Have you ever regretted saying goodbye to a radio?

A lot of radios come through SWLing Post HQ each year.

Over the years, I’d like to think that I’ve become immune to the effects of giving away, trading, or selling radios that have been in the shack for a while. But let’s face it: I’m just fooling myself!

I sold both my Hammarlund SP-600 and Hallicrafters SX-99 at the Shelby Hamfest.

As I’ve said before, I find it much easier to part with modern portables, transceivers, and SDRs than I do with vintage gear.  With modern gear, I feel like there’s always something new around the corner, thus it’s easy to justify. Plus, I take in so many units on loan for evaluation and review, I see them come in the door and go back out. Occasionally, I like one so much I buy it, but there’s not a lot of attachment. I’m not a “fan boy” of any modern company either, so I don’t intentionally collect rigs.

Ah, but the vints…

I’m a nostalgic guy, so vintage gear comes with more emotional attachment.

Over the years, I’ve had to part with a number of boat anchors because, frankly, I always need a clear space in the shack for evaluating gear and my shack is rather compact. (For example, at one point last year, I had three transceivers here for evaluation all at the same time.)

My Hammarlund SP-600was a very tough one to let go of. I justified it by selling the big girl to my good friend Charlie (W4MEC) who had actually helped me replace some of her capacitors at one point. The SP-600 was simply too deep and too large to fit even on my over-sized radio shelves–especially if mounted in a chassis. Charlie has a much better setup for rack-mounted “heavy metal.” She’s got a good home now.

The Scott Marine Radio Model SLRM

There are two vintage sets I’ll never sell: my Signal Corps BC-348-Q and my Scott Marine SLRM (photo above). How much do I love these radios? My wife has strict instructions to “put’em in the casket with me!”

There are only two portable radios I regret selling: my original RadioShack DX-440 and my Grundig YB400.

I did snag this DX-440 last year at the Huntsville Hamfest

No doubt, I miss these radios because they both served me for so many years. We traveled many countries together both on the ground and through the airwaves.

Parting is such sweet sorrow…

A number of readers have confessed that they regretted selling their RF-2200.

Have you ever regretted parting with a radio? Please comment with the model and why it was special to you. I’d also love to hear about the models you currently own and would never consider selling or giving away.

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40 thoughts on “Have you ever regretted saying goodbye to a radio?

  1. Marwan Baayoun

    For me my biggest regret was when in November 2018 I sold my well protected Sony ICF-SW77. Bought brand new over the phone from Universal Radio, my ICF-SW77 was my side kick and went with me everywhere. I remember working the second shift at a publishing company, I would always eat my lunch outside while listening to any international broadcasters I can catch like the BBC, Radio Havana Cuba, Deutsche Welle, or the VOA. I remember how my co-workers reworded the saying “Life Without A Wife, Is Like A Kitchen Without A Knife” to “Life Without A Wife, Is Like Marwan Without His Shortwave Radio.” When I got married, my best friend invited us to visit with his wife and children at their house in Upstate New York. He even bought one of the tickets as his way in helping me paying for the fares. I remember the night we arrived at his house me pulling my ICF-SW77 and tuning it to the BBC World Service because we all wanted to get the latest on a sad piece of news that was just breaking that made us and almost everyone in North America and around the world stare at TV sets hoping for the best. Then Tom Brokaw came on to announced something us and others who were listening to the BBC World Service had already knew 15 minutes earlier and that is the sad news the Lady Dianna did not survive the crash accident her car was involved in. My friend was impressed with what shortwave radios can bring to the table.

    In the last month I went on a binge and bought a used Realistic DX-440 (love this radio BTW, very nice), and all new XHDATA D-808, Tecsun PL-880, and Tecsun PL-680. I also bought but then returned a Sangean ATS-909X.

    To close this long journal like post on a happy note, today I received an almost brand new Sony ICF-SW77 that I bought from a very kind gentleman on eBay, (he was willing to accept my fifty dollars less than his asking price offer.) My happiness is beyond expression. I would have never thought I would be able to re-unite again with one of these radios in a condition that is identical to the one I sold. He kept very well. I tried to find a scratch or a piece of dust on this radio but couldn’t. Not only that, also came with it the original box, very well kept manual and catch the waves booklet, ( I gave mine to the gentelman who bought my radio, so it was sweet that they were replaced with this purchase). My new ICF-SW77 seller just did not have the power adapter that came with this radio, which is fine with me. I can always find a third party power adapter to buy.

    I feel so lucky I am once again an owner of one of these awesome radios.

