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What was your first rig?




 
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W3LSN
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« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2006, 08:32:20 AM »

For me it was a used Heathkit DX-60B and an assortment of xtals. The RX was a Hammarlund HQ-110 which I greatly miss. I later upgraded to a Johnson Valiant 1.

73, Jim
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Ed/KB1HYS
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2006, 09:39:37 AM »

My first rig was a Valiant, resued from the scrap heap. First recieved I tried was an old Detrola tabletop.  Soon after I picked up  a Hallicrafters S-85.  Later on I got the R-390A... thats it for AM.
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73 de Ed/KB1HYS
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2006, 10:47:07 AM »

Homebrew 6V6GT upgraded to 6L6GT
GR64 with Q mult and homebrew preselector.  STRAP! ... , - , -.- , .- , .--.
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W9GT
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« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2006, 11:00:09 AM »

First rig was a Home brew 6146 xtal oscillator transmitter from 1957 ARRL Handbook and an old Zenith 7S363 broadcast receiver with another little ACDC set along side to heterodyne in the IF for a BFO.  Ran a Novice KW of 75 watts and had a ball!  Haven't had as much fun since, as I did during my Novice year 59-60.  Sometimes I wonder where the thrill of radio went with all the appliance operating that goes on now.  Sure was a lot of fun back then.

73,  Jack, w9GT
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73, Jack, W9GT
WA1GFZ
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« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2006, 11:06:48 AM »

Wow Jack your crystal must have run hot hanging off a 6146.
My third rig was a 6146 but had a 6AG7 crystal oscillator which cooled it down.
Then I got a VF1 and built a 6L6  modulator   
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Ed Nesselroad
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2006, 11:27:59 AM »

I was KN0VDD back in 1959, working a coax bazooka in my folks attic with a DX-35 and an HQ-110.  Used a knife switch as a T/R relay.  Like an earlier post, I loved that HQ-110 receiver.  So much that I bought another one a few years ago.  After listening to it with a more mature ear, I wonder what I was thinking.  The DX-35 remains in a dear spot in studio B. 

I like the story about the Elmer who helped folks by donating Gold Dust Twins as a first rig.  Guess it's too late for me to be adopted...
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K1JJ
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2006, 11:32:03 AM »

Homebrew 6V6GT upgraded to 6L6GT
GR64 with Q mult and homebrew preselector.  STRAP! ... , - , -.- , .- , .--.


Speaking of marginal receivers....  after my first three days of calling CQ with no answers using the Gotham vertical on 3716, I put up a dipole and worked the whirl for a day. Then my buddy wanted the borowed receiver back.  I was so hard up, for a few weeks without a receiver, I called CQ on the DX-20 at least once a day just to imagine all the stations coming back.  In pity, my ham uncle in Ohio sent me a BC-348 and it was heaven.   Grin

T
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Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed. 

Nothing like a new homebrew rig. Come into the shack, flip on the switches and everything works perfectly.

And, nothing like an old dog.
WA1GFZ
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« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2006, 11:40:30 AM »

Hey,
I also had a rocket radio and connected the rod out the top to the baseboard radiator and WTIC came in great. Mine was red.
My parents bought me a couple crystal radio kits before they let me use line voltage
in 7th grade. Dad would give me crap when I used all the extra fuses. Then I learned of the cool screw in breakers with the little push button reset.
Later they put an addition on the house and upgraded to 200 amp service with breakers. The 4-1000A came soon after that.
Tom Vu didn't you have a 750TL crystal oscillator driving the gotham?
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W4MZ
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« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2006, 12:45:57 PM »

In 1968 the Novice station consisted of a Drake 2-NT and an HQ-110.  Had a 2 EL Gotham 15m Beam  Shocked and Vees for 75 es 40M...
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W3LSN
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« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2006, 01:17:35 PM »

Quote
and they ask how I can send CW with no side tone (as I mute the RX).   Oh, I reply, I do have a side tone, don't ya hear it?  They can't and shake there heads.   I then tell them to listen to the hum of the power trannys as I key down!   Grin 
Quote

I'm much the same way. I prefer to listen to the hum of the transformers, and like the reassurance I get from from the vibration that goes through the operating table as I key down. I also listen to the mechanical key clicks much like a landline telegrapher would do with a sounder.

