The Consignment Process
Book Review - Wes Schum: Amateur Radio’s Unsung Hero by Dominic (Nick) Tusa, 2021, Jan-Carol Publishing

A Rare Find, The Hallicrafters FPM-200 Transceiver

SOLD for a record, $5,967.50 during our January 2023 auction!

“The Hallicrafters Model FPM-200 Transmitter-Receiver/Transceiver is a complete, compact, self-contained radio station of advanced design. The versatility of the Model FPM-200 permits it to be operated as a fixed, portable or mobile equipment.”                  – from the FPM-200’s Operating and Service Instruction Manual

Parts of the post below, are from the actual catalog listing from our January 2023 online auction.

It was around 1960 when Hallicrafters put into limited production its ahead-of-the-curve ‘transistorized’ FPM-200 transceiver. This was a hybridized unit with 41 transistors, 49 diodes, 14 power rectifiers and 5 tubes, and would put out 70 to 100 watts PEP SSB, 60 to 90 watts CW, and 15 to 20 watts from 80 down to 10 meters. It also featured a combination R.F. output and S-meter, CW sidetone, vox, 100KHz crystal calibrator and crystal lattice filters, a dual conversion receiver and more.

With two VFOs, the radio could be used to simultaneously transmit and receive on a single frequency, while also maintaining the split frequency op many were already comfortable with. The transmitter’s high power stages use three vacuum tubes, and two gas tubes regulate the final amplifier stage’s screen voltage. Units were powered by 12 volt DC at 20 amps by the separate P-200 AC power supply and speaker.

This set originally sold for $2,650, which translates to about $27,000 today, and was obviously cost prohibitive to most hams of the time…and perhaps even still! While the exact number of units produced is practically impossible to know, it appears there were only up to 250 of these rigs made – with few still in existence here in 2023.

The “Letters and Correspondence” link in the original catalog description includes a scan of the correspondence between the current owner, now a SK, and Roy E. Weatherby (yes, the owner of the rifle manufacturer), who sold him the radio back in 1972. A complete set of original documents is included with this lot, starting with the original 1972 letter written to the Hallicrafters Corp. asking for help finding a long-out-of-production FPM-200, as well as Hallicrafters’ response suggesting he contact Roy Weatherby.

The last image in our catalog is of a photograph of the rig in the ‘new’ (now previous) owner’s shack, and is referenced in the last letter written by Weatherby. Please note: The original photo is not included as it remains part of the family’s archives. If you are the winning bidder and you’d like a JPG of the photo without our watermark, please email us after the auction and we’ll be happy to send it to you.

This radio and power supply are in very good cosmetic condition with only a few minor scuffs and scratches. Dial lights work, and all knobs and switches are mechanically sound. There is some old tape residue on the bottom of the radio cabinet toward the front.

Functionally, there is no RX noise, nor does the radio transmit. It does appear to be all original, so functionality issues are really not surprising. It does power up, with consumption at about 132W in “receive” and 175W in “transmit”. The fan does come on during power up.

Also included is the original Operating and Service Instruction manual for the FPM-200, including schematics; plus 4 copies of CQ magazine – Aug ’57, June and Oct ’59, and July ’61 that reference the radio in ads or a written article, and a 1983 dated postcard from Chuck Dachis (the Halli guy) with general production info for the owner of the radio.

There are a few references online to this set, and some YouTube videos that are quite informational. If you’re a Halli collector, you definitely need one of these in your collection because you may never see one again, especially with the interesting provenance included!