Is anyone into vintage multiband portable radios?

Falcon9h

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
220
Yes, this is an easy for for the Astronaut 8. Even the CW-60 I posted before, well the seller broke the tip off the right (VHF) antenna trying to get it into a flat rate box. That was replaced for $7 (for 2 antennas no less) on Amazon. I'm not complaining one bit on the build quality of these older radios, they have held up very well for their age.
Nice 70's solid metal and fiberboard or wood case construction. The plastic in the 80's radios is getting brittle, especially with both ICF-5900w's where the screw studs broke off, and I'm extremely gentle. Had to use CA glue and/or weld the stud with a soldering iron, *gingerly!* I handle them with kid gloves and only snug screws in plastic cases.
On the antenna, that's why sellers piss me off in general, knowing nothing about shipping radios or ignoring instructions.
 

MiCon

Mike
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
125
Location
central AZ
I had a few of those portable multiband radios, but I got my start as a young pre-teen listening to a 1940's era floor cabinet radio that had AM, FM, and one shortwave band. The FM didn't offer much to listen to, but I loved tuning around the AM and shortwave band at night, pulling in the far away stations.
 

VK3RX

Thaumaturge
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
461
Location
Australia
A Grundig Satellit 650.

It had the common rotted speaker cone issue, so I fitted a new speaker.. The motorised preselector function is fascinating. This is a system that tracks the tuned frequency and automatically adjusts tuned circuits acting as band pass filters, thus tuning the front end.

IMG_4297.JPG
 

Under30

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
5
Location
NJ, USA
Wow, this thread takes me back, I use to accumulate multi -bands with my chore money, then got a paper route.

Still have my Zenith Royal 7000.
 

PACNWDude

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
1,361
Zenith3000.PNG
I ended up getting a Zenith 3000 recently. In great condition, fully functional, but still need to clean it up a bit. This is a 3000, so no AC power option. 9 D cells later and I am listening to local stations.....both backlight bulbs even worked.
 

majoco

Stirrer
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
4,306
Location
New Zealand
I forgot to mention it in my previous post. Not really a 'multi-band' in the usual sense of the word - it even says that it's a "Police Band" in the advert but it's not.
It's a Nova-Tech "Action ll", brand spanking new in it's original cardboard box with all the accessories, absolutely perfect. Great performer on the BC band and the LW band for DFing the marine beacons but the VHF bands not so much - too far from the sea and the low VHF band has nothing on it. £53 in 1969 - quite expensive.

DSC_4019 crop sml.jpgDSC_4021 crop sml.jpg
 

majoco

Stirrer
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
4,306
Location
New Zealand
View attachment 143102
I ended up getting a Zenith 3000 recently. In great condition, fully functional, but still need to clean it up a bit. This is a 3000, so no AC power option. 9 D cells later and I am listening to local stations.....both backlight bulbs even worked.
Your 3000 looks to be in very good condition - mine suffers from the pitted chrome disease and the handle is about to crack. I've superglued the cracks and now they don't look as bad but I'm not going to test it!
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
1,427
Be glad your 3000 works on batteries only. Safer for the final transistors.

I learned that the hard way. Mine came from an amateur radio store consignment section, and it came with a wall wart and adaptor. After using it a couple times the radio just faded to black. After maybe 10 minutes, the volume dropped and there was no sound. I don't remember how I figured out that the final audio transistors were hot, but they were. A quick peruse online I learned that if an AC adaptor runs 'hot' -- i.e. a 9 volter putting out 11 or 12 volts, a 6 volter putting out 9V, etc. -- the old germanium finals don't like that, and you can get 'thermal runaway'. They heat up and shut down. If the power isn't cut off immediately, it can fry the transistors.

I rigged up a battery holder and loaded it with AA's. Runs like a charm. I was lucky.
 

majoco

Stirrer
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
4,306
Location
New Zealand
Many readers of this and other forums recommend using a 9volt wall-wart to power their 3000-1's - and work backwards to the power point - power off at the radio and the power point, plug in the radio to avoid shorting the plug, turn the radio on then turn on the power point. This means that the wall-wart is already loaded and not likely to zoom up to over 12volts. Another problem is that those two capacitors across the supply C51 and C56 are only rated at 12volts - so they might easily go pop. I've replaced mine with 16volt ones.
 

