Shure Vagabond 88 Wireless Microphone System

FAQ #5036 Updated November 29, 2016

Question:

I read about Shure introducing a wireless microphone system in 1953.  If this is true, please provide details.

Answer:

It is indeed true.  In 1953, Shure introduced the world's first professional wireless microphone system featuring a handheld transmitter.  The system was named the Vagabond 88. The retail price was $700.00. The Vagabond 88 system was sold from 1953 until 1960.

A system consisted of: 1 - Model 88T handheld transmitter; 1 - Model 88R two megacycle FM receiver; 1 - mic stand adapter for the 88T; 1 - lavalier cord and clip to hold the 88T; 1 - coil of copper antenna wire; 1 - set of batteries consisting of a 30 volt "B" battery and a 1.3 volt mercury cell.

The active components were five subminiature vacuum tubes: three CK526AX tubes and two CK512AX tubes.  These tubes were primarily employed for hearing aids.
CK526AX is a pentode power amp; filament voltage of 1.25 dc; plate voltage of 22.5 dc; 1.5" x 0.385" x 0.285"
CK512AX is a pentode voltage amp; filament voltage of 0.625 dc; plate voltage of 22.5 dc; 1.25" x 0.385" x 0.285"

Details about the operation and installation may be found in the Installation and Service Manual attached below as a PDF file.   

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