Category Archives: Vintage Radio

Jeremy’s Hammarlund HQ-100AC: 57 years and going strong!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jeremy Clark (VE3PKC), who writes:

Thomas:

Got kind of nostalgic [last week] as it was Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I did a video about my Hammarlund HQ100AC which I got for a Christmas present in 1964, 57 years ago. It still works!

Best Regards

Jeremy Clark VE3PKC

Click here to view on YouTube.

This is wonderful, Jeremy. There’s simply nothing like our boat anchors and vintage radios that continue to work perfectly and pump out amazing, warm audio. There was no such thing as “planned obsolescence” back then! Our radios like the HQ100AC will long outlast us!

Thanks again, Jeremy! I hope your HQ100AC enjoys a even more time on the air and keeps you warm this winter.

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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!!

Photos

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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Rare AEG Telefunken E1800 receiver fetches over $5,000 US

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

A rare AEG 1800 receiver fetched over $5,000 in an auction on the Japan Buyee site, complete with its original metal cabinet.

As collectors/users of premium receivers know, the 1800 was once described as the best HF radio ever made. And this particular unit contained most of the rare main modules that themselves often sell for high prices in Europe.

There were 54 bids for this AEG 1800, demonstrating that rare premium sets such as this, and especially Japan Radio Company (JRC) receivers, still attract major interest from collectors.

Click here to view the completed listing on Buyee.

Most impressive, Dan. It truly amazes me to see the prices rare commercial-grade receivers fetch these days. I’ll be the first to admit that an AEG E1800 would look great in my shack!

Thank you for sharing, Dan.

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Dan watches record-setting vintage JRC receiver auction prices

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

The question is, will it go even higher than the two NRD-240s a few months ago?

https://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/j1000312853?conversionType=item_browsing_history

As collectors of premium receivers know, the Japan Radio Corporation (JRC) NRD-630 is among the rarest of radios.

NRD-630s are almost never seen on the used market and when they do appear, they sell usually for over $5,000 U.S.

This NRD-630, with only a few hours to go, appears on the Japan Buyee (Yahoo Auctions) site, and the receiver appears to be in like new condition.

The last JRC receivers to bring over $5,000 were two NRD-240 receivers, both of those also in like new condition.

Click here to see the results of this auction.

Thanks, Dan! It’s so fascinating to see how prices for these vintage JRC receivers change with time!

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Bob Colegrove on “The Joys and Challenges of Tuning Analog Radios”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bob Colegrove, who recently shared this excellent article and has kindly allowed me to share it here in the the Post. Bob prefaced it by saying, “Being a retired technical writer, I started the attached article some time ago for my own amusement, but it quickly got out of hand.

“Got out of hand” in a very good way, Bob!

An excerpt from Bob’s article.

I love how this piece takes us through receiver history and explains, in detail, the mechanics and innovations. It’s also a very accessible piece that both the beginner and seasoned radio enthusiast can appreciate.

But don’t take my word for it, download it and enjoy!

Click here to download The Joys and Challenges of Tuning Analog Radios as a PDF.

Thank you again, Bob. This is a most enjoyable and informative read! This was obviously a labor of love. Thanks for sharing it with our radio community!

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Radio Cameos in Japanese Cinema

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

Good day,

I regularly visit the SWLing Post and very much appreciate the breadth of content you provide on the shortwave hobby. In between the receiver reviews and stories on broadcaster activities, I much enjoy the pieces showing the radio gear that folks notice in television/films. Over the course of the COVID19 pandemic, I have been watching a lot of films from Japan, and in the process have spotted quite a few interesting receivers here and there. Below are some photos and details on some of these unsung stars of Japanese cinema. I think that JRC enthusiast Dan Robinson will agree with me that it’s the ensemble cast of JRCs in Virus that steal the show! 🙂

1. Masahiro Shinoda’s 1961 Epitaph to My Love opened with a very nice shot of a Sony TR-812 multi-band portable in a scene where a news broadcast is being heard in a bar setting.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_tr_812_tr812.html

2. A Sony AFM-152J is shown in a contemporary home setting in Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 1966 film The Face of Another.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_fmam_automatic_tuning_radio_esaki_diode_afm_152j.html

3. Kihachi Okamoto’s 1978 sci-fi film Blue Christmas featured a brief shot of a Sony ICF-7600 – the first of a legendary line of Sony portables that would carry “7600” in their designation.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/sony_icf_7600.html

4. There were several radio appearances in Kinji Fukasaku’s 1980 Virus – a film that took disaster movies to a new level by depicting both a global pandemic and a nuclear holocaust.