Boombox

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
1,427
Many readers of this and other forums recommend using a 9volt wall-wart to power their 3000-1's - and work backwards to the power point - power off at the radio and the power point, plug in the radio to avoid shorting the plug, turn the radio on then turn on the power point. This means that the wall-wart is already loaded and not likely to zoom up to over 12volts. Another problem is that those two capacitors across the supply C51 and C56 are only rated at 12volts - so they might easily go pop. I've replaced mine with 16volt ones.
Majoco, I know you're very good with radios, but I'm also a long time SWL and even with my own experience level I do not completely understand what you just suggested that a 3000 owner do. Could you rephrase it?

You mean to plug the wall wart into the wall, and then into the radio, and then turn the radio on?
Or, plug the wall wart into the Zenith, then plug the wall wart into the wall, and then turn the radio on?
Or, adding some other device in between?
 

AZMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
335
Location
AZ
I still have my Patrolman 9 that I purchased used back in 1977 or 1978. It's probably about 50 years old from the date of manufacture and it still works and is used on a daily basis, primarily for the FM broadcast band. It's the oldest radio in my home.
 

Falcon9h

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
220
Majoco, I know you're very good with radios, but I'm also a long time SWL and even with my own experience level I do not completely understand what you just suggested that a 3000 owner do. Could you rephrase it?

You mean to plug the wall wart into the wall, and then into the radio, and then turn the radio on?
Or, plug the wall wart into the Zenith, then plug the wall wart into the wall, and then turn the radio on?
Or, adding some other device in between?
I keep it simple with my Zeniths and run them on batteries only, keeps trouble away.
 

majoco

Stirrer
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
4,306
Location
New Zealand
Majoco, I know you're very good with radios
Aw gee shucks, I've gone all embarrassed now! Thanks for the compliment.

No, I mean have the wall-wart unplugged , then plug the small plug into the radio and turn the radio on - and then plug the wall-wart to the wall power socket and turn it on. Then there should not be any surge in voltage as the wall-wart is already loaded down by the radio.
 

majoco

Stirrer
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
4,306
Location
New Zealand
Picked this up yesterday 21st June after winning it on our auction website - a Satellit 2100. Great condition and a couple of minor problems with panel lights and switch contact which are being fixed. Some plastic parts have gone very brittle so I'm taking it very easy - huge whip antenna in perfect condition - looking forward to evicting the dust bunnies and giving it a good polish. Sorry the pics are a bit out of focus.
 

Attachments

  • Satellit 2100 crop 1 sml.jpg
    Satellit 2100 crop 1 sml.jpg
    118.6 KB · Views: 18
  • Satellit 2100 crop 2 sml.jpg
    Satellit 2100 crop 2 sml.jpg
    122.7 KB · Views: 19

donc13

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,421
Location
Grand Junction, CO
Many years ago I got a Sony ICF-2010, loved it, still have it and it still works great. AM/FM/SSB

A few years ago, to save space I got a cc skywave SSB from ccrane.com, considering it's size, it's a superb radio and fun to listen to.
 

cistercian

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
101
Location
north carolina
My old GE 7-2990A. Not a picture of mine. I found it online. Ok SW great MW very good on FM too...but mono only.
http://www.eham.net/data/classifieds/images/324341.jpg
I started with a 500 series trans oceanic. A lovely radio. Then I bought a BC-348R and pretty much went nuts with desktops ever after.
A Hammarlund SP-600JX-15, then a Drake R8A, Mackay Marine 3031A, Icom 8500...Then a Icom 7410 and finally a Yaesu FTDX-5000MP.
On LW my airspy HF+discovery beats all of them. A result that I found a bit depressing actually.

My Sangean 909X2 is an excellent HF rig. Even on SSB although mine has the dreaded lsb is much quieter then USB issue. With a good external antenna it is still a great receiver for utilities. After I got the Icom 7410 I gave the hammarlund away. But it was excellent I can tell you.

I also own an old Bearcat DX1000. It was ok, I built a preselector for it and was a bit disappointed the R8A was not miles better.
The Icom R8500 was and still is an epic grade HF SSB Utility rig and decent on LW with a preselector. Exceptional AM demodulation too.

The Mackays are ships radios built for the canadian merchant marine. Epic grade for AM BCB and utility use. The Airspy destroys them however.:(
 

cistercian

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
101
Location
north carolina
Many years ago I got a Sony ICF-2010, loved it, still have it and it still works great. AM/FM/SSB

A few years ago, to save space I got a cc skywave SSB from ccrane.com, considering it's size, it's a superb radio and fun to listen to.
I spent a weekend at the beach once and the host had one, The Sony was very impressive for HF SSB utility work indeed.
A radio that lives up to the reputation easily. It was wonderful to use to say the least.
 
Top