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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | National NC-270 Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for National NC-270 Receiver
National NC-270 Receiver Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $295 in 1960
Description: The "Cosmic Blue" National NC-270 is a double conversion ham-band receiver that tunes 80 through 6 meters (no warc bands).
Product is not in production.
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W6WUH Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2015 12:02 Send this review to a friend
Great Vintage Double Conversion Table Top Ham Band Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Comparing Apples with Apples.. and not drakes or Collins which work with an entirely different system ( ptos and xtal mixing).. this is a great Table Top Hamband receiver using 10 tubes.


0 Good Dial Calibration

0 Good Stability

0 Double Conversion

0 Product Detector

0 Good Variable Selectivity

0 Notch Filter

0 Small Size

0 National fly wheel dial feel.

0 A VERY good AM table top receiver, that really makes a fine small station with a Johnson Ranger.
Hard to top this pairing for a small affordable high performance vintage table top station.


0 AVC / AGC not swell on SSB true of all Nationals of this period. ( not hard to fix)

0 6 m . I will withhold comment, until I really optimize the radio. Consider the period it was made, and the devices used to temper your expectations.

--- In the end a matter of taste between the NC-270 and the HQ-110A for a table top ham band receiver. on the LOW bands. This one gets my vote for features, dial, and for AM use on HF. Certainly capable of listening selectively to either AM sideband only. Double conversion should be a big plus ( image wise) 20m and above.

Fairly Rare. don't confuse with NC-240 or others
which look similar but are much cheaper.

AD6W Rating: 3/5 Nov 12, 2010 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Good in its time  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Reading these reviews of the NC-270 has made me realize how totall the expectation of receiver performance has changed since I became a Ham in the 1960s. I was a poor high school Novice with a 1962 Knight Kit R-100A. Making contacts with that receiver was lots of work. Then I was able to borrow an NC-270 for a few months and was amazed how much better it was than any of the receivers me or my high school buddies were using. The NC-270's stability and selectivity were very good at the time, and it seemed like it had miles of bandspread on that slide rule dial. I worked my first 80 countries with it. Alas, the owner of the NC-270 returned home from college that spring and took his receiver back. I still remember how hard it was to see it go. Then I discovered the fabulous Drake 2B, but that's another story...
K3MD Rating: 2/5 Sep 20, 2005 13:32 Send this review to a friend
Interesting  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After much scouring I came upon this nice NC-270 on EBay, works fine. "Cosmic Blue" paint, working slide-rule dial. Replaced only the RF gain control, it came with new tubes. There was a major revolution in receivers in the 1960 era... AGC on CW/SSB, crystal controlled, PTO design, bandpass filters. This is BEFORE the revolution. Tuning on SSB is a chore, and you have to ride the RF gain control all the time or you get audible distortion of the SSB. Stability is what you would expect with a free-running oscillator at 5-30 MHz... not too good. Easy to align. The skirts on the IF filter are not that sharp. .5 kHz sounds like 3 kHz. It loves to receive AM. Truly a historical piece.
KB1SH Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2005 01:19 Send this review to a friend
XYL Found a Gem  Time owned: more than 12 months
Vintage receivers in good shape are getting harder to find, but my XYL found a very good NC-270 on e-Bay which showed up on my doorstep for my 62nd birthday....what a surprise! Well I dove right into the thing and 3 days later I had a cleaned up, repaired, aligned receiver that looks and operates just like when it came out of the box in 1958. It is evident the receiver was well cared for over the many years as there are no cabinet or front panel scratches. Aside from a very detailed cleaning, a few things needed attention: there was some chassis corrosion which cleaned up nicely, the T-notch filter was out of alignment and the bandswitch required disassembly,cleaning and re-build to solve a binding problem. Also had to replace the panel bulbs. Unit operates very smoothly after cleaning/lubricating various pots and switches. Checked alignment/performance using lab test equipment and found it to be very close to factory specs. On the air it is joy to use, slowly turning the dial on 75 meters looking for is very sensitive and fairly selective...about what you would expect from a 60's ham band receiver. The LO is rock solid after a 10 minute warm up so it camps on a signal for hours with no noticable drift. A lot of fun...brings back memories...started out with an old Philco in 1957 and dreamed of having either the NC-270 or NC-300...then untouchable with paper route money ! If you purchase one make sure the owners manual with full schematic comes with it as it contains a very detailed alignment procedure. 73, de Jim at KB1SH
N4UE Rating: 4/5 Jan 3, 2004 14:04 Send this review to a friend
Nice addition to the BA lineup  Time owned: more than 12 months
I also purchased my NC-270 to complete my collection. I wanted a receiver from all the 'big guys' of years past. I got the 270 cheap because it also had problems. I messed with it on and off for, let's just say a LONG time. Finally found the problem, and it has surprising performance. Of course, it can't match a modern, high end radio, but on HF there is a limit as to how much sensitivity you really need anyway.
Alignment is pretty touchy, but it looks and sounds great!
I just love those flywheel dials!


W1BKZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2004 21:35 Send this review to a friend
Slick litte thing  Time owned: more than 12 months
A really neat radio for the "glow-in-the-dark" crowd. When I obtained mine, it was in electrical trouble. The price was right ($75.00)
because it "didn't work". Replacement of all electrolytics, and a few tubes, cleaning of band switch and sundry controls, we breathed a new life ito the radio, and it hears alnost as good as my ICOM IC-761, also not a bad radio........
JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ Rating: 3/5 Nov 3, 2002 13:05 Send this review to a friend
OK, not Impressed.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Nothing special about this receiver to me. Many outperform it. I did not find the 'ferrite' filter very good on selectivity and the dial/tuning is not great. However, the 'fun factor' is high. Just do not pay a lot for one.
N3IBX Rating: 4/5 May 14, 2002 18:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Medium Priced Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use a NC-270 coupled to my Heathkit Apache and am very satisfied with it. It offers good stability, descent signal to noise ratio of received signals and a classic design. The only flaw I can find is that it doesn't have a provision for 160 meters.
If you buy one I don't think you'll be disappointed.
73 de Joe N3IBX
N5RNL Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2001 02:18 Send this review to a friend
Cool Blue Beauty!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The National NC-270 is a cool radio! It is a beautiful two-tone cosmic blue color and it has chrome, gaudy fins, flip feet, etc. It fits in the early 60's with big Cadillacs and rock -n- roll. But don't let that fool you. It was and is a solid ham-band receiver.

Of course it lacks the refinements that integrated circuits can offer, but it does a fine job for the day. The use of ferrite-core coil filters along with conventional T-notch circuit provides very good selectivity back before SSB was anything more than a fad.

The receiver includes a built-in crystal calibrator which is activated by a front panel switch. There is also a dial set control which provides for lateral motion of the entire dial scale to bring the tuning pointer and calibration mark directly in line.

The NC-270 received accolades during Hurricane Carla in 1961.

If you feel the need to get in touch with radio from a by-gone era, this is a good receiver to start with. It is beautiful, fun and a good performer to boot.

I recently got the opportunity to pick up a collector quality unit and it will be a part of my radio shack permanently.

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