So I Bought A Swan 350

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by AF6LJ, Jul 11, 2014.

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  1. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a close up of the VFO drive, besides the split gear there is a 6:1 reduction ball drive, another drive like that one is behind the large aluminum knob on the front panel, that gives the black knob 36:1 reduction for tuning and the aluminum knob is 6:1....
    VFO band switch and coupling.

    Stay Tuned..............
  2. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    From the pictures, that 350 is super clean!

    The AM receive mod should be easy to undo - just tedious, tracing out the circuits to see what was changed and putting it back the way it should be.

    I agree that the bandswitch in the VFO looks kinda chintzy for the application. But it may be fine with a little contact cleaner. Changing it out looks like a real exercise in frustration! Swan sure didn't make the VFO easy to work on! (I guess they didn't want folks working on it....)

    I bet that once the mod is reversed, the switch cleaned and the alignment done, the hum will go away and the rig will be pretty close to how it was back-in-the-day.

    The first Swan 350 I ever saw was on Field Day 1970. I think it was on 15 meters. They made a lot of contacts with it - but not as many as we made in the CW garage. (80 CW was a Viking 500 paired with a Drake 2B; 40 CW was a Drake R-4B/T-4XB pair. I had the overnight on 40). W3FDY was the location - there's a tribute website....

  3. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FINALLY!! ...a thread where SUE & JIM seem to "get along" !!!!! (THERE MAY BE HOPE AFTER-ALL !!!) :eek:
  4. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is looks like it was built four or five years ago and stored in a closet somewhere.
    I was highly pleased when I opened it up.
  5. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    We don't argue much when it comes to electronics.
  6. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes - a very clean, nondusty closet, in a nonsmoking home.....

    I would be too. Amazing condition after 40 years. Again, that bad 12BA6 may have saved the day by causing the rig to be put away for a long long time.

    Probably. The overall impression I get from the pictures is that they used the most inexpensive parts they could get and didn't put much thought into serviceability or internal appearance.

    Look in a 1960s ARRL Handbook at how the wiring is done....for example, the DCS-500 receiver.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Two more comments on the '350:

    1) One of the downsides of this classic is that it uses the relatively-expensive 7360 tube. The later 350C model used the 6JH8, which is similar but much more common and much less expensive. The 6JH8 is NOT a plug-in replacement for the 7360, but the changes are probably minor and 100% reversible.

    2) The Swan 350 cost $420 and the 117XC power supply cost $95 (1965 prices). That's a total of $515. In that same time period, you could buy an SB-101 kit for $369 and the HP-23 power supply for $65 - total price $434. The Swan ran more power but the Heath had 1 kc. dial readout, 6146 finals, built-in VOX and provision for an external VFO, CW filter, etc. And of course you had to build it.
  8. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Before bed last night I spent twenty minutes and reverse engineered the AM / SSB switch.
    All the switch does is kills the carrier oscillator on RX it will take just a few minutes to reverse that........
    It is possible that will remove the AH hum from the SSB signal, We shall see ,I'll do that this morning before I do the alignment.

    It will take much longer to ferret out the PTT line that is suppose to be switched by the VOX switch.
    The mod was done really well in terms of not hacking the radio.
    MOre on that and pictures of the PA later on..............

    The Swan 350 appealed ot those who didn't want to build a kit and also those who wanted that extra three DB without an amplifier.

    Stay Tuned.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I hope it all works out easily. Much too nice a rig to have it out of action, so close to being 100% usable.

    You probably already know this, but just in case.....

    In the 350, VOX was an extra-cost option, according to various sources. Yours may have had VOX added, or not, or something else. In later models they included VOX as stock.

    Of course. Also they could transmit AM by unbalancing the balanced modulator (the SB series cannot). And while 3 dB is half an S-unit, many hams then and now didn't think logarithmically (or logically.....) and considered"TWICE THE POWER to be a very big deal.

    It should also be remembered that in those days (and probably still today) there were strong tendencies of "brand identification" - hams who would buy only certain brand rigs and not even consider certain others. (I saw this a lot in cars when growing up - it was particularly amusing how folks made big distinctions between the various GM divisions! I knew folks who wouldn't drive a Chevy if you gave it to them - they simply had to have a Buick....).

    There was also a strong tendency for the "looks" of a rig to have an enormous effect. To some, the Swan just "looked good" and the Heath didn't. And the reverse.

    And as you say, kit vs. built had an effect too.
  10. WC5P

    WC5P Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The vox unit (I think it was a VX-1 or VX-2 or something like that) was mounted externally. It plugged into an octal socket on the back of the rig, and the operator had to reach around to the left rear of the rig to adjust the vox controls. The vox units are pretty rare, but they do show up for sale occasionally. My opinion, the vox unit is not really necessary for SSB operation, but is great to have for CW. Of course, the filter in the old Swans was broad as a barn, so it was not really a good CW rig anyway. I had an SS16 version, and even that was not too good for CW.
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