Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Retro radio

When does radio become retro?
I've never been particularly enamoured of vintage radio. AR88 and CR100s have never appealed to me.
I was introduced to two-way radio communications during the first wave of CB in the UK. I have to add that I never actually broke the law by transmitting speech on 27Mhz, but I did often hear American CB'ers voices emanating from the various 27MHz radio control receivers I built. Particularly in the early 1960s. I did have a radio control license.


Later my friends bought and used 27MHz walks talkies. I lusted after one of these but could never afford one. Those pull-out telescopic antennas ( less than 5foot to qualify for FCC part 15 unlicensed equipment) and the snugly fitting leather cases just looked the part.

Recently my local antiques shop in Felixstowe included a pair of beautiful Radifon SRT-602 27MHz walk talkies, in their original leather cases no less, for £20/pair. The boiler plate on the rear says made in August 1965. The cases are metal ( no cheap plastic here). They take a 9v PP3 battery. There is no sign of battery corrosion in either unit.

After several weeks of passing by the shop on my way into town I decided I really ought to buy them before someone else with a similar fetish bought them!
I eventually agreed £18 for the pair and carried them home.
I have no intention of using them. That would be illegal. However, I will check them out on my spectrum analyser and signal generator.
It says 6 transistor, 11channel on them, but I believe that really means they are on the old FCC channel 11 as there is no provision for a channel switch or even space on the PCB for more than one or two crystals.
I will publish a bit more about them after a few measurements.


  1. That's fun and very rare to find a pair from 1965. I guess they are on AM modulation as all of them were at that time. I just bought 1 6 channel walkie talkie on a radiorally in good condition (see: It has a metal case and in good condition. Not as old but still from 1979. 73, Bas

  2. Back in 1980 I used to regularly work an Italian in Rome who was using a 100mW AM handhekd rig on 28.500MHz. I was on SSB. He was always good copy.

  3. I'll try to reply again......
    The radios are on 27.080 and use AM
    The constant hiss from the super regen is really annoying, though!
    Thanks for your comments.