These pages are devoted to the Radiomarine Receiver Model CRM-R6A. This 16 tube classic saw service ashore at RCA coast stations and afloat in Radiomarine consoles from the 3U (as a retrofit) to the 6U and beyond. As far as I know this was the last receiver produced by Radiomarine. Its sister receiver, the AR-8516, was available for AC/DC use aboard ship.
The CRM-R6A covers 80kc to 30Mc in 18 bands. Thus it covers all the CW bands in the Maritime Mobile service including the LF and MF as well as HF frequency bands.
The receiver uses double conversion for band 1 (80 - 200kc) and band 2 (200 - 520kc). On band 3 (520 - 1300kc), band 4 (1200 - 3000kc) and band 5 (2 - 4Mc) the receiver uses single conversion. For the remaining bands the receiver uses double conversion. The IF frequencies are 825kc and 455kc.
MRHS member Richard Dillman was lucky enough to add an example of this classic receiver to his collection. Here's his report.
Unlike most items of classic communications gear the provenance of this CRM-R6A is known. It was owned by a manager at Radiomarine Corporation in New Jersey who is now sadly deceased. The person who sold the receiver to me, a friend of the original owner who helped settle his estate, was kind enough to provide the following information:
RD- The former owner of the radio was Gordon C. Hopkins. He was born in 1915 and died on March 7, 2003. He worked for RCA/RMCA for many years. If you would like the specific years, I could ask his daughters. I do know, however, that he published an article in "Marine Technology" in the October, 1968 edition. This publication was published quarterly by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The article is titled "Modern Trends in Ships' Radio Communications. The article indicates that he was Manager of Ship System Sales, RCA, Radio Marine Products Department, Camden, NJ. I will include this publication when the radio is shipped or picked up.
I knew him personally to be a very fine gentleman and I often stated that he was definitely the nicest man I ever knew. As an aside, he was my 90 year old mother-in-law's "boyfriend" so he was considered part of our family since the early 90's.
He shared some stories of early working life which included that he installed radio antennae on 400 foot towers in Buffalo, NY, in 1941. During the WWII, he had clearance to go on any ship in New York harbor although I am not sure in what capacity.
I have always felt that when one acquires a historically significant item of communications equipment a certain responsibility comes with the acquisition. That responsibility includes the preservation and protection of the equipment so it can be enjoyed and studied by future generations. In the case of this particular receiver the responsibility goes deeper because the former owner is known. In this case not only will the receiver be preserved but in doing so the memory of a fine man will be preserved as well. Thank you, Mr. Hopkins, for taking such good care of this wonderful receiver.
Another proud CRM-R6A owner has written after seeing Richard's receiver on the Web site. In his movong note below Paul M. Brady tells how a single receiver can inspire a career.
I just stumbled on your website about the CRM-r6A receiver. I thought I was the only one out there that even knows that they exist!
I bought my RCA in June of 1993, complete with manual. I went down to the Dallas Ham Fest looking for a shortwave radio with a BFO. Up to this point I'd been using a modified home stereo to listen to shortwave (a coil of wire wrapped around the antenna coil of the AM receiver) that did nothing but drift even if you looked at it the wrong way. I found it sitting under a guy's table. I was 19 years old at the time and I hauled this heavy monster home in the trunk of my 1966 Mustang. Mom flipped out when she saw it, thinking it was going to burn the house down. I plugged the thing in, made an antenna out of clip leads, plugged in the head phones and was blown away by it's performance. The amount of stations I've heard using this radio is unbelievable. I've heard pirate stations, ship to shore communications, spy stations, military communications and all of the international broadcasts I could ever want. I had this radio sitting by my bed on my desk and I used to lay awake at night listening to hams rag chew on 80 meters. This radio never, ever drifted. It was truly a 'set-and-forget' radio.
To put it simply, this radio opened up a world that I never knew existed. Quite frankly it's directly responsible for me getting my ham license in 1994 and my electronics degree in 1998. It started my addiction to boatanchors ;) I will never part with this radio.
I have taken great care of this rig over the years. I pull it down every year and do basic maintenance as recommended by the manual. Right now I'm in the process of doing a full alignment on it.
Thanks for shedding some light on these truly fantastic radios!
Paul M. Brady