Category Archives: Vintage Radio

NIB Zenith Trans-Oceanic fetches $3,050 on eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares a link to this recent listing of an NIB (New In Box) Zenith Trans-Oceanic Royal 7000Y R-7000-1 that fetched $3.050 on eBay. Dan believes this may be a record price for this model.

Admittedly, it’s not often you see a Trans-Oceanic in this pristine condition:

Many thanks for sharing this, Dan!

I’m curious: How many here would fork out several thousand dollars for a vintage portable like the Trans-Oceanic–? This is truly a museum piece and I would love it, of course, but that’s a lot more money than I could allocate and stay happily married. 🙂

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: Trend in Tropical Bands, AM Drive Time and EDT, RTI Russian Service, and Feedback from RW Guest Commentary

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Trends in Tropical Bands Broadcasting (EDXC)

EDXC co-founder Anker Petersen has published the latest Trends in tropical bands broadcasting and Domestic Broadcasting Survey.

Anker writes: “Since the Danish Short Wave Club International published the first annual Tropical Bands Survey in 1973, I have registered which stations are active, based upon loggings from our members and other DXers around the world. Here is an updated status outside Europe and North America, where Clandestine and Pirate stations are not included.”

Both of the documents are available at the DSWCI website, to study and enjoy. Click on the two blue boxes on the left side of the website for the current versions, and also to look back over previous versions. Hopefully, these will also encourage more DXers to listen regularly to the Tropical Bands. [Click here to read the original post…]

Universal Power-Up Time For AMs Seen As One Potential Fix For Proposed Clock Change. (Inside Radio)

Talk in Washington about making Daylight Saving Time permanent may bring cheers from people who hate the “spring forward” and “fall back” disruption to their body clocks. But it has the potential to upend radio stations, especially during the darkest winter months. New Jersey Broadcasters Association President Paul Rotella is urging the bill’s sponsor to consider adding some protections for AM radio into the bill.

“If this legislation is adopted, many if not most, AM stations will lose an hour of morning drive with no or reduced power and no one seems to be addressing the issue,” said Rotella in a letter to Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Permanent daylight-saving time would mean that AM daytime-only stations and AMs with directional signals would not be at full power until after 9am in some parts of the country.

Rotella says such a move would mean that these stations would lose most of their critical morning drive daypart when a lot of ad revenue is made. The upside is the change would give AMs more time during their afternoon drive, when some stations need to power down before 5pm during the winter months. But many AM owners have said that the amount of money they would make from an extra hour of broadcast time during the afternoon would not make up for the losses they would suffer in the morning. [Continue reading…]

Letters from Ukraine – Taiwan Insider (RTI English via YouTube)

[What RTI’s Ukrainian listeners are saying]

RTI’s Russian broadcasts are reaching Ukraine, and the Ukrainian people are talking back. The head of RTI Russian tells Insider what listeners are saying and how RTI is supporting Ukraine from Taiwan. Continue reading

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: A Second Golden Age, RFE Popular in Russia, Station Helps Ukrainian Refugees, Symbol of Normalcy, Saving Wax Cylinders, and Antarctic Post Office Opportunity

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Is radio in a second golden age? Here’s what the first looked like. (MSN / Washington Post)

On. Oct. 30, 1938, America was rocked by shocking news: Aliens had been spotted crash-landing outside Grover’s Mill, N.J. Additional sightings were soon made across the Northeast, including reports of Martians unleashing poisonous gas on Manhattan and burning onlookers alive with ray guns. Periodically, the breathless news reports would be reduced to static.

Listeners reacted in real time; many of them flooded the streets wearing gas masks and wet towels over their faces. Stores were raided, bridges and expressways were inundated with traffic, and pregnant women reportedly went into early labor.

