by Josh Rovero, KK1D
Updated: December 29, 2012
The R-1051 (plain vanilla and suffixes A through H) are digitally tuned triple-conversion superhet receivers designed for SSB, ISB, FSK, AM and CW modes of operation. The basic receivers cover 2.0 to 30.0 MHZ, there are some accessory converters that add LF and MF coverage. The R-1051 is noted for excellent stability (1 part in 10**8 per day) and accuracy (0.5 Hertz). For the boatanchor fan, the RF amplifier stages are TUBES, and the radio weighs seventy pounds. First introduced in the late 1960's, the current G and H models are still used in ship and submarine radio rooms. There aren't many other military radios that have spent 30-plus years on the front lines.
Unfortunately for radio enthusiasts, it appears that most R-1051s and other military radios are being de-militarized before going to surplus. "Demilling" is shredding and crushing. Your tax dollars at work.......
"R-390 wrist" is nothing compared to the repetitive stress injuries induced by bandscanning with a R-1051. In addition to the satisfying clunk as each knob is turned a single digit, changes of the MHz digits also result in the whirring of motors and clunking of chain drive switches.
The R-1051 can be operated alone or in conjunction with the matching transmitter in the WRC-1 Radio Set.
Early model R-1051s are readily available and fetch prices ranging from $125 (no suffix, unchecked) to $225-$300 in working condition.
Nolan Lee's R-1051B Page Great info on homebrewing replacement dial lights. The original mil/aviation spec'd lamps cost (as of today, Dec 7 1998) $49 each!
R-1051 photo from Tom Norris' Mil List
Recent R-1051G model. Note differences from original/early R-1051 and R-1051B such as: