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Has Anyone Ever Seen a JW Miller MD-8 Dual Speed Vernier Dial?

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by WA9WFA, Oct 6, 2021.

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  1. WA9WFA

    WA9WFA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am working on my current in a superhetrodyne receiver project which is called "The Mate for the Mighty Midget" (A Lew McCoy design) and I while I'm building and testing it I'm thinking ahead of what my next tube receiver might be.

    I see in the ARRL Handbook 1967 the HB-67, a 5 band superhetrodyne receiver. It uses a JW Miller MD-8 dual speed vernier. I've never seen or heard of such a dial other than in this article. Have you ever used one?

    Thanks. 73, Scott WA9WFA
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I've owned several over the decades. Beautiful vernier! I regret selling them off over the years - would have been nice to hold onto one. They fetch a good price on eBay (which is why mine went on the block years ago, when eBay was in the glory years). Back in the day, building that very receiver was a goal of mine. Alas, it never came to be.

    They're out there - hamfests will be your friend - NOT eBay ;)

    And maybe someone hoarding one here on QRZ will come forward with a great deal for you ... could very possibly happen.

  3. WA5VGO

    WA5VGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think they were actually made by Jackson Brothers and simply rebranded by Miller.

  4. WA9WFA

    WA9WFA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Dave and Darrell for your comments and information! I'm glad to hear of reports of their use. Yes I hope someone comes forward with an MD-8. I will start checking for Jackson Bros also in hopes of finding one. After reading Darrell's comment I found a Jackson Bros dial that was similar, not as cool looking, but used the same vernier mechanism for the 6:1 fast and 36:1 slow, so I bought it. I will still keep looking for the MD-8 though because I like duplicating the look and feel of the original receiver.
    73, Scott WA9WFA
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm preferential to the Eddystone drive, myself.

    It's not dual-ratio, but when used with a flywheel it's smooth as silk and just plain fun to tune around. I became fascinated with them in the 1960s when I worked part-time (after school) for Clegg, who used those drives in the Venus, Zeus and Interceptor products.

    When properly installed, you could spin the knob and due to the attached flywheel it could tune from one end of the band to the other without touching the knob again...if you wanted it to do that. But it had great resolution on its smaller dial, so you could discern a .01% change in frequency and actually read that.:)

    But they also take up a lot of panel space so would not be useful for anything "compact."
  6. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    A beautiful dial.
    Dale Parfitt, W4OP built his PR-8 HF receiver, based on W7ZOI's Progressive RX from the late 1980's, using the Eddystone dial

    There is an Eddystone User Group in UK.

    KW Viceroy Mark III SSB Transmitter used the Eddystone 5370P "898" dial assembly

    ZS1KE Junk Box

    Use of the Eddystone ‘898’ Drive Unit in an HBR 13C Home-brew Receiver
    by Gerry O’Hara, G8GUH/VE7GUH Information/The Eddystone 898 Drive Unit in an HBR13C Receiver.pdf

    The W6TC (SK) Adventure 1956-2009
    Gerry O’Hara, VE7GUH
    A history of the homebrew Ham Band Receiver developed by Ted Crosby, W6TC
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
    KI4ZUQ likes this.
  7. WA9WFA

    WA9WFA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I sure agree with Steve and Greg that the Eddystone 898 is a fabulous vernier dial!!! I used one on my HBR-13L and it's silky smooth. Being a beginner builder I will say that it was a real challenge to factor that Eddystone into the HBR13 design, requiring far more mechanical expertise than I possessed. Never-the-less, I persevered and the Eddystone was successfully installed. I'd use one again for my next hot rod tube receiver but the chances of my finding one are slim to none.

    Agreed, the Eddystone wouldn't work in a 'compact' receiver but would be spectacular in my HB-67. 73, Scott WA9WFA
  8. KA9P

    KA9P Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    millen 10037 no string.jpg
    Saw your other thread Scott, (and your gorgeous HBR-13). I've been collecting up parts for doing the 65/67 since building a Junior Miser's Dream last year (what a miserable experience with unobtanium coils there).:(

    But I've given up finding that dual speed drive as I've never seen one either - I found this other one on EBay reasonably priced. It's not got the feel of the Eddystone 898 of course. and it's not 2 speed, but it's pretty odd and interesting, and right time period, so I'm going to go with it.

    I've found that of late some of these nicer drives show up on E-Bay and there is little or no interest, this went pretty cheap - I thought I needed it for a 2x4+ Super then, but have decided to do the 65/67 instead, but maybe with the Miser's Dream product detector. I figure if I hate it enough I can figure out how to add a Jackson Bros 6 to1 up front, like Swan doubled them up in their vfos. I think this is 11:1 as is which I hope may be slow enough.

    Good luck finding the dial. When I built my Progressive receiver before I found the 898, I went ahead and built the radio with the controls mounted to the chassis for the most part, with the vfo relocatable, and with oversize holes in the front panel to clear the control nuts, so that changing panels when the 898 became available was a simple task, FWIW.
  9. AC3Y

    AC3Y Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd look around from a cheap Siltronix VFO or a junker Siltronix 1011. Very sexy two speed knob assembly on those.
  10. WA9WFA

    WA9WFA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks AC3Y for the suggestion of using a cheap cb Siltronix VFO for that two speed dial that was famous on the Swan rigs.

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