Category Archives: Nostalgia

A photo tour of the 2016 Shelby Hamfest


My Labor Day weekend was free of travel again this year, so I was able to make another pilgrimage to the Shelby (North Carolina) hamfest with my good buddies, Vlado (N3CZ), Dave (K4SV) and Phil (W9IXX). This year, all four of us brought things to sell in the flea market.

The Shelby Hamfest–referred to, locally, as “The Grand-Daddy of them All”–has long been regarded as one of the largest hamfests in the southeast US. Last year, I posted photos from the hamfest and many of you sent notes of thanks for that.

We arrived very early yesterday, prior to the gates opening for general admission. We set up our tables and almost immediately had customers in front of us. This year, I was in selling mode, not buying mode, as I desperately need to downsize some of my collection and use the money to offset costs of review radios, and some of the conferences I’m attending this year.


IMG_20160903_105948682 IMG_20160903_110012119 IMG_20160903_105839762 IMG_20160903_105830408_HDR IMG_20160903_105823487 IMG_20160903_105525752_HDR IMG_20160903_105504050 IMG_20160903_105246401

The seller of this Grundig Satellit 500 only wanted $75–an exceptional bargain. I turned it on, though, and quickly discovered the LCD screen worked intermittently after having only been on for a few seconds. It was a little scuffed up too. Still–it produced great audio.IMG_20160903_104935512 IMG_20160903_104924284 IMG_20160903_104909396 IMG_20160903_104840559 IMG_20160903_104753772_HDR IMG_20160903_104732133 IMG_20160903_104706457_TOP IMG_20160903_104638547_HDR IMG_20160903_104633192 IMG_20160903_104355149 IMG_20160903_104343941_HDR IMG_20160903_104335454_HDR IMG_20160903_094424451 IMG_20160903_094413210 IMG_20160903_094350615_TOP IMG_20160903_094345045_HDR IMG_20160903_094337535 IMG_20160903_094247499_TOP IMG_20160903_094222390 IMG_20160903_094157726 IMG_20160903_094153301 IMG_20160903_094129115_TOP IMG_20160903_094125382 IMG_20160903_094121510 IMG_20160903_094112237 IMG_20160903_094108929_TOP IMG_20160903_094102125 IMG_20160903_094057690 IMG_20160903_094051265 IMG_20160903_094047198_HDR IMG_20160903_094043251

Someone had done a spectacular job restoring this Super-Pro. It would make a fine addition to any shack.
IMG_20160903_093830634 IMG_20160903_093616839_HDR IMG_20160903_093611913

The same seller who had the Grundig Satellit 500 was also selling this Sony ICF-6500W for $75. Other than scratchy pots, it seemed to work well.  It was very tempting to purchase, but I passed in the end.IMG_20160903_093525866_TOP

He was selling this Panasonic for $150. I passed because I had a hunch it needed a little work.IMG_20160903_093512146 IMG_20160903_093503774 IMG_20160903_093301777 IMG_20160903_093259270 IMG_20160903_092333597_TOP IMG_20160903_091445596 IMG_20160903_090320282_HDR IMG_20160903_090221887 IMG_20160903_090216356 IMG_20160903_090213331_HDR

One of the finest R-274-As I’ve ever seen. Again: someone spent a great deal of time restoring this beauty. By the time I found it in the flea market, it had already been sold. Thank goodness!IMG_20160903_090137715 IMG_20160903_090122681 IMG_20160903_090115476_HDR IMG_20160903_090103868_HDR IMG_20160903_090059269 IMG_20160903_090048304_TOP IMG_20160903_090028432_TOP IMG_20160903_085937840_HDR IMG_20160903_085717679 IMG_20160903_085703210_TOP IMG_20160903_085642966 IMG_20160903_085627053 IMG_20160903_085624079 IMG_20160903_085617071

I must have spotted at least six or seven Hallicrafters SX-100s this year at Shelby.
IMG_20160903_085613902 IMG_20160903_085608569 IMG_20160903_085600920_HDR IMG_20160903_085533525_TOP IMG_20160903_085245321_HDR IMG_20160903_085240053_HDR

I managed to come home with only $40 worth of parts: connectors, cables, plugs and a 17 meter band MFJ whip antenna (to try on my recently-acquired Elecraft KX2). I was pretty proud of myself as there were an exceptional number of vintage radios I would have loved to have taken home (like the console radio below–!).


Any Post readers attend the Shelby hamfest? Have you attended any other local hamfests recently?  If so, please comment on what you found!

Max’s impressive vintage radio collection


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Max Youle, who writes:

I thought I would send you a link to my radio collection.

Many of these are unique to New Zealand, and could be of interest to your readers.

I saved many of these radios from being trashed, by searching junk sales and second hand stores, over a period of the last 25 years

Click her to view Max’s collection via DropBox.

Wow! That is an impressive collection of radios, Max. It’s interesting to see so many New Zealand brands–I’m glad you’ve rescued these!

Max’s collection is so large I couldn’t possibly share them all here on the SWLing Post, so I asked Max if he could tell us which models are his favorites. Max replied:

My favorite radios would be:

Barlow Wadley XCR-30

Barlow Wadley XCR-30

1. Barlow Wadley XCR-30 featured here before

Philips D2999

Philips D2999

2. Philips D2999 for its good looks, ease of use , sound from the two speakers 3″ and 7″ and sharp MW DX

Sanyo Transworld 17h-815

Sanyo Transworld 17h-815

3. Sanyo Transworld 17h-815 A beautiful looking classic with lots of chrome and a good performer

National Panasonic R-021

National Panasonic R-021

4. National Panasonic R-021 because it was my first radio, and a fairly rare collectible (article at the bottom of page)

Its hard to choose a favorite, as every one of my radios has a story ,i.e where I found it, who gave it to me, how much I paid for it, how collectible it is, etc, etc!!

Yes indeed, Max! It is difficult to pick a favorite–especially from such a large collection.

Thanks again for taking the time to share these with us!

Click her to view Max’s collection via DropBox.

Gary’s Arvin Model 61R35 brings back memories

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gary Wise (W4EEY), who shares the following guest post:

It’s funny how much we radio folks share in common. The recent posts on Arvin radios made me smile because I have an Arvin radio too. An Arvin transistor was my very first radio, and here she is:

Arvin Transistor Radio

This is the Arvin Model 61R35 in Ice Blue (it also came in black). My parents bought it for me in roughly 1962 or 63. It was the first radio that was mine (though we did have an older Crosley tabletop in the living room of our house in Midland, Michigan that we all used). Mine had seven Germanium (!) transistors (as silicon transistors were not yet in wide production in the early 60s).

Arvin Model 61R35

And Made in America! Arvin was an Indiana company as I recall.

Arvin Transistor Radio

It used a Round 9V battery. They were hard to find even back then, and I expect impossible to find today.

Arvin transistor radio

I used to love to put my fingers on the PC board while the radio was on and listen to the buzzes and noise that I could create. Unfortunately, I think this is what killed the radio and required my folks to mail it off to the big city (Flint, Michigan) to have it repaired. No one in my “little” town could fix solid state radios back then.

Arvin Transistor Radio Repair Tag

I was fortunate not to lose this radio in my many moves throughout the years. I display in proudly in my ham shack.

Arvin Model 61R35 in leather case

Thanks for the memories!



And thank you for sharing your memories and the great photos of your Arvin Model 61R35, Gary! What a cute little radio–I’m glad you’ve taken care of it all of these years.

Memories and transistor radios

Magnovox 1R 1203Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors, Ron and Aaron, who shared a link to Jay Allen’s latest post–an update on his pocket AM/FM radios.

Like Jay, I’ve always had an affinity for pocket transistor radios.

The Realistic Model 23-464.

The Realistic Model 23-464.

My first one was an AM-only model: a Realistic Model 23-464. It was about the only new pocket radio I could afford–and purchase locally–when I was a kid.

It was surprisingly sensitive on the AM broadcast band, but the dial was a far cry from accurate. At some point, I either gave this radio to someone or lost it. Last year, I happened upon one on eBay and purchased it for $9 shipped. Its plastic body shows signs of wear, but it works and reminds me of my childhood.

My grandpa's Magnovox 1R 1203

My grandpa’s Magnovox 1R 1203

Another pocket AM/FM radio that brings back a flood of memories is the Magnovox 1R 1203. It belonged to my dear grandpa, who also shared and conveyed a love of radio. When I was a kid, we would sit around on his front porch on hot summer days and listen to local AM stations on this little radio, cicadas whirring in the background.

I still have his Magnavox–it sits here in my radio room and brings back memories every time I look at or listen to it.

Am I a nostalgic fellow? You bet!

Anyone else have memories associated with pocket radios? Please feel free to comment and share!

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Radio Baghdad, August 8, 1990

radio baghdad qsl

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Al Quaglieri, who shares the following recording, QSL (above) and notes:

Here’s a nice recording I made of the first 13 minutes of Radio Baghdad’s English broadcast one day around August 8, 1990. It begins with some music and then there’s a newscast. For a couple of months, I sent such recordings down the phone line to CBS News in New York, who were eager to hear them. This, alas, is the only one I kept. Hard to believe it was nearly 26 years ago.

My how that does bring back memories! Thank you for sharing this excellent recording, Al!