Radio Boulevard
Western Historic Radio Museum


Featuring Full Length Articles on:

Rebuilding Vintage Radio Communication Equipment
Radio Manufacturing History, Nevada Radio History
Photo Galleries of Vintage Radios
 

Featuring Equipment from:

Wireless Era, Roaring Twenties, Classic Thirties
WWII Communications Equipment
Pre-WWII Ham Gear, Post-WWII Ham Gear
Vintage Long Wave Receivers, Vintage Test Equipment
Telegraph Keys, RTTY Equipment, Vintage Microphones



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Latest Additions in the past 60 days - Link goes to article where addition is located

Mar 23 - US Navy-National Co. - RAD-2 (SW-5) Receiver - photos and write-up - Pre-WWII Ham Gear Part 1
Mar 22 - General Radio Co. - Type 561-D Vacuum Tube Bridge - photo and write-up - Vintage Test Gear Part 4
Mar 22 - RCA Model 151-2 "Oscillograph" - photo and write-up - Vintage Test Gear Part 4
Mar 19 - Clapp-Eastham Company - Boston Key with Marble Base - photo and write-up - Telegraph Keys Part 1
Mar 17 - Vibroplex Company - WWII Deluxe Original - photo and write-up - Telegraph Keys Part 1
Mar 17 - Hi-Mound/Calrad - BK-100 Japanese Bug - photo and write-up - Telegraph Keys Part 2
Mar 17 - Vibroplex Company - No.4 (1917) Blue Racer - photo and write-up - Telegraph Keys Part 1
Mar 15 - Hammarlund Mfg Co. - HQ-180AE - photo and write-up - Post-War Ham Gear


Website Navigation Index

Click on Title - goes to single-part articles or goes to Part 1 of multipart articles.  Or,... Click on a Specific Part Number of multipart articles
 

Full Length Articles on Wireless Era Equipment


M.H. Dodd's 1912 Wireless "Spark" Station

Details the discovery of Dodd's Spark Station inside a steamer trunk in Reno, Nevada in November 1999. Details on Dodd's equipment, the station's location, how it worked and where it is now. Lots of photographs including original vintage B&W photos of Dodd using his station in 1912, photos of Dodd's 1909 Award-winning Station, other vintage Dodd photographs plus contemporary photos of the Dodd station as it was set up on display in the Western Historic Radio Museum. Appendix includes write-up of Dodd's 1923 homebrew 3-tube Cockaday Receiver.
 


Colin B. Kennedy - "Radio Apparatus of Quality"


Comprehensive history of the design and manufacturing of Kennedy's 1922 line of high-quality receivers. Details on the Type 110 Universal, the Type 220 Intermediate Wave and the Type 281 Short Wave. Also covers the Type 525 and Type 521 Audio Amplifiers. Restoration information and write-up of a Type 220 restoration. Performance testing the Type 110 and performance testing the Type 220. Also includes a write-up of our experiment duplicating Dr. Royal Rife's use of the Kennedy receivers in his laboratory. Lots of photos.
 


A. H. GREBE & CO., INC. - "A Guide to the Grebe Synchrophase MU-1"


Part One - Detailed history of the design and manufacturing of the Grebe MU-1, MU-2 and other variants, Dr. Mu QSL cards, Color Advertising Brochure

Part Two - Engineering Upgrades, Serial letter dilemma, Restoration hints, How to neutralize the MU-1, Performance testing Early model CTPB and Late Model RJNA. Lots of photos.
 


SE-1420, IP-501 & IP-501-A - "The Classis Shipboard Wireless Receivers"

Comprehensive history of the design and manufacturing of these classic shipboard receivers. Detailed restoration write-ups. Performance testing the SE-1420B and the IP-501-A. How to set "Critical Coupling" and attain real DX performance. NDB Station Log for the IP-501-A. Lots of photos.
 

 

Vintage Long Wave Receivers


Vintage Long Wave Receivers - Testing and Performance Evaluations

Detailed history write-ups and performance evaluations on several different models of pre-WWII, WWII and post-WWII LW receivers with examples from the US Navy, US Army Signal Corps, Radiomarine Corp., Mackay Radio, Hammarlund, Collins and National Company. Includes info on using vintage LW gear on 630 meters. Lots of information and lots of photos.

