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Signal Comms. Corp R532

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#1
I have recently bought this little airband receiver which works really well - has a couple of minor problems though - very obstinate in selecting 25kHz channels although I suspect this may come right with some switch cleaner - and the last digit instead of indicating "0" or "5" shows "8" so I suspect the display decoder is a blob of solder!

Nice receiver - held in high regard if you Google for it - very sensitive - too sensitive in fact, it needed a PAR airband filter in front of it to keep the FM broadcast band from getting in.

The problem is - no service manual found anywhere - downloaded the owners manual minus page 2 (why?) but no mention of the service manual - if anyone has one that they would like to scan and send to me - even just the schematic - I would be very grateful.
 

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#2
Nice. Yours is one of the earlier versions (1984/5 at a guess).
There was no circuit diagram in the manual.
International Ham Stores Group swallowed W&S who had themselves swallowed Lowe.....Lowe Electronics would have had service manuals. No idea if the various service materials made it along the chain of aquisition but if they did then Nevada Radio in Portsmouth UK is where the service dept is based. Whether they'd supply a copy without you sending a kidney is another matter.

I'm not sure how all the people like rigpix managed to lose page 2 of that manual when they ripped my website around 12 years ago.......My airband radio collection is in storage and the backups of my ancient AOR, SRC and ACARS websites will be there also. Unlikely to be going up there any time soon but I will try and dig out any circuit diagrams when I do.
 
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Hi Morfis - thanks for the info about Lowe - I googled for them and came up with their website but it appears that they are mainly involved with covert equipment now - an email sent to the address given was bounced so obviously I didn't have the required the security clearances!

Don't sweat about circuit diagram - I found my way around the processor and decided that as 99.9% of the aero frequencies here are on 100kHz steps there's really no need to display down to 25kHz or spend too much time on the switch - but a squirt of switch cleaner did make it work - and the last digit looks much better after I disconnected the central bar of the "8"! There's no CD4511 BCD-to-7seg decoder for that digit, just a 4 transistor logic gate and it was far too complicated to get to the underside of the board to unsolder them!
 
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#4
Wow!
Never thought I would see another one of those in the wild! Especially at this latitude!
I also have an R-532, in very good condition like your example.
It was one of those rare finds, at a Sunday market on a table strewn with old DJ mixers and guitar FX pedals.
The seller said it was broken because when power is applied and the set turned on, it would only display jumbled characters and not pick anything up. I offered him $10 which he gladly accepted.

All I did was replace the internal backup batteries (which thankfully had not leaked) and reprogram some local air frequencies.
It works perfectly and is now in the bedside radio stack, plugged into a Realistic branded speaker of the same vintage. It is connected to a small Comet discone via a Stridsberg MCA-204M.
The red LED's are perfect for night time, and I just love the retro LED chasing when the set is in scan mode!
No way will I part with it!

Unfortunately I only have the same copy of the manual with page 2 missing.

So, just be aware that when the internal (and getting a bit rare) backup batteries die, the set will lose it's programmed memories and display gibberish on the 7 segment LED's. It will be fine with a new set of cells and a reprogram.

Also been trying to find a Signal R-535 with both Civil and Milair....but I don't think too many owners are keen to part with those either!

Regards, Commscanaus.
 
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#5
Thanks for the battery info - that explains why some of the higher number memories have funny digits - I only have a need for about 15 memory slots but I may try to straighten up the strange digits in the higher slots. Great little radio - very sensitive - and I too have put it through an extension speaker to make it sound a bit better - the tiny and tinny little speaker on top of the cabinet is very muffled in my rack.

I didn't know the batteries were scarce - I have had good success with 'supercaps' for memory retention instead of AA cells in my NRD515 HF receiver and memory unit - I may have to experiment to see how much current is drawn in the 'standby' mode to see it it's worthwhile in this little radio - it's only micromicroamps in some of those CMOS RAM packages - more of a static charge rather then current drawn.
 
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#6
majoco - You looked at the wrong end of the list....it's the service dept at Nevada that might hold the documentation that Lowe originally did.

commsacnaus - secondhand radio equipment has a pricing structure that makes no sense at all.....I liked my Yupiteru VT125 back in the day and I saw one starting at £109 last week...it really isn't worth that. The SRC radios are often the same...I saw someone asking £120 for an R-517?
A few years ago the R535 would fetch (possibly...I don't actually use ebay to know if they sold) something around £300....I wouldn't sell either of mine for any amount but neither would I consider paying that for one! 532s and 535s often crop up for sale in the UK and there are occasioanl 'bargains' (ie. ones that sell for a more realistic price). So you are missing page 2 as well....seems like you also have scans of my manual ;-)
 

VK3RX

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That is a really nice piece of kit, and I'll have to keep my eye out for one or the 535.

