Best cool boat anchor to trade for?
Don't get me wrong, I like these new radios with their CRTs, software control, digital processing, etc... but there is something about a nice old boat anchor, with nothing more than a few knobs and an analog meter. I have both, a Kenwood TS 520S and an Icom IC-756 Pro II. Recently, I have been thinking about trading off the Icom-756 Pro II for another nice old piece of ham gear, one that is reliable and has just the basic stuff. Maybe one that puts out a bit more than 100 watts, but one that has tubes that would not cost a fortune to replace.
What would be your choice of a nice reliable boat anchor to trade for a fancy, modern, IC-756 Pro II?
When I think "boat anchor," I think of AM-CW gear from the mid-60s and earlier than that. Mostly stuff from the 40s and 50s.
If you want an SSB transceiver that's older and has some tubes but retains most of the operational features of modern stuff, the Yaesu FT-102 is very hard to beat.
For stuff older than that using all or mostly tubes but nothing expensive or rare, a Drake TR-4 or Heath SB-101 spring to mind. If you work SSB and RTTY and not CW, a Collins KWM-2 is very nice. The Drake runs about 150W PEP output, the Heath and Collins about 100W PEP. The more modern (but still partly tubed) FT-102 can run about 150W PEP output.
Another great hybrid rig, more modern with more features and band coverage than your TS-520S but otherwise similar in style is the TS-830S.
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Reg Fessenden's first AM rig. That would be cool to own!
Author of: Mr. Fred, Nuke This Forum (Danger Close)
OK, all seriousness aside; I've broken out your requirements
Originally Posted by KG7UFO
-Tube cost: Tubes are generally available from many sources. Frankly, Ebay offers the best selection and opportunity to get a good price with some risk. The truth is most fellows with more than a few tube radios have a collection of tubes swapping and testing. There are a few specialized tubes that are difficult to find or quite expensive. IMHO, most of the whining about tubes being outrageously priced and hard to find are from the old timers who still want get NIB specimens for $3 at the corner TV shop like they did when they were a kid. Many times I have read comments like that here on the Zed and gone to Ebay and found 50 tubes at reasonable prices, new and used. *shrug*
-100watts: That has been the typical power level since the 1950's. Do be aware that before the early 1980's power was listed as "Input Power" to the PA and after that date changed to "Output Power" that we are used to now. So when you see a BA with 180W power, multiply that by say 60% to equal 108Watts. Pretty comparable.
-It sounds like you are interested in a Transceiver vice separate Transmitter and Receiver sets. These didn't start to be common until the mid-1960's.
-Reliability: It appears that you are more interested in operating than tinkering and repairing. That's fine. Most common radios from the last 60 years can be reliable if they are well cared for and properly refurbished. After all, they have lasted this long after good service. ** I think your best bet is to get a radio in good working order from a ham who is experienced in restoring BA's. Arrange for him to demonstrate it in operation.***
Take your time in considering and researching your choices. After all that is half the fun. With time you will develop particular areas or brands of interest to you. Enjoy. Bill
RigPix is a nice source to see a photo of rigs, and some very basic (take with a bit of salt) data. Still it helps to see the radios in a family and understand how the relate and developed.
Author of: Mr. Fred, Nuke This Forum (Danger Close)
I'm looking for a E.F. Johnson Viking Valiant and a Hammarlund HQ-170A
Check out these three old Hallicrafters tranceivers circa 1962-69, SSB and CW, all tube.
SR-150 5 band 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters 120 watts, SSB, photo and specs http://www.rigpix.com/hallicrafter/sr150.htm
SR-160 3 band 80, 40, and 20 meters 100 watts, SSB photo and specs http://www.rigpix.com/hallicrafter/sr160.htm
SR-500 3 band 80, 40, and 20 meters 220 watts, ssb photo and specs http://www.rigpix.com/hallicrafter/sr500tornado.htm
If you want to spend a lot of money check out the big daddy of Hallicrafters transceivers:
SR-2000 5 band 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters 1000 watts ssb, photo and specs http://www.rigpix.com/hallicrafter/sr2000hurricane.htm
Another good Hallicrafters is the HT-37. While a 100W transmitter this one used the phasing type modulation scheme which yields very high quality audio. Here's is an audio file of myself on my HT-37 operating on 80m. This is without an amplifier stock radio output. This was feeding a Johnson Kilowatt matchbox tuning a 160' long dipole at 90' high. Microphone was a Neumann TLM103. The location of the transmitter was in Scarsdale, NY in central Westchester County and the receiving station was in Central New Jersey. The receiving station had a 4.8kHz filter.
W2WDX on HT-37 80m LSB
As you can hear the radio sounds great, and it sounds as good on AM.
Can you tell I'm from NY? Geez ...
John LeVasseur, W2WDX
Ya gotta more or less take what you can find.
Even a Swan 350 would be a nice start to a boat anchor collection. Yes, cuz once U have one, you will want more! And more and more and more!
Just remember that most of the Swan transceivers are pretty drifty which brings to mind the age old question: On what frequency does the Swan users' group meet?
The answer: Pick any in the phone portion of the band because they will drift by in just a few minutes!
A good value would be the Heath SB-101 transceiver or the SB-301 receiver / SB-401 transmitter combination. They are reasonably priced and work very well. Also, they are pretty to work on if needed.
I do use a "few" boat anchors: http://k9sth.com/uploads/Equipment_a...March_2012.pdf