The Conar Instruments Company of Washington, D.C. was a comparative latecomer to the kit business, since it first offered kits in 1962; yet it was not new in the electronics field. Conar was an expansion of the National Radio Institute's student supply division that functioned primarily to supply test equipment to NRI students and graduates. In fact, the name 'Conar' is rather tortuously derived from the first letters of 'COmpany, NAtional Radio.' Conar was able to enter the market with a complete series of radio-TV test-equipment kits of proven design that had already been developed by NRI's technical staff. These were primarily kits, assembled and tested by the students (UK - Unassembled Kit) as part of NRI's many home-study training courses. Some models were also available assembled from the factory (WT - Wired and Tested). Many of the models were also sold under the NRI Professional label.


Below is a table of the models I have run across. If you know of one I missed, please let me know. Please donate PDF scans of your manuals, schematics, catalogs and advertising. If you do not have the ability to provide a PDF scan, we can scan them for you and return your originals very quickly, at no charge. Much of the information shown here was gleamed from the internet (and it is always right!.. right?) If you have more accurate information on anything here, again... let me know via timothy.f.johnston(at)gmail.com

PS: This is a work in progress as I attempt to locate manuals and update descriptions. Last Updated: 21 November 2017

Conar Radios and Test Equipment Kits

Model Year Description Picture Manual Notes
200 Appliance Tester
201 Component Substitution Box
202 CMOS Frequency Counter
211 Volt/Ohm Meter, 6X4 vacuum tube
212 Volt/Ohm Meter, transistorized
214 Transistor Checker Easily confused with the model 212
220 Tube Tester
221 Tube Tester
223 Tube Tester "The Barbarian"
224 Tube Tester
224 data Tube Tester Data
230 Signal Tracer
(Range: 170kHz-500kHz and 500kHz-1500khz)
KB8TAD's Conar 230 Page
231 Tuned Signal Tracer
240 Portable Volt-ohmmeter
250 Oscilloscope
251 Oscilloscope Special thanks to W2RIK for the scans.
255 Oscilloscope
261 Auto Ignition Analyzer
280 Signal Generator
281 Signal Generator with digital readout
282 Signal Generator with digital readout Internal upgrade of model 281. Still says 281 on outside.
311 R/C Tester
320 Regulated Power Supply
400 1964 Novice CW Transmitter for 80m, 40m, 15m, crystal
controlled. 15-25w output, chirpy.
AKA: "Kit 3r"
KB8TAD's Conar Twins Page
W4JBM's Conar Twins Page
AF4K's Conar Twins Page
QST - July 2001 (page 102)
444 Stereo Receiver
452 2m FM Transceiver
500 1964 Novice AM/CW Receiver for 80m, 40m, 15m
Could also receive SSB in CW mode.
AKA: "Kit 2r"
KB8TAD's Conar Twins Page
W4JBM's Conar Twins Page
AF4K's Conar Twins Page
QST - July 2001 (page 102)
510 Transistor Power Supply
610 Transistor Power Supply
681 Color Generator

682 TV Pattern Generator
800 1965 TV Camera with internal RF modulator
Additional lens available.
Conar 800 Camera Website at SMECC.org

More Informational Resources

Resource PDF
Conar Catalog 1967
NRI Journal 1967

Known Links

  • RadioMuseum.Org
  • Wikipedia.Org
  • National Radio News Magazines


  • This website is not affiliated with Conar Instruments©® or the National Radio Institute©®. The header at the top of the page was made from scratch in the style of the original logos. All material here is free of charge. No compensation has been received for any information displayed here. All information is provided as-is for educational purposes and personal use only.