Multiple identical-looking VTVM's.

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W1GUH, Sep 16, 2014.

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  1. KB1WSY

    KB1WSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back to thread subject, there's an "unbuilt" IM-18 on eBay, reserve price is $250, it will be interesting to see what it goes for. If you like, you can also "Buy It Now" for $550!!!!

    Me, I usually just buy the already built Heathkits, take them apart, and rebuild them from the original manuals, after replacing the more vulnerable components with new ones. The cost is about one-tenth of the "unbuilt" versions. You learn just as much, and have just as much fun. Those original, "unbuilt" kits make more sense as an investment: the moment you build them, their value falls by 90 percent!


    Mind you, I do have a set of unbuilt Heathkits. It is the "Basic Electricity, Basic Radio (two kits), Basic Transistors" series from 1959-1963, a total of four kits. It took almost three years to obtain them because I avoided the auctions where the price really took off. In the end I managed to get hold of all of them for a total of about $380, which is "cheap" for that particular series (the two-kit Basic Radio series alone has been known to sell for $600). I bought them to build, not to invest.

    More background about my Heathkit project:,98899.0.html.

    The first installment of the building process is here:,98921.0.html. By the way, the end product of that first "module" is building a fully functioning EK-1 VOM.

    It may take years to get to the end of the Heathkit "Basic..." series, given how busy "life" is nowadays. I want to savor the experience fully, and get maximum education from the "experiments" in the manuals.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

  3. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Beseler is the "Printmaker 35" which was a step below the 67CP. For B&W, I found the Beseler easier to use than the Omega. The dichrometic head on the Omega required 3-adjustments rather than the "point and shoot" of the Beseler.

    Both enlargers are well built and the Omega is no slouch. However, for what I was doing, the Beseler was easier to use.

    Now, the 5X7 enlarger is in a world of its own. Because of the sheer size of the enlarger, it does take some physical effort to make the adjustments. But, once they have been made, it is basically the same as any other enlarger.

    My Beseler is for 35mm only. I just looked up the price of the Printmaker 35 and found that it "lists" for a little over $550.00! There are Internet deals for around $360.00. That is a LOT more than the around $100.00 that I paid for mine, brand new.

    Glen, K9STH
  4. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I missed that your Omega was a 5x7. WOW!!

    As it turned out, it was lucky that I got the 67 so I was ready to go when I finally started MF.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 5X7 is not an Omega! My Omega C760 can only handle 6 cm X 7 cm negatives (medium format). Omega does make a 5 inch X 7 inch enlarger.

    At one time, I knew the manufacturer of my 5X7. However, there is no label, of any kind, on it. If I remember correctly, "Buzzy" told me that the enlarger was made for "industrial" use. The design of the enlarger is probably from the 1950s or 1960s.

    When I was employed at Collins Radio Company, the photo lab was part of Process Division (my division). There was a "light trap" door-less entry that was painted a flat black and required several turns to get into the facility. The lab was primarily used for making templates for thin films and thick films. However, the lab could handle about anything. Not long after the first moon landing, several original negatives, from photographs taken by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, came to Collins Radio. Large prints, 16 inch by 20 inch, were to be made for Art Collins and several vice presidents. Of course, several additional prints were made for certain managers, etc., in Process Division. Since I was the second level below the division manager, I was able to secure a print of what has now become known as "Earth Rise".

    Glen, K9STH
  6. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That would be fun but too expensive.
  7. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very cool, Glen!

    Speaking of corporate photography/photographers. I once had a board photographed for a presentation. The photographer came into the lab with a Hassleblad and shot hand-held with available light. The results were what one would expect with that technique. They contrast and sharpness were nowhere near what a 'blad can produce. Every bone in my body wanted me to call him out and insist he do it properly, but that wasn't my call and I held my tongue. (Necessary skill in the corporate world - don't mess outside of your "official" expertise)
  8. KB1WSY

    KB1WSY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wasn't "Earth Rise" Apollo 8? Very cool that you got an original print. It's amazing that they hauled those big Hasseblads all the way to the moon given the payload constraints.
  9. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    I think they tied a string to it and let it trail.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    There is some personal satisfaction when, as a new employee, making a recommendation not to proceed with a certain project, and then being told that "too many executives made the decision to undertake the project" and then, a few years later, after having spent several millions of dollars, having the project abandoned for the exact reasons stated in your recommendation!

    In 1989, TXU hired me as a telecommunications consultant primarily for two-way radio and microwave radio. The company was considering the installation of an ACSB high-band radio system over the entire service area which was about half the state of Texas. My concerns were not with the technology but I was concerned about the fact that neither company, that were producing ACSB equipment, were on a sound financial basis and I was also concerned with the reliability of the equipment produced by them. The decision was made to continue with the project.

    The two-way radio company, that made the proposal that was accepted, was supplying Aerotron equipment. I soon discovered that the supplier was charging "list plus" for the equipment. That is, they were charging a higher price than the suggested list price for the equipment, antennas, etc. To curtail costs, I suggested that the second round of equipment be put out for bid even if the original supplier was the only company submitting a bid. However, the bid list was to be kept secret. The supplier tried all sorts of things to get the bid list but, of course, that was kept secret. Their bid came in at over 30-percent less than the first round! After that, I made arrangements to purchase equipment directly from Aerotron at a price less than what the supplier was paying.

    Unfortunately, the Aerotron mobile units just could not handle the hot Texas summers and even had a lot of problems during the cooler months. To keep 90-mobile units operating out of Wichita Falls, Texas, there had to be 110-spare units! The only repair facility, that could handle the ACSB units, was in Lake Jackson, Texas, basically on the Gulf coast. About every 2-months, about 50-mobile units were carried down to Lake Jackson from Wichita Falls and a like number of repaired units brought back. It was the same in Odessa, Texas. Those were the first 2-areas to try ACSB. After repeated problems with the mobiles, TXU decided not to expand the ACSB system and went to an 896 MHz trunked radio system supplied by Ericsson / General Electric.

    When the project was abandoned, I didn't have to say "I told you so" because one of the executives came to me and admitted that a whole lot of money had been wasted. If they had only accepted my recommendations!

    Glen, K9STH
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