RCA AR88D Desktop Shortwave receiver

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These hugely heavy and incredibly sensitive sets were, rumour has it, produced for Lend-Lease agreements with England for service in World War II. They are quite common in the UK but scarce in the US. There appear to be two 'flavours' of AR88 - the 'D' version has a frequency coverage as per above whilst the 'LF' version goes down all the way to 75kHz.

The receiver consists of two RF stages, a mixer, local oscillator, three IF stages, a detector, noise limiter, BFO, AF amplifier, output stage and power supply system. The IF amplifiers incorporate variable selectivity and a crystal filter. The sets are normally housed in steel cases but can be rack mounted.

The receivers are designed for coupling to a 200 ohm transmission line, except on low frequency general broadcast bands. For these and general use a single wire 25 to 50 ft. long can be used.

The Reception set AR88D was originally manufactured as the Reception set AR88. It still bears this name on the front panel. The change in designation occurred between the serial numbers 003000 and 010000 and coincides with a change in the design of the output transformer to provide a 600 ohm balanced line output and a 20,000 ohm headphone output. The original AR88 featured a 20 ohm headphone output.

Frequency range

RX-range
0.535-32 MHz in six bands
TX-range
-
HAM bands
-
Stability
-
Tuning steps
-
Filters
-

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Receiver

Modulations
AM   CW  
Sensitivity
For 20dB S/N: 8µV at 1MHz, 4.5µV at 4.3MHz, 7µV at 16MHz, 7µV at 28MHz
Selectivity
5 Settings: -3dB bandwidths 15kHz, 9kHz, 3.4kHz, 1.6kHz, 400Hz
Receiver system
Single conversion, 14 valves
IF-frequencies
455 kHz
Image rejection
120dB at 1MHz 60dB at 16MHz 46dB at 28MHz
Audio output
2.5 W (2.5 ohm external speaker or 600 ohm headphone)

Transmitter

Modulations
-
RF-Output
-

Connections

Antenna
-
Impedance
200Ω

Electrical

Power requirements
100-260 VAC mains or 6V DC vibrator pack
Current drain RX
100VA
TX
-

Physical

Dimensions (w×h×d)
488 × 280 × 488 mm (19.21 × 11.02 × 19.21 in)
Weight
45.00 kg (99.3 lbs)
Form factor
Base Station
Manufactured
Between 1940 and 1945 in USA

Other features

Memories
-
Usage
Amateur / Ham radio operators
Features + options
Optional S-meter
Accessories
-

Manuals, diagrams and brochures

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Prices

Estimating the value of a rig can be challenging. The graph below shows historical prices paid by hams over the years. May it guide you to good fortune...

Price Condition Year User
EUR Okay / Used 1998 Henk
EUR Okay / Used 1998 Henk
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