a FIVE DOLLAR swapmeet FIND!

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by WA6MHZ, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got up at 2:30AM to make it to the Chino Hills swapmeet in (imagine that!)Chino Hills (up near Chino, or Riverside for East Coasters). I arrived well before dawn and scored a Heathkit HM-102 wattmeter the President of our Radio club had asked me to look for him. But not much for myself yet. Slowly, sellers began to appear, each swarmed on like Piranahs on a carcass. Most could barely get their trunk or tailgate open before the RAVENOUS buyers started throwing money at them! And so along came this pickup truck which I hightailed it over to. I was too late for the deal of the day. A NICE Kenwood TS-570D went for $250! Not that I needed one of those, but $250?!!!! Someone got a DEAL!!!

    I spied a Kenwood MC-60 Mic which I dove into the pickup bed to seize. I had to wrestle my way for it, much like a live fumbled football in the Superbowl! But I had both hands on it and prevailed, much to the anger of fellow buyers. The seller wanted $60 for it, not too great a deal, but I held on to it. A Kenwood speaker went for $40. I guess i didn't need that too bad. Just one that matches the TS-430S. I would have liked to pay $20 for it. As bits of debris were uncovered, I spied a mobile rig which I DIVED FOR! The RBs around me wanted it too, but I held onto the Kenwood mic and successfully came up with a Kenwood TM-733A, a very nice and fairly recent Dual Band rig. The seller noted it DIDN'T WORK and wanted $5 for it. That was SURE fine with me. It was missing one knob and no mic. OK, that was enough squandering. But on the way out, I nailed an original Bird wattmeter case (that holds 6 slugs) for $10. Time to head back to San Diego! And it wasn't even 7AM yet!!!

    The swapmeet box ALSO held a 1919 Popular Mechanics issue and an ARRL power amp using 2 MRF475s for an unknown band. Marked A&A 492-115-A. The Low Pass filter on the output looks to be around 40 or 75 meters. Blown? Who knows, but for a DOLLAR!

    Today was the ARC of El Cajon PICNIC up in Nancy Jane park, but since I arrived back to SDG before 9AM, I was able to stop at work and plug the TM-733A in. I was delighted to see the display light up, but no sound or actions were heard from the rest of the radio. I would investigate it after Church tomorrow..... Time for the PICNIC!


    SUNDAY, after Church, I downloaded the service manual and went after the rig. There was plenty of RUST and the rig probably was underwater for awhile. But it was dry now. I found a SMT fuse at the input was blown, a 1.8A device. I replaced that with a 1.85A PTC resetable fuse that was in the stockroom. Now the radio showed some life.


    For some reason, the 450 side was always in transmit, so I removed the Power Amp module and tackeled the 2M side. Sure enough, it worked great on 2M, as much as I could test it without a mic. I will try and score one of those on Ebay. But repeated attempts to find what was FUBAR on the 450 side were fruitless. Kenwood did a great job of making it impossible to trace around the PTT circuit. And, all the associated parts are on the UNDERSIDE of the PCB, impossible to get at powered up. I left the 450 module out and removed the 450 RF cable. OK, now it is a 2M radio!!!


    I printed out the schematics and will study them in my free time to see if I can figure out what and where is messed up on 450. OH yes, the radio draws 500 mA when turned off, so there is still lots of cooked components somewhere, but water damage can do that kind of thing. Especially when it is powered up at the time.

    So here is my $5 2 meter rig! Would be GREAT for monitoring 146.52 or APRS!
    (I can use the 450 module to fix another broke radio I have!)

  2. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Today, I fixed the MC-53DM Mic I have had laying around and it is an equivalent replacement for the MC-45DM needed for TM-733A. These mics use a RJ-45 plug instead of a conventional mic plug and the contacts don't always seat into the wire. This is because the plugs are designed for CAT-5 SOLID wire, and the mic plugs use stranded wire which is more flexible and you can't make a solid contact with the pin. I hate crimping! But after enough mousing around with the bad ground pin, the mic worked.

    I got out my Baofeng UV-5R and transcieved with the Kenwood on 146.52. The Kenwood sounds GREAT! I sang the "He is mister FLUFFY, he's a guinea pig" song over and over testing the radio. Anyone monitoring 52 in the El Cajon area musta give a "WTF????!!!!!" if they heard that!

    So the TM-733A is officially FIXED, sorta. It is ready for simplex and APRS service. If I had another GPS, I could use this for a Tracker in WA6BEN's car. I need another Byonics TT-3+, another GPS-18 and an antenna to mount on his car. He might not WANT a tracker, but I hafta convince him that one IS NEEDED!!!! Just as I did for my chaste wife when we went to WINGS&THNGS for beer and chicken saturday night. I WHIPPED OUT my cellphone and clicked on the Bookmark I have in the smartphone browser for KB6RCT-9

    I don't see a track this morning, so either she hasn't left for work, or maybe a wire came loose! I will hafta check it out when I get home tonight. I put a 7Amp fuse in the fuseholder, so maybe that blew. I told her to score a 15A fuse at work to replace it with. Then she will have use of the radio in the car too.

