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Browning Golden Eagle Mark III , IV , and V

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by Raccoon, Jul 22, 2021 at 1:49 AM.

  1. Raccoon

    Raccoon Active Member

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    Hi everyone ,
    I've been looking at the Browning Golden Eagle Mark III , IV , and V radios for many years . I always wanted one of them , but never jumped at the chance to grab one ... partially because I like to know that if I'm spending a lot of money on a radio , that it will work properly when I get it ... and then partially because I have no idea what the right price for one of these radios is . When ever I see them online , their prices are literally all over the place . I don't even usually see one price over & over to make me say that might be the average cost of them.



    Which brings me to the purpose of this post , does anyone out there have any idea what the average pricing of these radios is ?
     

  2. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Seemingly plentiful radios that are 30 years past due for maintenance show up regularly.

    Not so different from buying a 1978 or '72 car. They fall into two basic categories.

    First, has some amount of mileage, has all original belts, hoses, seals, bushings and has issues with one or more of the pumps bolted to the motor. If the seller is honest, the price should reflect that you'll spend more than the purchase price to make it a daily driver. Even if it passes a compression test.

    Second is a specimen that someone already has sunk thousands to bring it up to date and every part that's beyond wear limits has been replaced. Naturally the sale price will reflect the seller's desire to recover the investment.

    The first kind might have been tweaked to fire up and run more or less okay.

    For a week or so.

    The second variety is less common. And like the used car lot's typical claim, a few capacitors got replaced and you get told "the capacitors have been updated".

    Yeah, some of them. Never hurts to have a look. Just because a full "rebuilt" price is being asked doesn't mean all those details were covered.

    Too many tired, high-mileage radios get described as "works like it should", or "serviced recently". The seller depends on an uncritical buyer who really doesn't know how to identify signs of high stress or high mileage.

    Let the buyer beware.

    And the cost to rehab one of these is likewise all over the place. A Browning Mark 4A with all good tubes, good speaker, good relay might come in under 300 bucks to bring it up to date. And if it needs more than just filter caps, cleaning, alignment and the usual tube socket, the price just goes up from there. A radio that needs half its tubes replaced is naturally pricier to fix up than a radio that doesn't need any of them.

    P.S. Avoid the Browning Mark 4 like monkey plague. The transmitter design is a train wreck. No way to justify what they cost to put back on the air at the moment. The "A", as in "Mark 4A" was Browning's way of admitting the Mark 4 was a screwup. The transmitter side was totally redesigned. The "A" is a decent radio if it has been treated properly the last four decades.

    73
     
    #2 nomadradio, Jul 22, 2021 at 4:41 AM
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021 at 4:52 AM
    tecnicoloco, Raccoon, Crawdad and 2 others like this.
  3. Raccoon

    Raccoon Active Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on the Mark 4 ... I'm actually leaning more towards a Mark II , to be honest . So any info on those would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm very familiar with buying older radios . I have quite a few old timers around here , both tube and solid state . I love the older equipment . I'm just not familiar with what the average cost of one of the Browning Golden Eagle's would be , because when I look at them their prices are all over the place . I only recently started looking at them seriously , I thought one might make a nice addition to my collection .
     
  4. Raccoon

    Raccoon Active Member

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    Also , I don't find a lot of information about them online . I basically just find Browning Golden Eagles that are for sale , or videos of people talking on them , but very little information . I thought there would be more information about them online with as popular as they are .
     
  5. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Every model year has its quirks.

    The receiver in the Mark 2 contains IF transformers called "K-Tran". They were slick high-tech in their day, but have a bad habit of deteriorating and causing intermittent receiver sensitivity, or just plain deafness when they go bad with no warning. And every receiver model older than the Mark 2 has more of them in it.

    The Mark 3 receiver does not have this problem. But the Mark 3 SSB transmitter has a 3-position mode selector for AM/USB/LSB that breaks down and smokes various components, not the least of which may be the front-panel meter. Not a cheap item.

    There was an optional AM-only transmitter for the Mark 3. It's about half the width of the receiver. Inside it looks just like a Mark 2 transmitter. They didn't sell a lot of them, but it lacks this fatal flaw.

    Full disclosure, I sell a kit to repair that Mark 3 SSB mode selector on fleabay. It's a task definitely not for the faint of heart or unsteady of hand.

    Not so different from production motor vehicles. One model year the transmissions are solid for 200,000 miles. The next model year they "improve" it and they puke around 50,000 on average.

    Newer is generally better, but when they began putting tube sockets onto printed circuit boards, a whole new can of worms got opened. A Mark 4A with low mileage won't be a big risk, but the tube sockets used on circuit boards tend to wear out a lot sooner than the sockets that mount in a metal chassis hole.

    For my money, the sweet spot for Browning would be a low-mileage Mark 3 receiver with the AM-only transmitter. Browning receivers are not much good for sideband, so any money spent to make a Browning transmit SSB is money wasted.

    Good luck finding one that's ready to be a daily driver. The bulk of what I see offered for sale falls into the "rode hard and put away wet" category.

    73
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  6. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    A little over 20 years back a guy in Oklahoma bought the Browning Labs name and launched an ambitious web site. A lot of that ambition never turned into reality, but there's some interesting stuff there.

    http://browninglabsinc.com/

    73
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  7. The20poundhammer

    The20poundhammer Sr. Member

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    If any one knows about those radios it's Nomad it would be wise to heed his advice.
     

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