Communications,  Test Equipment & Interesting things….

Here we have a selection of vintage goodies that do not really fit into our other sales pages.   One off items of interest to radio and maybe in the future audio enthusiasts.   Most things are as found but a full description of their working state will be included.   Some items will be serviced and come with our standard six month return to base warranty. 

Vintage and modern communications equipment,  test equipment for your workshop,  useful bulk components and all those kinds of things.    This page will not be updated as often as our main overhauled and diy radios for sale part of the site. 

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Epoxy resin anyone?  This is what happens when you refuse to replace your valve radios grid coupling capacitors!   



Stock last updated on 25/06/19
New items added on 25/06/19

A few new things...


C1960 Eddystone 840C General coverage receiver
For restoration.  This one works quite well as found as it has previously been overhauled by another vintage radio enthusiast 20 or so years back.   There was a sticker on the back of the chassis!  The work looks to be of a decent standard.   What is letting this set down is the front panel,  which appears that the lacquer sprayed on by Eddystone to protect the lettering etc has degraded.    You might find that given a good clean up and then an application of fresh clear coat spray will mask this sufficiently.   It looks almost like water damage however there are no signs of any rust,  the internal speaker is fine as is the tuning dial.  The rest of the case is also very good condition.   Confusing.   Anyway it's a good radio, going cheap and if looks are not so important then have a go with this one. 

Price   (for restoration)   £75   UK Delivery £15    EU £28  -  £35

C1950 Eddystone S740 Communications receiver  (overhauled)
I like the old Eddystone cabinet layouts,  there is something about the half moon style dials and the multicoloured printing against the black crackle painted cabinet that sets them apart from the blander grey models of later years.   Definitely has a war time feel about the controls and layout of this receiver.   It was aimed at the high end of the amateur market and performs very well with even a simple antenna system.    There is nothing overly complicated about the receiver, it has the usual single conversion octal valved superhet with a BFO for CW,  you can tune in SSB signals with ease too when the RF gain is backed off a little.   It does have an extra RF stage amp.  The dial has a slow motion drive with a logging scale on the right hand side.  Condition wise it is very presentable,  if you want me to be picky there is a little bit of wear on the thumb plate at the rear of the wave change switch knob but this is hardly noticeable .  The dial and case are excellent.    I have overhauled the chassis,  re-aligned it and it is good to go.   All you need is a suitable 3 ohm extension speaker and a length of wire up in the garden.  You will be listening to the world in no time.   I was really tempted to keep this for myself as I love that dial.   Oh well I think I have far too many radio toys already..   

Price  (overhauled) £275    UK Delivery £15    EU £28  -  £35
Dimensions are 17" wide, 9" high and 9" deep so not too big at all.  Remember you will need a 3 ohm extension speaker or phones to use this radio.

Late 1990's Lodestar RF Signal Generator
This is one of my surplus workshop items,  no longer required as we have several others and given that this model is so reliable it is unlikely we will ever need a spare, spare one if you know what I mean!   Yes we have three more just like this in use in our workshop and all give good results and are very reliable.   In fact I have been using one just like it since about 1989 and that is absolutely fine.    Compact and good stability.     You can also use it as a simple AM modulator,  feed in an audio source to the external modulation socket and then listen to it on your AM radio.  100 KHz through to 150MHz and then up to 450 MHz on harmonics.  The analogue dial is accurate enough for most purposes.    As far as I know they are no longer produced in this format with the easy to read dial.   Mains powered.  Full working order, in good shape supplied with the correct mains lead.   

Price £80      UK Delivery £8.50   EU £18  -  £25

I have also used one of my generators just like this as a simple BFO to resolve SSB on Hacker Super Sovereigns.  It works…. 

