[AMRadio] Virgin ARC-5s!

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Wed Jan 26 13:16:34 EST 2005

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 09:32:48 -0800, Bob Macklin <macklinbob at msn.com> wrote:
> There sem to be a lot of VIRGIN ARC-5 items showing up on eBay recently.
> Since these are really not good units for today's ham operations it seems a
> shame to butcher them. These items are over 60 years old.

Bob - 

There are a number of folks, myself included, who have been collecting
the many parts for these sets over many years and decades, in an
attempt to assemble a complete station (relative term). While the
actual radios and some accessories like control boxes and racks seem
fairly common, mounting plates and shockmounts often met the same fate
in the smelter along with the aircraft, sine they were often riveted
to the working surface. Connectors are common, unless you're looking
for a specific one, then it's impossible to find. Some folks use
"ARC-5" as a generic term to include all Command sets, the bare
aluminum models are AAF SCR-274N nomenclature. Black wrinkle versions
are either ARC-5 or their predecessors, the ARA/ATA. Early SCR-274N
started out black, then went paintless.

As with anything on epay though, a few big money collectors seem able
to scoop up whatever they want in whatever numbers they want, leaving
the majority of us waiting and hoping. I still need the R-23 and R-24
receivers along with a couple transmitters and some of the ARA/ATA
(pre ARC-5) pieces. I've had better luck at hamfests and by word of
mouth than trying to compete online. They say that half the fun is in
the hunt, I'd add that patience is a prerequisite.

Best part is, the later ARC-5 modulator is actually plate modulated. A
few folks have complete, working stations on the air, not sure if any
are currently checking into the weekend Military net early Saturday

There's a list devoted to these funny little rigs also on qth.net.
Experts like Gordon Elliot White, Mike Hanz, and a number of others
can be found there. Gordon is well known for his work 'way back when'
with the Command sets and ARC-5 gear. Mike's AAFradio site is amazing:


Fun stuff!

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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