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What Receiver would to pair with a Heathkit AT-1 to keep the nostalgics




 
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Author Topic: What Receiver would to pair with a Heathkit AT-1 to keep the nostalgics  (Read 2868 times)
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KC3GMQ
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« on: November 20, 2017, 09:56:36 AM »

High all,  I am the proud owner of a Heathkit AT-1.  Proud because I was honored to get an almost pristine AT-1 from the original owner/builder who entrusted me to keep it alive.  Worked when I received it, however when checking it out, the caps were a bit off and leaky, so I did recap it.  It is from the first year of production, and I also have the VF-1 of his and the AC-1 tuner.  I waited to long to ask the original owner what receiver he used with it, and now I cant, but I want to get a receiver that he, or anyone might have used with the AT-1 in the 1951-1952 time frame.  Not looking for the best of the best, just want to maintain the nostalgic's of the set and make a few contacts now and then. So What would you match the AT-1 with?

PS  Still working on my code, but getting there.

Thanks
KC3GMQ


* At-1.jpg (104.62 KB, 1326x640 - viewed 89 times.)
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WA5VGO
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 01:19:16 PM »

Hallicrafters S-38.
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KC4VWU
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 01:48:31 PM »

S-19R Sky Buddy.
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kb4qaa
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 02:20:50 PM »

Agree with the above for 'low end" station.  For a better heeled ham, the Hammarlund HQ-129X was quite popular after WWII as a good performing and moderately priced receiver.  The tuning knobs were small and owners often replaced with larger knobs or spinner knobs.



The National NC-173 of Thor Heyerdahl's "Kon Tiki" fame was a competing popular receiver with good performance.


I believe the HQ-129X with the crystal filter was the better seller and was produced in to the first several years of the 1950's. They are easy to find. Both sell today for modest prices.  They are easy to work on.
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kb4qaa
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 02:46:26 PM »


NC-173 Manual at BAMA
http://bama.edebris.com/manuals/national/nc173/

Hammarlund offered the 129X for $129 as an advertising ploy immediately after the war ended, but was quickly forced to raise the price in the face of post war inflation.

HQ-129X manual at BAMA
http://bama.edebris.com/manuals/hammarlu/hq129x/
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KC3GMQ
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2017, 02:48:32 PM »

I like the 129X, Didnt want to over shadow the AT-1, Its pretty basic haha.  I do have a Hallicrafters SX-71, not sure how well they perform and this one is in shabby shape, will take a novice like me some doing to get it alive again.

Dave
KC3GMQ
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kb4qaa
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2017, 02:55:41 PM »

An S-38 would be my sentimental favorite for matching the spirit and cost of the AT-1.
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KC3GMQ
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2017, 02:58:49 PM »

S-38 sounds good, But I am soft for the Hammarlunds also. I thank all who gave me ideas.

Dave
KC3GMQ
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N0WEK
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2017, 03:34:41 PM »

I've got one of these to pair with a Johnson Adventurer in much the same type of station you're setting up...

http://www.portabletubes.co.uk/boats/hs41g.htm


* hs41g.jpg (26.19 KB, 600x448 - viewed 68 times.)

* s41w.jpg (19.18 KB, 360x258 - viewed 65 times.)
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2017, 04:56:02 PM »

Heather made a companion rcvr the AR-2. A later model, that looks the same is the AR 3. The AR- 3 has an accessory socket for the Heathkit QF 1 Q multiplier.
Not a a great performer,  but you will have a solid early Heathkit station.
Carl
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w3jn
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2017, 08:35:37 PM »

Receiver of choice for a poor Johnny Novice in 1956 - a BC-348, or war surplus BC-779 (Hammarlund SP-200) - or an ARC-5 receiver
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W3RSW
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2017, 08:47:27 AM »

I joined Mountaineer ARA, Fairmont, WVa when studying and becoming a novice. A very nice W8JM gave me an ARC-5 and loaned me the club's DX-35 until I could obtain or build my own transmitter. So I built an electron coupled 6V6 Osc. Xmitter and was on my way.
My better receiver was an HQ-110 that I'd gotten used some years earlier.  All this was some years after the AT-1 era of course.  I never did convert the ARC-5 for ham use but did have the handbook showing how.

I don't think the Heath AR-2 was offered as early as the AT-1.
Interestingly in the Heath 1953 advertisement in the ARRL '53 handbook, only test equipment. Audio amplifiers (the famed Williamson), and an FM tuner was shown along with the sole complete receiver, BC band - AM only.  No ham related gear shown except the grid dip meter.

Amazing to think we routinely copied code in the tiny dial spread of our novice allotment with typically drifting and warbling rigs.

But cross town or a state or two away...  Wonderful!
Remember how we kept working the same starting-out pack of buddies?
Never got good enough to recognize many fists except for the very bad or sadly spaced ones.  Some you never forget.
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W3GMS
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2017, 10:37:21 AM »

OK, I spend some time in my technical library and did a bit of receiver research.  Many other options exist, but here a few from each manufacture that meet you time period.  The AT-1 was produced from 1952 thru 1956.  

Receivers

  • S-40B, 1950 thru 1954
  • SX-71, 1949 thru 1955
  • SX-100, 1955 thru 1961
  • SX-99, 1954 thru 1958
  • HQ-100, 1956 thru 1960
  • HQ-140, 1953 thru 1955
  • NC-88, 1953 thru 1956
  • NC-98, 1954 thru 1956
  • NC-183, 1947 thru 1952
  • RME-4300, 1955 thru 1957

Obviously, there are many other receiver choices.  I tried to tie the period with various receivers that were not "high end" receivers but still useful for such a station that your putting together.

