Let’s take a deep dive into a list of our favorite radios!

Over the past week, I asked the SWLing Post community if they’ve ever regretting parting with a radio, and then what radios they’ve owned that had the most “fun” factor.

The response from these two posts was pretty overwhelming.

I don’t actually check the SWLing Post viewer stats that often, but I was too curious: together, those two posts amounted to well over 20,000 unique pageviews in two days!

Obviously, I’m not the only radio nostalgic person around here!

These posts resonated so well, I didn’t want readers’ favorite models to be lost in the comments section. I decided to comb through the comments, make a list of all of the models, and link to sites and pages with more information and photos.

This is an interesting collection of radios since some are benchmark performers, while others much less so. Many were listeners’ first radios–the ones we cut our teeth on.

I would encourage you to read through the comments on our first and our second posts. Many great memories in there!

Below, you’ll find the full list of radios in alphabetical order, starting with receivers then moving to transceivers:


AOR 7030

AOR AR8000

Drake 2-C (Photo: Eric McFadden)

Drake 2-C

Drake R8B

Eddystone 750

EH Scott SLR12B

Eton S350DL

Globetrotter V01

Grundig YB400

Hallicrafters SX-100 (Photo: Rick Post)

Hallicrafters SX-100

Hammarlund HQ-140

Heathkit GR-64

Heathkit GR-78

Heathkit SB-310

Icom IC-R2

Icom IC-R75




Kaito KA1103/Degen DE1103

Kenwood R-1000

Knight Star Roamer

Palladium 949/469

Panasonic RF-2200

Panasonic RF-2200

Panasonic RF-2800


Realistic Astonaut 8

Rheinland 4953W

Realistic DX-160

Realistic DX-200

Realistic DX-300

Realistic DX-394 (Photo: RigPix)

Realistic DX-394

Realistic Patrolman 6

Realistic Patrolman 9

Sangean 803A/Realistic DX-440

Siemens Radio E309

Sony Earth Orbiter (CRF-5090)

Sony ICF-2001D

Sony ICF-SW1000T (Photo: Universal Radio)

Sony ICF-2010

Sony ICF-SW1

Sony ICF-SW1000T

Sony ICF-7600D

Sony ICF-SW7600

Sony ICF-SW7600GR

Sony ICF-SW7600GR

Sony ICR-4800

Unelco 1914

Wireless Set No.19 Mk III

Yaesu FR-50B

Yaesu FR-101D

Yaesu FRG-7

Yaesu FRG-7700


Heathkit HW-8 (Photo: Eric McFadden)

The Icom IC-735

Drake 2-NT

Heathkit HW-8

Index Labs QRP+

Icom IC-735

Marconi C100

National NCX-3 (Photo: Universal Radio)

National NCX 3

Yaesu FT-77

Yaesu FT-101B

Yaesu FT-817ND

Yaesu FT-857D

Many thanks to everyone who shared their favorite radios! I truly enjoyed checking out each of these models as I listed and linked to them. There were a number of unique models I had never seen before and many I had completely forgotten (like the Sony ICF-SW1000T)!

If you have more favorite models to share, feel free to comment here or on the original posts!

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16 thoughts on “Let’s take a deep dive into a list of our favorite radios!

  1. Dan

    My first was the Nordmende Globetrotter. Soon after, I picked up a Realistic Patrolman CB-8. Both were local pawn shop purchases back in the early 80’s

  2. Kevin potter

    Omg …although i have over 100 mainly sony radios i think back to my apprenticeship at siemens in australia ..very early 80s as a radio tradesman…the local telecommunication industry died and all these Marconi and siemens signal generators along with beautiful test gear got trashed …dummy loads ..they were works of art ..urgh

  3. Bill KX4YF

    Hello. I clicked on the link for the Realistic Patrolman 6, but it showed the Patrolman 6 SW. The Patrolman 6 is an older receiver than the 6 SW or 6 CB. Still nice to see all of these beautiful vintage radios.

  4. Tom

    Well this is a tough one, but I’ll try to speak for a couple of old-timey boat anchor sets, some of which I’m still using every now and then.

    The latest acquisition is a Hammarlund SP-600. Will need a full recap, someone did a partial, but it’s not anywhere close to my liking. Looks like a “Tonka Truck Radio” with the huge controls, but a beautiful set, and great bandcruiser with good audio.

    TMC GPR-90 is likely the boat anchor I have been using the most. Some people like them, others hate them, but I can say without a doubt the set I have is likely one of, if not the most sensitive tube set I have ever used. Great audio also.

    Lastly the “Big 3”, the old RBA, RBB and RBC. Huge, to say the least, but they just keep working, with minimal if any repairs. Of all the tube sets I have ever had, or used, I can say these are about the only radios I’ve never been concerned about if they get left on…they are going machines…

  5. Henry

    I regret selling off my ICF-2010 and, later, my ICF-SW77 … at that stage in my life I could afford *one* radio. My ICF-SW55 croaked on its own, but it sold on eBay as a parts radio for entirely too much money (I think the buyer didn’t read the listing carefully).

  6. Chuck Findlay

    Is it a bad things that I,be owned 5 of the radios pictured above?

    And owned a lot not pictured.

    1. John R. Palmer

      If a woman can own fifty pairs of shoes despite having only one pair of feet then I can own fifty radios despite having only two ears.

      Case closed…

  7. Jake Brodsky, AB3A

    My father had a GE P780 model A MW AM broadcast radio. It was about the size of a lunch box but it weighed a lot more. If memory serves, I seem to recall that it had eight D-Cells in it, so that may have contributed to the weight. It was challenging for four year old me to pick up that radio and carry it around. I can recall sitting on a covered porch during late evening thunderstorms with my father, listening to a baseball game far away.

    I was fascinated by the idea that the radio would work and voices from far away would come through the speaker. That fascination is with me still.

  8. John R Palmer

    Great follow-up post.
    My post is focused on technical performance.
    I’ve tried to learn from past mistakes and now rarely consider selling older gear, I did that in the past through lack of funds and lived to regret it. I also learned not to pass on radios to family members.

    There’s two receivers I will never part with.
    I think both represent the “end of the line” for traditional analog superhet designs, I don’t think it’s possible to really improve on that technology platform over these two radios. Both receivers are outstanding performers from a technical standpoint, one a dedicated HF receiver with a unique design philosophy and suberb audio, the other a wideband receiver covering a huge chunk of the radio spectrum with a highly configurable feature set.

    The AOR AR7030
    What can you say about this classic HF receiver from AORUK, I’ve never read a review that didn’t award it the highest ratings (even in Passport to World Band Radio who subjected radios to “extreme technical interrogations”) and for it’s original pricepoint at that performance level was great value for money. Some, I think, were put off by its minimalist design approach but once I got used to its user interface it’s a breeze to operate and has probably the best audio of any receiver I’ve owned.

    The AOR AR5000+3B
    Another stellar performer from AOR, covering a wide part of the radio spectrum. A highly configurable feature set (albeit with a steep learning curve!) with suberb sensitivity and selectivity right across its receive spectrum.

    (I still sorely regret parting with my Drake R8B…)

    1. Adam VK3SWL

      Another vote for the AOR AR5000+3
      I like it so much that I have another set that can be used for parts (it has the dreaded LCD black death)
      Paired with a nice external AF DSP and decent speaker, the AR5000+3 is just fantastic!


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