Panoramic Radio Products PCA-2 Panadaptor
  • Power: 110-120VAC - 50/60Hz
  • Released c.1946
  • Original price: c.$100
  • Tube complement: 6X5 (Rectifiers); 6SN7 (Saw-tooth generator/Amplifier); VR105 (Regulator); 6AC7 (Reactor); 6SQ7 (Detector/Video Amplifier); 6SG7 (IF & RF Amps); 6SA7 (Mixer/Oscillator) and a 2AP1 (Cathode Ray Tube).

This is a Model PCA-2, Type T-200 Panoramic Adaptor, made in the mid 1940's by Panoramic Radio Products of Mount Vernon, New York. This company produced the same unit under contract to Hallicrafters - where it was re-badged and re-named as the SP-44 - same chassis, same case.

.Last updated 17th September 2007

But what is a 'Panadaptor'?

Well, it is a kind of radio frequency spectrum analyser. It gives a visual display of 100KHz (or more) either side of a tuned frequency. For example - if we connect our unit to a receiver and tune the radio to 10MHz we should have a visual peak in the centre of the display that indicates the strength of the received signal of the WWV in Colorado. The smaller peaks on each side are the signals that are within 100 kilocycles of the WWV signal we are tuned to. The photo of the panadaptor display (above) illustrates this point.

This picture (right), from the magazine 'Radio News', of 1947, shows the Hallicrafters SP-44 Panadaptor being used with an Hallicrafters SX-42 receiver. Clearly, the operator has little concern for what the gunky smoke from his cigaret will do to the value of his gear when it's sold on Ebay in 60 years time!

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