Of course, the alien invasion never actually happened. The news bulletins were part of a live Halloween program a young producer and a cast of talented actors were presenting over the radio. The producer was 23-year-old Orson Welles, and the name of the episode was “War of the Worlds.” The H.G. Wells-adapted story had been produced for radio as part of Welles’s regular Sunday night broadcast, “The Mercury Theater on the Air” — a program that had hitherto been largely ignored, as it was up against a wildly popular variety show starring comedians Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

Only this Sunday was different, as millions of Americans who had tuned in to listen to Bergen and McCarthy changed their dials when the duo introduced a guest opera singer. “No one was in the mood for opera that night, and much of the country stumbled onto Welles’s broadcast by mistake, not knowing the news bulletins they heard were part of a radio drama,” explained Carl Amari, a syndicated radio host and the founder of Radio Spirits, a large distributor of classic radio programs. [Continue reading…]

The Kremlin tries to stifle Radio Free Europe — and its audience surges (Washington Post)

As the U.S.-funded broadcaster is forced to shut most of its Russian operations, its Web traffic indicates that Russian people are eagerly consuming its stories

Radio Free Europe, the U.S.-funded operation that got its start by piping American-flavored news through the Iron Curtain in 1950, could see big trouble brewing for its Russian operation in recent years.

The Kremlin kept putting the screws to its Russian-language broadcasts, throwing up ever more regulatory hurdles. But it was in late 2020 that the hammer really came down. The “media regulator” demanded that every broadcast, digital story and video carry an intrusive disclaimer at the top stating that what followed was the product of a foreign agent.

“Basically, it was like telling our audience to go away,” said Jamie Fly, the CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as the organization has been known since a 1976 merger.

That labeling would interfere with the private nonprofit’s mission at a core level. So, Fly told me, “we refused to comply.” [Continue reading…note that this content might be behind a paywall for some readers.]

New radio station helps Ukrainian refugees adapt in Prague (AP)

PRAGUE (AP) — This is Radio Ukraine calling.

A new Prague-based internet radio station has started to broadcast news, information and music tailored to the day-to-day concerns of some 300,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the Czech Republic since Russia launched its military assault against Ukraine.

In a studio at the heart of the Czech capital, radio veterans work together with absolute beginners to provide the refugees with what they need to know to settle as smoothly as possible in a new country. Continue reading

Spread the radio love

Antiques Roadshow Radio and “The changing sound of radio”


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete Madtone, who writes:

[L]ast night while I was having my dinner, a lovely Marconi crystal set came on Antiques Roadshow that a chap had rescued from a skip!  In the end it was valued for £1000-£1500. A sort of radio you’d love in a museum cabinet at home.

Nice pics of radio in that time too in the little piece.

Click here to watch on iPlayer.

[Also,] I just got a recommendation about a wonderful series on the BBC called The changing sound of radio with Chris Watson (wildlife sound recordist and original member of Cabaret Voltaire). The first one is all about recording natural sounds which is wonderful but episode 2 has shortwave radio, binaural sound and tape loops in music. It is very very interesting!

Click here to check it out on BBC Sounds.

Thank you so much for these tips, Pete!

Spread the radio love

Mark seeks a vintage radio repair technician in the DC metro area

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Irish, who writes:

Good afternoon Mr. Witherspoon,

Just wanted to follow up on a contact for fixing several shortwave radios from the primarily the 70s and 80s, preferably someone located in the DC Metropolitan area, Virginia or North Carolina. These would include the Zenith R-7000-2 and General Electric World Monitor P4990A. Is this something that you could post on your blog? If possible, please let me know either way.

Thank you,

Mark Irish

Great question, Mark! It’s difficult to find radio repair technicians these days. 

I have a couple of suggestions, but perhaps the SWLing Post community can comment with even more options!

You might check with Vlado at HamRadio.repair. He has worked on some vintage solid state radios in the past–he’s located near Asheville, North Carolina.

Also, you might reach out to the National Capital Radio & TV Museum in Bowie, MD. They offer classes in radio repair and I imagine they would be the best source to find a technician in the DC Metro area.

