Hallicrafters booth at the 1970 Consumer Electronics Show

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bob, who writes:

A great photo for your blog, for no particular reason…

[The image above is a] part of a long blog post by Lenovo about CES history, but I did not see any attribution to Hallicrafters.

Here is the post:

http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/ces-history-technology-consumer-electronics-show/

Very, very cool! What I wouldn’t give to travel back to the CES shows of the 1970s and 80s.

According to the Levono blog, the 1970 CES was when the VCR made its debut. Amazing.

Thanks again, Bob.

I’m curious if any SWLing Post readers have attended the CES in past decades.  I really wanted to attend CES in the 1990s, but since I was a university student half of that decade, I never had the funds (or justification) to do so!

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):

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.

From the Shortwave Archives: BBC World Service report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

Many thanks to SRAA contributor, Tom Laskowski, who submits the following notes with his timely off-air recording of the BBC World Service from January 28, 1986:

Thirty years ago today the US Space program came crashing down with the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

I was a student at Purdue University at the time, living in a dormitory.

I decided to make some recordings knowing this would be a historic event.

This is a recording I made of the BBC on the evening of Jan 28 (0200 UTC on January 29). The frequency was most likely 5975 kHz or 9590 kHz. The dorm environment didn’t make a great place for SWL reception and the recording is noisy but still of decent quality.

Recorded using a Sony ICF-2001 with a wire attached to a window screen for an antenna.

Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Thank you so much for sharing this recording, Tom. What a brilliant way to remember and honor the Challenger crew.

To listen to a wide array of off-air shortwave radio recordings, explore the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

eBay Find: Barlow Wadley XCR-30 Receiver

Barlow Wadley XCR-30-FrontMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Barlow Wadley’s show up every now and then on Ebay, but infrequently with the original papers.

Rarely, one sees them with  the original box. These are great representatives of SW radio history, though you have to take care to ask question of the seller.

This price appears to be quite high (roughly $490 US), especially for a radio without the FM band, which was added in later production runs:

Click here to view on eBay.

Barlow Wadley XCR-30-Inside Barlow Wadley XCR-30-WithBox

Thanks, Dan! Someone brought one of these to the SWL Fest some years ago and it attracted quite a crowd.  I’ve never had one on the air, though–very curious how well they perform.

Are there any SWLing Post readers who own the Barlow Wadley XCR-30? Please comment!

Historic Bawdsey Radar site receives £1.4 million grant from the UK government

(Source: Bawdsey Radar)

(Source: Bawdsey Radar)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for sharing this article about the historic Bawdsey Radar site:

(Source: Engaget)

save-radarA radar site considered by some to be as historically important as Bletchley Park will be preserved, thanks to a £1.4 million ($2 million) grant from the UK government. The Bawdsey facility in eastern England, established in 1938, was the world’s first operational radar station. The then-brand new technology helped the allied forces win the Battle of Britain, and some historians think it may have shortened World War II by as much as two years. The facility was closed in 1991, and is on Britain’s “at-risk” heritage list because of structural issues and water damage.

According to the preservation group Bawsdey Radar, construction work will start in September 2016 and the building will open to visitors in September 2017. The goal is not just to conserve it, but also to unveil a new visitor exhibition featuring physical and virtual displays. The UK’s “Heritage At Risk” adviser John Etté said the facility “played a vital part in the development of radar technology during [WWII], and had a huge impact on post-war electronics and defense system,” including GPS, water technology, radar guns and the microwave oven.[…]

Continue reading at Engaget…

Mike IDs a Hallicrafters Skyrider in Avengers scene

Avengers-Ultron-Hallicrafters-Radios

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.”

Avengers-Ultron-Hallicrafters-Radios-1024x429

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!