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Last updated 16th November 2007

The Boatanchor Collection

These are all non-portable domestic and military communications receivers from the 1940's and 1950's (commonly known as 'boatanchors') and feature in my collection of 40 sets.


(Military Sets)    
Racal RA17L Mk.2 Murphy B40D Marconi CR100/7 Marconi M361
RCA AR88 Collins R-392/URR Collins COL-46159 National HRO

Hallicrafters SX-24

 Forces PCR 'Comfort Set'


Redifon R551A SMR



& HAM SETS    

Hallicrafters SX-110 Hallicrafters SX-99 Hallicrafters SX-71 Hallicrafters 5R10A
Hallicrafters S-108 Hallicrafters S-107 Hallicrafters S-53A Hallicrafters S-40

Hallicrafters S-38A

Hallicrafters S-38B

Hallicrafters S-38C

Hallicrafters S-38D


Hallicrafters S-38E

  Codar CR-70A Mk.2

Hallicrafters SW-500

Kenwood-Trio 9R-59D

Hallicrafters 8R40

Hallicrafters S-41G

National SW-54

Hammarlund HQ-145X

  Odd Ones Out!    

National NC-88

Pye International Model 3042

PCA-2 Panadaptor

Clarke & Smith 8812 Schools Reciever

'Boatanchors' - an American pejorative used to describe very heavy (and usually ex-military) valve driven radio sets that were disposed of when their new-fangled solid-state 'replacements' were introduced. In recent years, however, this has been extended to cover early transistor sets as well - these tend to be known as 'canoe-anchors'.

They have a unique style that dates from the 1940's and 1950's that is, at once, both functional yet aesthetically pleasing. The Hallicrafters domestic Ham sets of the mid to late 1950's, in particular, seem to reflect some of the design cues from the automobiles of the time. Additionally, the military tube sets - particularly the Racal RA17 - gave a level of performance that was not matched or exceeded by transistorised sets for many years.

NB: You may see references to source material in these pages as follows...

'Osterman' - "Shortwave Receivers Past & Present: Communications Receivers 1942-1997" ed. Fred Osterman, Universal Radio, Reynoldsburg, OH, 1998.

'Dachis' - "Radios By Hallicrafters" by Chuck Dachis, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA., 1996.