Tar-224 Spy Agent Special Forces Military Hf Radio Designed In 1971 For The Cia For Sale
For sale is a seldom seen TAR-224 spy / agent / Special Forces HF radio. It was designed in 1971 by AVCO for use by the CIA and Special Forces. The TAR-224 was very advanced for its time and I think it is still very usable for HAM radio operation. (Only with the correct FCC license) It has the provision to transmit in AM mode what was unusual for an agent radio. Its primary use was reconnaissance units sending high speed Morse code messages using a GRA-71 burst coder.
On the internet I found this article: about someone who used the radio in his service life in the CIA.
A very nice article about the TAR-224 can be found at:
You can also download the technical manual from that site
The specifications for the Transmitter are
crystal controlled with provision for VFO (VFO was an option and is not installed on this radio)
Frequency range: 2 to 24 MHz in 2 bands. 2 to 12 MHz and 12 to 24 MHz.
RF output; 20 Watt nominal on CW
Mode; AM with a dynamic microphone and CW with the build-in hand key or external keying at rates up to 300 words per minute
Antenna; long wire
Input source; Front panel crystal CR-18/U 2 to 12 MHz (In the high band it is using the 2e harmonic of the low band crystal)
BFO +- 3KHz minimum
Audio output; headphones, maximum 2mw into 500 ohms
Calibration; internal 500KHz source
Size; 7,1/4 inch by 12,1/4 inch by 4,3/4 inch
DC power, internal battery 12 volt (10 C-cell batteries will fit in the battery box)
DC power, External 12 volt via the 3 pin front panel plug.
There is an option slot in the front of the radio where a 30 channel crystal bank or a VFO module could be installed. The transmitter was tested with use of the single crystal connector on the front but I think it is fairly easy the build a VFO that will fit in the option slot. This will turn this radio into a versatile HAM QRP radio with a lot of history.
Condition of the set.
The front of the set is in a nice condition. The outer case has the usual scratches and on some small spots a little corrosion is visible. The inside of the set is in an excellent condition.
The calibration adjustment line on the scale is set with a mechanical ruler and a sprocket wheel. Sometimes this sprocket wheel slips of the ruler because the plastic ruler has curved a bit because of age. I will try to fix this but cannot guaranty that this can be bone. This problem does not harm the performance of the transmitter or receiver.
I have tested the set with a 3.880 Mhz crystal and the TX worked on the crystal frequency in CW and AM. I tried the receiver on different bands and frequencies and all seems to work fine as far as I can tell.
You start the auto-tune sequence by pulling the transmitter tune knob outwards. Sometimes you need to push and pull two or three times to make the contact and the tune starts. The set has been in storage for over 30 years so not everything goes as smooth as when it was new.
Although I have tested the radio I cannot give any guaranty on its functionality because of its age and it is sold as a collector’s Item in the state As-Is.
A power cable with plug will be provided so that the radio can be operated from an external 12 DC source. A copy of the manual in the form of a PDF or JPG file will be provided with the set.
The shipping cost to a destination inside the EEG is around US$ 50. The shipping cost to any destination outside Europe will be US$ 90
Questions? Please ask.
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Tar-224 Spy Agent Special Forces Military Hf Radio Designed In 1971 For The Cia: