Radios Wanted, Links, and other Miscellaneous Topics:

[Radios Wanted] [FM Radio Links] [Why so few FM sets?]  [Credits]

Radios Wanted / Information Wanted

Would like any information on this Sarkes Tarzian radio
and radio station W9XHZ, Bloomington, IN.

hallicrafters_cn3.jpg (70642 bytes)    hallicrafters_cn5.jpg (17115 bytes)
Hallicrafters CN-3 and CN-5 retrofit FM converters.
Did either of these radios ever exist?

hallicrafters_cn1.jpg (45636 bytes)
Hallicrafters CN-1
internal FM converter
Micro-Electronics RD-02
 or Ekeradio FM Pocket Radio
( coat pocket radios)

digikey2.gif (545735 bytes)
[click on picture to see ad]

Digi-Key Ham Radio Keyer circa 1968

UKW Special W-1132
UKW Special W-1932
audar_fmc12.jpg (144384 bytes)
FMC-12 "Telvar"
receiving converter

heath_grb220_420.jpg (29771 bytes)
Setchell-Carlson 469

radionette_kurer_501.jpg (34770 bytes)
Kurér 501
portable transistor radio
meissner_9-1023.jpg (49869 bytes)
Meissner 9-1023

GE GM-125

GE HM-80
(pre war)


   model numbers and photographs wanted



FM Radio Related Web Sites

The Edwin H. Armstrong web page by Mike Katzdorn

John Hunter's Australian Old Things Web page with a number of interesting FM radio designs

Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration by Paul Stenning

Living in the Past  ( by John Pelham, beautiful photos of radios. Interesting articles.

Gerard's Radio Corner   by Gerard Tel, well worth your time.

Bob's (W2ISE)    Direct link to his page on FM radio, see the rest of the site, too.

Bill Wilkinson's Heathkit Web Page    An excellent source of information.

Pat Jankowiak's page on the REL receiver

Jeff Miller's pages on Broadcasting History

The Norwegian Historical Radio Society

Other Radio Collecting Web Sites

Antique Radio Classified  On-line and printed classified ads for antique radio, and much more.

The Radiola Guy    an interesting web site, including information on sub-mini tube radios

Classic Radio Gallery   well organized site with some excellent photos of old sets

Old Radio Digital World  large, thoughtful and interesting European site by Enrico Tedeschi

CK722 Transistors    interesting site on early RCA transistors, by Jack Ward

Radiomuseum  an extensive and outstanding radio collection web site. Thousands of radio photographs.


Why were so few FM-only sets produced in the U.S.?

[I welcome comments and corrections. - arm]

It is somewhat surprising how few FM-only table radios were ever manufactured before boom-boxes and personal stereos came into vogue.  There are probably a number of reasons for this paucity of pure FM sets.  AM radio was wildly popular in the U.S.  Even as late as the 1960's, the FM broadcasts were simply simulcasts of AM stations.   FM required more tube stages than AM, so an FM-only set was more expensive than an AM-only set.  Politics also played a role early on.

FM-only table radios seemed to have been manufactured during distinct periods.  The first period was in the early 1940's when Armstrong set up shop on the original FM band (42-50 Mc).  After FM was reintroduced on the 88-108 Mc band in the late 1940's, the FM band was usually available only on the high-end multi-band console radios.  Some of these console radios had both the pre- and post- war FM bands (e.g. Zenith 12-H-092R) as did a few table radios (e.g. Zenith 8-H-034).  In general, FM-only table radios were uncommon in the late 40's.  There was a resurgence of FM-only table radios in the mid to late 1950's with manufacturers like Granco using transformerless designs. 

