Category Archives: Radios

2017 Hamvention photos: Flea Market

We had a rather long day here at the 2017 Hamvention, but we had a fantastic time. It was especially fun meeting so many SWLing Post readers and contributors in person! Thank you for stopping by our booth at 6508.

Below, I’ve posted well over one hundred photos I took at the Hamvention Flea Market this morning. Click on the thumbnail to expand each photo. I’ve tried to include price tags when available! I plan to post inside exhibit photos tomorrow.

The R-902 (XE-2)/PRD: Ed’s flea market mystery radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Edward Ganshirt, who writes:

This radio followed me home from a flea market and I am trying to find out what it’s mission was.

I think it is a surveillance radio from the Vietnam era because of it’s low serial number #7 R-902 (XE-2)/PRD.

I can’t seem to find anything on it. It tunes from 96 to 404 MHz FM AM CW is battery powered and is totally waterproof (this would be the radio to take white water rafting) .

I would like a schematic or manual for it.

Does anyone in SWL world know anything about it?

Wow! I’m afraid I would have taken that heavy metal home with me too, Edward! And it’s waterproof? What a bonus! 🙂 Actually, I imagine since it’s waterproof, the internals are likely well-preserved.

Post readers: If you can shed some light on this model R-902, please comment. If you have a service manual or schematic, I’m sure Ed would appreciate a link/copy!

Panasonic RD-9820 on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi, who shares an eBay link to this Panasonic RD-9820–the matching antenna coupler for the Panasonic RF-2200. Mario notes that RF-2200 owners might take note as the auction price is on a more reasonable trajectory than ones have in past auctions. This 9820 also includes the box.

Thanks for the tip, Mario!

Click here to view on eBay.

Soviet Era Radio: Dennis reviews the Shoroh R-326 receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Kalinichenko, who shares the following review:

The Shoroh R-326 military radio

by Dennis Kalinichenko

I believe the piece of Soviet military equipment I recently bought to my collection would be interesting to all readers and contributors.

This is the R-326 “Shoroh” (“Rustle”) general coverage military tube shortwave radio receiver. These were produced decades ago, back in 1963. These portable receivers were in active military use in the Soviet Army until the early 2000s, when the R-326 was finally discontinued . Today, this set is no more a spy secret, but a great collector’s item and also a good receiver for home use.

My set cost me about $150 US, which is rather expensive for this radio. The R-326 was plentiful in the local market in 90-s, right after the fall of the Soviet Union, very cheap and popular between radio amateurs, but nowadays this radio has become more and more rare, so the price rises up.

My R-326 arrived from Khabarovsk city, the Russian Far East, where, I believe, for many years it was on duty in some of the Soviet radio intelligence and defense forces division.
The set includes the radio itself, original military 100 ohm headphones, original rectifier box for 2,5 V output, 12 meter long wire antenna on a reel, the 1,5 meter famous “Kulikov” mini-whip antenna, the isolator for placing it on top of the radio and some minor accessories.

Originally, the R-326 radio came with two batteries–1,25 V each–for field use, but mine are totally drained and need to be serviced, so I haven’t used them so far.

The radio is a light-weight, only 33 lbs, which is a real minimum for Soviet military equipment–the famous R-250 radio’s weight is up to 220 lbs–so, in comparison, this unit is really portable. You can easily put it in your car using the attached leather handle and take it with you on a weekend trip. No other military radio can be so “travel-friendly”; this is one of the reasons it was so popular in the ham radio and SWL communities.

The case is made out of steel and looks so solid you may want to use it as a nutcracker. And you can! In no way could you harm the box constructed to resist nuclear attacks. It is waterproof and sealed–so I can be confident that no previous owner has ever tried to solder something in the guts.

The radio is a super heterodyne containing 19 (!) special mini tubes and covering 6 SW bands, from 1 to 20 MHz. It works in both AM and SSB (CW) modes, having an on-board adjustable bandwidth control from 300 Hz to 6 kHz.

On the front panel, there are two scales: one is rough/coarse, and above is the precise one, a so-called photoscale, which may be adjusted to match real radio-frequency using the four screws near the sun protection visor. With this scale, you don’t actually need a digital readout. It also has a BFO control with a zero setting, adjustable AGC levels for AM and CW, and adjusting screw for matching the antenna input, as marked for 12 m long wire, 1,5 m and 4 m whip.

The radio has no built-in speaker. Instead, there are two output sockets on the front panel, for 100 ohm headphones and 600 ohm line-out.

The power consumption is very low for s tube radio, the rig needs only 1,4 A at 2.5 volts DC (including the lightscale). I use the original power transformer (transistor rectifier) and therefore switch the unit into the 220 AC outlet.

The sensitivity of the radio is extremely high and equals some modern transceivers. The selectivity is also impressive. No doubt it was really great for 1960s. But there’s negative side as well: the radio easily overloads even from the outdoor long wire antennas. The best fit is the “Kulikov” mini-whip that you can see in the photos.

When you switch on the radio, you hear noise, the level of which seems high, so you lower the volume down. Yes, the radio is sensitive and a bit noisy. But thanks to the tubes it sounds really amazing in the headphones. The SSB ham operator’s voice is warm and very clear.
The tuning is very smooth, being actually 2-speed: outer wheel is for fast tuning, inner wheel for precise tune.

It’s absolutely obvious that nowadays a simple Degen or Tecsun may be more useful than this old and heavy unit with big and tough knobs and switches. But what a pleasure sitting in front of this perfect tube radio at night, with the headphones on, turning the huge tuning wheels, looking into the moving dim scale, listening into distant voices and rustles, feeling yourself a Cold War times operator near the rig.

Isn’t this experience priceless?

Indeed the experience is priceless, Dennis! Better yet, your R-326 now has an owner that will keep it in working order and enjoy it on a regular basis. I personally believe keeping these vintage rigs on the air is one way to preserve, and experience first hand, a little of our collective radio history.

Thank you so much for sharing your review and excellent photos of the R-326!

Post readers: If, like Dennis, you have a vintage radio you would like to showcase/review here on the SWLing Post, please consider submitting your story and photos. Being a huge fan of vintage radio, I truly enjoy reading through and publishing your reviews.  I know many other readers feel the same!

New-in-the-Box ICOM IC-R71A and IC-R7000 Communications Receivers Surface on Ebay

Attention: communications receiver collectors! Not one, but two vintage ICOM IC-R series receivers have been listed on Ebay by the same seller. Presumably the same individual owned and stashed away both units, and now they are offered by the Ebay store “Mikes Emporium“.

Both receivers are described as “new in box”, with a variety of photos shown, including the original sales receipt with options listed. A tag on the IC-R71A shows the receiver originated at well-known Virginia retailer Electronic Equipment Bank (EEB). The R71A is of 1988 vintage, per the receipt; the R7000 may likewise be from the same year.

Link for the ICOM IC-R71A: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-IN-BOX-ICOM-IC-R71A-Radio-Communications-Receiver-with-Remote-MORE-W-W-/112397220884

Link for the ICOM IC-R7000: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-IN-BOX-Icom-IC-R7000-VHF-UHF-FM-Radio-Communications-Receiver-with-Remote-/112397200299

Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.