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Author Topic: What was your first shortwave radio?  (Read 377446 times)
JAYMOT
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #225 on: October 08, 2017, 10:25:59 AM »

My first shortwave-capable radio was a Realistic multiband that I got for Christmas in the early '70s. Its tuning was so coarse that I never really got much on its SW band (there was only one, something like 5-20MHz or so.) At the time, I was more interested in trying to pick up public service stations (police & fire) which I didn't hear a lot of either. It worked fine for AM and FM broadcast though.


My first real shortwave receiver was a Zenith TransOceanic in the 600 series (slide-rule dial) purchased from a friend I met on CB radio (don't laugh!  Cheesy ) in the late 70s when I was in college. I had hours of fun with it, listening to Radio Netherlands' Happy Station, BBC's program These Musical Isles, and others. I got my only two QSLs with that radio: Radio Egypt and Voice of Free China, the latter which included a note written by their broadcaster at the time, Jade Lim, answering some questions I had about one of her shows which was about Taekwando which I had never heard of. IIRC she even sent me a picture of her. She was cross-eyed. Smiley

I sold the Tranny to a good friend of mine in the early '80s after I bought a Kenwood R-1000 from Amateur Radio Supply in Seattle, trying to get him into shortwave listening.

Good times.
Just found a picture of that Realistic multiband, a Weatheradio 5, and added it.
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KAPT4560
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Posts: 389




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« Reply #226 on: October 08, 2017, 11:59:47 AM »

 In the early-mid '60's, my dad had a 12-transistor Japanese Lafayette twin speaker portable with 12 volt adapter that was my first experience with the wonder of SWL. I have tried to find a picture of this radio on the internet without success.
 The black plastic cabinet broke and band 2 died, so I threw it out. Looking back, I wish that I had kept it. (Getting older, I wish that I had kept a lot of things.)  Grin
 My first hamfest radio purchase was a CRV-46151 (converted to amateur use) in 1971. I still have that receiver.
 I must have dozens of restored communications receivers now. I rotate them as SWL receivers. Currently my 'daily driver' is a National NC-109.
 The queen of the boatanchor collection is the R-390A and I installed a BST-1 in the car.
 
 
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #227 on: October 08, 2017, 02:17:55 PM »

Science Fair Three-Transistor Regenerative Shortwave Radio P-Box kit.

I built it in the kitchen. My soldering iron was an iron lug on a handle
heated on the stove's open flame.

Strung a wire along the ceiling. First station was HCJB, then Radio Moscow
then WWV. That 1968 moment 'sparked' my interest in radio. Been here since.

A few years later, I enlisted in the USAF. Spent twenty years in telecommnunica-
tions, information systems, early internet.

Kraus
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VE3WGO
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Posts: 170




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« Reply #228 on: October 09, 2017, 09:22:20 AM »

my grandpa's about 1940 floor console Canadian Westinghouse model 981.  A typical Broadcast/Shortwave with 3 bandspreads. What a beautiful sounding radio, with a 15 inch speaker and push-pull 6F6s.  Had a wire antenna strung under the floor joists from one end of my parent's basement to the other.

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JAYMOT
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #229 on: October 11, 2017, 05:18:41 AM »

In the early-mid '60's, my dad had a 12-transistor Japanese Lafayette twin speaker portable with 12 volt adapter that was my first experience with the wonder of SWL. I have tried to find a picture of this radio on the internet without success.

Was this it?
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pedersen_3_band_fmam_12_transistor_radio_fs_251.html
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NQ2N
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Posts: 146




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« Reply #230 on: October 11, 2017, 01:19:06 PM »

Listened on my parents 1942 Philco.
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KAPT4560
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Posts: 389




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« Reply #231 on: October 11, 2017, 02:49:53 PM »

In the early-mid '60's, my dad had a 12-transistor Japanese Lafayette twin speaker portable with 12 volt adapter that was my first experience with the wonder of SWL. I have tried to find a picture of this radio on the internet without success.

Was this it?
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pedersen_3_band_fmam_12_transistor_radio_fs_251.html

 Thanks for looking. No, that isn't the radio, although that might be the manufacturer that Lafayette used.
My dad's radio was a gloss black plastic case with tuning and fine tuning knobs next to each other. The fine tuning had nothing to do with the dial pointer. It was basically a trimmer that gave a half-turn of fine frequency adjustment.
 It had a very small on/off volume control knob and 4 white piano key MW, SW1, SW2 and SW3. There was no FM.
It had a stout carry handle and 4'(?) mast antenna.
The dial demarcations were gold-colored. It was heavy and had some brushed aluminum and chrome trim.
 I know that Lafayette used various Japanese electronics manufacturers for merchandise. Some were relatively good quality shortwave radios for the price: Kenwood/Trio, NEC, GRE?, etc.
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WW7KE
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Posts: 609




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« Reply #232 on: October 11, 2017, 07:44:07 PM »

Mine was a Hallicrafters S-120A, which I bought in 1969.  It was a Hallicrafters product in name only (as was the company, by then owned by Northrop).  IIRC it was actually made by Panasonic.   