Post readers: Please comment if you know of other resources for Mark!

Spread the radio love

WU2D and “Dream” SW Receivers of the 1960s and 70s

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Meara, who shares this most recent post from his excellent SolderSmoke Podcast blog:

Mike WU2D Looks at the “Dream” SW Receivers of the 1960s and 70s (Video)

Wow, I really liked Mike’s walk down memory lane. I saw several of my own dream receivers:

S-38E. Indeed, this little monster did add some danger to your life. AKA “The Widow Maker,” I gave one to my cousin’s husband so he could listen to what the commies on Radio Moscow were saying. He later told me that the receiver had given him a shock. I now have TWO S-38Es in my shack (two more than I really need). I have installed isolation transformers in both of them, so they have lost the one element (danger!) that made them attractive.

HA-600A. I got this one for Christmas in 1972. The A model is MUCH better than the plain vanilla HA-600. I recently got another HA-600A and found serious deficiencies in the Product Detector. Has anyone else noticed these problems? BACKGROUND INFO AND A PLEA FOR MORE INFO HERE: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/search?q=HA-600A+Product+Detector

HQ-100. Got one in the Dominican Republic. Fixed it up, repairing damages caused by radio life in the tropics. Disabled the goofy audio amplifier circuitry. I now wonder if this receiver might benefit from the insertion of a 455 kc ceramic filter.

NC190. Wow “Cosmic Blue” Perhaps this was an early influence that led to “Juliano Blue?”

HQ-180. “18 tubes and almost as many knobs!” FB!

HRO-500. Love the dial.

Transoceanic. Never had one, but built a BFO for the Transoceanic that W8NSA took with him to SE Asia during the war.

R-390A. I don’t have a crane for the workbench.

Thanks Mike — that was a lot of fun.

Spread the radio love

The Cooling Radio Station & MUSA: The Ultimate SSB Receiving Site

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark (AE2EA), who shares the following video from the Antique Wireless Association. Here’s the video description:

Cooling Radio Station was at the UK end of a point-to-point, shortwave signal beamed from Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The site of the station was carefully selected as the antenna, MUSA (Multiple Unit Steerable Antenna), upon which it depended to receive the incoming transmission, had to be: directly aligned with Lawrenceville NJ, USA; two miles long; comprised of an array of 16 individual rhombic antenna; and have an area of three miles in front of the MUSA that would be free from radio interference. The 16 rhombic antenna were strung between 60ft high telegraph poles; each side was 315ft long with internal angles of 140 degrees. The signal from each antenna was sent to the station via a core coaxial cable sheathed in a watertight copper tube and buried in a central trench.

This vital communications link, between the US and British governments at the very highest level, operated from 1942 until the early 1960s. Although a transatlantic telegraph cable had been in use since 1866, there was no telephone cable until 90 years later, in 1956. An initial shortwave system was set up in 1929, but was of poor quality. The Post Office set up and ran Cooling Radio Station solely for the reception side of two way, shortwave, voice channels with the United States. Land was purchased in 1938 and the building was completed in 1939. The receiver used 1,079 valves and was considered to be the most complex radio built. It was connected to the adjacent MUSA (Multiple Unit Steerable Antenna) and could receive 4 incoming radio telephone channels. It was officially in use on the 1st July 1942. This may well have been because German intelligence services were able to break the scrambler / encryption device available in 1939. By 1943, Bell Laboratories in the US had developed SIGSALY, a far more secure scrambler system. (This system was so well screened and secure that German records captured at the end of WW2 showed that they were not aware that transmissions were person to person, direct voice contact.) SIGSALY was installed in the basement of Selfridges department store in Oxford Street with extensions to 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet War Rooms and the US Embassy amongst others. The US transmitter was located at Lawrenceville, New Jersey, while UK transmissions were made from Rugby to the US receiver at Manahawkin, New Jersey.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to become a member of the AWA.

Spread the radio love