LearAvian PB10-A
  • Batteries: Combined battery for both 'A' (9v) & 'B' (90v) supplies (eg: Eveready #753, Ray-O-Vac 60A-6F etc)
  • Mains:105-125V AC or DC, 50-60Hz
  • Wavebands:
    • AM Broadcast band: 550 - 1650KHz (Medium Wave 187 - 555m);
    • 1.96 - 5.75MHz Shortwave
    • 195 - 400KHz Longwave
  • Valve lineup (6 total):
    • 1U4 (x2, RF & IF Amps.)
    • 1R5 (Converter),
    • 1U5 (Detector/AVC/1st Audio)
    • 3V4 (Audio output)
    • 117Z3 (Half-wave rectifier)
  • Released c.1952
  • Physical size: 14" x 10" x 5" (approx.)
  • Original price c.$80

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The Lear Corporation (founded by William Lear) is probably best known for its private jets. However, Bill Lear was an avid enthusiast of electronic technology that could benefit his customers. This enthusiasm produced the 8-Track tape cartridge system (a mixed blessing) as well as other products.

The 'LearAvian' series of radios were probably designed and built for the private pilot of propeller driven planes from the days of yore. It is equipped with its three bands for a definite purpose. The AM Broadcast band, for entertainment. The 'Marine' Shortwave band, for time signals, ship-to-shore communications and US Coast Guard services.The 'Airways' Longwave band for weather and navigation beacons and airport communications.

From the early days of aviation until the mid 1950's, the only reliable means of radio navigation was by use of a directional antenna and a receiver tuned to either commercial AM broadcast stations or special low-power beacons. Finding the null-point of a beat signal would align the receiver with the beacon (or station) - a simple but effective aid to navigation when used with the correct charts.

Such simple RDF methods fell out of favour once the higher frequency VOR systems came into commercial use. Whilst mariners have had LORAN and the British DECCA 'Navigator' systems since the late 1940's, private pilots, like their sea-going brethren, now rely on GPS.

Last updated 25th May 2005