My buddy, Eric (WD8RIF) noticed a rather unique find on eBay this morning: a “new in box” Signal Corps Western Electric BC-454-B receiver. While BC-454-Bs are far from rare, it is certainly a treat to find one with its original box and in mint condition.
I have no plans to bid on this unit–I’m sure the ending bid will be a little too rich for me–but it will be fun to see how high the price climbs. Some day, I hope to acquire a functioning BC-454 of my own. (Santa…are you listening?)
Important note: Nothing can be rather unique as unique can’t be qualified.
I still have a BC-454 and a BC-453. I used the BC-454 in my car with a viberator power supply
to listen to amateurs on two metres via a solid state down converter..
I used the BC-453 with a so so short wave radio to greatly increase the selectivity.
In 1972 I was able to buy a new in box Command Set transmitter for $9.99 Canadian.
That seemed amazing, so long after the war, but is testament to how much was built during the war.
Then I remember that 2972 was 43byears ago, and more time has gone by since then than between WWII and 1972.
So yes it seems a surprise one is still in a box. But somewhere it fell by the wayside, and that could have happened long after the war.
Some were more useful/valuable. The BC453 tuned below the AM broadcast band, useful if you wanted to the the LF band, but most valued to add selectivity to an existing receiver. Since most receivers up to a certain time (and afterwards even, for low end receivers) had a 455KHz IF, the 453 could be attached to the receiver’s IF strip, and tuned to 455KHz, providing a much sharper IF passband. And they were initially plentiful enough that you could buy one even after spending money on the low end not so good receiver.
The Command Set that tuned the AM band never seemed that common. I suspect they were never made in as large quantity, but as surplus they were immediately useful for tuning the AM band.
One problem with the shortwave Command Set receivers was that they used a high IF frequency, so they lacked selectivity. So they had less value than the transmitters, which were superb.
When I was taking a code and theory course in early 1972, someone offered me a Command Set receiver in trade for some tubes I let him take out of a box I bought, he was collecting tubes. Someone else said “a Command Set receiver is too broad, you can borrow my SP-600”, which I had the use of for a decade.
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Where DO these gems come from? The bidding’s at just $56 with 4 bids and 5 days to go. I sure wish it would stay there…….!
I agree, Dave! I dare say this gem will fetch a pretty price. (Gosh darn it, it’s not easy being a frugal fellow!)