"The Digital 500" transceiver from Robyn

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W7UUU, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  2. NM7L

    NM7L Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's the other way around: SBE SB-36 is a re-badged Robyn 500
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seem to recall the ad not sure if it was the SBE or Robyn ad never saw one in person could be the guy 'in the small house' was working with Japan to distribute them interesting stuff thanks for posting.
  4. K5RT

    K5RT Ham Member QRZ Page

    SBE was owned by Raytheon from about 1965 - 1970. Raytheon sold SBE to Linear Systems and the SBE brand faded into obscurity.
    I assume the SB-35 and SB-36 were designed by Raytheon (SBE) engineers and (to me), it looks like manufacturing was probably done by GRE.
    During the late 1960s - mid 1970s GRE manufactured several radios; such as the Drake SSR-1 and Allied AX-190 and SX-190. If you look under the cabinet of these radios (and the SB-36), the construction techniques and component styles are quite similar.
    Perhaps there is still someone out there who worked for SBE/Raytheon or SBE/Linear Systems who can clarify this.

    N2EY likes this.
  5. K4YND

    K4YND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is another one. So I guess at least a few sold

  6. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the info on this rig. Great to know the history.

    It's a bit sad, IMHO, how many stories there are of companies that appeared in the amateur radio market with a top-of-the-line piece of gear, only to fade away in a short time.

    From what I've seen, the most common reason was that not many hams would spend big bucks on an unknown rig from an unknown company.

    When you look at the companies that entered the market and survived, you see that either they were divisions of much bigger companies (Collins, Yaecomwood), or companies that started with low-cost, simple stuff and worked their way up (Heathkit, Drake, Ten Tec, Elecraft)

    Thanks again for the history.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  7. K5RT

    K5RT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Squires-Sanders SS-1R receiver is another example of a high end and truly innovative piece of equipment that didn't catch fire with hams. I suspect price may have had something to do with this, but the main reason the SS-1R didn't sell was it wasn't from a company hams recognized, like Hammarlund or Collins. Another reason is the impact of not having an RF amplifier flew in the face of (at that time) commonly accepted receiver design principles.
    I encourage you to google it. This was a design trend setting receiver in its day.

    N2EY likes this.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Riiigggghhhhttttttt..... :)

    Nothing like taking a sellers word for it. I mean, if he actually TALKED to Arlo Meyer, why not take the extra step of taking a photo with him, along with a signed COA also appearing in the photo? Without all of that, it's just some old homebrew amp built into an LMB cabinet similar to what Collins used.

    N7ANN and K7MH like this.
  9. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "that DOESN'T work" !!:rolleyes: Maybe Glen/'STH can shed a little light on the subject.
    W0LBK (Mr. Meyer) DOB is listed as 1926 so that makes him 91 years of age!... It'll be interesting to hear what Glen has to say.

  10. WA2CWA

    WA2CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    At roughly $900 each, it was pricey. The Squires Sanders name along with the Squires Sanders\Clegg name were well known in the amateur VHF marketplace for innovative amateur products. The general coverage version receiver, SS-IBS, at roughly $1200 each, was used in many foreign embassies. Bill Squires who designed the SS-1R, actually wrote an article for QST on new 7360 receiver front-end design right around when the SS-1R was hitting the market. It also had manual and motorized tuning along with no front end RF amplifier. Frequency accuracy was within 1KHz. It used an odometer-type two digit display along with the analog dial. There was even an optional noise blanker.

    It is a cool receiver to operate. When you listen to it even with an antenna connected, there is almost a complete absence of background noise when tuning around until you come upon a signal and the S-meter jumps up and the speaker springs to life. Then there was their matching "Video Bandscanner", SS-1V, which was their version of a panadapter-type display. I've had my SS-1R, SS-1V, matching speaker, and SS-1S(noise blanker mounted in the speaker cabinet) for about 25 years and use it frequently.

    Here's a picture of the Squires Sanders equipment I pulled from the web:


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