I also have a very pristine AT-1.  

73,
Joe-W3GMS
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K6JEK
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RF in the shack


« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 05:00:44 PM »

Mine is paired with a Heath AR-3 and the QF-1 Q multiplier. They look fine together but the AT-1 gets out better than the AR-3 hears. When I was a novice, the people I talked with who had AT-1s had something better but still cheap as the receiver. So when I fire up the AT-1, unless conditions are superb, I use my novice receiver, a National NC-125 which is a huge improvement over the AR-3, from the right era and still cheap. Besides, the built in Select-O-Ject is fun to use.

Here's the NC-125 in fine company:


* NC125mm2Slicer.jpg (170.65 KB, 1280x459 - viewed 114 times.)
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k3sqp
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 10:36:32 AM »

I used my AR3 QF1 Combo with a HB  6AG7/807. In the 40m novice band
7150 to 7200  the AR3 heard the whole band at the same time. It wasnt
unusual the have a split qso with one station on 7151 and the other on 7198
Sure was fun...dit dit.
73
Frank
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2017, 03:10:01 PM »

Good to see you, Frank - been a while as they say.

My AT-1 station is still wrapped up from the move but I did find a photo from NC when it was shelved. Also mated with the AR-3, QF-1, VF-1, and Conelrad monitor. Agreed - the AR-3 is no competition receiver, but it's certainly doable, especially with the entry-level AT-1. Wasn't around then, but I'll bet it was less about 'how well' and more about 'what do I have to do to make this work?'.

Have never had my station on the air and the AR-3 needs a new filter cap now. But it might be fun to get a gaggle of AT-1s on the air one weekend....


* Heathkit.JPG (209.43 KB, 1002x516 - viewed 90 times.)
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KC3GMQ
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2017, 06:25:56 PM »

Thank you all,  some great options there.  I have a SX-71 so I will get that running for now.  I will be on the lookout for the AR2 or 3, already have the Q multiplier from another radio purchase. 

Dave

KC3GMQ
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K2AEP
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2017, 07:26:10 PM »

In True Vintage Heathkit  Equipment of That Era, I
t should be an AR-3.
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K6JEK
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RF in the shack


« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2017, 04:45:19 PM »

...
I did find a photo from NC when it was shelved.

Your AR-3 is a lot better looking than mine. I'm jealous, only very slightly jealous, but jealous.

I recently fooled around with my AT-1s (plural!) when I built a cathode modulator for them. What I learned which I didn't know in 1962, is they expect an antenna tuner, won't put out full, awesome, power into 50 + j0. Lucky for me I also have an AC-1 antenna coupler. If it keeps raining here, I may gather the whole set-up for a photo shoot, VF-1, AT-1, AC-1,  cathode modulator, D-104, J-38, and AR-3, QF-1. Even crazier, put it on the air (except the VF-1 needs work).
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KC3GMQ
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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2017, 07:41:09 PM »

You wouldn’t buy chance have the book for the AC-1?  Mine is not working right, can’t find a complete book

Dave
KC3GMQ
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WU2D
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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2017, 10:21:20 PM »

Many a BC-348 was passed down to the beginning ham.


* us-bc-348-l.jpg (78.95 KB, 800x399 - viewed 52 times.)
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AJ1G
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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2017, 05:52:55 AM »

Re the VF-1 needing work...if it is really drifty and unstable using the 160 meter fundamental range, check the coil in the oscillator grid circuit for loose turns on the ceramic  coil form.  The VF-1 that I use here with a DX-40 had several turns on the grid connection end that had broken free from the coil dope and were flopping around with lots of slack.  I tightened up the turns and tacked them down with some superglue.  The VF-1 is now very  respectable stability-wise.  I use the DX-40 and VF-1 with my original EH Scott SLRM receiver in a re-creation of my original 1967 WN2ZPS novice station.  The DX-40 and VF-1 are replacements of the originals.


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Chris, AJ1G
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 07:17:03 PM »

I would go with the Hallicrafters S-53.
I still have the one I used when I was a Novice in 1954.
My transmitter was the 5 watt 6AG7 rig out of the 1954 ARRL hand book.
I mailed off to Allied for all of the parts.
My first contact on 80 meters was with a gentleman in Colton California.
I was in Riverside about 20 miles away and my signal was so bad that he had me send my phone number so that he could talk to me about my problem.
He came over the next week end and fixed my antenna and I was off and running.
I talked to a guy in Minnesota on 5 watts which made my day.
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John,  K6HSG  Tucson, Arizona
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 03:50:11 PM »

Quote
Many a BC-348 was passed down to the beginning ham.

Indeed. My Elmer, K2EAW bought a pallet of them from surplus sales down in the Pocono's and hauled them back. Us budding novices got to build up power supplies for them as the price of having one on loan to get started with. The one I got worked well and was paired at first with a 50C5 transmitter from electronics illustrated, and then later a Knight T60. Good memories.  Smiley

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73 de Kevin, WB2EMS
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« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2017, 04:13:43 PM »

Spotted this Heathkit AR-3 for sale. Not mine, don't know owner, etc.

http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=332267
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Mike
KE5YTV  Dallas, TX
"The longest trip begins with a stop at the ATM."
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