I don't remember who I bought this receiver from, but it was part of a package deal, and came with an ITT/Mackay 3020A and a DEBEG 2000E.

The 6217E is a rack-mount HF receiver, 10 KHz to 30 MHz, based on the RACAL 17, but solid state and modularized -- very definitely to a fault. It is only 2 rack units high, and a great deal of ingenuity has been exercised to pack so very much into such a tiny volume.

It's a shame that it's so hard to work on, as mine is pretty deaf. Other folks with various models of 6217 (the "E" means that it has a 100 KHz IF, or some such special feature) tell me that theirs are pretty deaf, too.


The RACAL 6217E covers 10 KHz to 29.9999 MHz, in 100 Hz steps, using an odometer display much like that of the R-390 and R-390A

Parts also are pretty much unavailable, as are extender cards, extension wiring harnesses, and the like. Just about nothing in this rig is built of COTS parts, and while it's modular, it's all little special-purpose thingies, each built to do its own thing and nothing else, and with special connectors.

It appears that the RACAL 6217E was designed as a solid-state replacement for the RA-17, and that it uses the famous Wadley loop for frequency generation and control.

I'll put up a top and bottom view, and some close-ups of the modules, sometime soon -- probably after I get a power screwdriver. The top and bottom plates are fastened by about two dozen 4-4- flathead screws each, and are really tedious to remove and replace.

RA-1217 Manual RA-1217 article

Receiver front view


This is what the receiver looks like from the front.


Rear View

This is the back of the receiver.


Left rear of RACAL 6217E

This is the left rear of the receiver, where most of the connectors are. There's a lot of stuff available here.

RACAL 6217E 110VAC 60Hz Power Supply.

RACAL 6217E 110/220VAC 60Hz Power Supply, as seen from the rear of the receiver.

I am given to understand that other power supplies existed.

The right rear part of the RACAL 6217E.

The Right rear of the RACAL 6217E includes the antenna connector and the manufacturer's serial number plate. This receiver is S/N 586.