Part OneRadiomarine IP-501-A, National RIO, Mackay Radio Type 105A, USN RAA-3, USN RAZ-1, USN RAK-7 & RAL-7, USN RBL-5, Signal Corps BC-344-D, Radiomarine Corp. AR-8510

Part Two USN RBA-1 (with rebuild info and reception log,) RBA-6, Mackay Radio Type 3001A,

Part ThreeCollins R-389/URR (with rebuild info,) Hammarlund SP-600VLF-31 (with performance details,) Selective Level Meters, Regenerative versus Superheterodyne on LW.

Part Four - What to listen to below 500kc, VLF Stations, 630M amateur operation. 2007 Photo-tour of Loran-C "Master" Station in Fallon, Nevada. NDB stations in Nevada. Complete NDB reception log.
 

 

Full Length Articles on Radio Communication & Amateur Radio Equipment


National Company, Inc. - HRO Receiver
- "The Cream of the Crop"

Comprehensive history of the design and manufacturing of the HRO. Serial number log for determining build date of your HRO. Several restoration write-ups. Lots of photos and information.

Part One  - History of the development of the HRO receiver, detailed descriptions on pre-WWII HRO Models, WWII HRO Models, post-WWII HRO Models

Part Two  - Serial Number Analysis and Log, Current Owners of D & E run HROs, Chronologically listed Engineering Upgrades, HRO Accessories - Power Supplies, Speakers, Coil Boxes

Part Three  - Guild to Restoring HRO Receivers, Gear Box, PW-D Dial, Coil Set Details, Restoration Articles on 1935 HRO H-103, 1940 HRO Senior 463-K

Part Four  - Restoration articles on 1935 HRO SN E-50, 1935 HRO SN F-16, Collector's Gallery of HRO Photos, Performance Improvement Suggestions, Conclusion
 


National Company, Inc. - NC-100 Series - "Moving Coil" Receivers

Comprehensive history of the design and manufacturing. Details on most of the sixty+ different types of Moving Coil receivers. Includes details on the Airport Receivers, the WWII versions and the post-WWII versions. Serial Number Analysis and Log. Several detailed restoration write-ups. Serial number analysis and log. Lots of photos and lots of information.

Part One - Design History, profiles on NC-100 (1936) to NC-2-40D (1947) Receivers, Airport Receivers (1937 through 1948), WWII Receivers USN RAO Series, RBH Series, Signal Corps NC-100ASD, USCG R-116

Part Two - Serial Number Analysis & Log, Chronologically Listed Engineering Changes, Catacomb Coils Details, PW Gearbox, PW-Dial info, S-Meter, Speakers

Part Three - Restoration Write-ups: NC-200 Silver Anniversary, NC-100XA, NC-80X, NC-101X, US Army NC-100ASD

Part Four - Restoration Write-ups: Airport Receiver RCE, USN RAO-3, USN RAO-7
 


Hallicrafters SX-28
- "A Pre-war Masterpiece"

Comprehensive history of design and manufacturing. Includes the SX-28A, AN/GRR-2, R-45/ARR-7 and other receivers. Serial number analysis and log allows dating your SX-28. Restoration information. Performance comparisons. Lots of photos.

Part OneHistory of the design, the SX-28, SX-28A, AN/GRR-2, R-45/ARR-7, R-12 Speaker, PM-23 Speaker, Estimated Production Quantities, Serial Number Log

Part Two -  Engineering Changes Chronologically Listed, Variations of the SX-28 receiver, Restoration suggestions, White Dial Myth, Performance comparisons, Using the SX-28 today
 


Hallicrafters DD-1 "Skyrider Diversity"

Detailed history of design and manufacturing. Profile of XE1G ham station the first amateur diversity receiver. DD-1 prototype information. Serial number analysis. List of current owners of known DD-1 receivers. Restoration information. Performance details. Lots of photos.

Part One - Detailed history of the DD-1 development, XE1G diversity receiver (inspiration for the DD-1,) Prototype DD-1, Production DD-1

Part Two - Restoration of the DD-1, Serial Number Log, Collector's Gallery of DD-1 photos
 


Navy Department-RCA  -  RAA-3 - Shipboard Long Wave Superheterodyne Receiver from 1935

Comprehensive history of the U.S. Navy's first superheterodyne long wave receiver. Continuing Restoration of RAA-3 SN: 64 - a journal-type write-up of the "ground-up" restoration of this behemoth of a Navy receiver. Weighing 465 pounds and comprising three individual sections, this ultra-rare receiver was stored outside, wrapped in a tarp. A real restoration challenge. Lots of photos.
 