A range of JRC gear was captured in a scene that was set in a Japanese Antarctic base. Identifiable rigs include the NRD-10 and the NRD-71.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/jrc_nrd_10nrd1.html
https://www.rigpix.com/jrc/jrc_nrd71.htm

In another scene from the Antarctic base, a Trio (Kenwood) TS-820S is shown powered up.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/trio_kenwo_ts_820s_ts820s.html

5. Lastly, we have an unidentified tube receiver from Masahiro Shinoda’s Childhood Days – an interesting 1990 film about a school aged boy in World War II era Japan who, because of the bombing threat, is sent from his Tokyo home to live in a rural village.


Thank you for sharing this, Jon! It’s wonderful to include radio sightings from Japanese cinema in our ever-growing collection of radios in movies!

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Dan Notes: Vintage JRC Receivers Set Price Records in Japan

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for the following guest post:


Vintage JRC Receivers in Japan Set Price Records

by Dan Robinson

While used market prices for older vintage communications receivers have been dropping significantly in recent years, prices for some classic “premium” receivers — particularly rare marine radios made by Japan Radio Company — have remained in the stratosphere.

The past year has seen a number of examples of this observable on the Japan Yahoo auction site Buyee, and in May and June of 2021 two JRC sets sold for more than $5,000 dollars each after intense bidding.

Both of these involved what appeared from photos to be mostly pristine NRD-240 receivers which came complete with original manuals and cables.

Photos

With Serial Numbers of 66149 and 50337, manufactured in 1996 and 1997, these receivers are examples of what I call “time capsules.” Their condition indicates that they were both in the hands of collectors in Japan, and probably were not in regular extended service as shipboard receivers.

The first sold for $5,776.06 after 164 bids on the Buyee site, while the second went for $5,166.72 after 77 bids.

As described here in an old Universal Radio ad, the JRC NRD-240 was built for marine operations and complied with GMDSS requirements. With coverage from 90.000 to 29999.999 kHz it has 1 Hz display in LSB, USB, AM, CW, and FSK (RTTY) modes. Like many JRC marine receivers it had a front panel selectable 2182 kHz emergency channel. Bandwidths include: 6, 3, 1 and 0.3 kHz with 100 channels, scan/sweep, along with a switchable AF Filter, NB, Lock, Keypad entry, built in speaker, Squelch, BITE, Dimmer and AGC selection.

In the lineup of the most sought after JRC marine receivers, the NRD-240 is listed in the famous guide book by Fred Osterman “Shortwave Receivers Past & Present” on Page 222, as well as on the cover of the book. The price tag is $8000. The receiver was also the subject of a review by in the former Passport to World Band Radio in 1991.

Historically, the NRD-240 was replaced by the JRC NRD-301A, which itself was later replaced by the super-rare NRD-302A, and still later the NRD-630. In terms of rarity, at this point based on my following of the premium receiver used market, the most rare of the JRC marine sets are the NRD-95, followed by the NRD-630 and 301 series.

When bidding gets furious for radios like this, it can take one’s breath away and that was certainly the case with these two NRD-240s. How many more like these, in this condition, may remain in the hands of collectors is, of course, not known.

The rarity of certain receivers can be measured also by the number of user videos showing up on You Tube. There are many of the NRD-92/93 receivers, even some of the NRD-630, and a few showing much older JRC sets such as the NRD-73. I have yet to find a video showing a NRD-240 in operation.

The Japan Buyee site (which sometimes also has receivers that are not physically located in Japan) has a seemingly constant flow of these amazing vintage JRC sets, along with other premium rigs. Photos of the two NRD-240s that sold in May and June are posted with this article (above).

Click here to check out listings on Buyee.

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