Dan spots an ultra-rare National HRO-600 on Buyee

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Wow. Appearing on the Japan Buyer site is one of the top rarities, the National HRO-600

As veteran SWLs may recall, the HRO-600 was pictured in the old Communications Handbook receiver sections.

The radio sold for the then astronomical price of $5600 US. Produced just as National was declaring bankruptcy, the 600 was the final radio from the company.

The last time one of these appeared on the used market was in 2015 and the best writeup on the receiver can be found here.

The condition if this HRO-600 is poor so it may not be salvageable, but it’s nice to see another one show up on the used market since supposedly only 200 or so were made.

Thank you for the tip, Dan! I hope someone grabs this HRO-600 and does a proper restoration job!

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10 thoughts on “Dan spots an ultra-rare National HRO-600 on Buyee

  1. Jrd

    Hi guys. I own a 600. I purchased it 25yrs ago and never powered it up. When i got it, it had not been used or powered on in probably 20 yrs. I have been thinking of selling it. Likely i will put it on the bay at some point as i want to reach as many people as possible for this rarity to find its way to serious collector. I have no problem with it going international with professional packing / shipping. I will see what serial i have. I have the original book as well i think. I currently dont have a price in mind as i am still doing my research. I understand less the 200 were produced.
    73s Ontario Canada

  2. Luke

    I looked this particular radio up in my Universal Radio “bible” and boy was it expensive new. I thought I read on another post that it was somewhat affordable at the time, but I am wondering if someone’s idea of ‘affordable’ is different than mine!

    Anyway, I took a picture of it’s entry in the book showing all of the specs and pertinent info:


    1. Michael Black

      No, it was never within price range. Other high end receivers of the time at least got advertised, like the Drake DSR-2 and a Raytheon with digital readout. There might have been an article or two that covered high end receivers, more like “this is how the other half lived”.

      SP-600s, R388s and later R390s made it to surplus, so they were way more familiar. The HRO-500 was on the cover of Popular Electronics in 1964, maybe the novelty of solid state. But some apparently did buy them.

  3. Luke Perry

    I have purchased a few things on buyee before. Most of the time it is electronics that were never sold outside of Japan. I think that you will find that the majority of the items are labeled as “junk”…..so there’s that.

    I did buy a rather old and bizarre quadraphonic receiver once through buyee, and it showed up literally looking if it came off the assembly line. And it was packed rather securely. Which might even be an understatement!

    The radio is getting some bids so it will be interesting to see what it goes for.

  4. Steve

    As long a he doesn’t spend $4000 in labor and parts to make it fully functional. US sellers are not as honest. When someone says “junk”, they are likely using the term as an overstatement – as in worse condition than junk. I suppose Japanese people far more honorable than we are – there are many cautionary tales of people opening packages only to find bricks inside.

  5. Dan Robinson

    The translation function on the Buyee site frequently shows items as “junk” when they are not, so that’s not always a good measure. Always look at Photos and other information on the items. In this case, the receiver clearly has condition issues and would require many hours of work and parts replacement.

  6. Steve

    Sorry, found the translation button. It just confirms what I thought. If shipping is reasonable, you could rip out the guts and put an Amazon Alexa inside.

  7. Steve

    The warning on the Japanese website stated in Englishnthat the word “junk” was used in the description. “Poor” may well be a gross overstatement. Unfortunately, nothing e;we on the page is in English. Given the dollar – yen exchange rate now, it could be a bargain, but shipping to the US probably isn’t. If there was ever a case of buyer beware, this is it. Unless, of course, you would like a trophy to Mount o your wall :-).

    1. 13dka

      “Junk” is a common Japanese description for any used article that shows some signs of age and usage, almost anything that’s not in absolutely pristine condition. Japanese sellers are usually not only honest about the condition of a used article, they tend to exaggerate it. That being said, the radio is certainly in poor condition — the radio is generally unchecked, a Nixie tube is missing or defective, there are no accessories, the feet are missing and there is rust and remnants of adhesive tape. Shipping it to the US or EU will likely cost more than $100 but this shouldn’t scare a restoration expert with access to period commercial radio parts, when the radio could yield $4000 or more after restoration.


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