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Sets, Parts and Service Information Wanted (private buyers only, no swaps) If you need help obtaining components, sets or equipment, post a message here. Private buyers only - no traders. No swaps.

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Old 29th Oct 2020, 1:54 pm   #1
skyking_comms
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Default Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

I'm a collector of Airband radio's from the 1960's such as those produced by Gauers, Shorrock, Volstatic etc.

I'm finding that these are more difficult to come across nowadays.
Happy to purchase in any condition.

Also interested in any airband booklets from the 1960s'

I have a webpage on these airband radio's here -
www.raf-fairford.co.uk/vintage-airband

Thanks
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 4:40 pm   #2
Panrock
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

A basic question. Was Airband AM? If so, were all the radios configured for this?

I hope this question will be permitted here, though the mods are within their rights to shut this down.

Steve
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 4:49 pm   #3
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

It was and still is AM, unlike FM where the capture effect masks weaker stations AM lets you hear if there is someone else on channel.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 6:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

Cheap airband radios generally use the VHF/FM circuitry to tune it, which is why they perform really badly unless you're standing at the airport perimeter fence. A few of the 60s/70s Hong Kongers do have a proper air band with an AM detector though.

It sounds as if the OP is looking for serious airband radios rather than consumer toys.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 7:21 pm   #5
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

The makes he's asking for were hobbyist models, in some cases commercially modified consumer portable radios. The sort of thing likely to be carried by a plane spotter to help ID things and to listen out for what's coming in next.

The serious airband radios in that period came from Bendix-King (just King then), Narco and Collins for example.

There is a sudden step in seriousness where radios need to meet certification requirements for use in flight or for aerodrome duties. (RTCA DO-186 in the US and EUROCAE ED-23 in Europe) There's a sudden step in price, too! Because of the nature of airband communications being point to point more than broadcast, most sets were transceivers, so professional receivers are rare.

There are schemes in use where a wide channel has multiple ground transmitters in different places on offset frequencies. The offsets cause the carriers to make a huge heterodyne tone, but the offsets are big enough to pitch it above an audio filter passband. So you can fly up a deep valley with continuous coverage without changing channel. This definitely couldn't be done with FM, so airband is locked into AM for several reasons.

It was a strange feeling to be designing as work-work, an AM transmitter in the 21st century.

David
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 9:40 am   #6
skyking_comms
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

If it helps the radio's I'm currently trying to find these, but happy to be contacted with anything else.

Shorrock
Model 102 HF Receiver

Gauers
6301
Informant 44
Scotsman 6220
Scotsman 6221

Volstatic
Skyway II
Flight Commander
Flight Master
Flight Commodore

Park Air
Kurer
Sky Bandit
Jet Set
Sky King

Juliette
5 band
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 9:48 am   #7
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

Ah, the Juliette.

I knew couple of people who had those back in the day. Jim Fish in Huddersfield sold quite a few of them.

David
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 10:21 am   #8
Paul_RK
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radio's from the 1960's

That will be the NA-5018, then.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/toppim...r_na_5018.html

Should be among the easiest of those sets to locate, I have one here but am quite attached to it largely because it was an unattainable aspiration for me as a nine year old gazing at a Proops catalogue back in '68. Nice slab of cast metal on the front of it but aside from that its quality isn't much removed from average Hong Kong sets of the day.

Paul
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 2:30 pm   #9
skyking_comms
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

Bit of a niche market for these radio's back in the 1960's and were not cheap when new

Hopefully I can rescue them from going to the radio graveyard

That NA-5018 is a nice radio
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 2:39 pm   #10
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

Hi, slightly off what you were wanting but I have a tatty Narco DME 70 nav receiver (valved) if you are interested.
I may also have a couple of the far east airband sets from the 70's when I find them as well as some documentation.

Cheers, Ed
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 4:02 pm   #11
skyking_comms
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

Thanks Ed - I'm sticking to the 1960's as so many airband radio's got produced in the 1970's, all very similar looking and mainly from Hong Kong.

The 1960's in my opinion look better, albeit most were based on other radio's with some re-working so they received the airband.
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 8:37 pm   #12
skyking_comms
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

I've now moved to a dedicated site on Airband radio's, with lots more information http://www.airband-radio.co.uk

Still on the look out to purchase these early airband sets!
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 9:42 pm   #13
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

Is this what you mean by "Airband Radio" ?.
Yes they are AM.

Joe
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Old 13th Nov 2020, 9:01 am   #14
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

David in post #5 you say ......... multiple ground transmitters in different places..... so you could fly up a valley.... how far apart would the TXs be placed in practice?
John
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Old 13th Nov 2020, 12:22 pm   #15
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Default Re: Wanted - Airband radios from the 1960's

Quote:
Originally Posted by John10b View Post
how far apart would the TXs be placed in practice?
John
It depends on the narowness and bendyness of the valley. Planes flying along the valley at typical altitudes would need to be within line of sight of one transmitter at all times and within a normal service radius of it.

High flying planes are likely to receive the whole lot at once.

They want the system to work even for very low flight. If someone has a problem and is going to try an emergency landing, they want the radio working to the last to best give the location for rescue.

David
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