RCA's Amazing AR-88 Receivers

Comprehensive history of the AR-88 family of receivers with circuit details and variations in construction. Includes details on AR-88D, AR-88LF, AR-88F, CR-91, CR-91A, CR88, CR88A, CR-88B, including triple diversity receivers RDM, DR-89, OA-58. Sweep Alignments, Restoration Hints, Serial Number Analysis. Collector Photo Gallery. Lots of photos and lots of information.

Part One -  Comprehensive History of design and manufacturing, Russian hams using the AR-88, General information on the various models

Part Two -  Triple Diversity Models, Serial Number Analysis, Restoration Suggestions 

Part Three -  Sweep Alignment of the IF (includes photos of the actual 'scope patterns using modern equipment,) RF Tracking alignment, Restoration of a typical AR-88D

Part Four -  Collector Gallery of AR-88 photos, Diversity Operation, Performance Comparisons, Remote Standby non-invasive mod 
 


RCA's Legendary AR-60 Receivers

Comprehensive history of the AR-60 receivers, includes all RCA versions and the U.S. Coast Guard CGR-32 versions. Circuit details, alignment, adjustments, critical analysis of the infamous 1936 "R-9" magazine review of the AR-60, Serial Number Analysis. Collector Photo Gallery. Lots of photos.
 


Hammarlund Mfg. Co., Inc - "The Incredible Pre-war Super-Pro"

Comprehensive history of the Super Pro receivers, includes SP-10, SP-100, SP-200, BC-779, BC-794, BC-1004, SPA, R-270 Wickes Eng. version and other military versions. Includes special appendix on the Hammarlund Comet Pro receiver, the predecessor to the Super Pro. Restoration details on SP-10 and SP-100 receivers. Collector Photo Gallery. Lots of photos and lots of information.

Part One History of the Pre-WWII Super Pro, details on SP-10, SP-100 Series, SP-150, SP-200 Series, Military Versions, Power Supplies, Interconnecting Power Cable details

Part Two Serial Number Analysis and Serial Number Log, Chronological Listing of Engineering Changes, Restoration hints, History of the Louis Geisler Modifications (1947 to 1950s)

Part Three Restoration of SP-10 from WMI, Restoration of SP-100X, Collector Gallery Photos, Appendix on the Comet Pro, includes restoration of 1934 Comet Pro receiver 
 


Patterson Radio Company - PR-10 Receiver & PR-10 Preselector

Comprehensive history of Patterson Radio Company and 1930s Los Angeles radio manufacturing. Detailed circuit analysis, red-lined corrected schematic, frequency calibration chart (so you know where your PR-10 is tuned.) Restoration details on Velvet Tuning rebuild and more. Collector Photo Gallery. Lots of photos and information.
 


Signal Corps-Hallicrafters - R-274 "Super Pro" Receiver

Comprehensive history of Hallicrafters' Super Pro, the R-274 receiver, circuit description, performance analysis, detailed comparison between the R-274 and the Hammarlund SP-600, pros and cons of each receiver. You can VOTE for your favorite "Super Pro" - either Hallicrafters' or Hammarlund's. Voting results are shown (you might be surprised at the results.) Lots of photos and information.
 

 

Full-Length Articles on Rebuilding Vintage Radio Communication Equipment


Rebuilding the R-390A/URR Receivers

Part One - History of the R-390 and R-390A, description of each module and basic rebuilding information, Main Frame, RF Deck, IF Deck, AF Module, PS Module, PTO, Lots of photos

Part Two - Front panel restoration, Contractor list by year, Alignment Suggestions, Performance expectations

Part Three - Miscellaneous Information, Restoration - detailed restoration profiles of several R-390A receivers, (2) 1967 EAC versions, Arvin R-725 version, Diversity R-390As

Part Four - Restoration of other receivers in the R-390A family, includes R-648 (Airborne R-390A,) R-389 (Low Frequency version,) R-392 (GRC-19 Rcvr) plus LS-206, Security Dial Cover, CV-979 cabinet
 


Rebuilding the ART-13 Transmitter

Part One - History of the ATC and ART-13, Accessories, Testing Prospective Purchases, Powering the ART-13 with a Dynamotor, PP-1104-C High Current Power Supply details

Part Two - Powering the ART-13 with a homebrew AC Power Supply, Three AC Power Supply Plans with Schematics, Mechanical Servicing of the Autotune

Part Three - Restoration profile of the USAAF ART-13A Basket Case, Restoration profile of the USN Collins ART-13 "typical restoration"

Part Four - Restoration of the $10 (Wasp's Nest) ART-13A, Operating the ART-13 on the air, Operating on 630 Meters, Details on the CU-32 Low Frequency Loading Coil (tuner), Lots and lots of photos
 


Rebuilding the Hammarlund SP-600 Receivers

Part One History of the design, Overview of the task, Rebuilding the RF Platform, Replacing Capacitors in IF, Xtal Osc, Conversion Osc, Chassis, Lots of photos

Part Two Miscellaneous Electronic Work, Rebuilding the Carrier Level/Audio Level Meter

Part Three - Cosmetic Restoration, Panel, Cabinet, Alignment, Expected Performance, Collector Gallery Photos
 


Rebuilding the Collins 51J Series of Receivers

Part One History, Circuit Design, General Information on the 51J-1, 51J-2, 51J-3 and R-388, 51J-4, Information on Special versions, General Info on Rebuilding the 51J Series, IF transformer problems, PTO problems

Part Two Rebuilding the 51J-2 detailed with photos, Rebuilding the R-388, Alignment of the 51J-4, Lots of photos
 


Rebuilding the BC-348 Series of Receivers

Part One Rebuilding and Retrofitting the DM-28 Dynamotor into the Single Ended Tube Versions of the BC-348 (Q, N or J only,) with schematics

Part Two Rebuilding and Retrofitting the DM-28 Dynamotor into the Grid Cap Versions of the BC-348 (all other versions,) Retrofitting the DM-24 into the BC-224 versions, with schematics

Part Three Performance Expectations for Single Ended and Grid Cap Versions, AC power supply Enhancement with designs and schematics, Wrinkle Finish painting, Duplicating Inspection Stamps
 


Rebuilding the AN/GRC-19 Mobile Transmitter-Receiver

History of the design, overview of the T-195, testing and repairing the T-195, lots of photos and information, Testing and repairing the R-392 receiver, GRC-19 Operation suggestions
 


Rebuilding the T-368 Military Transmitter

Part One History of the design, circuit description, testing and repair of the three decks, testing and repair of cabinet harness

Part Two Powering Up the T-3, Operating the T-3, profile on the BC-939 Antenna Tuner, profile on the SWR Bridge/Watt Meter, Lots of photos
 


Successfully Operating the BC-375 on the Ham Bands Today

Detailed information on how to power the BC-375 to avoid problems that include "FMing," non-symmetrical modulation, low power output and more. How to perform "dynamic neutralization" to eliminate audio distortion due to parasitic oscillations. Interfacing the BC-375 with the BC-348 receiver.
 

 

Nevada Radio History


Nevada's Early Radio History 1901 to 1940

Arthur Raycraft, Nevada's "Father of Wireless," Raycraft's stations in Tonopah and Manhattan, Nevada (1911,) photo of Raycraft raising his antenna in Tonopah (ca: 1920)
Early Nevada Hams, The Great Radio Tour 1922 - Lincoln Highway Detroit to San Francisco and finishing in Los Angeles - Lots of photos
History of Nevada Radio Broadcasting Stations pre-1940, includes
KOJ, KDZK, KFAS, KFFR, KOH and KGIX, photos of the KOH antennas from July 1940
 


KOWL Gates BC-250L Transmitter Move 2007

Moving the KOWL 1490kc transmitter from South Lake Tahoe to Virginia City, Transmitter Restoration, Subsequent Move to Dayton 2013, Other KOWL Equipment, Lots of Photos
 

 

Vintage Test Equipment - Photo Galleries


Early Laboratory Test Equipment

James G. Biddle "Jagambi," Central Scientific, Weston - Standard Cells, Potentiometers, NBS Resistor Standards, R Bridges, Variometers, Precision Capacitors
 


Frequency Measuring Equipment, RF Signal Generators, Audio Oscillators

HP, General Radio, Measurements, Military - LR-1 Frequency Meter, BC-221 F-Meter, HP-606, HP-200 Series, Restoring the GR-805C and more
 