  2. Dan Robinson

    Late to the party here, but some of the ones I have regretted parting with include Eddystone 1650 and 6200, and my LNIB ICOM IC-R72. On the other hand, I have so many I have NOT parted with that I have no room!

  3. Laurin Cavender

    My name is Laurin Cavender my call is WB4IVG I’ve been Interested in radio since age 4 or 5 been a Ham since 1966. I am a Communications Engineer I have owned hundreds of radios maybe even thousands throughout those years a lot of them bring back fond memories but out of all that I have owned and would like to own again only a few are real regrets of selling. I should have never sold my Hellicrafters SX28A, also I should have never sold my National NC400, I have bought and sold and still own several Hammarlund receivers I’ll likely always own a couple also this goes for BC348s I still have a couple and will keep at least 1. Then there is the venerable Navy RBM/RBS I finally remembered where I saw one in a cow barn sitting in the dirt and bought it i am collecting necessary parts to get it up and going again so i can again enjoy and relive some old adventures from my earliest days as a Novice and a little before. But the one they truly got away and i have searched high and low for was indeed a rare bird. I acquired it in pieces getting first the reciever with a horrible home made power supply made from old TV transformers and other scavenged parts that would quite literally knock you on your ass from exposed voltages. I later found the original bolt on to the top power supply speaker combination that had been sold separately for some unknown reason. It was an Italian WWII Navy receiver made by Magnetti-Morelli. It was a pretty good old receiver especially after I went through each and every stage of the unit tweaking it to the maximum. I sold it to a high school friend who I have not been able to get in touch with since those days. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he still has it! He is a distant cousin to my first wife, I still am friends with several of her family in fact that’s how I met her. I think I’ll see if some of them can hook me up with my old friend and find out whatever to that old radio. I’d love to have another one just for nostalgia. Quite strangely when I first acquired the radio I was then going to school 7th grade I think with one Marty Morelli. I remember asking him at the time about the radio. He ask his parents and even though it had been some 20 odd years they being of Italian descent were reluctant to talk about things from WWII. So little was learned other than yes it was their ancestors who designed and built the radio as they had for merchant marine. But they would not say much else and none of his family or my friend had any interest in the radio whatsoever. That may not be the radio that I miss the most or even the one I have the most regrets about getting rid of but it is the one I’d most like to have back! You know each was an end to a means I sold them to acquire newer or better equipment and in doing so bettered my ability to learn to be the engineer that I am today and have the fine top of the line equipment that I have and use. So thay played a valuable part in my life, that’s why I’d like renew my old acquaintances with some of my old dear friends who emit that soft dim glow in the night.

  4. Steven Adler - K1KTF

    My biggest radio regret was selling my childhood amateur radio station being a Drake 2C and Drake 2NT. Remembering the early years of my youth operating CW tapping out CQ and to hear a faint signal from Morocco returning my call. Particularly during those hot summer years when propagation was great with just a long wire.

  5. Howard

    My 2 radios I regret selling are the
    Yaesu FR101D
    Yaesu FR50B
    The first decent communication receivers I ever used, solidly built And highly useable.. I tracked down a used but in top order a Yaesu FRG 7, this is for keeps.

  6. Mike Todd

    Yes, my RF-2200 also, had to have the 2900 for the read out but the the read out and radio was all over the place. I’ve never let anything go since. Now I have 2 Drake R4B’s R-8, JRC 525, ICF-2010.

  7. Roger Kofler

    When I started restoring Boatanchor receivers some years ago, one of my first projects was an EH Scott SLR12B. This is a morale radio, doesn’t even have a BFO. However this old radio does a great job of what it was made to do, which is quality reproduction of broadcast band and shortwave signals. With 6V6s in P/P I drive one half of a set of stereo speakers and you never run out of audio gain. Not valuable or in demand, this old girl weighs in at over 100# in the cabinet and probably is a blood relative of your SLRM. My SLR is the Merchant Marine model, so it is black as opposed to the US Navy model which is grey. I live near Portland Oregon, and many Liberty Ships were dismantled here after WWII. I think this radio saw service on a ship because, at some point in its life the volume control was replaced and the copper plated cabinet was very scratched and dented.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Oh yes! I know this model although I don’t think I’ve ever seen one at a hamfest. Those EH Scott radios have brilliant audio, though! What a keeper!

  8. Tom

    The radio I most regret selling was my JRC-515 which I bought with money from selling my Yaesu FRG-7700 which I also now regret selling. Both were excellent radios and gave me many pleasurable hours of DXing & QSL card collecting.