1980's Crotech compact 20MHz Single Beam 'scope
Well it won't win any beauty contests  but it will be perfectly acceptable to test the state of your DC in a valve radio,  or check an oscillator output.   Or look at the modulation depth of an AM waveform as shown in the picture.  Indeed for general fault finding an oscilloscope is essential.   The main thing is though that this one is  compact.  If you wanted to tidy it up take the covers off and re-spray them.  The front panel is all ok apart from a plastic crack on the top edge trim.   Everything works,  the trace is bright and the controls seem to be ok.   It would be worth taking the covers off anyway and giving the X/Y pots a squirt to cut down on screen "jiggles" when adjusting.   The trigger also works and is easy to control.   Reason for selling this  (it has been a good workhorse) is again there are two other scopes on the service bench here,  one of which is now dedicated to a spectrum analyser job and I really do not have room for three!   Cheap and useful.  If you do practical radio things you need a scope,  20 MHz is good enough for most jobs.   Mains lead included.   Afraid I have no scope probes to go with it but you can pick something up on eBay for a few pounds that will suffice.

Price £30     UK Delivery £10   EU £18  -  £25

Dimensions are 22 cm wide, 12 cm high and 30 cm deep.

C1955 Racal RA17  General coverage professional comms rx

In my mind the undisputed heavyweight champion of British communication receivers,  the RA17 in its day,  and indeed today in many ways sets the standard for general coverage receivers.  Used in diplomatic embassies around the world,  by the RAF, spooks (ahem GCHQ),  the BBC monitoring service at Caversham, NATO, we even sold RACAL receivers to the US military.  Yep they were good and back in 1955 the purchase price was almost the same a small house.  So they were not at all aimed at the amateur.  Although one or two with deep pockets had one.   Back in the 60's there was an RA17 at the show station of the  RSGB.   The list goes on.   This model made Racal who went on to build all manner of communications and military kit, and eventually evolved into what we now know as Vodaphone.   They are not doing too bad either!   

Well driving this beast takes a little bit of getting used to,  again it is a Wadley Loop system receiver  - the original?  I am not sure about that but it is certainly the best.   You have to select the MHz dial first, then adjust the KHz dial  (which is the longest 35mm analogue scale dial ever fitted in a receiver of this type).   Excellent accuracy and you do not need a frequency display to see where you are.  The dial can be calibrated by the built in 1 MHz and 100 KHz crystal marker signals.    Stability has to be heard to believe.  I find even from cold you can tune in a CW station and leave it going for hours and it never seems to drift.

Condition wise it is the standard rack mount version, 19".   Excellent front panel and lettering.  The whole thing has been thoroughly overhauled and is working very well now from MW up to 30 MHz.  CW is fantastic with the switched crystal filter which goes down to 100 Hz bandwidth.    For AM and SSB / data there are 8KHz, 3.5 Khz, 1.5 KHz, 750 and 300 Hz filters.   A full copy of the manual is included and it comes with the correct,  original spec Racal mains lead.     Antenna connections are via an angled PL259 socket which  replaced the original input  (this was done prior to us getting the receiver).   Audio output  -  this receiver will drive an external 3 ohm or 600 ohm load,  which is highly recommended as the internal speaker is tiny and only really there for testing purposes.   If there is anything negative to say about the RA17 is has to be the internal speaker and rather poor audio amplifier that they used.   An EF91 no less  (which is really a high gain IF / RF amplifier pentode!)     I have always wanted to own an RA17 but only recently realised that little dream (yes I have another receiver with my name on it!) and now it is your chance to own this cold war wonder.    This baby is ex RAF if you are interested….
Price £525      This includes personal UK mainland delivery.  There will be a £20 fuel surcharge for deliveries to Cornwall and Scottish highlands.   Sorry no delivery to Northern Ireland or Ireland,  however I am quite happy to meet up at a UK mainland ferry port.   Email for details.  This price also includes an extension speaker which you are really going to want to use for long periods of listening.   You will also get driving lessons should you need them and some genuine enthusiasm :-)  Oh and I will carry it for you too.   The badge says 67 lbs
Afraid the Racal is sold.

A little bit of BBC monitoring back in the 1960's     Those were the days.   No heating required.

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