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Boatanchor for WARC and 60 Meter Bands




 
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Author Topic: Boatanchor for WARC and 60 Meter Bands  (Read 13196 times)
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aa5wg
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« on: September 26, 2010, 02:40:41 PM »

Hi to all:
Is there very good Boatanchor that would serve well for the WARC and 60 meter bands?   I would use this radio for cw and PSK-31 on WARC and AM , SSB, CW and RTTY on the regular ham bands.

73,
Chuck - AA5WG
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WQ9E
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 03:46:12 PM »

Chuck,

Most of the vintage stuff is not going to be very good for the digital modes due to drift.  For transmitting, a Viking 1 or 2 is pretty much continuous coverage from 160-10 but will require the use of a very stable VFO.  A Drake 4 line is going to be pretty stable after warm-up and is capable of almost gapless coverage from 160-10 meters but a cooling fan along with reasonable power will be needed not to cook the finals on digital modes.

The oldest rig I have run anything digital (other than Morse, the original digital!) with is my Drake TR-7A/R-7 using the Drake/Tono Theta 9000 keyboard.  If I did this a lot with the TR-7A I would spring for the RV-75 synthesized VFO because the PTO in the 7 lines have more noticeable drift than the later (B and C) versions of the 4 line family.  My somewhat more modern Yaesu FT-One looks cool and works well with the modern methods.

I think for modern modes you might be much happier with a modern rig dedicated to that purpose.   You could make almost any mode work with anything but it may not be much fun.
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Rodger WQ9E
aa5wg
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2010, 08:40:16 PM »

Roger:
If I stuck to cw and AM what would be some very good Boat Anchors?
Chuck
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Tom WA3KLR
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 08:51:05 PM »

Unless the rules have changed for the "60" meter channels, you must be right on frequency and USB only (if I recall correctly).
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73 de Tom WA3KLR  AMI # 77   Amplitude Modulation - a force Now and for the Future!
aa5wg
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 08:55:26 PM »

Tom, you are correct. 
Chuck
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WQ9E
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 09:08:59 PM »

Chuck,

There are a lot of great choices out there so I lot of it is personal preference.  I think the Johnson Viking 1 and 2 are some of the most reliable rigs out there; they do require either crystals or an external VFO.  My most used transmitters are a Viking 500 and Ranger/Desk KW but these are pretty expensive and somewhat difficult to find.  The Heathkit DX-100 (or B variant) seem pretty troublefree and should be fairly inexpensive.  I have a feeling you will get a lot of suggestions from other website members.

For receiving, a lot of the time you are going to be dealing with signals that are somewhat weak and there will be interference and noise.  Two of my favorites are the Hammarlund HQ-170 and the Hallicrafters SX-101.  Both are very stable after a short warmup, have a wide range of selectivity, provide selectable sideband on AM which is a great interference fighter, and have a tunable notch filter to remove hetrodyne interference.  A Hammarlund HQ-180 gives you the same interference fighting capability as the 170 and is general coverage with a well calibrated separate bandspread dial so it will cover the WARC bands.  The Hallicrafters SX-100 is a general coverage receiver that provides much of the capability of an SX-101 but is a bit of a performance step down.  I don't think my NC-300 quite keeps up with the HQ-170 and SX-101 but it does a good job.  Later you may want to play with some receivers that are a bit more vintage but very nice like an SX-28A or NC-183 but I would start off with one that will handle the toughest conditions.  An external audio filter (I like the Autek QF-1A a lot) is useful in many conditions and makes it easy to interface low impedance headphones to older rigs.  By the way, I have a couple of pairs of Radio Shack phones that can switch from stereo to mono and have built in volume controls that I like.  With the individual volume controls, you can slightly reduce the headphone sensitivity which usually removes the low level hum which often results when using these low impedance phones with vintage gear.

Good luck with your vintage shopping!

Roger:
If I stuck to cw and AM what would be some very good Boat Anchors?
Chuck
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Rodger WQ9E
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 09:45:56 PM »

Very good automatically puts you into the money club. Cool

For a receiver, if you want WARC, Id go with a 51J3 or 51J4 as long as the J3 has the mechanical filter kit installed. It has a good tuning rate even for SSB and has the Collins stability. A Drake R4B isnt bad, crystals for WARC arent cheap; but their transmitters are sweep tube finals with controlled carrier AM....yuk.

