Hackable EVP/ITC Radios – The Perpetual List

Adios Radio Shack. Thanks for a great run with your cheap and easily hacked AM/FM radios!

Skip ahead to the THE LIST

After the closing of the vast majority of all Radio Shack stores, the access to hackable radios that were widely used by the EVP/ITC community came to a sudden halt with the remaining stock of radios commanding high prices on Ebay at the time of this writing.

I will include a link to a list of the former line of radios that you can look for at flea markets, Ebay and the like. If you find one of them, GET IT. Don’t wait. Just get the unit so you have it right then. These older rigs are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth and they work great for field work and home EVP purposes.

The venerable Rat Shack 12-587 – My favorite ITC field rig

I myself own a number of Shack Hack radios and prize them because they actually work quite well on field investigations and would never part with mine. However, I like to try new tech and decided to see what was available post-Radio-Shack in the late 2017 time frame and found the pickings were very slim.

What struck me as well from the scant articles I read were statements like “The newer versions of the classic ghost box radios now generally have a ribbon connector which makes hacking these radios to make ghost boxes next to impossible.” as seen on one older article on hackable radios.

I would tend to disagree with this statement since the Radio Shack hack radios I have did have ribbon cables and were easily hacked with little effort. The question is if someone has the knowledge to interpret what lines to cut or modify in these radios. At a minimum, the ability to read a schematic of the radio and interpret the right wires to cut/change is needed. I suspect the author was trying to discourage people from going out to buy radios they might not be able to easily hack, but that is different than them being “impossible” to hack. And given the easy access now to YouTube videos that show you EXACTLY how to hack these rigs, I don’t think it is the big issue.

What has occurred is the bankruptcy and slow-down of so many vendors who once produced these rigs in great numbers. Part of this is attributable to the mass exodus away from radio itself as a medium, given the near universal access to the Internet, but the economic issues experienced from late 2008 to late 2016 were also big factors in the disappearance of so many cheap ITC rigs that were ripe for the hacking.

So there do remain rigs available that are hackable, just not so many. And I am certain that this list will expand over time with an economic recovery and new radios making appearances on the scene. I would also expect that SDR (software defined radios) may well begin to play a role in ITC/EVP in the coming years as these radios will have new functionality that might lend themselves well to paranormal research.

And don’t count Radio Shack out just yet. They remain as an online company, but they do retain a small inventory of radios and it may well come to be that they return to offering inexpensive radios once again that are hackable.

I plan to keep this list as up to date as I can, since there seems to be precious little information being produced with the current crop of available radios. If you have additions for the list, along with the hacking instructions, please contact me and I will add these to the list.

As of this time, the most easily hacked radio remaining out of a field of radios that once numbered in the dozens is the Jensen Model SAB-55a which is available at most online retailers. It is the lone survivor of the list of once inexpensive radios that made it possible for many people to get into EVP/ITC for the price of a junk food meal for two. How times have changed with the loss of Radio Shack’s once impressive line.

2017/2018 List of Hackable Radios

Jensen

The Jensen Model SAB-55

Jensen Model SAB-55b was once referred to as  the only modifiable radio. However, the “a” version is also hackable. The “A” version is shown on Amazon, Ebay and Walmart sites in great numbers. This radio is the super cheap option, coming in at less then $15 in many cases and is well worth the effort to hack. I have ordered my own Jensen to hack and will test it out and review it here on this page as well.

Sangean – Note that this list needs to be verified. The list of rigs here represent models last verified as to be hackable in 2014, but the variations available since that date are not confirmed.

Sangean Model DT-200v

Sangean Model DT-200v – The “v” model was available years ago and now the “x” version is still available off Amazon and other retailers. It is unknown if the “x” version remains hackable. Any information that can be provided to update this model would be appreciated.

 

 

Sangean Model DT-400w

Sangean Model DT-400w – Still available on Amazon

This rig does appear to be unchanged and is *likely* hackable, but this needs confirmation.

 

 

 

Sangean ATS-909

Sangean ATS-909 – Still available on Amazon.

It is unknown if this rig remains hackable. Any information that readers can provide will be very helpful.

 

Former list of hackable radios – Discontinued models: