ad: QSKLLC-1

Anyone else collect the radios of the past you once had?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N7JS, Jan 5, 2019.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: K5AB-Elect-1
ad: Left-3
  1. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first rig was a used ft-101ee. I was at a ham fest and saw a pristine 101ee with matching speaker, ext.vfo, and amplifier. I almost bought it for nostalgia's sake but then realized I would never use it - just like the ft-990 that sits unused in the corner.
    NL7W likes this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am told that not all divorces are amicable.........

    Voice of experience?
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I started with a homebrew 2 tube regenerative receiver. Not very stable - learned code with one hand on the tuning and other on the pencil.

    Then I got a Heathkit AR-2/QF-1 combo. Somewhat better, but the drift was such that the QF-1 wasn't much help. A Gonset Super Six in front of the AR-2 improved things somewhat.

    Then I got an SX-99 which was so much better than anything I'd had before that I sold off what could be sold.

    The SX-99 was decent for its time and price. Not top of the line but still usable today. Sold it after a year or so.

    Then I discovered the best solution of all (for those days):

    First, acquire a WW2 surplus BC-453 receiver (tuning range 190 to 550 kHz). They were plentiful and dirt cheap at the time, and the conversion to AC power was very simple. If one could find an old AM BC radio or record player with transformer power supply, a suitable PS could be made for very little money, or none at all.

    Once that was done, a simple one or two tube crystal-controlled converter could be added to convert 80 and 40 meters to the tuning range of the BC-453. The needed frequencies for the converter crystals were outside the amateur bands and so were dirt cheap in surplus. Most of the parts could be scrounged from AM BC receivers, and the coils could be homebrew, reducing cost to nearly zero.

    The result was a stable, selective, sensitive receiver for 80 and 40 with slow tuning rate and accurate dial - for about $20 or less, depending on one's junkbox, and a few evenings work at most. It completely outclassed receivers costing much more, and the hardest parts of building a receiver were already done for you in the BC-453.

    The idea appeared in a few magazine articles, but wasn't widely promoted. Often the articles that got published were needlessly complex and/or used store-bought parts that raised the cost.

    I think it's sad that so many newcomers back in the 1940s-70s struggled with terrible receivers when there was such an easy, straightforward, low-cost way to have something that was so much better. If I had know then......


    And then I got serious about homebrewing.

    Check out this receiver, built for $10 by an impoverished college student, known as the Southgate Type 4 MkII:

    Only the crystals and 88 mH toroids were bought new. The chassis, panel, brackets, etc. were formed from sheet aluminum. The various parts came from TV sets, AM BC radios, ARC-5 surplus, and....a plastic cereal bowl. Even the wire was used.

    The reason for the terminal strip with jumpers and the terminal board with resistors was to permit the use of odd-voltage series-string TV tubes like 3BZ6 and 7AU7, as well as their "normal" counterparts.

    This was actually the second version built - the earlier MkI had most of the receiver on one chassis with the VFO built on an old ARC-5 transmitter chassis.
  4. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did - and still see absolutely nothing.

    So instead of Waterfox, which is my main browser, I pasted the link into Chrome and I do see it there.

    Either Waterfox isn't showing it properly or maybe an ad blocker is getting confused. Either way, it's sorted now. Thanks.
  5. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Far from rock bottom and it was, IMO from using most of them, among the top of the bandswitched single RF stage, crystal filter, 455 kc single conversion radios. And in 65 it was almost 20 years old and probably had a bunch of leaky paper caps. The HQ-140 and 150 were in the same category. Ones with the moving coil carriage such as the NC-240D were better on the higher frequencies and for stability.

    A primary criteria I used was it had to also have decent performance on 20, 15, and 10M and not fold up when preceded by a home brew 6 and 2M converter which were very popular AM bands and some SSB back in the 50's and on into the 70's.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    KA4DPO likes this.
  6. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The NC-173 covers 6 meters and mine had the NBFM unit installed, even though I could not use 6 meters it was fun to listen to. I also had a Knight kit 100 KC calibrator that helped a lot since the band spread calibration tended to be off on the high ends of the bands. The one thing I remember most was when I finally figured out the crystal phasing control and I could really make CW signals Pop. That was so cool.

    A friend of mine had an HQ-150 and I always though it was cool because it had a Q multiplier.:)
  7. W5INC

    W5INC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It sure looks like you have a very fine heard of tube gear there K4PIH. I didn't see a Swan Mark I or II or any other "tube" space heater in your shack photos. A 30S-1 will sure heat up the shack during those chilly nights. The Swan 600s still look great to me and was my first rig, which came from 1 of my Elmers growing up. Painted an entire house as payment for the rig, still 1 of the best deals I have ever run across in AR radio.

    My current set of 600s I walked across them at a yard sale. I was walking to the US Open golf tournament in Bethpage NY and when walking to the event I ran across the pieces being sold by an elderly woman. The price on the set was very low and the woman was over joyed when I handed her 400.00 dollars for the twins and speaker. She even let me come back and pick them up on my way leaving the venue. One of the best looking radio boxes out there for a boat anchor IMO and this set will be with me until it is cornfield time. The 600s do work pretty good on the CW side of things also.
  8. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Hammarlund HQ-140X is, like the other Hammarlund receivers in the particular design line starting with the HQ-120X, then HQ-129X, and, finally, the HQ-150, is very stable. This is unlike most of the other Hammarlund receivers that tend to drift above around 10 MHz.

    The National NC-2-40D- series are also very good as well. I do have an NC-2-40DT (table top version, the NC-2-40DR is the rack mount version) and the older version NC-200. The NC-200 is being restored whereas the NC-2-40DT has been restored for a number of years.

    In high school, I missed out on a Hallicrafters SX-100 at a very good price. A fairly young amateur radio operator had died and his mother put his Heath DX-100 and SX-100 up for sale. I found out about the DX-100 and scraped together the money to purchase it (I think $100.00). The mother told me that she had just sold the SX-100 a few days before. If she had known that I was going to buy the DX-100, she would have kept the SX-100 and let me have it along with the transmitter.

    I did not know the operator because he lived over 50-miles from me in one of the Chicago suburbs.

    Glen, K9STH
  9. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page


    You may want to see what National called it internally and even as late as 1968 in a brochure that mentioned the NC-240D on the history page.

    I have a pair of NC-200's, plain and anniversary model, plus a NC-240C, NC-240CS, a first run 1946 NC-240D, and a later NC-240D.

  10. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    And, the manual, and advertisements in places like the ARRL Handbook, call the receiver a NC-2-40D.



    My NC-200 is one of the anniversary versions as is the speaker.

    Glen, K9STH
    N2EY likes this.

Share This Page