Voltage Measuring Instruments, Selective Level Meters, Z-Bridges, Q-Meters, Early Digital Voltmeter

General Radio, Measurements, HP, Triplett, Simpson, Weston - VOMs, VTVMs, Wheatstone Bridges, Impedance Bridges, Q-meters
 


Vintage Vacuum Tube Testers, Oscilloscopes, Modulation Monitors, Miscellaneous Test Equipment

Tube testers from 1922 up to 1970. Hickok, Simpson, Western Electric, Weston, TV-7 calibration details, Sylvania Drug Store Model, Clough-Bringle Graph-o-Scope, DuMont, RCA 151-2 Oscillograph, Tektronix, HP
 

 

Radio Telegraphy, Vintage Mikes and Real Machine RTTY - Photo Galleries


Telegraph Keys 

Part One - Hand Keys, includes Spark Keys, Boston Keys, Early Radio Keys, Leg Keys, Flame-proof Keys - Semi-Automatic Keys or Bugs, History of Vibroplex showing many early Models

Part Two - More Bugs, Speed-X Radio Mfg, Speed-X Mfg, Speed-X E.F. Johnson, McElroy Mfg, Buzza, Speed Bug, 73 Bug and more - Learning Tools, records, oscillators, Instructographs plus a few land line bits


Vintage Microphones - Broadcast Mikes - RCA, Western Electric - General Purpose Mikes - Shure Bros, Astatic, Turner, American, Carbon Mikes - Detailed Manufacturer History and Engineering-Construction 
 


RTTY with REAL MACHINES  -  Teletype Corp. - Model 19ASR, Model 15KSR, Model 28KSR  -  RTTY Terminal Units - Military, Dovetron, HAL, Flesher, Homebrew
 

 

Radio Equipment from 1909 up to 1960+ - Photo Galleries


Commercial and Amateur Wireless Apparatus 1909 up to 1920 - Dodd's Wireless Stations, Murdock, Signal, Klitzen, Kennedy, Radiomarine Corp and more
 

Roaring 20s Radios - RCA Radiola, Atwater-Kent, Amrad, Crosley, Federal, Grebe, FADA, Kemper, Infra+Dyne and more
 

Classic 30s Radios - Atwater-Kent, Zenith, Philco, Pilot, Pre-war Plastics and more
 

Console Floor Model Radios - Victor Talking Machine Company, Zenith, Scott, McMurdo-Silver, Philco, Crosley Gemchest and more
 

Pre-War Ham Gear

Part One - 1928 to 1935, includes Pilot Radio, National Co, RME, Hammarlund, Patterson, Breting, Hallicrafters, Tobe Deutschmann and more

Part Two  - 1936 to 1941, includes Hallicrafters, National, Hammarlund, Patterson, Breting, Meissner and more
 


Post-War Ham Gear - National Co, Hallicrafters, Collins, E.F. Johnson including the "Navigator Deluxe," Eldico, Homebrews including the W6MIT "1625 Rig"
 

WWII Communication Equipment

Part One - US Navy Equipment, includes RAZ-1, DZ-2, RAK&RAL, RBA, RBB, RBC, RCD, RCH and more

Part Two - US Navy Shipboard and Shore Entertainment Receivers, US Army Signal Corps, Radiomarine WWII gear, USAAF Airborne Gear, WWII Allied Gear
 


Military & Commercial Communication Equipment 1930 to 1941 & 1946 to 1960+

Part One - 1930 to 1955 - National Co Airport Receivers RHM, AGS, RIO, RHQ, RCA CGR-32 (AR-60,) RCA AR-88 family, Radiomarine shipboard gear, Hammarlund and more

Part Two - 1955 to 1960+ - Collins R-390 Family, Technical Materiel Corp (TMC,) National Co, RACAL, Siemens, B&W T-368 and more
 

Header Artwork: from "Magic Dials" 1939 by Lowell Thomas

 

Radio Boulevard
Western Historic Radio Museum

 Vintage Radio Communication Equipment Rebuilding & Restoration Articles,

 Vintage Radio History, Nevada Radio History and WHRM Radio Photo Galleries

1909 - 1959

 

 

This website created and maintained by: Henry Rogers - Radio Boulevard, Western Historic Radio Museum 1997/2019