RAN Technology

The WRL Duo-Bander 84

Vintage Ham Radio 0 Comments 03/27/2021 

An "only 50 cents per watt" transceiver

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)



Go Mobile!  That was an attractive marketing message to 1960s era hams who were enjoying the fun of operating SSB mobile, and WRL knew a low-cost rig that didn't have to be hauled back and forth to the car would be a winner.   Heathkit and Swan had already proven that with their single (mono) bander transceivers, but what if you're heading out in the middle of the day when the 75 meter band is dead?   In addition to having the flexibility of a 2nd band, a rig that covered two bands could command a higher price, and even Heathkit realized it was tough to sell even a kit SSB rig for $100 as they'd raised the price by $20 for the "A" models of their Singlebanders.       Leo Meyerson and his team at WRL bet that an assembled two-band radio for only $40 more would be a hit and not hurt his Galaxy V sales, because this would be "in addition to" rather than "instead of" the main base station transceiver.

Well he was right!   Lots of Duo-Bander 84 transceivers were sold through the late 60s and into the 70s when a Duo-Bander II heped to extend the run.    The Duo-Bander sold for $159.95  as most anyone who'd opened a WRL catalog or flyer knew, because it usually was plastered across the first page or two so you couldn't miss it.    It was an attractive rig, borrowing the two-speed vernier tuning dial and knobs from the Galaxy line,  but the usual black cabinet was highlighted with a pastel blue front panel and chrome front-facing speaker that not only produced a lot of audio but made it that much easier to mount the rig in the car and start operating.   Many took advantage of the "package deals" that were offered including the Duo-power combination AC and mobile power supply that was later offered: