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Author Topic: Vintage Lafayette Station - WA1KPD  (Read 620 times)
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« on: May 13, 2024, 03:06:34 AM »

REF:  http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=48737.0;topicseen

The Trio TX 88 was never a Lafayette product.
Lafayette, as far as I can remember, only marketed two transmitters for the amateur market under their name; Lafayette HE-25, Voyager, in 1961, 80 through 6 meters) and the Lafayette KT-390 Starflite, in 1963, 80 through 10 meters, only in kit.
The Lafayette HE-74 Starchief VFO (made by Trio), 80 through 6 meters, was introduced in 1964.
The Lafayette HA-90 VFO (99-2501) also made by Trio, 80 through 10 meter, was introduced in 1965.
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2024, 01:34:37 PM »

  The book "Tube Type Transmitters," by Eugene Rippen, (out of print, unfortunately) lists the Lafayette 100W, introduced in 1934; the Truetest Jr, introduced in 1935, and the HB40W, introduced in 1938. One might debate whether or not these were actually Lafayette products, by our modern definition, since the actual manufacturer was "Wholesale Radio Service," who marketed them under their trademark Lafayette label. I've never seen an example, and I strongly suspect that you'd have a better chance of seeing a unicorn at a hamfest than one of these.
  If we were talking transceivers, though, we'd need to include the HA460, HA410, HE45, HE50, HA1200, and a handful of others; all of more modern manufacture under the better recognized Lafayette Radio Electronics banner. Some of these, like the HA460 and HA410—not sure about the others—were manufactured in Japan (Nissin Electronics, or maybe Trio?) for Lafayette.
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2024, 06:18:38 PM »

REF:  http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=48737.0;topicseen

The Trio TX 88A was never a Lafayette product.

I am aware of that, however, it is a design companion to the KT-320, my Novice receiver, which is why I wanted one.
I also have a companion speaker, a 6-meter converter, and am looking to get the companion VFO. All and all should be a nice-looking setup.


* 15.jpg (43.63 KB, 300x187 - viewed 43 times.)

* 168FCF64-B210-5A63-04EC1575ED8F9A23.jpg (45.37 KB, 800x420 - viewed 40 times.)

* i-img800x1200-16983222888ahgdk1588567.jpg (62.2 KB, 800x1200 - viewed 36 times.)
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Carl

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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2024, 06:48:34 PM »

REF:  http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=48737.0;topicseen

The Trio TX 88A was never a Lafayette product.

I am aware of that, however, it is a design companion to the KT-320, my Novice receiver, which is why I wanted one.
I also have a companion speaker, a 6-meter converter, and am looking to get the companion VFO. All and all should be a nice-looking setup.

The HA-90 is that bright turquoise color. It's the same color as the HA-230 receiver, which is identical circuit-wise to the KT-320/HE-30 receiver.
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2024, 07:43:34 PM »

 The book "Tube Type Transmitters," by Eugene Rippen, (out of print, unfortunately) lists the Lafayette 100W, introduced in 1934; the Truetest Jr, introduced in 1935, and the HB40W, introduced in 1938. One might debate whether or not these were actually Lafayette products, by our modern definition, since the actual manufacturer was "Wholesale Radio Service," who marketed them under their trademark Lafayette label. I've never seen an example, and I strongly suspect that you'd have a better chance of seeing a unicorn at a hamfest than one of these.
 
Trutest 25 watt Jr, Model P-46, Lafayette 100W (consists of 5 units mounted in a 6 foot rack),
Model 5B40W, Lester VHF Converter all were designed by Frank Lester, W2AMJ and Roy Neusch,W2CF. There probably were others. Most of this stuff was done in the mid to late 30's.Trutest and Lafayette were the house brand names for Wholesale Radio. They were designed and manufactured on the upper floors at 100 6th Avenue, NYC. The main store was at the ground level. The engineering, design, and manufacturing were done on the upper floors. Frank later on went to mid-town NYC to work for Hammarlund. Some time after the 40's or 50's, what was left of the upper floor activity was moved to the Jamaica, NY store.

Check out the 1937 catalog starting roughly at page 82 for more models: https://www.worldradiohistory.com/Archive-Catalogs/Lafayette-Catalogs/Lafayette-1937-65.pdf

100 6th Avenue is pictured below. Early 60's, the store was moved to Union Square West (14th St.). It faced Union Square Park. In the mid 60's I actually worked there for 2 years part-time, for several months at a time, since I was going to school in the city at the time and my class schedule varied over time. Interesting place to work. Union shop (1 of 3 that Wholesale Radio/Lafayette had at the time). On the sales floor, I could help customers, answer questions, but any actual sale had to be done by one of the Union people. All the people working there had many years over me but I learned a lot about sales and customer interaction from them.

Quote
If we were talking transceivers, though, we'd need to include the HA460, HA410, HE45, HE50, HA1200, and a handful of others; all of more modern manufacture under the better recognized Lafayette Radio Electronics banner. Some of these, like the HA460 and HA410—not sure about the others—were manufactured in Japan (Nissin Electronics, or maybe Trio?) for Lafayette.

The HA-410, HA-460, HA-1200 transceivers were all made by Trio for Lafayette. Trio also OEM the HA-410 and HA-460 to several other sellers internationally.

In the amateur transceiver line the HE-35 series, HE-45 series, HE-50 series, the VFO's (HE-61 and HE-62) were all made in the U.S.A. for Lafayette.
A number of the early Lafayette tube CB transceivers were also made in the U.S.A.

We even marketed an amateur transceiver back in 1937. see below

I was told by someone in the main office in the late 70's, I was their longest part-time employee. I worked mainly out of the NJ stores, but would travel if necessary, to other NJ stores if for some reason they were people short. Obviously, I didn't need any training. Early 70's I started doing most of the NJ stores service work at home. When we closed the first batch of NJ stores as part of bankruptcy proceedings, all service parts, cannibalized equipment, manuals, and just about anything that didn't have a stock number, came home with me or it went to the dumpster.


* Laf_100sixth ave_NYC.jpg (121.11 KB, 868x822 - viewed 35 times.)

* Laf-5M_transceivers.jpg (191.73 KB, 1145x677 - viewed 31 times.)
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2024, 12:47:51 PM »

  Some very interesting history there. I worked at a Lafayette store myself, back in the mid 1970's, but they had given up on the amateur radio market by then—not a single ham rig in sight—and the company was pretty much circling the drain by that time, with store closures already in progress in my area. I still have a nice old Lafayette stereo tuner/amp that I inherited from my mother, having sold it to her while I worked there.

 The book "Tube Type Transmitters," by Eugene Rippen, (out of print, unfortunately) lists the Lafayette 100W, introduced in 1934; the Truetest Jr, introduced in 1935, and the HB40W, introduced in 1938. One might debate whether or not these were actually Lafayette products, by our modern definition, since the actual manufacturer was "Wholesale Radio Service," who marketed them under their trademark Lafayette label. I've never seen an example, and I strongly suspect that you'd have a better chance of seeing a unicorn at a hamfest than one of these.
 
Trutest 25 watt Jr, Model P-46, Lafayette 100W (consists of 5 units mounted in a 6 foot rack),
Model 5B40W, Lester VHF Converter all were designed by Frank Lester, W2AMJ and Roy Neusch,W2CF. There probably were others. Most of this stuff was done in the mid to late 30's.Trutest and Lafayette were the house brand names for Wholesale Radio. They were designed and manufactured on the upper floors at 100 6th Avenue, NYC. The main store was at the ground level. The engineering, design, and manufacturing were done on the upper floors. Frank later on went to mid-town NYC to work for Hammarlund. Some time after the 40's or 50's, what was left of the upper floor activity was moved to the Jamaica, NY store.

Check out the 1937 catalog starting roughly at page 82 for more models: https://www.worldradiohistory.com/Archive-Catalogs/Lafayette-Catalogs/Lafayette-1937-65.pdf

100 6th Avenue is pictured below. Early 60's, the store was moved to Union Square West (14th St.). It faced Union Square Park. In the mid 60's I actually worked there for 2 years part-time, for several months at a time, since I was going to school in the city at the time and my class schedule varied over time. Interesting place to work. Union shop (1 of 3 that Wholesale Radio/Lafayette had at the time). On the sales floor, I could help customers, answer questions, but any actual sale had to be done by one of the Union people. All the people working there had many years over me but I learned a lot about sales and customer interaction from them.

