My guess would be early to mid 50's. Motorola really started making highband FM radios after WWII, and they really caught on in the 50's.
I am familiar with a lot of stuff from the 60's, and this is definitely older than that.
Glen would probably know. He probably has one, or had one.
We cannot tax our way to prosperity.
I don't know the answer, but I think this is what "Headquarters" used when they answered Broderick Crawford's call "2150 to headquarters."
Originally Posted by WA4BRL
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-- George Bernard Shaw
It looks like a home brew equivalent of the old Motorola BY base stations. The equipment was probably from a mobile or even from one of the various Motorola base stations. I have never seen round meters on a Motorola built unit. At least starting with the post World War II base stations, the meters all had a square face. Also, from what I can make out on the meters, they say Triplett and not Motorola.
The oval speaker grill on the top is definitely not Motorola. Motorola used round grills and they were always mounted on the front of the unit. In addition, the clock was always on the lower portion of the front panel and was mounted flush with the panel, not on the upper portion and in a protrusion from the panel.
During the almost 10-years that I owned the Motorola reconditioned equipment center for the south-central United States, I have seen examples of basically everything that Motorola made from 1946 onward until 1980. I have even seen the 10-meter AM mobile unit that Motorola made for amateur radio in the early 1950s (I may have an example somewhere in my attic). However, I have never seen a unit that looked like the one in the photo.
If the example was actually produced by Motorola, it would definitely be a rare example.
Thanks Glen. I kind of expected as much, but I didn't know any details about those early units. I doubt seriously that it's a rare Motorola unit. I'm satisfied to know I once owned a one-of-a-kind Don Sherouse original.
43 years in Amateur Radio
I looked around for pictures of the old Motorola base stations and came up with these two:
Here is a page from the repeater builder site about test sets. If you scroll about 3/4 of the way down there is a picture of a '"Research Line" base station'.
And an eBay auction for a base station manual. Scroll down to the images, the second one shows the three variants of the base station (large image available). Dated 1958.
The similarities to BRL's picture include:
- General shape of the box.
- Location of the right side meter.
- "Motorola" name just under the right side meter (hard to make out, but it is there and in the right position).
- Position of switches on the front.
However, there are also a lot of differences, as noted by Glen.
One guess is that it is a highly modified example of the Research Line base stations.
The base station pictured is the Motorola "BY". "BY" indicates the type of cabinet. There were actually single, double, and even triple versions of these base stations. The double and triple versions had the same basic front panel arrangement and those were bolted together. To get at equipment inside, the entire cabinet tilts upwards exposing the transmitter, receiver, and power supply. With the double and triple units all of the cabinets tilted at the same time. Over the years, I have seen a LOT of "BY" base stations, primarily the single version. There were not that many double versions made and very few triple versions. In well over 9-years of owning the Motorola reconditioned equipment center for the south-central United States, I saw only a handful of the triple versions.
The actual equipment inside was the same transmitter and receiver as the 15-inch wide mobile units. Depending on the age of the "BY" base station and the frequency range, the transmitter and receiver were generally from the FMTR80D, FMTR140D, FMTRU80D, FMTRU140D, T51AAV, and T43AAV mobile units. There were a very few that had "G" type receivers. The AC power supplies were almost always a P8434 for the 30-watt transmitter versions and a P8464 for the 50-watt and 60-watt transmitter versions.
Thanks Gary for those links. Between those and all the info Glen offered I think we have identified the origin of the beast. Thanks for the help, guys!
43 years in Amateur Radio