August 3, 2014

An adventurous looking listening post at Disneyland

On a recent trip to Disneyland we spotted this rather adventurous looking listening post in line for the Jungle Cruise attraction.  We really loved the way the canoe has been transformed and repurposed as a bookshelf with all manner of adventurous paraphernalia including two vintage shortwave radios.

The radio inside the canoe-bookcase with the black cabinet is a Hallicrafters model S-53A general purpose receiver covering 540 Khz to 54.5 Mhz in 5 bands (circa 1951 to 1959).  Like its contemporaries, the S-53A was designed to use tubes including the 6BA6 (mixer, 1st & 2nd IF amplifiers), 6H6 (detector), 6C4 (oscillator), 6K6GT (AF output), 6CS7 (AF amplifier, BFO), and 5Y3GT (rectifier).  The original price when this radio was introduced in 1951 was $89.50.  At nearly 20 lbs, this would have been a tough piece of gear to lug around the jungle (other than on a boat).

Disneyland Jungle Ride queue includes a adventurous looking listening post made from a wooden canoe and vintage shortwave gear
Disneyland Jungle Ride Listening Post
The grey radio on the desk is a National Radio model NC-125 receiver (circa 1950 to 1956).  This AM/CW/SSB radio receiver employed 11 tubes in its single conversion superheterodyne design and provided continuous reception from 560 Khz to 35000 Khz.  The tubes included 5Y3GT (rectifier), 6SG7 (RF), 6SB7-Y (oscillator / mixer), 6H6 (detector / AVC / ANL), 6SL7GT (phase shifter, boost / reject audio amplifier), 6SL7GT (first audio amplifier / CWO), 6V6GT (audio output), OA2 (voltage regulator).  In its day this radio sold for $149.50.  The matching speaker isn't pictured.  The vintage high-impedance headphones give it a functional appearance.  Weighing in at 32 pounds this radio would also have needed a boat to deliver it to a remote jungle locale which is fitting with the ride theme.

National marketing's description of the NC-125: "Now at last, you can get immediate delivery on the receiver that gives you more selectivity per dollar - the only receiver with the famed Select-O-Ject circuit built in ! And that's only one of the many fine features that make the NC-125 tops in receiver value ! Covers 550 kcs. - 36 mcs. in 4 bands. Voice, CW, NFM (with adapter). Edge lighted, direct-reading scale. Amateur, police, foreign, ship frequencies clearly marked. National Select-O-Ject built-in (rejects any selected audio frequency 45 db - boosts 38 db). Three microvolt sensitivity (for 10 db signal/noise ratio on 10-meter band). S-meter. AVC, ANL, ant. trimmer. Variable CW pitch control. Separate R.F. and audio gain controls. Volt. reg., stabilized oscillator. Jack for phono or NFM Adapter. Audio essentially flat to 10,000 c.p.s."

Disneyland Jungle Ride Listening Post - love the canoe transformed into a bookcase

Disneyland Jungle Ride Listening Post - this scene simply oozes adventure

There is a little AM radio on the upper left in the canoe.  Not sure what make and model it is.  Please send an email with the make and model if you know it.

If you find yourself in Disneyland, do wander over to the Jungle Cruise and have a look at all the interesting items as you snake through the queue.  It is more interesting and entertaining than the typical Disney line for radio enthusiasts.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

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