I've not seen them on ebay, and I check used "Radio communications" and "Vintage electronics" daily.
 
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#8
They quite often pop up on the US EPay but seem to have remarkably high prices. I won't tell you how much I paid my mate for this one!
 
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#10
To be honest, I have NEVER seen any SRC radios for sale in this hemisphere, except for the one I found.
It would seem that some R-532's were installed in aerodromes, as was the case with mine.
The seller told me his father used it for a gliding club, but had long since given that away due to advancing years.

And yes Morfis, the Yupiteru's can vary greatly in price.
Always wanted a VT-225 or even the VT-125, but was lucky to get a near new MVT-7100 still in the original box for $50. The seller was mainly liquidating test equipment from Universities, and had purchased the Yupiteru as part of a lot. That is a great radio that gets used for airshows.

A couple of nice features of the R-532 are the ability to turn off the frequency display, either to keep frequencies "secret" or reduce light pollution in the ****pit if installed in an aircraft.
Ten memory banks, A thru J, can be used to store frequencies for different airports depending on where the pilot is going.

Here is a picture of mine, complete with Realistic branded wedge shaped speaker, purely for the inherent aerodynamics of the design!

Oh and VK3RX....thank goodness someone else has the addiction to daily (hourly?) checking of eBay.

Commscanaus.
 

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VK3RX

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I had one of those speakers too :p

My airband-specific radios are a Park Air 5610 base transceiver, and an ex-Airservices R40 receiver, but they aren't as nice as the SCC.

I've created a custom search now so we'll see if any come up sometime.
 
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#12
As you've looked at something like rigpix you'll have seen photos of mine that I took in 2003 for the website but here is one of them anyway,



I have multiple examples of all but one Signal model.

I remember in the late 1980's waiting for a concorde to arrive...100s of people but only a handful had 'proper' airband radios...those were SRC or Swinburne examples. There were a few people who had been to visit a Tandy shop and had a Realistic Jetstream variant....and the ones who had been to the airport enthusiasts shop and bought a Steepletone SAB9 (this latter probably being the most common entry level airband radio and longest lasting .....in almost continuous production since 1972!). I imagine today everyone and their dog would have some kind of Bearcrap.

I have a couple of rackmout Park Air Electronics receivers in the collection too (PR2000 and PR2100 IIRC)...they were sourced from an airfield tower.
 
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#14
I have a rather battered Bendix/King KX99 handheld that I reconstructed out of three busted ones. (The ground staff of the little airline where I worked tended to test if gravity was still working by dropping them down the aircraft steps!) Only 10 channels but remarkably sensitive - it was designed to be used as an emergency radio in light aircraft - I take it with me to airshows and other events - it's still on the original battery pack - 20 years later! If I get lost, it will receive and display bearings to the nearest VOR beacon although the range on the ground is rather limited!
 

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VK3RX

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Friends of mine, a couple who both had pilot licences had one of those or a similar model when they first came out in the early 80's. We thought the VOR receiver was a very nifty feature, in those pre-GPS days.
 
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#16
Nice receivers. It would seem they might be in less demand in the UK and other countries where 8.33 KHz channel steps are now in vogue. Send them here to the US!
 
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#17
Nice receivers. It would seem they might be in less demand in the UK and other countries where 8.33 KHz channel steps are now in vogue. Send them here to the US!
The second hand price has come down a bit from the ludicrous levels of ten years ago but they still sell well and seem to be in demand in the UK. Far fewer were imported to the USA...in part because the market there was already full of 'domestic' options (though quite a few were actually re-packaged versions of European/Japanese kit - Sportys and Scotts both did this a lot).

....and drifting even further from Signal Radio Corp.
In Iowa recently (yes, I'm from Britian but have actually been to Iowa not just Orlando) and saw a shipping container's worth of radio kit for sale for a pittance outside some chaps house. Three airband radios from Admiral Continental Radio & Television Co....half a dozen Regency Airscan variants as well as the even earlier Airmonitor versions which didn't even have names. Must have been 100+ general coverage receivers. I'm sure I could have afforded to make an offer for the lot. I had to be dragged away in tears.

Bearcrap might have all the bells and whistles now but gve me a real American Bearcat like the Thin Scan and I'll be much happier*


*Four channels, 8 channel per second scan speed so you don't miss any action!
 
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