensitivity, beautiful back-lit dial, built-in speaker, phono in, a magic eye and–since it was intended as a troop morale radio–beautiful room-filling audio.

Yep. Scottie’s a keeper!

The Heathkit GR-78: Ed’s “basket case” radio

BasketcaseMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Edward Ganshirt, who writes:

I picked up this Heathkit GR-78 at a estate/moving sale. It was in a pile of “e-waste” (you know, old vcr’s broken TVs, remote controllers, dead cell phones, etc.).

I found a container and sorted through the stuff to retrieve all what looks like Heathkit parts. The radio was disassembled and scattered about. I was able to collect all the critical components and brought the works to the sales table. The person manning the table said that was stuff they were discarding and I could have it for free but the Easter basket was $0.50.

So far I had put little time into it but was able to mechanically assemble it completely. All the fasteners holding the cabinet were missing. The rest appears to be all there but the primary side of the transformer is open and the NiCads are shorted and stone dead. The manual that I found in their recycle bin is complete and appears to gone through 3 owners by 3 sets of handwriting in the notes and comments through out the manual. If anything this looks like a CSI/forensics troubleshooting process getting into the mind of 3 different owners unsuccessful at making it work.

I will keep you posted on the progress.

WA1-LAI

More power to you, Ed! There are few things as difficult as picking up where someone else left off on a kit build. Your project is exponentially more complicated since there were three people involved and parts are scattered.  Please update us with your progress.

Readers: If you have any experience with the GR-78, I’m sure Ed would welcome your input!

Listening to the Voice of Greece on the Signal Corps BC-348-Q

SignalCorps-BC-348-Q

Yesterday evening, I warmed up my Signal Corps BC-348-Q and tuned to 9,420 kHz to see if the Voice of Greece happened to be on the air.

Fortunately, I was rewarded with a strong signal from Avlis.

The ‘348 did a fine job playing all that lovely Greek music, too. Though the WWII era ‘348 was never intended to be an HF broadcast band receiver, when paired with a good speaker, it sounds pretty darn amazing!

Here’s a short video (apologies for the dark image):

eBay Find: The RCA CRM-R6A communications receiver

RCA-CRM-R6A

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

[Check out this] rarely seen RCA receiver:

http://ebay.to/23NHtYv

Thanks for the tip, Dan!

I just checked Fred Osterman’s Shortwave Receivers Past and Present.  It appears the CRM-R6A is a “double conversion super” with 16 tubes and typically weighs 92 lbs. They were manufactured in the US between 1965 – 1969 and cost $1795 when new. The CRM-R6A can be mounted in a rack, of course.

It’ll be interesting to see if someone meets the first bid amount of $750.

Regardless, that’s some serious heavy metal!