Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Hey, Kids! Collect 'Em ALL!

 Not really. These units should pretty much complete my Heathkit acquisitions. These guys will need some work, but as the expen$ive electrolytic capacitors are on hand, any additional outlay should be quite small. I inventoried my on-hand tubes, and have to cross it against the tube compliment of each radio. The only tubes I know I need are the last-gasp-of-vacuum-tubes "Compactrons". They were made in very large quantities for color TV sets, and are still readily available.


So, I rearranged the operating desk a bit, added an old Ikea riser shelf that I rattle canned a dark brown to kinda-sorta match the desk, and propped the "visiting" rigs in place.

I've wanted to do this since last summer, but finally got a circular tuit. These guys will go down to the workshop in the next few days to begin their journey back to operational status, but I wanted to see how they looked up there.


Future "Guest Rigs" will include my Hallicrafters SX-117/HT-44 pair:


And my Drake R-4B and T-4XB:


I also have a Kenwood TS-950SDX, but it's safely tucked away, so here's a "file photo" courtesy of rigpix:




15 comments:

  1. Very Cool! Nostalgia overload. Love the Heathkits, Drakes and Hallicrafters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rigs from my "childhood" in Ham Radio that I could never possibly afford to buy at the time. Being from the Chicago area, Hallicrafters was "home town" radio gear!

      And the first time I saw a set of Drake 4-Series "Twins", I fell in love. Had those sexy blue dial lights that just looked sooooo SciFi!

      Delete
  2. Have only a vague idea what you are discussing but it all looks "interesting". Back in the day I could find my way around an airplane's stuff. Maybe I still can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are "HF" (High Frequency) radios that can transmit and receive between 3.5MHz and 30MHz. They're not "Channelized" like military, aircraft, or CB radios, so you have to know where you can legally transmit.

      These are 100% "Analog" vacuum tube radios. NO digital stuff in them at all. As a result, they sound and feel different than "modern" Amateur Radio equipment. The transmitters also require that the Driver stage and Final Amplifier stage be manually tuned when changing bands. If you don't know how to do this properly, you'll either have "spurious" outputs on your signal, a BIG no-no, or you'll burn up the Final Output tubes. Both if you're having a really bad hair day.

      The transmitters also have 750 Volts DC at several hundred milliamps inside, more than enough to get you a one-way trip to see St. Peter....

      Delete
    2. I would expect St. Peter to pass you through the Pearly Gates with a smile if you checked out in that way.

      Delete
    3. And he'd probably slap me silly for being careless enough to get across the High Voltage supply!

      I use the "One Hand Rule" when working on these radios, and have a heavy clip-lead jumper with a big resistor in it to discharge the capacitors after I turn off the radio and unplug it.

      For those times when it must be adjusted while operating with the covers off, I use some specially shaped (by me) wood sticks to adjust things that have HV on them.

      And The Little Guy is NOT allowed in the workshop when I'm doing things like this.

      Delete
  3. The SB-301/401 duo makes nice bookends with the Flex. That's about 60 to 70 years of technology there.

    Which is the older design, the Hallicrafters, Drake twins, or the Heathkit pair? I'd guess the Hallicrafters.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW....my Flex 5000 is downstairs in the box. The rig under the Heathkits is my Yaesu FT-1000D, and the black box with the monitor is my station PC.

      If/when I buy a new rig, I'm going to get the Yaesu FTDX101MP, the 200 Watt version of their newest radio.

      Delete
    2. Per the entries at RigPix, the Hallicrafters pair was made from 1962 to 1965, the Drakes from 1967 to 1973, and the Heathkits from 1966 to 1970.

      I passed my Novice in 1964, and my General in 1965. I actually had the Heathkits in late 1964 (built them over Christmas vacation), before the catalogs came out. My Dad took me up to the Heathkit store in search of the SB-300/SB-400, and the store had sold out of them. Then the guy behind the counter took my Dad aside and talked to him, and we walked out of the store carrying two rigs that really hadn't been released yet. The counter guy took pity on the newly minted General Class Ham (me, at 13 years old), and let my Dad buy the rigs, knowing that they'd be released before I could get them built and On-The-Air.

      Plus, he made a BIG sale that day!

      Delete
    3. D'oh! You know, I saw the black box in the lower right of the first pic and could have sworn it said Flex Radio Systems. Guess that's the computer under the monitor.

      I need to get my glasses checked! Yeah, that's the ticket.

      Delete
    4. It's a "SilverStone" desktop case I bought some years ago. Putting a tower on the floor would give me more room, but they get so filthy sitting at floor level that I can't bear to do it.

      It sure does look like one of the new Flex radios, though....

      Delete
  4. Nice collection there! Old school STILL works!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm with WSF and don't understand the tech, but it looks cool.

    That said, have you got any EVP? (electronic voice phenomena) Curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny you ask that question, Parson. Sweet Little Wife was watching an Ozzy Osborne Halloween special where they were doing that!

      There's a whole lot of interesting things to hear on these frequencies, like the "Dawn Chorus", and "Whistlers", and even the planet Juipter can be heard when it's in the sky, but these are all natural phenomena.

      Sorry, no EVP here.....

      Delete

Keep it civil, please....