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Author Topic: What was your first shortwave radio?  (Read 447298 times)

Posts: 2

« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2011, 06:38:50 AM »

Knight-Kit "Star Roamer"
Still works after 46 years!
73 John

Posts: 715

« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2011, 03:45:32 PM »

National NC-173 general coverage receiver. Great radio and along with many of you is what led me down the road to Amateur Radio. I still have many of my old SWL cards from the late 60's, early 70's. Probably many of those stations have long since closed their doors.

John K7KB

Posts: 154


« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2011, 11:02:45 AM »

My first was a little Coby CX-CB12.  Basically worthless until I clipped a long wire on to the expandable antenna.  Now I use my IC-751.

George U. Potter Lodge, #912, F. & A. M. of Alabama.
Dave Langham Chapter, #536, Order of the Eastern Star.
Chaos & Critters EXOTIC Animal Rescue - 501(c)(3).

An U.S. Navy Submarine Service disabled Veteran and a proud American Sikh!

Posts: 185

« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2011, 02:39:46 AM »

My first was a Sears or Monkey Ward table top given to me by my parents for Christmas back in the mid 1950's. The following year I purchased a S-38 with paper-boy route savings. Electrical bandspread, wow! Shared a bedroom with my kid brother. Even he remembers the low sounds coming from my Trimm headset late nights. Mostly BC station listening. QSL cards taped to the bedroom wall. My folks were concerned that the FBI would be breaking down the front door after I started receiving mail from Radio Moscow. It was the Joe McCarthy era.

Posts: 55

« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2011, 05:30:54 AM »

In the late 40's and early 50's, my dad was a motorcycle cop and he had a SX-43 on his bedside table so he could monitor the police dispatcher on 30 MC or so.  When he wasn't home, I would tune the SW freqs and the ham bands - later on he got a transceiver for his bedside radio and I got the SX-43 and that along with a Viking Adventurer I built, was my first ham station in 1959.  Wish I could find some of the pictures that my folks took of my ham activities back then.  73 de Jim K4LIX, near Panama City, FL.

Posts: 1229

« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2011, 11:48:33 AM »

Radio Shack DX-160


Got it as a Christmas present during my sophomore year of high school. Wanted the -300 but family funds were a little tight at the time.

Eventually I got hold of a -302. Decent SWBC rig but not so good for Ute (RTTY/TOR) monitoring, so it was traded off.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 11:54:16 AM by N8YX » Logged

Posts: 339

« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2011, 12:54:02 PM »

My first RX was a Russian: a Vega 206 (I think).  It was terribly exciting to receive it as a Christmas gift when I was 8 years old.  I think it had 6 SW bands and MW and LW. The dial was marked in Metres rather than Khz, and it was totally useless for finding out which frequency you were actually listening to, as it was so far out!

My first 'real' radio was, of course, the Yaesu FRG-7; I need say no more.


Posts: 0

« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2011, 03:53:23 PM »

Heathkit GR 91.  I'm sure I did a crummy job building it as a 12 year old but my
local TV repairman help get it going.  OK for beginner SWL but I also had to
use it as my first ham receiver and it was deaf !  Lucky I made any contacts
at all..but that's all the $$ I had until a year or two later when I got a Lafayette
HE-30 and thought I was in heaven !

Ron Ross

Posts: 49

« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2011, 07:42:46 AM »

Hallicrafters S 38DB that my Dad bought me at the Navy Exchange in Alameda, CA.  1957 I think.  Still have it on a shelf in the garage.  Electrolytics dried up years ago.  Also had a giant console that I rescued from my uncles attic.  Think it was a Zenith?

Posts: 316


« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2011, 02:18:53 AM »

A Realistic DX-66.
That was my first receiver as well. At the time, as an unsuspecting young lad, I had hoped to use it to listen to 40m CW, and was disappointed that it had no BFO. I discovered at some point that my Radio Shack "ten-in-one" kit had an AM transmitter circuit that, to my surprise, worked as an off-board BFO for my DX-66 - the AM transmitter was probably beating with signals in the presumably 455 kHz IF. However, the set had no close-in selectivity to speak of, and the whole CW sub-band was covered in a ridiculously small portion of the dial.

