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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Galvin Manufacturing BC-611F Help

Reviews Summary for Galvin Manufacturing BC-611F
Galvin Manufacturing BC-611F Reviews: 2 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: This is the classic World War II and Korean War "walkie talkie" that was made by the firm that later became Motorola. It is a low power, 5 tube set that puts out about 0.3 watts AM using a 1 1/2 volt filament battery and a 108 volt B+ battery. Most seem to be crystalled for 3885 KHz, but depending on the coil set and crystal installed, it can cover from about 3 to 9 MHz.
Product is in production.
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W0FM Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2002 15:21 Send this review to a friend
I Want Another One!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Unfortunately, I let one of these babies get away from my Motorola (Galvin) collection and have regretted it since. I am now in search of a nice BC611 to replace it. It is the epitomy of a "hand held boatanchor"! Please contact me if you know of one for sale. Thanks. Terry, WFM
KK9H Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2002 13:38 Send this review to a friend
Fun, portable QRP boatanchor  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me start by explaining that I gave it a 5 rating based on the fact that it was THE example of leading edge technology of its day back in the early 1940's. By today's standards, however, it would be described as an underpowered, non-selective, battery eating brick of an HT. If you have ever watched any World War II or Korean War movies, you have probably seen these radios in the hands of the ground troops. I got my BC-611 through a friend that collects antique radios and had run across a pair of fully operational sets offered by another collector. I received the famous "I'll buy one if you do" phone call and, naturally, I couldn't resist. The BC-611 is a very solidly built and fairly waterproof set. One of the most fun things to do with the radio is to hand it to someone and ask them to figure out how to turn it on. There is no on/off switch to be found anywhere on the unit. It is when you pull up the antenna that it turns on and when you pull the antenna all the way down that it turns off. Pretty clever, don't you think? While we are on the subject of antennas, the telescoping antenna is only about four feet tall. My BC-611 is crystalled for 3885 KHz, so look at what the length of this antenna represents compared to a full 1/4 wave length antenna for this frequency. Its amazing that its peanut whistle AM signal can be heard at any distance at all. But it can, I have gone outside on winter nights and worked stations in Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee from my QTH near Chicago. According to the "War Department" manual for this rig, it is supposed to be able to work up to a mile on land and up to three miles over water. Obviously, they never concidered what one of these sets could do in the hands of a ham radio operator. The receiver is really quite sensitive, given its age, and it hears AM signals on 3885 KHz very clearly. If the band is full of SSB signals, however, the selectivity can't handle them unless the AM station you are listening to is extremely strong. Each year at the Dayton Hamvention at noon on Saturday there is a gathering of military radio buffs that meet on 3885 KHz. I thoroughly enjoy taking my BC-611 and joining this net with it. It is also alot of fun walking down the flea market aisles with this "HT" and telling the people that are staring at me, "No intermod with this baby fellas."

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