You want a real boaty anchor TX then get a WW2 ART-13A which I believe is the model that covers 160 to just barely 17M continuous. You need a power supply for it. It ends up with an 813 and PP 811 modulators and will loaf at 100-150W out depending on the HV. As Roger mentioned the Viking I and II are almost continuous and the II CDC model is continuous. You need to build or modify some VFO for WARC, crystal control sucks.

I operate 17M with an ATC which is a Navy ART-13 (no 160M) and swap between a HRO-60, HRO-50, NC-183, and NC-183D. For 10-12M I use a Viking II CDC with a 122 VFO with 11M modified for 12M. Same receivers as above, sometimes I toss the HRO-500 into the mix.

For 30M Im slumming at QRP with a 1939 Meissner Signal Shifter and a 1934 National FB-XA that I wound BS coils for and followed by a BC-453 for some decent CW selectivity. A full size HB 2 el yagi helps work lots of DX.

No interest in 60M yet but I am licensed for 600M and will be active soon.

Carl





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aa5wg
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2010, 12:16:08 AM »

Years ago, 1974, I had a Hammarlund HQ-170AC-VHF receiver.  I remember the main tuning control on the left and the plus or minus 3 KHz tunig dial on the right.  It seems this 3 KHz tuning dial had a red pointer neddle.

How does the HQ-180A do this fine tuning?  After viewing this YouTube video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFKdVNDBgOk
I noticed there is only one tick mark worth of space on the dial for the WARC bands.  The normal bands have much more space on the dial.  It seems this would not work very well for WARC bands.  All the signals are cramed between 2 tick marks on the dial.
What do you guys think? 

I did not notice any red neddle for the band spead dial on the above HQ-180.  How does this band spread dial work?

I am going to check into all rigs mentioned with care.
Thank you.
Chuck
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2010, 03:28:20 AM »



The Hammarlund HQ-180 general coverage receiver tunes from 540 to 30000 kHz in six ranges:  .54-1.05, 1.05-2.05, 2.05-4.04, 4-7.85, 7.85-15.35 and 15.35-30 MHz. The amateur bands, 80 to 10 meters, are all bandspread:  3.44-4.04, 6.81-7.3, 13.98-14.425, 20.925-21.6 and 27.89-29.7 MHz.

The WARC bands, which came several years after the HQ-180A was out of production, would only be a pimple on the main tuning dial. 30 meters is 50 KHz wide, 17 meters is 100 KHz wide, 12 meters is 100 KHz wide. Careful setting of the main tuning dial would allow the bandspread tuning to spread some of this out. However, given the typical initial drift characteristics of the HQ-180A, some time would be required for the receiver to settle down, plus you will have no accurate WARC dial calibration even after warm-up.
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Pete, WA2CWA - "A Cluttered Desk is a Sign of Genius"
aa5wg
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2010, 09:36:24 AM »

Hi to all and Pete, Carl, Tom and WQ9E:
I am going to keep looking for boatachors.  I have decided to it would would be wonderful to find my old novice rig ,                                          the Hammarlund HQ-170AC-VHF.  Even though it doese not receive the WARC and 60 meter bands there is something about that big radio I like.

Thank you.
Chuck
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WQ9E
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 09:42:28 AM »

Chuck,

The VHF version is quite a bit more difficult to find but they are out there.  You could easily build a converter (either solid state or tube) to convert the WARC bands to a range the HQ-170 does cover.

Rodger
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Rodger WQ9E
aa5wg
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2010, 11:16:13 AM »

Hi Rodger - WQ9E:
It would not be the same for me if the Hammarlund was not the same novice rig I had.  To start, I am going to persure the HQ-170AC-VHF and hopefully someone will have one. 

Again, thank you for your input on boatanchors.  This was very helpful.
73,
Chuck - AA5WG
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2010, 12:56:18 PM »

I have a HQ-170A -VHF and the only major differences between it and the HQ-170A that I can remember is the addition of the 2 meter converter which also included a 6 meter preamp. Dial marking was updated to include the 2 meter band and some minor changes to several component values. Big differences between the original HQ-170 and the HQ-170A. Stock AM receive audio in the 170A series leaves a lot to be desired but it's not a bad SSB and CW receiver.
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Pete, WA2CWA - "A Cluttered Desk is a Sign of Genius"
aa5wg
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2010, 01:06:21 PM »

Hi Pete:
Thank you for the update on your nice HQ-170A-VHF.  I will keep looking for one.  Where is the AM weakness located in the HQ-170A-VHF?  Were there any mods of fixes to improve the AM abilites of this nice radio?
Chuck
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2010, 01:17:57 PM »

I was referring to AM audio weakness which obviously is different then AM weakness.

