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Unusually for a 60s vintage electronic device the electrolytic capacitors didn’t need replacing and the only maintenance needed was a few squirts of switch cleaner to get rid of pops and crackles from the PTT switch and volume control.
Although this appears to be a very basic function, routing call and two-way audio traffic through a two-core cable is a surprisingly complicated business involving a fair amount of what we now call logic, yet it achieves this using just a couple of simple switches and some ingenious wiring.
These days it would all be handled by a microcontroller, at the very least.
They’re undoubtedly worth a little bit more than the £1.00 I paid for them but since a lot of similar (and even better) non-themed examples turn up at car boot sales for not much more, it will be a very long time before they get a gasp from an Antiques Roadshow audience.3-transistor crystal-controlled transceiver circuit (27.124MHz Short Wave/CB operation), 55mm speaker/microphone, approx 500m range, 9-section telescopic antenna (1.13m fully extended), push-to-talk (PTT) button, rotary volume on/off control, dating from 1973.
Okay, so it’s a toy, but we won’t hold that against it.
Collecting cheap vintage walkie-talkies isn’t yet a big thing, though models like the CR-313 fall into the toy category, where things can get a bit expensive.
The undoubted stars are themed feature and character models, linked to movies, TV shows, personalities and so on.The design goes right back to the first principles of telephony, established in the late 1870s and -- lest we forget -- ably demonstrates that there was once a time when you could do quite clever things without bucket-loads of microchips.The two stations are roughly three-quarter size replicas of domestic telephones, complete with rotary dials that are used to ‘call’ the other station.However, the high prices, and this is important, depend almost entirely on them being in near mint condition and complete with their original box and packaging.The only people these CR-313s are going to excite are a few elderly vintage tech-nuts, like me, and maybe a handful of Baby-Boomers who remember owing them the first time around.The only problem is they are now so clever and complicated that they can only be created and manufactured by microchip-controlled machines, which in turn were made and designed by other machines and computers.