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Thread: Palomar Skipper 300 - worth the effort?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Port Angeles
    Posts
    21

    Default Palomar Skipper 300 - worth the effort?

    I was gifted a Palomar Skipper 300 that had been sitting in a neighbor's garage for nearly ten years. Dust and Rust inside, but everything appears to be in place although it's missing knobs. With the description below, do you think it would be worth the "making it work" restoration? I'm not interested in CB, but an extra kick on 6m or 10m would be nice occasionally. There's a matching (in age) CB to go with it, but it doesn't power up due to a bad transformer.

    I powered the Skipper up and saw two of the 6lf6's glow (driver and one final), but the fan didn't spin so I powered down. The fan is rusted in place! I swapped tube positions and all four glowed. It's been powered off since then. Yes, I unplugged it and kept the left hand in pocket while inside. Other than that everything is just dirty and Not Very Good Looking. (bakelite tie strips, not PCB)

    I'm leery of just hooking it to the radio and doing the tune-up without first doing more, but where do I start? Or should I just bite the bullet and fire it up? If it works I'll probably try to find a 120VAC fan or see if a newer 12VDC will work in its place. I'm not capable of spending much, but I keep a fairly stocked junk^H^H^H^H parts-bin where the XYL doesn't mind too much. No one around here has a tube tester, either.

    Thanks for any comments! (good or bad)

    linky: http://www.cbtricks.com/Amp/palomar/..._300/index.htm

  2. #2
    W4AFB Guest

    Default

    Id trash that turd. Not worth investing money into. IMO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Mary's County Md since 2000
    Posts
    8,004

    Default

    I can't see putting money into a rusted old CB amp...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Lakewood, WA
    Posts
    2,345

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by W4AFB View Post
    Id trash that turd. Not worth investing money into. IMO
    Amen!

    It's nothing but a low priced piece of CB crap. The best thing to do with it involves a drop from a rooftop followed by application of a small sledge hammer and finishing up with a broom and dustpan.


    73 Gary

  5. #5

    Default

    These hams are giving you the straight dope, the four-one-one.

    Unfortunately.

    At least you didn't pay money for it.

    Just please, don't put it on the ham bands. It likely makes all kinds of junk happen on 6 when you are on 10 (or 11).

    Also, it was made to work with about 4 to 10 watts drive. Hit it with any more than that, like the standard ham 100 and if it doesn't make smoke city, it will REALLY throw some spurs before it croaks.

    Put it on the shelf as a conversation piece or exhibit.

    BTW, the Sweep Tubes in that thing now cost way too much money, IF you can find 'em.

    73

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Port Angeles
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I think the consensus is... pretend I'm 5 again and taking apart dad's alarm clock so he can't get up in the morning.

    Thank you gentlemen, this forum yielded far more value than the amp is apparently worth!

    73
    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    366

    Default

    Loot the transformer, HV caps, and variable caps.

    Sell the tubes.

    Make a new, better amp.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    St. Louis MO USA
    Posts
    610

    Default

    Predictably there is always responses that trash CB gear without a second thought, and truthfully most of it is a bit lousy in terms of quality, but there isn't a single piece of RF gear I've found (regardless of it's intended use) that isn't potentially a source of parts for my own projects. It seems that as the years pass, certain "boat anchor" era parts are becoming harder and harder to find.. I agree with the statements so far that suggest parting it out and keeping what you can for possible future building.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Blanchard, LA.
    Posts
    842

    Default

    Well,

    It would make a good "boat anchor" while drift fishing, LOL! All of those early
    model CB amps were "Class C" modulation. In other words, they throw spikes
    and distortion from HELL. You don't want a citation from the F.C.C.

    If you want a "clean" amp, build it yourself and in a Class AB1 configuration,
    You can expect no more than 40% efficiency, but you will have great audio.
    I'd use the amp on 10 FM as AM and SSB do well with low power on 10.

    Personally, the ONLY thing I'd keep would be the transformer. When 10 is
    'open' you can work the world with .5 watts, CW. I know because last cycle,
    I worked the World, 'mobile' with an HR-2510 (17 watts out) and a 3' center-load, "Trucker's Special", LOL! I'm looking =forward to Cycle 24. ;-)

    Respectfully submitted,
    73,

    Don S./KA5LQJ
    8Q3224 <==CB, 1961
    KKR2747 <== CB 1965
    KOR0528 <== CB 1972
    KAMF7712 <== CB 1980
    Area_5_Wx_Group
    N.B.S.R.C. - Chapter 2
    QCWA

  10. #10

    Default

    [QUOTE=KA5LQJ;2219399] edited

    Well,

    It would make a good "boat anchor" while drift fishing, LOL! All of those early
    model CB amps were "Class C" modulation. In other words, they throw spikes
    and distortion from HELL[COLOR=red][COLOR=black]. You don't want a citation from the F.C.C.
    ;-)

    Respectfully submitted,
    73,

    Don S./KA5LQJ

    What Don is saying is that some CB amps are biased to Class C operation, which is NOT LINEAR. Any amplitude modulated signals (AM or SSB) are distorted beyond recognition. FM and CW signals are okay though.

    ISTR that some amps do have a bias circuit -- you can check if there is by metering the plate current without drive, and the amplifier keyed up, which should be in the neighborhood of 50-60 ma. There's usually a pot and circuitry for setting that; if not, just add one.

    CB amps as built aren't very good -- 99.99% use sweep tubes, and have been used as an AM linear, so the condition of the finals are usually questionable. Replacement tubes are expensive -- CBers tend to suck them (no pun intended here) down to nothing, replacing them with NOS tubes and driving up the prices. At least the box is okay; just be prepared to install a low pass filter on the output, and checking the bias circuitry for class AB linear operation. Just watch the drive -- most amps only tolerate 4 watts or so input. Overdriving them will cause all sorts of QRM over the spectrum, and that kills tubes PDQ.

    Gary WA7KKP

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