Vintage Airband

Dedicated to the first airband radio’s that came on sale in the 1960’s

Shorrock Developments Ltd

Believed to be the first company in the UK selling airband radio’s. Located at 51 Preston New Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, England. (I believe the individual was called Stan Shorrock)

Shorrock Mk. V Receiver – Cost £36 (This would be the equivalent of £700 in 2018!)

This radio is a Decca TP85 modified to receive the Aircraft Band, with a plastic label stuck over the original dial. The Decca cost £24.

One advert says a single VHF band version was available for £28.

Shorrock VHF Receiver

Shorrock Clubman – Single VHF aircraft band

I have uploaded a video of the Clubman still working 50+ years after it was first made – https://youtu.be/iI5VSiNknq8

Check out this great post by Mike on Shorrock radios – http://derbosoft.proboards.com/thread/28068/airband-radios-1960s-pic-heavy

 

L. Gauer Electronics

Leonhard Gauer, Glattalstrasse, 135, Zurich 52, Switzerland.

I have been in contact with Leonhard Gauer’s daughter (Maya Hobi Krauer-Gauer) who provided the following information.

Leonhard Gauer got polio when he was 19. He had just completed his training as a radio electrician. Because of his disability, he could no longer work at a company. In the past, life with a disability was very difficult. Nobody wanted anything to do with the handicapped.  Leonhard bought some of the equipment in Vienna from a company called Minerva and converted it to air radio in a workshop in the basement of the family house. Leonhard spent nights brooding over it until he found the solution to convert the radios. Since the family lived very close to Zurich airport and Leonhard had many contacts with the “amateur pilots”, it was not particularly difficult for him to sell his equipment worldwide.  Leonhard never made a schematic. He just looked at the printed circuit board and knew what he had to change to receive VHF.

In the late 70s and early 80s Leonhard invented a device that could be used to guide people (groups) through noisy factory buildings or other areas with high noise levels. It was a simple device, but its success in Switzerland was huge. There had never been anything like this before. He sold the business and everything to a prospective buyer when he emigrated with his mother to Spain in 1995.

1961 – Gauers VHF Model 6220 (Based on a Minerva 611) https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/gauer_gauers_vhf.html

1962 – Gauers VHF Model 6221 (Based on a Minerva 621) https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/gauer_gauers_vhf_6221.html

1965 – Gauers VHF Model 6301 www.radiomuseum.org/r/gauer_vhf_6301.html

1965 – Gauers VHF  Model 6521 https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/gauer_vhf6521vhf_652.html

1968 – Gauers VHF  Informant II 94071 https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/gauer_gauers_vhf_informant_ii.html

1975 – Gauers VHF Informant 44 https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/gauer_informant_44.html

The UK distributor was Peter S. Clifford & Co. Ltd. Aircraft Sales, Oxford Airport, Kidlington.  In 1962 the Gauers Portable 3-Band VHF radio was £35.  In 1964 the Gauers 6220 MW/LW/VHF 9 Transistors was £31. There was also a Gauers 6301 VHF only 12 Transistors at £25.

The 6221 was also sold in the USA by Scot Air Inc. 6451 Main Street, Morton Grove, Illinois.  In 1963 the cost was $99.95. This radio has a rotary dial on the top which the European version didn’t have.  This extra dial works like a compass. If you moved the radio to get the best field strength, you set this button (compass scale) accordingly and could then return the radio to its original position. On the basis of the set scale, the optimal field strength was immediately found again. 

I have uploaded a video of my working Gauers 6221 – https://youtu.be/lOBtK66O5JA

 

Nova Tech Incorporated

1721 Sepulveda Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, California

Manufactured by Nova-Tech (Japan) Inc

Air-O-Ear

 

Radio Kits

For those who were unable to afford a Shorrock or Gauers  one budding entrepreneur modified a radio kit to receive aircraft transmissions.  Pat Carty marketed the radio in Air Pictorial during 1964 as the first aircraft enthusiast assembled radio and called it the “PC 1ABR” for £6-£8. Pat would be very interested to hear from anyone who bought this radio or even still owns one! email patcarty2@aol.com 

Frequency Guides

Was this the first VHF airband frequency guide published?

If you have any more information please contact me at raf-fairford@gmail.com