Now that I know a thing or two about receiver design (my homebrew, single-signal, general coverage superhet is slowly taking shape), I'd be interested in seeing the schematic for that DX-66 to see just how much (or little) IF filtering and image rejection it actually incorporated.


Posts: 28

« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2011, 04:38:41 PM »

Mine was the Radio Shack kit, the little red and clear plastic bread-bord style kit they sold, back around 1978 or so. I had been coveting my Uncle's SX-100 and feeling pity he gave me an old Halllicrafters S-41G that was rescued from the junk. I used that S-41G untill I left for basic training in 1981, and yes, I did end up in the signal corps!

Posts: 813

« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2011, 07:16:08 PM »

I got a hand-me-down Hallicrafters S-120 around 1968. It was satisfactory for a child’s first radio, but its price ($69.95, over $500 in today’s dollars) was really too high to be a child’s gift. In 1972 I got a BC-342 which was so much better than the S-120. The BC-342 later became my Novice receiver.  The BFO (not really) on the S-120 was too difficult for a child to use. I have another S-120 now (sentimental fool) and I still find the BFO nearly impossible to use. The BC-342 did not receive above 18 MHz, but the S-120 was so deaf above that it might as well not cover it either.  

Most of my listening on the S-120 was to the New York Marine Operator. I cannot remember what the frequency was but I think it was below 3 MHz.

Edit: The S-120 was transformerless AC/DC powered with no polarized plug. It's amazing we survived our childhoods.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 08:17:46 PM by WW3QB » Logged

Posts: 83


« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2011, 09:05:23 AM »

My first shortwave receiver was a Christmas present from my parents. They found a "Utica 4 Band Receptor" on the used bargain table at the local Lafayette Radio store in my home town. It resembled the Hallicrafters S-120 and was apparently identical to the Globe 65-320 according to a description at Universal Radio:

It was certainly nothing special but it opened my eyes wide as I tuned across Radio Moscow, Radio Sweden (with Gwen making announcements in English), and HCJB. I had about 40 feet of wire scraps hooked together and strung out my window to a nearby tree. I must have caught a good part of the solar cycle back in the 60's because there were tons of stations to listen to. Coincidentally, just like WW3QB in the preceding post, I liked listening to the New York Marine Operator somewhere between 2 - 3 MHz as the fishing boats offshore made their calls back to the mainland.

I ended up selling that little receiver back in the 80's for 20 bucks. I took 5 bucks of that 20 bucks and bought a Navy RBC-1 (which cost the Navy +$2000 back in the 40's) at the same flea market. The guy who was selling the RBC-1 didn't want to carry it and the accompanying power supply back to his car. As it turned out, a friend was looking for a working RBC-1 and I traded it to him for a Hammurlund SP-600 JX-14 that still runs great today after the usual re-capping project. It still amuses me that the little Utica 4 Band Receptor somehow sort of transformed into a Hammurlund SP-600 as the years ticked by.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 09:12:07 AM by W1AEX » Logged


Posts: 80

« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2011, 09:37:35 PM »

My first radio was a Yaesu FRG-7.. Top of the line at the time. Got it brand new when they first came out. This rig was fantastic, and still is . Wadley Loop was the state of the art and I bagged many a rare one with this great classic. Great for MW broadcast band also. I had to get a part time job just to save up for one, on top of my full time job, but worth it. Loved the propaganda from Radio Moscow and Radio Sofia..I still SWL, but QSL cards are a thing of the past-SOB!  Cry

Posts: 885

« Reply #44 on: December 25, 2011, 11:40:37 AM »

Heathkit GR-54, built by my grandfather. He gave it to me after I spent most of a week-long visit to Fla listening to it. I'll have to ask dad if he still has it stored (I'm sure he does, but won't remember where).
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