Quote
If we were talking transceivers, though, we'd need to include the HA460, HA410, HE45, HE50, HA1200, and a handful of others; all of more modern manufacture under the better recognized Lafayette Radio Electronics banner. Some of these, like the HA460 and HA410—not sure about the others—were manufactured in Japan (Nissin Electronics, or maybe Trio?) for Lafayette.

The HA-410, HA-460, HA-1200 transceivers were all made by Trio for Lafayette. Trio also OEM the HA-410 and HA-460 to several other sellers internationally.

In the amateur transceiver line the HE-35 series, HE-45 series, HE-50 series, the VFO's (HE-61 and HE-62) were all made in the U.S.A. for Lafayette.
A number of the early Lafayette tube CB transceivers were also made in the U.S.A.

We even marketed an amateur transceiver back in 1937. see below

I was told by someone in the main office in the late 70's, I was their longest part-time employee. I worked mainly out of the NJ stores, but would travel if necessary, to other NJ stores if for some reason they were people short. Obviously, I didn't need any training. Early 70's I started doing most of the NJ stores service work at home. When we closed the first batch of NJ stores as part of bankruptcy proceedings, all service parts, cannibalized equipment, manuals, and just about anything that didn't have a stock number, came home with me or it went to the dumpster.
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2024, 01:37:46 PM »

 Some very interesting history there. I worked at a Lafayette store myself, back in the mid 1970's, but they had given up on the amateur radio market by then—not a single ham rig in sight—and the company was pretty much circling the drain by that time, with store closures already in progress in my area. I still have a nice old Lafayette stereo tuner/amp that I inherited from my mother, having sold it to her while I worked there.

Which Lafayette store did you work at?

Back then we had Lafayette chain stores and Lafayette "Associate" stores. Associate stores paid a price to use the Lafayette name and sell Lafayette products. However, they were privately owned and did not report to Lafayette's corporate office. When the first bankruptcy proceeding went into effect with the closure of roughly 65 Lafayette chain stores across the country, all the Associate stores were left high and dry and basically were now on their own.

My Lafayette claim to fame today is that I probably still have the largest collection of NOS Lafayette original parts and manuals that still exists today. Been trying to work down the pile for 40 years.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2024, 01:58:26 PM »

Pete,
Do you have the manual for the 6 meter converter?
Thanks
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Carl

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2024, 06:42:11 PM »

  Broad Street, Manchester, Connecticut. It was in a small plaza. I haven't been out that way in decades; not sure if that plaza is even still there. Manchester has changed a lot since those days. I only worked there for a couple of years before moving on, and I think the store closed within a year.

 Some very interesting history there. I worked at a Lafayette store myself, back in the mid 1970's, but they had given up on the amateur radio market by then—not a single ham rig in sight—and the company was pretty much circling the drain by that time, with store closures already in progress in my area. I still have a nice old Lafayette stereo tuner/amp that I inherited from my mother, having sold it to her while I worked there.

Which Lafayette store did you work at?

Back then we had Lafayette chain stores and Lafayette "Associate" stores. Associate stores paid a price to use the Lafayette name and sell Lafayette products. However, they were privately owned and did not report to Lafayette's corporate office. When the first bankruptcy proceeding went into effect with the closure of roughly 65 Lafayette chain stores across the country, all the Associate stores were left high and dry and basically were now on their own.

My Lafayette claim to fame today is that I probably still have the largest collection of NOS Lafayette original parts and manuals that still exists today. Been trying to work down the pile for 40 years.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2024, 09:31:33 PM »

Pete,
Do you have the manual for the 6 meter converter?
Thanks

I remember when pulling the HE-56 6 meter converter and HE-71 2 meter converter folders there wasn't much in them. It was mainly a single page blurb with a brief description and specifications.

The HE-56 was actually the Trio CC-6 converter and the HE-71 was the Trio CC-2 converter.
In the 90's I actually was in contact with one of Kenwod's engineers and asked about both CC-6 and CC-2 converters. He scoured the internal Kenwood files and could not come up with either manual if there was one but was able to come up with a CC-6 schematic which he sent to me. I didn't expect much since neither the Trio CC-6 nor the CC-2 were ever distributed here in the U.S.


* Laf_HE56-1.jpg (247.41 KB, 1700x2200 - viewed 30 times.)

* Laf_HE56-2.jpg (348.84 KB, 2200x1700 - viewed 36 times.)
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2024, 10:38:16 PM »

Thank you, Pete,
It would be fun to find the 2 meter one too.
73
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