Extreme Ham Radio hardware mods?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE7RUX, May 4, 2018.

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  1. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    First -- I find it really unfortunate that so many decided to turn, what should have been a fun thread, into a less than happy thread.

    But, those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, we really modified a lot of WW-2 and Korean War surplus radios into something other than what they started out as. We turned ARC-5s, BC-610s, and so many more into wonderful pieces of ...

    We built
    ... a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56
    '57, '58' 59' radio
    It's a '60, '61
    , '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
    '68, '69, '70 DX machine.
    Anyway, thinking about this reminded me of that old Johnny Cash song about how he built his special Cadillac:

    Well, I left Kentucky back in forty nine
    An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
    The first year they had me puttin' wheels on Cadillacs
    Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
    And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
    'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.
    One day I devised myself a plan
    That should be the envy of most any man
    I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
    Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
    But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
    I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.
    I'd get it one piece at a time
    And it wouldn't cost me a dime
    You'll know it's me when I come through your town
    I'm gonna ride around in style
    I'm gonna drive everybody wild
    'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.
    So the very next day when I punched in
    With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
    I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
    I've never considered myself a thief
    But GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
    Especially if I strung it out over several years.
    The first day I got me a fuel pump
    And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
    Then I got me a transmission and all the chrome
    The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
    Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
    But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.
    Now, up to now my plan went all right
    'Til we tried to put it all together one night
    And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.
    The transmission was a fifty three
    And the motor turned out to be a seventy three
    And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.
    So we drilled it out so that it would fit
    And with a little bit of help with an adapter kit
    We had that engine runnin' just like a song
    Now the headlight' was another sight
    We had two on the left and one on the right
    But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.
    The back end looked kinda funny too
    But we put it together and when we got through
    Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
    About that time my wife walked out
    And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
    But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."
    So we drove up town just to get the tags
    And I headed her right on down main drag
    I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
    But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
    'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
    And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.
    I got it one piece at a time
    And it wouldn't cost me a dime
    You'll know it's me when I come through your town
    I'm gonna ride around in style
    I'm gonna drive everybody wild
    'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.
    Ugh! Yeah, RED RYDER
    This is the COTTON MOUTH
    Huh, This is the COTTON MOUTH
    And negatory on the cost of this mow-chine there RED RYDER
    You might say I went right up to the factory
    And picked it up, it's cheaper that way
    Ugh!, what model is it?
    Well, It's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56
    '57, '58' 59' automobile
    It's a '60, '61
    , '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
    '68, '69, '70 automobile.
    WJ4U and KE7RUX like this.
  2. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    From time to time the subject of crazy ham radio modifications arise that are generally ideas or "hear say". In my neck of the woods the subject recently arose and I was fascinated with curiosity; therefore I published this discussion forum to pick the brains of fellow hams.
  3. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, and thank you for your input. I was hoping people would expand on a few of the things I mentioned. Your comments diagnose the 'suggested mods' I've idealized or have heard of realistically. 73
    W5TTW likes this.
  4. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    At the local University (Brigham Young University-Idaho), they have a balloon team that has accomplished something similar. They have combined a beacon, APRS, and GPS to their hot air balloons. The'll let 'em go, track them, and go pick 'em up! It's really a fun ordeal.
    W5TTW likes this.
  5. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Udoo X86 Ultra/LimeSDRUSB (Classic, I guess)/TS440SAT {BPFs/PA/band decoder/PA/LPFs/AT/Mitsubishi 60W modules & boards for 144/440 Class AB, along with BPFs & LPFs for V/UHF.
    I was going to jam it all in an LXE VX9. Too thin. The VX5 will do just fine.
    So, 100 Khz to 3.8 Ghz. Any mode that software can do. Optimized for HF/6M/144/440. 12" industrial touch screen(VGA).

    KE7RUX likes this.
  6. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's facinating! Do you have a link to that? I can't seem to find it.

    That is ingenious and intriguing. Someone needs to develop one now...with an all mode all band!
  7. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm happy this exists. The more I hear this, the more interested I get and the more I want one!:rolleyes:
  8. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would highly suggest the LimeSDR USB (Full sized). It gives better options. The Mini is still getting sussed out, but is not as good as the full size.
    My nest will be a MAC G5 case, with a Jetson TX2/(Some sort of) PCIE SDR/Kenwood TX/RX chain (BPFs, LPFs, PAs)/Either near or full legal limit Ldmos amps for all HF/6M/2M/70cm bands. Water cooled on an old ice bin cold plate (For chilling soda dispensers).
    Yes, power supply & high power LPFs might go outboard(Not sure yet).

  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sure - but tell the whole story!

    For decades after WW2 ended, surplus electronics could be had for very low prices. Pennies on the dollar, if that, and it seemed as if the supply was endless.

    The "modifications" were usually a matter of providing an AC power supply (most popular surplus was designed to run from 24 volts DC, using a dynamotor), and providing for local operation of radios designed for remote control.

    Yes, there were modifications that went much further. But, in general, the mods were pretty simple.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The above describes a complete 100 watt multiband HF transceiver designed and built from available parts. It's the latest in a long line of homebrew stations going back over 50 years.

    Here's another project - a Transmatch....


    As for adapting stuff to new uses, check out this receiver - see if you can figure out what the dial was originally.....


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