Read this for starters: Section on 10 worse receivers http://amfone.net/ECSound/JNRECS.html

Read this: http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=13694.0

Read this (Section on HQ-170): http://www.amwindow.org/tech/pdf/slabrxreview.pdf
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w3jn
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2010, 03:37:54 PM »

Boatanchor xmitters for the WARC bands?  You're limited to military xmitters (T-368, BC-610, GPT-750, etc), or there are exactly two commercial ham plate modulated AM xmitters that I'm aware of that cover the WARC bands by intent - the Viking II CD, and the Hallicrafters HT-20.  Ya still need an external VFO with either.
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aa5wg
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2010, 09:00:05 PM »

W3JN and Pete and all:
Pete, I read all the material you "linked" to.  This was very good information.  I will read again soon.
Thank you,
Chuck - AA5WG
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The Slab Bacon
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2010, 09:45:29 AM »

What about Collins kwummy 2 or S-line?? They will go right there with crapstals from the crapstal pack. Especially nice if you have a kwummy 2A with the extra crapstal sockets.

They wont do AM, but since the band is USB and CW only they should be ok-fine.
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WQ9E
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2010, 10:19:52 AM »

Stock AM receive audio in the 170A series leaves a lot to be desired but it's not a bad SSB and CW receiver.

You east coasts guys may be lucky enough to be able to enjoy hifi AM much of the time but here in the midwest any round table is going to have a few weaker stations and there is always plenty of QRM with some QRN thrown in just to add to the fun.  I was on 3885 for a few minutes this morning and fortunately all of the stations were pretty strong because there were strong AM signals on both 3880 and 3890 along with some SSB on 3882.  I was using a Pierson KP-81 receiver with the Viking 500 and it has fairly sharp selectivity with its multi-transformer 455 IF but I was also using the low and high pass audio filters and had any of the signals been weaker I would have needed to switch over to the SX-88 to narrow the selectivity further and choose whichever AM sideband had the least QRM.  The HQ-170A isn't hifi but it is an exceptionally good "battle conditions" AM receiver and makes tough conditions much more enjoyable.   

For me, I will take tough conditions performance first and nicer audio second.  With multiple receivers you can choose the right one for conditions but for your first vintage receiver I would go with one that can really perform under tough conditions.  There is always 2 meter FM for good audio Smiley
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Rodger WQ9E
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2010, 11:12:08 AM »

Boatanchor xmitters for the WARC bands?  You're limited to military xmitters (T-368, BC-610, GPT-750, etc), or there are exactly two commercial ham plate modulated AM xmitters that I'm aware of that cover the WARC bands by intent - the Viking II CD, and the Hallicrafters HT-20.  Ya still need an external VFO with either.

Add the Hallicrafters HT-9 (data in the manual), Meisner 150B, and even the Latrine 240. Just about any plug in coil rig could be adapted. The early Meissner plug in coil Signal Shifters also had coil sets for non ham frequencies; mine was part of the 150B version made for the Army.
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aa5wg
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2010, 10:01:10 PM »

How wide does the radio have to be to receive hi-fi AM?  And, what is a good i.f width for regular AM?  Is there a differnece in requirements for each of these?
Thank you.
Chuck - AA5WG
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sndtubes
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2011, 07:14:17 PM »

Do you all think it would take any modifications to the Viking II (non CD version) to run on the WARC bands like 30, 17 & 12? 
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ke7trp
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2011, 01:31:45 AM »

T368 of course.  500 watts AM and RTTY ready at 24/7.  Mine goes from top of BC band to 20mhz and anything in between.

C
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Fred k2dx
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2011, 11:38:07 AM »

 T368 works just fine on 15m
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ke7trp
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2011, 11:51:53 AM »

Yep.  TIM and I are trying 17 meters am. People can get upset so watch ur bandwidth.
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