Look up the word "garbage" in the dictionary, and you'll find its picture.  Sensitivity was OK, but selectivity was nonexistent and a local FM station overloaded the entire dial above 10 MHz.  I could hear distorted audio from that station every 500 kHz or so.  It was usable for broadcast listening on AM and SW, but it needed an external antenna trimmer and a pot at the antenna connection to serve as an RF input level control to kill some of the FM overload.  A three-transistor regen would probably have performed better.

But I did make my first Novice contact with it as my station receiver in 1970.  It was almost immediately replaced by a Hammarlund HQ-145.
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He speaks fluent PSK31...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 3536




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« Reply #233 on: October 12, 2017, 03:11:42 PM »

Mine was a Hallicrafters S-120A, which I bought in 1969.  It was a Hallicrafters product in name only (as was the company, by then owned by Northrop).  IIRC it was actually made by Panasonic.   

Look up the word "garbage" in the dictionary, and you'll find its picture.  Sensitivity was OK, but selectivity was nonexistent and a local FM station overloaded the entire dial above 10 MHz.  I could hear distorted audio from that station every 500 kHz or so.  It was usable for broadcast listening on AM and SW, but it needed an external antenna trimmer and a pot at the antenna connection to serve as an RF input level control to kill some of the FM overload.  A three-transistor regen would probably have performed better.

But I did make my first Novice contact with it as my station receiver in 1970.  It was almost immediately replaced by a Hammarlund HQ-145.
   I had the "clone" of that radio.  The Starlite A-120!!  Smiley
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WW7KE
Member

Posts: 609




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« Reply #234 on: October 12, 2017, 05:15:15 PM »

Mine was a Hallicrafters S-120A, which I bought in 1969.  It was a Hallicrafters product in name only (as was the company, by then owned by Northrop).  IIRC it was actually made by Panasonic.   

Look up the word "garbage" in the dictionary, and you'll find its picture.  Sensitivity was OK, but selectivity was nonexistent and a local FM station overloaded the entire dial above 10 MHz.  I could hear distorted audio from that station every 500 kHz or so.  It was usable for broadcast listening on AM and SW, but it needed an external antenna trimmer and a pot at the antenna connection to serve as an RF input level control to kill some of the FM overload.  A three-transistor regen would probably have performed better.

But I did make my first Novice contact with it as my station receiver in 1970.  It was almost immediately replaced by a Hammarlund HQ-145.
   I had the "clone" of that radio.  The Starlite A-120!!  Smiley

IIRC, it was sold under several brand names.  I think Lafayette had a version of it as well. 

The model number was changed to the S-125 in 1970 or '71 -- it was essentially the same radio.  AFAIK, it was Northrop/Hallicrafters' last consumer product before going 100% defense electronics in 1973 and retiring (selling off?) the Hallicrafters name.  At least, that's what I was told by coworkers that were there in that era (I worked there from 1978 to 1989).
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He speaks fluent PSK31...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!
SWL377
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Posts: 130


WWW

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« Reply #235 on: October 17, 2017, 02:51:55 PM »

Hallicrafters S 40. Drifty, moody, insensitive, like my ex.  Wink

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ONAIR
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Posts: 3536




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« Reply #236 on: October 18, 2017, 05:58:05 PM »

Hallicrafters S 40. Drifty, moody, insensitive, like my ex.  Wink


  For a minute I thought you were going to say and vibrator powered!  (in the mobile)   Roll Eyes
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N4OI
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Posts: 359




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« Reply #237 on: October 19, 2017, 04:27:41 AM »

I was about 9 years old when my dad took me to Walter Ashe Radio in downtown St. Louis.  Picked out a National NC-60B, a wire antenna kit, and a pair of those black, high-impedance headphones with the cloth-covered cord and thin metal headband.  Nirvana...  good old cold-war SWL'ing! 

Although I thoughtlessly let the NC-60 go in exchange for a few bucks for college, I bought another for $30 on Ebay some years back...  Sits in the back row of radios in the shack... but comforting to look over and know it is there.....

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI   Grin
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KAPT4560
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Posts: 389




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« Reply #238 on: October 27, 2017, 03:03:26 PM »

In the early-mid '60's, my dad had a 12-transistor Japanese Lafayette twin speaker portable with 12 volt adapter that was my first experience with the wonder of SWL. I have tried to find a picture of this radio on the internet without success.

Was this it?
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pedersen_3_band_fmam_12_transistor_radio_fs_251.html

 I looked into this a little further and you were very close. The 1963 Lafayette catalog shows an FS-252L portable receiver that was much like my dad's.
 The FS-251 is a very different looking radio, but on the same page as the FS-252. Thanks.
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AC7CW
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Posts: 1014




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« Reply #239 on: October 28, 2017, 10:59:59 AM »

Early childhood memory: My dad had a Silvertone AM/FM/Shortwave rx. I tuned it to static and waited for a show to come on! He told me that the noise was the wave part of the shortwaves...
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
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