March 19 2000

The Racal RA.117 is a considerably renewed version of Racal's probably best known receiver, the RA.17. It is very similar in outward appearance, except for the selection of external VFO and the three-position S-meter mode selector.

A bit about the equipment in the picture:

The decade controller MA.250G is a frequency synthesizer, providing frequency selection with decade knobs at 100 kHz intervals, in the range 1.6 to 31.6 MHz. This controller without modifications is not suitable for receiving. Model MA.350 adds fine frequency control or "interpolation", making it usable with the R.117 as well as the newer RA.217.

Back to the RA.117 .......
Internally, there are more extensive changes. The chassis seems to be cast from the same die, but adding an IF (1.6 MHz) has necessitated an additional unit. The second VFO has also changed. The rectifier tube has been replaced with solid-state diodes, leaving on the chassis the socket screw holes, but not the socket hole itself! The RA.117 can be driven with an external decade controller (synthesizer), thus getting rid of the inaccuracies of the VFO and traditional film scale.

Receiving specifications have not changed from RA.17.

I have seen three models of the original RA.17: RA.17L and RA.17W with different available IF bandwidths, and RA.17C-12, which is the US export model and has also been available with front-panel lettering in Finnish. The RA.117 exists both with English and Finnish lettering; the latter have been used in the Finnish air force and navy.
Osmo Salo OH1JEA has re-written the RA.117's English manual on a computer. The manual is available here in .doc format.

Due to many requests, the complete RA.117 manual with pictures can be found here.

I do not currently own any Racal receivers, but I have manuals for most of them. If I can, I'll gladly answer any questions related to Racal equipment.