eBay find: Mint NOS Barlow Wadley XCR-30

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Robert, who writes:

Thomas – Check out this NOS Barlow Wadley XCR-30 on eBay. I have never seen one of these in this condition!!


Listing Description

Offered is a MINT condition, brand new Barlow-Wadley XCR-30 Mark 2 receiver manufactured in 1974. This particular unit is in the original box, has never been used and is in pristine shape. It’s just like someone would have received it when buying it new nearly 50 years ago. Until a few months ago, it was still sealed in the original plastic and my initial intention was to leave it like that. However, the tape on the plastic had become brittle with age and no longer was adhering to the plastic. I therefore decided to remove the receiver long enough to get a series of photos and carefully placed it back in the plastic. All original accessories and documentation are included: one bag with the operating instructions, original warranty (guarantee) card, and extra log cards; another bag with the the plugs for the user to make the following items: grey plug (earphone), red banana plug (external antenna), black banana plug (grounding/earth), and grey plug (external power supply).

If you are searching specifically for an XCR-30, it’s most likely you know that this receiver was considered state-of-the-art and rather famous when first manufactured. The receiver uses what is known as a Wadley loop which is a clever method of obtaining frequency stability. There are various articles online which go in to greater detail regarding this receiver as well as the theory and significance of the Wadley loop. This receiver has a frequency range of 500 kHz to 30 MHz and which is covered in 30 separate bands of 1 MHz each.

Due to the age of this receiver it is being sold as-is with no guarantee of its operability in the future. Also, it is very much recommended that it be properly serviced prior to any attempt at powering up. At a minimum, all electrolytic capacitors should be replaced.

This receiver will be well packaged with extra layers of cardboard and packing peanuts around all sides, top and bottom for protection during shipping.

On Sep-20-21 at 18:39:31 PDT, seller added the following information:
Please note: I have NOT installed any batteries into the receiver. That’s what “never used” means in the title and description.

Wow! What a find, Robert. Thank you for sharing it with us. I bet this listing will go much higher in price–it’s rare to see a mint NOS Barlow Wadley XCR-30 on eBay. I would love an XCR-30 some day, but this will surely go beyond my bidding comfort level! Indeed, I’m very curious how high it will go!

Click here to view this XCR-30 on eBay.

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14 thoughts on “eBay find: Mint NOS Barlow Wadley XCR-30

  1. Colin Newell

    I have a functioning XCR-30 that was once owned by none other than Ian McFarland of Radio Canada International — that I am going to part with –

    Send me an e-mail if your interested —
    Preferences for Western Canada or the North-west USA

  2. Byron Hayes, Jr.

    The Galaxy radio referred to by 13dka is the R530 (Not R350). Universal Radio has write-ups about it and its successor, the R1530. Both are great receivers using the Wadley Loop.

  3. 13dka

    Spot on! BTW and somewhat OT, I just tried to find any information about the Galaxy R350 but that must be the rarest receiver of all times: Google has a blackout after dashing out all the noise – there are 2 discussions mentioning it, Radiomuseum.org and not a single image seems to exist on the WWW. That’s a first for me. Makes me all the more curious! 🙂

    1. Michael Black

      I probably mentioned the Galaxy because I actually saw one.

      I saw the ads as a kid, and the reviews, but always thought of it as small. But there was one at the local hamfest, maybe twenty years ago. It was big. Somebody had bought it, and it was being wheeled away, but I recognized it. Somehow one made it to Canada. I didn’t ask about the price.

      The ads for it seemed to be frequent, but my impression comes from used magazines a few years later. I think both CQ and QST reviewed it, but at the time it was an advanced solid state receiver. It probably wasn’t bought by many hams when new, too expensive.

  4. Dan

    I obtained a pretty much mint condition XCR-30 some months ago — they are great examples
    of early Wadley Loop technology. They don’t knock things out of the ball park but are nice
    pieces of equipment, but usually require capacitor replacements and thorough internal cleaning
    of switches.

  5. Michael Black

    The Wadley loop wasn’t about “stability”. It was a way to “synthesize” 30 crystals.

    The overall design is like the Collins 51J4 or other more expensive receivers. A crystal controlled converter into a receiver that tuned a fixed band. Not only better image rejection, but a better dial because it only covered a small slice, and the same in each band. So lots of dial space, and calibrated once. The classic receiver with 3 shortwave bands, each covered about a 2:1 range. No way to put markings every 1KHz.

    But you needed a crystal for each tuning range, and that could add up. Okay for ham band only receivers, only six bands. But general coverage, only high end receivers. There were exceptions, the Drake SPR-4 and Heathkit SB-313, but they had a limited number of bands, and you had to buy crystals for any more.

    The Wadley loop came along in the late fifties, a form of “synthesizer” at the cost of an extra conversion in the signal path.

    A few years later, National got the same results with an analog phase locked loop. Some people confuse the two. The Galaxy R350 followed. But both were still high end receivers.

    So when the Barlow Wadley receiver appeared, it was a big thing. Most receivers were old style, and here was a portable to boot. So better than many home receivers, and the best portable in terms of dial.

    Others followed, a Drake and the Yaesu FRG-7. But soon a shift to frequency counters instead of dials, much better accuracy and resolution, without needing lots of calibration. And different designs to give the same effect.

    And then wham, the Sony 2001, fully synthesizer (albeit large steps) and thatbbecame the ideal to aim for.

    1. Dick Powell

      And the Sony was a battery pig, it can chew through a set (3) d cells in less than a day. I have both the XCR 30 and an ICF 2001, and many other sw portables. The XCR 30 is my first choice for a portable sw set.


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