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RCA SRR-13 Receiver




 
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WZ1M
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« on: May 05, 2017, 06:33:38 AM »

Had one of these receivers land on my door step yesterday. The owner said it was part of a storage locker find and he didnt want it. He said fifty bucks and I would own it. Almost sprained my hand reaching into my pocket for the cash. Done a little research on this receiver. Seams to be a good find. Anyone have experience with these receivers?
Regards,
Gary
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K9DXL
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 07:23:38 AM »

I believe Electric Radio had an article on this set in an early issue. Also check out this Navy page from K4NYW:http://www.virhistory.com/navy/rcvrs.htm
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Breathing solder fumes since 1959.  That explains a lot.
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Patrick J. / KD5OEI
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2017, 06:23:34 PM »

well worth the money and although tedious to fix, a very fine receiver in all regards.
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K4NCG
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 07:27:28 PM »

I was just given one in near mint condition with manual... now to bring it up slowly with a Variac.. impressive but oh my aching back..
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PA0NVD
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Nico and Chappie (Chappie is the dog...)


« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2018, 11:35:00 PM »

http://radionerds.com/index.php/AN~SRR-13
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 10:00:26 PM »

Was an RCA attempt to build a better R-390 for the Navy. When they work itís a good AM/CW set just like the R-390 with much better feel in the tuning and the neat optical display. Almost imposable to repair being everything is in those dam mini tube sub assemblies. Also be very careful of the switch levers that extend into the control bars. It was common for people to over tighten them and the cast metal crakes and makes them useless. I had a set of steel ones that were  custom built by the manufacturer along with a set of spares and the extension cable for working the receiver outside the case but that was all years ago. The power supply is all conventional and easy to work on unlike the rest of the set. The filter capacitors can be removed and reformed if your into that and its easy to replace the only regular tube in the set, the 6X4 with diodes but the rest of the receiver can be a bear.
Saw a SRR-13 and SRR-11 on the ground at Dayton and think it was for sale for $100 for both. Donít know if they sold it or not.

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PA0NVD
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Nico and Chappie (Chappie is the dog...)


« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 10:45:06 AM »

I have a rare Siemens triple conversion  E311 receiver, third IF 30 kHz.  It has normal tubes E88CC all over the place , even in the AF output stage. Like the SRR13 it also uses modules that are all interconnected with coax cables for the signal path and a connector at the base of the module for power and control. When you pull a module, VERY hard to repair, but the use of normal tubes is a advantage over the SRR13. So if you con find the module extension cable, consider you self a lucky ham!
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K4NYW
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2018, 03:16:32 PM »

Surprisingly, there is a SAMS PHOTOFACT on the SRR-13 - it includes helpful info on testing and replacing the sub-mini tubes.
http://www.navy-radio.com/manuals/srr13a-sams-92977-5704.pdf

If you find a MX-2012/U tube tester adapter it can ease your job -
http://www.navy-radio.com/test/mx2012-u-91.jpg

The regular Navy manual can be found at
http://www.navy-radio.com/manuals/srr13a-sams-92977-5704.pdf
and
http://www.mrcgwest.org/mrcg-library-receivers/

I sold those two SRR-13 carcasses at Dayton/Xenia for $15 (actually IIRC one was an SRR-11 LF version) and later saw them for sale for $100. Don't know whether they sold or not. Anyways, I have another parts unit so let me know if you are looking for something.
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K4NYW
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2018, 03:44:06 PM »

Just a historical note.
The contract date for the SRR-13 is August 1950 (RCA).
I think the contract date for the R-390 is 1951 (Collins).

So if RCA was trying to beat the Collins R-390 design they may have been using ESP. However I don't know when the actual first shipment date was for either one.....
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 09:51:27 AM »

Some years ago I worked with one of the people who was at RCA back in the day and worked on the SRR-13 project, thatís how I obtained things like a huge box full of new spares, the jumper cable and most importantly the steel cams that replaced the pot metal cast assemblies. Donít know if the replacement steel arms got to the fleet or not but they were an improvement. This was all around the early eighties when I was into that receiver. Of the two things about the receivers use I was told at that time is that it was prone to drifting and the story about it being a Navy equal to the R-390, perhaps it was faulty memory or maybe it was something like the R-388 or some other ground base receiver but thatís the story I was told. Think at the end of the day the R-390 ended up replacing a lot of the SRR-13 at least in shore installations and on larger ships until the R-1051 started being deployed. There were tons of those radios being surpluses out in the late seventies and early eighties so they did not get used for long.
Have to wonder where things like the FRR-59 fits into the time line also in looking at the SRR-13 vs. the FRR-59 would wonder if the SRR-13 was a lower cost receiver for A1/3 and teletype operations then the FRR-59?
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K4NYW
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 01:29:36 PM »

I get the impression that the R-390A was not widely deployed shipboard except with the CV-591A SSB adapter (normally two of them for ISB). [Note - even though Navy documents sometimes refer to "R-390', that is just carelessness, and I have never seen any evidence of "non-A" units used by the Navy]

My understanding is that the AN/WRR-2 (shipboard version of the AN/FRR-59) was required with the introduction of VFCT multi-channel RATT. Up to 32 RTTY signals could be stuffed into a 3kc sideband, each with +/- 42.5 Hz shift. So a synthesized or stabilized design like the WRR-2 was needed for reception. They were, of course, replaced by the R-1051. A non-obvious benefit of VFCT is that a single transmitter and single receiver can perform frequency-diversity communication. Identical TTY data was transmitted at the low and high ends of the 3kc voice channel (twinning) and the receiving FSK converter handled the diversity selection.

1950 SRR-13 contract
1959 WRR-2 (FRR-59) contract
1963? R-1051 introduction

FWIW, a 1966 Photo USS-Albany - a bunch of WRR-2 receivers, one R-390A with two CV-591A, and probably an SRR-11 LF receiver
http://www.navy-radio.com/ships/cg10/albany-1966.jpg



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KA3EKH
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2018, 02:10:15 PM »

Pure speculation on my part that the FRR-59 was brought out before the SRR family of radios but looks like I am wrong. I have been just looking at the design and drawing conclusions from that. Think I will just stick with the ground radios in the future.

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K4NYW
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 02:44:33 PM »

I wish I could find a good history on the post-WW2 evolution of Navy communications. Most of what I think I know is mere "informed speculation". Maybe there is a definitive history somewhere in a classified filing cabinet in DC, but mostly I have been trying to piece together a time line by following articles in Bureau of Ships Journals, and in the content of personnel training manuals.
http://www.navy-radio.com/journal.htm
http://www.navy-radio.com/manuals.htm#training

I was a NAVELEX engineer back in the Vietnam era, but had almost no idea what the background/rationale was on equipment we had. IF there was an overall evolutionary plan, it wasn't communicated to a junior engineer like me (or maybe I just wasn't paying attention).

We look at things like the introduction date of equipment, but that really only applied to new construction and capital ships in the yard for upgrade/refit. Replacing the installed base of WW2 gear was a process drawn out over many years, as was replacing the SRR-13 with R-390A and later R-1051.

Cheers,
Nick
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