A few weeks ago, I stopped by our local Habitat For Humanity ReStore searching for reclaimed building supplies.
This particular ReStore is one of the largest in the area–it has an amazing selection of building supplies, furniture, housewares, books and even music, but has a very small section dedicated to electronics which is primarily stocked with DVD players, VCRs and occasionally the odd component system. The person who sets the prices for electronics always over-inflates them so it seems items sit on the shelf for ages.
In all of the years I’ve visited this store, I’ve never found a portable radio of interest…until a few weeks ago.
As I passed by the shelf, a GE Super Radio II caught my eye. Cosmetically, it was in rough shape (in other words, “well-loved”).
I expected a $50 price tag but instead was surprised when I saw $2.50! I put on my reading glasses just to make sure I was reading it correctly.
I plugged the radio in and tested it on FM. It easily snagged a number of FM stations and the audio sounded amazing although the loudness, treble and bass pots were very scratchy.
The AM broadcast band worked as well, but the RFI/noise inside the retail warehouse was overwhelming.
I opened the back of the radio and found an immaculate battery compartment. Obviously, the previous owner was either diligent with removing cells when not in use, or never used batteries.
The antenna was in great shape and had no bends or breaks.
The speakers were in tact as well.
I took the radio to the counter and the guy who rang up the order said, “Well…she ain’t pretty, but for $2.50 how can you go wrong?”
My thoughts exactly!
I brought the Super Radio II home with the idea of immediately cleaning her up (like David Korchin did with his “barn find” II), but I’ve had a couple intense travel and work weeks, so it had to wait.
Fast-forward to yesterday when my father-in-law was in town and stopped by for a visit.
He mentioned in passing that after his favorite public radio station decreased power from one of its translators, he could no longer receive it easily with his small AM/FM portable at home. Of course, I have at least four dozen radios here that could easily receive this station, but few of those include a power cord, are incredibly simple to operate and have room-filling audio.
I took a look at the GE Super Radio II, then a look at my father-in-law, and decided he needed it. I knew the ‘Super II would make him a happy man.
I quickly dusted off the chassis and cleaned the pots with DeOxit–it played like a new one.
I tuned to an FM station playing classical music, turned up the volume and my father-in-law beamed when he heard the rich, clear audio.
No doubt, this time-honored portable will get a lot of use and love in its second life.
If I’m being honest with myself, this might not have been a truly altruistic move. You see, when we do an overnight at my father-in-law’s house, I can now do a little AM DXing without having to lug one of my own receivers!
A win-win in my book.
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I missed this the first time. I got a Grundig Satellit 700 for $2.50 at a Rotary Club sale, may fifteen years ago. I thought it said at least $12.50, but no. Worked fine.
For a few years around then (I’d already got a Grundig Satellit 500 at another charity rummage sale, no price so I just offered $40), I was finding interesting shortwave portables for small amounts, including a Sony SW-1, complete with the plastic case and accessories for ten dollars. A Grundig mini, an RCA with the marine band, a Radio Shack portable with two shortwave bands (from the seventies) and the Panasonic RF-1600.
And then they stopped appearing.
This kind of stuff never ever happens to me , in all my years I found a volume knob and just a part on an antenna .
It is ok for cleanliness, If you had it longer I would recommend
followed up with a little turtle wax and it would look almost new.
I found an earlier model at a Sally Ann thrift shop and gave it to my Italian father-in-law about fifteen years ago so he could listen to an Italian program out of Toronto on CHIN 1540 at their house north of Peterborough. I added a Select-a-Tenna to it and he was like a kid in a candy store.
Excellent! So I think we can safely say that the GE Super Radio is the perfect father-in-law radio! 🙂
And to boot, your money goes for a worthy cause, there’s no downside. These short posts on different radios, especially older sets always are interesting.
I agree, Mario–it’s a win-win all around! 🙂
That’s a dream find, Thomas. It seemed to clean up nicely, and it still has it where it counts.