  9. Paul Evans

    I lost my Sony ICF-7600D, but didn’t sell it. We moved from FL to Grenada. The shipment of household goods was delayed in Miami in 95F heat, by about a month. Like an idiot I had left batteries in it. You can guess it arrived with leaked batteries everywhere inside. It was a goner. Since this I never, ever use Duracell batteries. They always leak under duress or when low. There are YouTube videos that back up my findings 🙁
    It was 27 years old by this time and had done a fabulous job since I bought it when first getting to university in the UK. It was a part of everyday life and left a hole.

  10. E.J. Smith

    For me, easily it was selling my Panasonic RF-2800. I was still a kid in school in the 80s, strapped for cash, and I had a Yaesu FRG-7700 desktop that I purchased with money from a summer job. The Panasonic was a classic receiver. It was very selective and the audio was great.

    I since learned my lesson and I’ve found that I am “collecting” receivers by default. I still have the Yaesu FRG-7700, a Grundig Satellit 700 that I received as a gift in the early 90s (a great receiver but it’s breaking down), a Realistic DX-440 (another gift), and my main desktop, an Icom R-75 that I bought used on Ebay in 2002. (As an aside, I bought a Tecsun S-8800 two years ago simply out of curiosity. It pales in comparison to all of the aforementioned receivers, in my humble opinion.)

    I have great memories of being an avid DXer during the 80s and 90s when propagation was favorable and shortwave was still a very viable medium. I still listen daily but it’s difficult with the solar minimum, local interference, and the great stations like Radio Australia, Radio Canada International, Radio Nederlands, and Radio Moscow/Voice of Russia now long gone.

  11. John Kolb

    Receivers I most regret selling were the Navy surplus ARB I has as a teen, 1958, and the Heathkit SB-310, about 1970, the first rx I had with accurate dial, and the one I started DXing with. Do not regret dumping the HRO-500, which was a dog, or R-389, as I had no interest in MW. Do regret selling for $150 instead of holding till the price went into the 1000’s.
    Current receivers – FRG-7, R-1000, Radiomarine R-7, which is a rebranded Drake MSR-2, R-1449 long wave. None forever, as noise level how so high listening pretty useless here. Mostly listen with on-line receivers at SDR.hu

  12. ad

    way way back my first boat anchor was AR88 it was a loan for a year or so , than I had SP600 for ~2 years, but once I got my license I went into much “lighter” anchors…
    But I was realy stupid to sell my Sony icf2010 after I mod it with few things (like replacing the antenna jack and few other thing by a booklet that was offered in the late 90’s). I had it for ~10 years and I sold it after I bought the ICF-SW7600G that is still going strong by my bad.

  13. Price Kagey

    I still regret selling my Hammarlund HQ-140, as a graduate student, to obtain the cash to buy and build a Heathkit SB310 RCVR. The SB310 was a nice RCVR , but lacked the “feel” of the 140; a RCVR that netted me 100+ QSL cards from a small apartment in Philadelphia, using a magnet wire (invisible) antenna.

  14. Art

    I have sold many radio over the years that I wish I have not sold. I guess life happens and sometimes I had to do what I had to do at the moment. I now just acquired a Yaesu FT-101B. This was a transceiver that was, at the time, personally made by someone with Pride. High quality components. One can not find recently produced equipment like this. So this one is a keeper along with its accessories I have with it.

  15. bill

    I suppose my Radio Shack DX-300, though it was a horrible radio. Absolutely horrible. During daylight hours the local AM Christian station nobody listened to showed up superimposed on every other signal- and that was a station about as powerful as a Mr. Microphone located 3 miles from me. To say that puppy suffered from overloading problems would be the understatement of all times.

    But wow, there never was a radio that looked more like a radio than the DX-300. Metal cabinet, black crinkle finished. LED glowing digital display. It looked fantastic.

    I gave it to a foreign college student who needed something to keep track of the revolution back home. I suspect he got good service out of it. It could pull in the powerhouse stations fairly well.

  16. John B

    I’m not qualified to say, as I’ve still GOT most of the radios I’ve owned.

    I could supply a small Shelby…that’s a beautiful super pro, Thomas

  17. Ted

    I’ve never seen a ICF-4800 here either but I do own a ICR-4800 with its felt lined case. Its pretty small but it works great. No FM though.

  18. John R Palmer

    Here’s a suggestion for another post.
    Name a piece of radio gear that for some reason, technical, emotional, design etc. that you’ve gotten more fun using than you would ever have expected based on its price, maybe more so than other much more expensive radios you’ve owned. Just a piece of gear that really hit the spot and you’ve had a blast using.
    I’ll reveal my nomination….

