RCA AR88D reviews

Desktop Shortwave receiver

Price History Chart

G3RAQ in the early 1960's


This was a very good receiver, very stable. But being analogue, you needed a wavemeter to know the exact frequency for your log. I gave up amateur radio in about 1967 when my antenna blew down (living in London house converted to apartments) and was denied permission to put it up again by the owner of an adjacent house over whose garden it went (it was an 40/80 metre trapped dipole)..
Years later in the US, around 2000, I purchased a Drake 8B, having previously had a Kenwood, both were digital, but the Drake 8B was the first (digital) radio I had that was comparable to the AR88D in sensitivity. I used my short wave receivers in the US to listen to the BBC World Service, before they ceased shortwave transmissions the could be received in the US. and never took up ham radio in the US. I had a manual for the AR88D, and it had a change history showing revision date of 1943!
The price of £45 in 1963 equates to a price of £2,000 today (based on British inflation), or $2,700 at (1.37 $ to the £ today). So the AR88D was a real bargain in the early 60's, thanks to WWII surplus equipment availability. The Drake 8B cost about $1,200 for comparison, which seems to be in the same ballpark 60 years later. Interesting!

Build quality
User friendliness
Value for money
Good condition in 1963
GBP 45.00

Review the RCA AR88D