    This page has alotta info too

    maybe I need to adjust the tracker path info. I used the stock path that came with the Tiny Tracker 3+.

    Wonder what I will find NEXT swapmeet? hopefully a GPS to go with this radio!
  3. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good finds......
    I need to make it up there for the swap meet sometime....
    Sounds at times, it's worth the drive:)
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not to be negative, but....

    It's about 240 miles round-trip from Crest to Chino/Riverside. At least 10 gallons of gas at $4 a gallon, plus admission, food, etc. So the real cost is more like $50, not counting the time and effort to get it to work......

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  5. W4HAY

    W4HAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, but road trips are fun, especially if you have the right traveling companions.
  6. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    No argument there!

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  7. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Town Car used 3/4 of a tank of gas for the trip thanks to the PHENOMANAL Gas Mileage for a Luxury Car. The only food I had was a 7-11 coffee. A tank of gas was $55, so I guess about $40 of that was used for the trip. Free Admission!!! No companions. But I did get alot to eat at the Radio Club picnic when I got back. I always enjoy the swapmeets. It's ENTERTAINMENT! And I just might stumble across a SX-88 for $100!
  8. WN6U

    WN6U Ham Member QRZ Page

    that Kenwood might make a good, dedicated .435 monitor. :)
  9. KB3PXR

    KB3PXR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pat, looking at the display on that, it looks like the PTT is stuck on. When you switch over to talk on the two meter side it may key up that section instead. You may have to find what is keeping the PTT on as I don't think the PTT line is seperate where the fault is since the display is indicating PTT.
  10. KY5U

    KY5U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey, I found my wife at a $5 swap meet!
  11. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, that is the correct display. The symbol "PTT" shows up on the band of interest designating it as the band being available to transmit on. When you actually DO transmit, it displays an "ON THE AIR" logo. Something on the 450 side IS stuck in transmit, which is why I had to remove the PA module. It RECEIVES while it transmits! The display showed a Full scale signal and it put out power WHILE RECEIVING, so some PTT transistor is blown somewhere. I ran out of time and interest in fixing it. Not enough 450 activitiy to need a true dualband. 2 Meters is quite enough. At the present, it is in the very full RADIO MUSEUM until I score another GPS to make it into an APRS Tracker.

    It also cannot be shut off. Even when the display is off, you can still hear audio out of the speaker!
  12. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 733 has a lot of neat features, way more than I can remember right now but it's still a great radio with a few known issues. Such as one (or both) of the coax center conductors needing to be resoldered to the pcb at times.
  13. WN6U

    WN6U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Which is why it would make a perfect .435 monitor. You can't shut off some of "those people"! :rolleyes:
  14. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I love that!!
  15. WW7F

    WW7F Guest

    Pat, you could get even better gas milage with a credit card from the Bank Of Oklahoma check it out:) I think the terms are kind of freeform and the prices are right;P http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Okie credit card 73, I wish I could do that kind of stuff but not these days anyway. 73,Michelle P.S. brain fart, I meant go to swapmeets, not use my credit card:)!
  16. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not neccesarily.

    Had the $5 radio been Pat's only purchase, I might agree with you. But he did make several other purchases. So on the one hand, you can make the case that the cost of travel & admission should be split amongst the various purchased items to determine net cost. (Whether being split evenly or proportionally along item value being left as an academic exercise for those so inclined)

    On the other hand, you can also make the case that Pat would have made the trip anyway, regardless of purchase(s). Therefore, the $45 or so fixed cost is simply part of the overhead, the cost of doing (museum) business if you will, and is not neccesarily a direct (if proportional) additional cost to the value of the items.

    Either way, it's a nice story.
  17. WW7F

    WW7F Guest

    Those swapmeets and hamfest can be a great learning experience especialy if it has vintage gear or intersing things like roller inductors, huge variable caps, tubes, like a museum and bazaar in one place.
    This is a great chance for those who want to learn more just being there, and to me that is a lot of enjoyment , AHHH, I love the smell of surplus gear in the morning I say that paraphrase with apologies to Robert Duvall:)!
    But ya can't deny the smell of that fungicide they used has a kind of "new car " kind of appeal ;)
    I hope to be able to go to a few but money is always something I need or want and always a few bucks too much,and gas, gosh I can remember at least a few times I gave in to temptation and relied on the gas I had to get home and I remember it was always bone dry tank when I got home:)
    But I digress, I do not attend many as not many of my old gang left here they either got married, moved away, or passed away.
    Pat has the kind of luck finding that stuff I do too when I want it it always miraculously appears somehow;)!
    anyhow, 73 everyone, I'd like to find a winning Powerball ticket but that is another story.
    Best Wishes, Michelle:)
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