Colonel 697, made by an unknown manufacturer in Hong Kong.
The Colonel 697 is a Hong Kong-built multiband radio that was sold as an „export set“ thanks to its coverage of the VHF band.
- 330 x 255 x 115 mm, weight approx. 2.5 kg
The case has a cabinet made partly of plastic and partly of pressboard covered with leatherette, it can be operated from 220 V mains or from four 1.5 V batteries.
The loudspeaker grill is located at the bottom part of the front panel, and above it the horizontal frequency dial which could be protected under a hinged cover. The pushbuttons for the range selection are located to the right of the loudspeaker.
The upper half of the front panel is dominated by the horizontal frequency dial. Similar as found in other cheap „export sets“, there is some cheating with the number of lines of the dial, SW1 and SW2 resp. 4-6 and 7-12 MHz are combined in a single frequency range, it only looks like the set featured two shortwave ranges. The same applies to the VHF ranges: AIR Band, PB (Police) and WB (Weather) are de facto combined in one single VHF range. The fact, that the set operates in this range in frequency modulation makes the set practically useless as an aeronautical radio receiver - in the Air Band 108 - 136 MHz, amplitude modulation is used! The tuning knob is located to the right of the dial, there is no fine tuning provided.
Below the dial are the sliders controls for the squelch, tone control and volume. Next to it, the power switch and an AC/DC switch are located- The letter does not tune to the well-known hard rock band, but lets you select between mains and battery (DC) operation.
The reception characteristics are not convincing, the tuning is coarse and in the shortwave ranges fine tuning to select a station is hardly possible. The strongest stations can be found, but the frequency marks are too far apart to tune to a frequency with certainty.
To listen to the local FM broadcaster, the set can be used as a workshop radio. The VHF range nowadays is practically useless due to FM demodulation used on the wavelengths of air band and the missing unencrypted PSB broadcasts in the VHF band, listening to broadcasts in the police band - VHF range is illegal anyway.
The set is solid state.