The difficulty of making portable FM sets with vacuum tubes also inhibited the popularity of FM.   Tubes that operated reliably at 100 Mc were not easy to make, and only very specialized tubes were very good for low-power operation at high frequencies (e.g. nuvistors). Thus, FM failed as a band for portable radios. There are some European AM/FM portable tube sets (e.g. Philips L4x71AB) and there are a few rumors of FM-only European sets, but I'm still searching for a model number.   Apparently FM was much more popular in Europe than the U.S.  It is a bit unclear why FM made rapid gains in Europe in the mid to late 1950's, but there have been some allusions to interference sources on the AM band that disturbed AM reception in there.  The only American-made FM tube portable radio is an unusual set.  The Hastings FM Jr. is a 2-tube FM-only portable radio.  The tubes are the sub-mini type with wire leads.  It uses an earphone for listening.

In the U.S. AM/FM designs became popular and could leverage their sales off of the desire for AM.  In the late 1950's, FM began to appeal to the Hi-Fi crowd.   Early audiophiles eschewed table radios for tuners, receivers, and other "component" systems. Thus, FM-only table radios did not satisfy some important markets: AM reception, portable radios, Hi-Fi.  So far, the prevailing theory I have heard among collectors is that FM radio was so slow to take off, that FM-only sets were offered often an attempt to promote the FM radio band.


FM Radio in Germany

The following is from Corne Janssen, a Dutch collector:

I can across an article about post WWII FM in the November 1950 issue of Radio bulletin (Dutch version). This article gave me some insight in why FM became so popular in Europe. Here's a summary of that story.

Immediately after WWII the Germans were denied the use of the long and medium wave frequencies. In 1948 in Kopenhagen (Denmark) the Germans had some hope that they would get the frequency allocations back. But claims by Russia and Poland made sure that the frequency ban continued. The Germans were allowed frequency allocations in 87.5 -108 MHz FM frequency range. Some young German technicians insisted on using the FM for broadcasting but this met resistance from the former German broadcasters. In the middel of 1949 with backing from England and the US this resistance was broken and Germany started to build their FM broadcast network. The NWDR first started to experiment with 400Watt transmitters in Hamburg and Hannover. In the summer of 1950 they were replaced by two 10kW stations one in Hamburg and one in Langenberg and two satellite stations one in Koln (1kW) and one in Hannover (400W). Later that year three more 10kW stations were expected to be operational in Oldenburg, Detmold and Hannover. Parallel to this development there were other station becoming operational in the middel and south of Germany. This included a 10kW station at the top of mount Feldberg near Frankfurt. This station was received at a distances up to 370km.

The article also had some small pictures of FM add-on converters and one schematic of such a converter.

In an other article I saw a map of Germany with all FM stations in that particular year (1951). There were about 30 stations so the number of FM stations in Germany was rapidly increasing.


FM Radio in Australia

FM started in Australia in 1947 on an experimental basis.  The first broadcasts were by the government broadcaster, the ABC.  It was never publicized in the mainstream and very few commercially made receivers were built in Australia.  The few that were made were high quality radiograms (radio-record player combination sets); they did not make any cheap mantel sets.  FM was available only in a few large cities and was shut down in 1961 due to the expansion of the television band.  Australian VHF TV channels 3, 4 and 5 are in the 88-108 MHz frequency range.  There was pressure from the Hi-Fi fraternity to reinstate FM and a proposal that was almost adopted was to reintroduce FM on UHF frequencies.  This occurred in the late 60's and early 70's.  Eventually (circa 1974), FM was reintroduced in the normal 88-108 MHz band, but with restricted frequency allocations in areas where TV channels 3, 4 or 5 were in use. FM was not fully commercialized until the 1980's. As a result of this late commercialization, Australia does not have any of those wonderful tube FM receivers of the 40's that American collectors find so enchanting.  

FM Radio in Finland

FM broadcasting began on an experimental basis in 1948.  The first commercial broadcast was in 1952 at the Helsinki Olympics.  The first FM network started in 1953. From the 1960's AM went on the decline in Finland. Finnish National broadcaster shut down the last AM transmitter on 558 kHz in December 2007.



Numerous people have helped supply the information on this page.  This web site would be far less complete without the efforts of collectors, other than myself, who provided many of the photographs and facts presented here.  I am indebted to them for their efforts and kindness.  I have started to review my old notes and give appropriate credit to the various contributors.   Here are a few of the many.  If your name is missing from this list, please contact me.

Matti Adolfsen Information on professional relay radios built in Europe
John Byrns Information on early stereo
Knut Bohn  Information on Radionette radios
Christian Bruckner Information and donation of Watson TR4202
Bob Burchett Information on Gonset 3311 car converter
Patrick Cambre Designer of the wonderful Radio Shack Special one transistor FM radio project
Denis Cannings Information on Dynatron radio
Gary Ceriotti          Information on Admiral and Meissner radios; radio donations.
Carter Cook Identification of Maguire Industries Model D500-D1
Greg Dankowski Information on Granco radios.
Spencer Darrow Information and photographs for Lincoln radio.
John B. Doolittle Information on Hastings FM Jr. (Concert Networks)
John Ebeling Information on early Motorola auto radio FM converter
Martin Eble Information on the Realistic Concertmaster Hi-Fi radio
Ed Ellers                Information on Pioneer and Radio Shack radios
Harry Enqvist Information on Finnish radio manufacturers
Paul Fleming Information and photos of for several radios (Zephyr, Sansei, others)
Steve Fullmer Information and photograph for Sylvania 9000
Paula-Maria Grunitzky Information on the Sony credit card stereo radio (SRF-201)
Tim Hammond Information on KLH Models 100 and 200
Charles P. Harper   Information on Audar, early 48 to 88 Mc converters, and other early FM info.
Jens Haftorn Information on Radionette Soundrecorder FM
Hans Hilberink Information on Philips "Mariette"
Herby Herby from Berlin - a Sony and Casio fan - helped with many models and dates for Sony radios
Darryl Hock Photographs of GE HM-80 and Crystal Devices retrofit converter
John Hunter The history of FM radio in Australia
Mike Izycky Information and photos for several British FM radios
Corne Janssen History of early German FM radio allocations
Steve Kelsay Kaiser and other European radio information and photos
Paul King Information on Hacker Radios
Charles Kitchin Help and encouragement with the design of the 1 transistor FM radio
Paul Koenigsburg   Donated two FM only table radios
Dieter König Information and photographs on Bang & Olufsen portable radios
Ari Kosonen Information on several Scandinavian radios
David Lum Information and photograph for Olson Electronics and a Lafayette radio
Stig Lundstrom Information on Luxor Westmatic B4961
Roger Manning Information and photographs for Casio RD100, Citizen TR20
David E. Miller Information on quite a few European sets
Bob Moore  Information on Grundig radios
Camil Moujaber A variety of radio pictures, including the Radio Shack Science Fair FM radio kit
Bernhard Nagel Information on the Telefunken UKW 6A
The Norwegian Historical Radio Society Information on Radionette and Tandberg radios
Reginald Olson Information on F. M. Specialties, Inc. “Fidelotuner”.
John Perata Photograph of Telefunken Caprice
Frank Putnam Donated Howard 482 tuner
Steve Reedy Photographs of the Sinclair Watch/Radio
Francesco Roveda Details on Voxson Tanga radio, Aristar (Voxson clone), and Autovox "Magic Drum"
Jan Rudziñski Information on Kaiser UKW Special W-1932 and Unitra-Eltra "Luiza"
Mike Schiffer Information on several rare FM only coat pocket radios
Paul Sexton Information on Bush sets
Anders "Soda" Söderström Detailed information on Swedish built radios (AGA, Luxor, and Dux)
Enrico Tedeschi      Photographs of the Sinclair Micro FM radio
Gary Tempest Information on many British sets
Mark E. Thierbach Model number for Medallion and Pencrest radios, many Sam's numbers. Help with Motorola car radios.
Walter Trachsel Information on Heathkit "GRB" sets
Jack Ward Information on early RCA transistor FM radios
Mike Wills Information and photograph for the Heathkit GRB Tiger
Branden A Panasonic RF-HD5



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Last updated 7 April 2016

Original site located at by Andrew R. Mitz ; copied with permission.
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