This page came about as a result of a fruitless
search on the internet for information for a NovaTech Action!! radio. I've found
few references to this radio on the web, even usenet didn't turn up too much.
There is a company in the States called Novatech Instruments but they have only
been around since 1989 and as far as I can tell have no relationship to the
manufacturer of this set. It is possible that they were distributed by
Radio Shack in the US during the late sixties.
I got one
on Ebay some time ago not really knowing exactly what it was that I was
purchasing. The auction stated that it was a broadcast receiver with DF
capabilities. That's what I was looking for and so I bid on it. When the radio
arrived I found I had won a little more than I'd bargained for.
It's called a police receiver but I believe that
it's a hangover from the days when police messages were broadcast out to patrol
cars ( Calling all cars ..) on a band just above the current AM broadcast band. If you're lucky,
the most you may hear now are low power community radio stations in your area.
The Action!! is a 5 band with DF capabilities on
three HF bands as well as standard receive capabilities on two VHF bands.
The front panel is very busy with a number of
controls either side of the tuning dial and speaker.
To the left we have volume, squelch and DF level.
To the right we have tuning, VHF band switch, HF band switch. Also on the front
panel is a 3.5mm and 6.5mm headphone socket.
The left side of the radio has the AM/FM detector
switch* and external DC input while the right side had a recessed RCA style
connector which is used for an external VHF antenna.
The tuning dial also incorporates a small meter to
be used during DF operation.
The top of the radio supports the DF antenna coil
assembly and dial light switch. It also has a left and right bearing scale
marked from 0 to 900 . The antenna coil assembly has a morse
code scale plus a set of flip up range finder sights to allow for accurate
sighting of landmarks etc. The antenna assembly also has a standard 4mm banana
socket at at each end for the connection of two telescoping antennas.
190KHz to 400KHz
550KHz to 1600KHz
1600KHz to 4500KHz
70MHz to 85MHz
150MHz to 175MHz
* AM/FM detector activated independently of band selection
by switch on side of radio.
Using the radio is fairly simple once you get the
hang of the controls and understand how they interact with each other.
Switch the VHF band switch to either low or high
and select adjust the AM/FM detector switch as required. The squelch can also be
operated to cut background noise.
Squelch should be off and DF Level should be set
to radio. Set VHF band switch to off and select Beacon/Broadcast/Marine as
Set as per HF operation. Tune station for maximum
strength then adjust the DF level control until the meter needle is directly over
the DF level mark. Rotate the antenna assembly for minimum reading on the meter.
The antenna assembly will now be pointing directly at the transmitter.
VHF performance is quite good and I have used it
to listen to the ABC audio at the low end of the VHF-lo band. On the VHF-hi band
there are community radio stations, marine traffic and the 2M amateur band to
listen to. It should be noted that many modern handheld radio scanners will tune
these bands and will do a better job than the NovaTech.
Broadcast is where the radio really shines. It
would have to be one of the cleanest and most sensitive radios I have ever used.
Try as I might I could not find any evidence of image frequencies. As far as
sensitivity goes it was easily able to find and bring in at good volume 1332KHz
3SH which is my standard test station when checking out a new receiver. If you
are looking for a broadcast band DX receiver you could do a lot worse than the
The low frequency beacon band was equally as good
with none of the garbage and ghost stations normally associated with tuning the
long wave band.
I think it's a great radio and I'd recommend it to