  19. Andrew

    Well … the thruth ? Ok ok … it wasn’t exacly a beauty but I still has a place in my hearth, it wasa “Wireless set Nr.19 mk III” and while it wasn’t the best rig in this world I still miss it 🙂 but then, at the time, I had no choice

    Sigh … those were times 😀 !

  20. John R Palmer

    JRC NRD345 which was sold to trade up to the Drake 8B.
    The JRC NRD345 was a great little receiver, audio wasn’t too hot though, but quality of construction was outstanding as was typical for JRC gear.

    My Drake 8B which was sold in order to buy an AOR 7030 (still got that and two other units, a classic of HF receivers with fantastic audio and an outstanding performer in all respects).
    The Drake 8B was/is an outstanding radio. In fact, performance-wise there’s little to quibble between the Drake 8B and the AOR AR7030 just different design philosophies.
    Wish I’d held onto my Drake 8B though.

    My Sony ICF-SW1S, the first of Sony’s miniature short wave radio line with digital tuning and sold to trade up to an ICF-SW100S. Wish I’d kept it despite the 5 kHz tuning step on the HF bands.

    Also wish I’d held onto my Sony ICF-SW1000T, Sony were at the top of their game here, this was the best short wave receiver to incorporate a cassette player ever made (and priced to match!), just a beautifully constucted piece of consumer electronics that only Sony could produce.

    Glad I’ve held onto my Sony ICF-SW100S and Sony ICF-SW07 radios, those are both marvels of miniaturization and well-designed technology that made Sony the gold standard for consumer short wave radios with technical specs. and performance levels the equal of some radio amateur hobbyist gear.

    My AOR AR8000, very sensitive wideband receiver and sold to trade up to an AOR AR8200B which I didn’t like much and sold. Should have just kept my AOR AR8000B.

  21. Jake Brodsky, AB3A

    About 26 years ago, when my sister was about to leave for peace corp service in Africa, I sent her off with a YB-400. It served her well. During her stay in Gambia, there was a coup. That little radio turned out to be a primary news source for her village. Her only complaint was that it went through batteries pretty quickly. (About 30 hours to a set of fresh batteries)

    I was so impressed with the performance and sound quality that radio I bought another one for myself. I can recall many mornings waking up to the BBC World Service relayed through the Sackville NB transmitter. It has also been around the world with me and on many camping trips as well. I’ll continue to hang on to it.

    But I’m finding myself eyeing other radios. I may be due for an upgrade…

  22. Michael Bott

    Oh, heck yes. Sold an Icom IC-R75 just a couple of years back and have had Seller’s Remorse over the whole thing. Resolved that earlier this month when I picked up a synch detector model. Have since added the DSP unit and it has made a trip to and back from Kiwa Electronics for a little of Craig’s magic.

  23. Dirk Rijmenants

    Yes! As a young kid in the 70s, I used to drive around with dad to pick up old radios (and TV) that people put on the street for the monthly “large garbage”. I then teared them apart to get the components for my electronics hobby. These days, I think that I was sooooooo stupid to dismantle all kinds of radio, many of them still working, and some were really old wooden cabinet 30s-60s radios than people, and I, found old garbage. Aaagrrrr!

  24. Sean W

    I had a fully loaded AOR7030 plus with the UNPB board and Kiwa mods. Sold it and regretted it from the moment it left on UPS to its new owner. I bought another 7030 a few years later but can’t find an accessory board anywhere.

    1. John R Palmer

      Totally agree, the AOR AR7030 is a classic HF receiver with great audio and once you mastered the “interesting and novel” approach to its operation a breeze to operate. I grew to love the minimalist design of this outstanding performer.

  25. Kanwar Sandhu

    I regret very much selling SONY ICF-2001D. It helped me in listening and verifying hundreds of radio stations during 80’s and 90’s. I have not found a single receiver till now, which can beat synchronous feature like it.

    1. Thomas Post author

      I hear ya. The ICF-2001D is certainly a benchmark portable for DXing. If I ever find a great deal on one, I’m likely to add it to my collection.

  26. Mark

    My biggest regret was selling my first shortwave radio, which saw me through my student years.

    The silly thing is that it was small and didn’t take up much space.

    It was the Sony ICF-4800, and came with a neat felt covered case.

    If I had kept it, it’s unlikely I’d be using it much now, but it would have been a great memento of the early eighties when I was listening to Radio Netherlands, Radio Sweden, VOA, and Radio Switzerland.


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