Category Archives: Vintage Radio

eBay Find: The Dieter Rams Braun T1000CD

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, who shares this eBay find: a Dieter Rams Braun T1000CD.

I must say, £675.00 is a lot of money, but I’m not so sure it’s an inflated price for the Braun T1000CD. I believe I’ve seen them fetch even higher prices and the condition of this unit is excellent.

Here’s the seller’s description:

I bought this radio from an Italian colleague in 1983 when I worked in Nigeria. I am the second owner from new. It has been dry stored in a box at my home for for most of the last 35 years. It is in very excellent condition with only the most minor blemishes to the case. Comes with original paper work and circuit diagram numbered the same at the radio. Please see all the photos. I had this serviced and realigned by Graham at East Coast Wireless. I have just checked all the controls and apart from the dial light they all work.

I’m sure a Dieter Rams collector will grab this unit in short order. Frankly, if I had the radio funds for such a purchase, I’d be tempted. I don’t own a single Rams’ designed radio.

Thanks again, Cap! One of the great things about eBay is finding the occasional gem like this and simply admiring the design.

Click here to view this listing on eBay.

Spread the radio love

RSGB Archive: Silent Film of D/F Field Day in 1947

Many thanks to the Southgate ARC who notes this recently published 1947 silent film from the Radio Society of Great Britain:

The RSGB has released a vintage silent black and white video of an Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) field day held in 1947 at Chipping Barnet which was then in Hertfordshire

The Incorporated Radio Society of Great Britain titled the video – D/F Field Day (North of the Thames) May 18th 1947. It has been added to the many amateur radio videos that can be viewed on the Society’s YouTube channel.

One thing that’s apparent from the video is the difference in the age range of those who participated in amateur radio in the late 1940’s compared to today.

Watch RSGB Archive film – D/F Field Day 1947

Click here to view on YouTube.

Pages 69-70 of the RSGB Bulletin (forerunner of RadCom) for October 1947 contained a fully illustrated report on the North of the Thames ARDF event as well as the South of the Thames event held on July 6, 1947.

The two leading affiliated societies on May 18 were from Essex:
1st Romford and District Radio Society
2nd Southend and District Radio Society
The two clubs swapped positions for the July 6 event.

Fascinating! I love how everyone wore proper attire and much of the equipment was home brew. I imagine operators were happy to go back to field and enjoy all sorts of radio activity so close on the heels of WWII.

Spread the radio love

Thrift Store Find: A $2.50 GE Super Radio II

A few weeks ago, I stopped by our local Habitat For Humanity ReStore searching for reclaimed building supplies.

This particular ReStore is one of the largest in the area–it has an amazing selection of building supplies, furniture, housewares, books and even music, but has a very small section dedicated to electronics which is primarily stocked with DVD players, VCRs and occasionally the odd component system. The person who sets the prices for electronics always over-inflates them so it seems items sit on the shelf for ages.

In all of the years I’ve visited this store, I’ve never found a portable radio of interest…until a few weeks ago.

As I passed by the shelf, a GE Super Radio II caught my eye. Cosmetically, it was in rough shape (in other words, “well-loved”).

I expected a $50 price tag but instead was surprised when I saw $2.50! I put on my reading glasses just to make sure I was reading it correctly.

I plugged the radio in and tested it on FM. It easily snagged a number of FM stations and the audio sounded amazing although the loudness, treble and bass pots were very scratchy.

The AM broadcast band worked as well, but the RFI/noise inside the retail warehouse was overwhelming.

I opened the back of the radio and found an immaculate battery compartment. Obviously, the previous owner was either diligent with removing cells when not in use, or never used batteries.

The antenna was in great shape and had no bends or breaks.

The speakers were in tact as well.

I took the radio to the counter and the guy who rang up the order said, “Well…she ain’t pretty, but for $2.50 how can you go wrong?

My thoughts exactly!

I brought the Super Radio II home with the idea of immediately cleaning her up (like David Korchin did with his “barn find” II), but I’ve had a couple intense travel and work weeks, so it had to wait.

Fast-forward to yesterday when my father-in-law was in town and stopped by for a visit.

He mentioned in passing that after his favorite public radio station decreased power from one of its translators, he could no longer receive it easily with his small AM/FM portable at home. Of course, I have at least four dozen radios here that could easily receive this station, but few of those include a power cord, are incredibly simple to operate and have room-filling audio.

I took a look at the GE Super Radio II, then a look at my father-in-law, and decided he needed it. I knew the ‘Super II would make him a happy man.

I quickly dusted off the chassis and cleaned the pots with DeOxit–it played like a new one.

I tuned to an FM station playing classical music, turned up the volume and my father-in-law beamed when he heard the rich, clear audio.

No doubt, this time-honored portable will get a lot of use and love in its second life.

If I’m being honest with myself, this might not have been a truly altruistic move. You see, when we do an overnight at my father-in-law’s house, I can now do a little AM DXing without having to lug one of my own receivers!

A win-win in my book.

Post Readers: Have you snagged a good radio deal lately? Please comment/brag with models and prices!


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Photos from the 2019 Charlotte Hamfest

This RS HF receiver was pristine. If I had the budget and the shack space, it would have gone back with me. See more photos in our gallery below.

Yesterday morning around 5:30 AM I started my nearly three hour pilgrimage to the 2019 Charlotte (North Carolina) Hamfest. The Charlotte Hamfest is one of the larger regional hamfests in the area–due to its central location, it attracts people from all of the surrounding states.

The Charlotte Hamfest typically falls on the heels of (or the same weekend as) the Winter SWL Fest in Pennsylvania so I usually don’t even put the dates in my calendar. Indeed, the last time I attended the Charlotte Hamfest was about twenty years ago! It was at a different location and, back then, was also very much a computer show. Today it’s almost purely radio.

Following Vlado to the hamfest site on a very foggy, rainy Saturday morning.

The Charlotte Hamfest is a Friday/Saturday event held at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord, NC. The center is a superb hamfest venue: it’s well lit, clean, spacious and can easily house all of the vendors indoors–a huge bonus as weather was less than desirable.

My buddy, Vlado (N3CZ) reserved two vendor tables and packed it with gear to sell–I also brought along a handful of items.

I was very impressed with the turnout–indeed, it was one of the busiest regional hamfests I’ve attended in ages. I sold a couple of items and Vlado sold a lot (he also purchased a lot, but that’s another story!).

I believe I’ll start putting the Charlotte hamfest in my calendar–even though timing isn’t always convenient for me, I think it’s well worth the trip!

Kudos to the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society for putting on such a great show!

Photos

I’ve embedded over 140 photos of the Charlotte Hamfest below–click each one to enlarge. Being a lover of vintage radios, my photos feature a lot of boat anchors. Note that when possible, I try to include the price tags for each item.

Note: If you can’t view the embedded photos below in our email digest, click here to view them on the web.

Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Guest Post: Repairing the National Panasonic DR22, the Panasonic RF-2200’s Euro-Sibling

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario Filippi (N2HUN), who shares the following guest post:


National Panasonic DR22, the Panasonic RF-2200’s Euro-Sibling

By Mario Filippi, N2HUN

(All photos courtesy of author)

Thomas, your recent and thoroughly excellent post on the Panasonic RF-2200 was the inspiration for this short review of the RF-2200’s European sibling, the National Panasonic DR22.

A few years back when I was hunting for a used RF-2200, a second-hand National Panasonic DR22 was for auction on eBay. These radios were sold in Europe and are almost an exact match for the RF-2200, with a few minor cosmetic differences.  It was so close in appearance that I decided to bid and won the auction. The cost was around $150.00 plus shipping.

Author’s National Panasonic DR22, a.k.a. RF-2200BS

The seller described the unit as working, not a tech special, and was complete except for the original earphone.  The strap, which can be missing on some used models was in place, the antenna and all the knobs were there. When the radio was received, all appeared to be working well and most importantly the rotatable ferrite antenna was fully functional.  With the exception of tiny paint specks and years of accumulated dust the unit was cosmetically acceptable for a 40 plus year old radio. After a close olfactory inspection (smelling the unit hi hi) it was determined the radio was from a smoke-free home, which is important as smoke not only causes yellowing of plastic components, but it inundates the internal electronic components and coats them with a yellowish-brown stain.

National Panasonic DR22 Dashboard Shows Slight Labeling Differences

On close inspection, the unit differs slightly from the RF-2200, in that it is branded as a “National  Panasonic” along with the “DR22” designation on the upper right of the unit. And, the National Panasonic logo can be seen to the left of the AM/SW gain control.  Another difference is the additional labeling found above each shortwave band, the designations are KW1, KW2, etc.

Power, Dial Light, and BFO Switches Are Identical to RF2200

As for the rear panel of the DR22, a major difference is the presence of a voltage selector which allows one to switch from European voltage (220) to the US standard (110).   Inside the unit there’s a transformer that handles this option. Alternatively you can simply use four “D” batteries to power the unit.

DR22 Line Voltage Selector Switch

After receiving the unit, first order of business was a good cleaning of the outer case with mild soap and water.  All the knobs and carrying strap were removed and soaked in a warm soapy solution. A toothbrush was put to work to remove years of human tactile residue from the sides of the knobs.

Knobs (left) removed for cleaning. Carrying strap (right) was inundated with decades of dirt.

Next on the “to do” list was to obtain a copy of the service manual, available on line.  You’ll find it under the title of National Panasonic RF-2200BA. It’s an excellent manual with detailed photos of the circuit boards, exploded diagrams of the mechanical parts, parts list, schematics, and of course the alignment procedure.   Cracking open the case required removal of all the case screws and very gently coaxing of the two panels apart. Years of use, rust on the screws, and dirt/dust buildup all contribute to the challenge of this endeavor.

DR22 Case Disassembly

The alignment took several weeks as the radio was worked on in my spare time.  Note that I did not replace any electrolytic capacitors, and yes it was the lazy man’s way but a basic inspection of the caps for any evident leaks, explosions, or burns was conducted.  In short I did not want to replace capacitors at this time since the radio, as received from the former owner, was working well on all bands. Surely, as other operators have reported, cap replacement will restore full operational excellence but I felt if the radio passes the alignment specifications  that was good enough for me at this point.

DR22 Undergoing Testing

After several weeks the radio was restored to specifications, all switches were cleaned and dusted and the radio reassembled.  This was done a few years ago and the radio continues performing well. Even the 125/500 KHz crystal markers are pretty much on the money when checked against WWV.  No scratchy pots either hi hi. So now the radio sits in my kitchen and is on at least a few hours a day and keeps company with its sister, my RF2200. Note that recently DR22s have sold on eBay for $150 – $300US. Tech specials/parts radio run considerably less.  Thanks and 73’s de N2HUN.


Thank you, Mario! It looks like you scored an excellent deal on the DR22 and it’s serving you quite well! I’m glad you spent time checking for leaky capacitors after opening the chassis. Using the DR22 so frequently will keep those caps “juicy!”

Post Readers: Please comment if you love the National Panasonic DR22!


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love