Listening to the Voice of Greece on the Signal Corps 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


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

[Check out this] rarely seen RCA receiver:

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!

1944 WWII Hallicrafters Shortwave Radio Promo

WWII-HallicraftersInteresting 15 min. video demonstrating the Army Signal Corps using an Hallicrafters SCR-299.

While certainly a promotional piece for Hallicrafters, this has great footage and captures a bit of the excitement of radio expanding into new frontiers. There is a discussion of how the radio was modified for military conditions as well as some innovations which were implemented to make such a system mobile.

As an aside, it never ceases to amaze me how clear and crisp black and white film technology of the time seems somehow better than the color images which replaced it. But that may just be me — a black-and-white guy living in a colorized world!

There is a second part to this video, as well as other WWII-era videos available on YouTube with a bit of searching, and of course don’t forget to check out the SWLing’s Shortwave Radio Archive page for more interesting shortwave audio old and new!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

Dan notes a Collins 51S-1 NOS that is near record price


[See update below]

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

This NOS 51-S1 is headed for a record price for an Ebay sale. I have only seen one of these in this condition in my decades on Ebay. This is a rare rack version complete with box and original accessories. The preselector, also NOS, sold earlier today:

Click here to view on eBay.

I’ll watch this auction just to see how high the price goes. At time of posting, it was at $4,850 US (plus shipping):eBay-Collins

UPDATE: The winning bid was $5,500 US plus $56.19 shipping:


Mike IDs a Hallicrafters Skyrider in Avengers scene


In response to my post about finding a glowing Hallicrafters radio in a scene from the Avengers: Age of Ultron, SWLing Post reader, Mike (AC4NS) writes:

“I put the pic in Lightroom and pulled it out of the shadows.

It is definitely a Skyrider and not an SX-28.”


Wow–I’m amazed there was enough information in that photo to pull it out of the shadows! You can see the silk screening and the SEND-REC. switch in the lower right corner.

Again, here’s my Hallicrafters SX-24 Skyrider Defiant for comparison:

My Hallicrafters SX-24

I know why they used a Skyrider in the film; the warm glow of the dials and signal meter were simply irresistible! (At least, they are for me!)

Thanks for helping ID this, Mike!

Avengers ‘Age of Ultron’ scene: is that a Hallicrafters receiver?

Avengers-Ultron-Hallicrafters-Radios-1 With the recent posts about shortwave radio in films (Star Wars and Star Trek), I remembered a scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron where I thought I spotted a vintage Hallicrafters receiver.

In the scene, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is using an “old school spy method” to find the whereabouts of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). I remembered Haweye sitting in front of a 1940s era radio.

This weekend, I found the clip from the movie (first time I had seen it since the theatre) and sure enough, I’m positive this is a Hallicrafters. Click on the images above or below to enlarge.

Avengers-Ultron-Hallicrafters-RadiosI can’t quite determine the Halli model, though–can anyone ID it?

The images aren’t the best: the scene is dark and the radio at quite an angle. Still, there’s no mistaking that Hallicrafters glow.

My Hallicrafters SX-24

My Hallicrafters SX-24

I think there’s a good chance it’s the same model I have in my radio shack: the Hallicrafters SX-24 ‘Sky Defiant‘–but I can’t quite confirm. Perhaps it’s an SX-28?

Can anyone provide a positive ID? Please comment!

One of the highest prices ever paid for a Collins 51J-4

Collins-51J4Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Over $2k for this receiver, which appears to be quite unique. It is not one of the well-known and quite rare Beckman 51J4s, and likely it was re-finished to give it the almost white-grey color it has.

But it does have an interesting tuning addition, what the seller calls a factory-installed 4:1 vernier knob. Regardless, it fetched about as much as any 51J4 has ever brought in on Ebay:

Thanks, Dan! That 51J4 is a beauty. I’m always amazed at the price Collins equipment fetches at auctions and even at Hamfests. You’re hard-pressed to find anything under $800 and rare units (like the 51J4 above) sell for so much more.

Someday, I’d like to add a Collins R-390A to my collection, but first I need to make room for it and start saving! My buddy, Charlie (W4MEC) has rebuilt several R-390s and I’ve no idea how he does it. The tuning mechanism alone is one amazing (and complicated) piece of engineering! Charlie loves a good challenge, though, and he’s certainly brought a few R-390s back into full service.