73, Jim
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W9GT
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« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2006, 01:34:16 PM »

Wow Jack your crystal must have run hot hanging off a 6146.
My third rig was a 6146 but had a 6AG7 crystal oscillator which cooled it down.
Then I got a VF1 and built a 6L6  modulator   

Yes, believe it or not, it was a 6146 xtal oscillator.  Used a pilot lamp in series with the crystal to monitor the xtal current and keep it below the self-destruct point. 

Yeah, my comment about wondering where the thrill of radio went was somewhat tongue in cheek.  I certainly love my boatanchor rigs and really enjoy working AM and CW, just like the good old days.  I guess, I somewhat lament the fact that so many younger hams just don't understand how playing with the old junk could be so much fun!

73,  Jack, W9GT
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wb1aij
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« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2006, 03:32:52 PM »

6DQ5 sweep tube power oscillator with VR tube on the screen, xtal controlled, CW only on an inverted bread pan. Outboard power supply, homebrew. Ran 15 watts on 40 & 80 meters with xtals that were right near foreign commercial short wave stations. Made up call letters WN2ACW laret switched to WN1ACW when I found out that the number had a meaning. This was in 1967-1968, my pirate years. Most fun I ever had in ham radio. First qso was from Plainville, Ct. to Bridgeport, Ct. 2nd was to Corbin, Kentucky and WAS I THRILLED. Upgraded to DX-40 and then to Elmac AF-67 later . Still have the rusty old rig in my cellar. Just can't seem to get myself to throw it away. Too much nostalgia. I might even clean it up & get it back on the air someday.
Precious memories.
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2006, 07:44:46 PM »


OK, I already posted, but this is a great thread. Almost as fun as my JN days

In 1964 at the age of 11 -and unlicensed -I joined the local club at Field Day. I was allowed to operate a “Twoer” on my own. One of the older (16?)* licensed ops took a color Polaroid pic of me with my hand on the xmt switch. They kidded me and said they would send the pic to the FCC. I was so scared that I did not sleep for the first week of school vacation.
 
I also confess to AM with suppressed carrier bootlegging in 1969. Came home from HS, as a JN and searched the Callbook for a HS station in "2" land to use as a call. Called CQ terrified that the real 2 station might hear me. I was so nervous when someone called back I gave them a fake name and went QRT b4 the FCC van could show up.

* The names are hidden to protect the innocent but I have had a table with this K1 at Hosstraders for the last 9 years
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Carl

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John Holotko
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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2006, 01:27:06 AM »

My first ham radio AM rig was a Viking 2 as I said earlier. But thinking back further my first "rig",in as far as something that puts a  signal out over the airwaves was a little low power transmitter that transmit CW on the AM bcast band. It used a coil of wire for an antenna and according to the book was only supposed to transmit over a hundred feet or so. We lived in attached 2 story railroad  flats in Brooklyn back then and I got reports from neighbors that  my little transmitter was heard  over half a block away. This was in the early 1960's and I was  about 7.

My first attempt at a CW "ham transmitter" was a 3 tube 4 watt 40 meter cw rig that I built according to a schematic  in a book. I knew next to nothing about proper placement of RF components but it did light up and I managed to get it to  oscillate. But it was extremely unstable and I never  actually used it on the air. Plus I wasn'tlicensed yet anyways.


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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2006, 12:00:30 PM »

I used to CQ over and over, just listen to my bug click.
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W9GT
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« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2006, 01:43:29 PM »

 Perhaps it might be interesting to also mention the first AM rig we had.  I started out on AM in 1960 with a Knight T-50 transmitter utilizing a Globe screen modulator.  probably ran a max of 25-30 watts, if that much.  Wow!! I was actually on fone, with the big guys.  This was my first commercial transmitter and I was really excited about it even if it was miniscule in size and power.  I also had a Heath VF-1 VFO and the (in)famous AR-3 receiver.  The AR-3 had the relative sensitivity of a cardboard box, but it was a real receiver with a BFO!!!  So I could actually copy CW with it without having to heterodyne another radio in the IF like I had done with my old Zenith.  I even acquired a Heath Q-multiplier later and added it to the AR-3 for some selectivity.  Unfortunately, I found out that it even further reduced the sensitivity.  Anyway, I sure had a lot of fun with that rig and worked a lot of contacts all over the place with QRP PW AM.  P W stands for peanut whistle, doesn't it?  I often found that with good conditions, especially on 40m which was my favorite band, that I could work just about everything that I was able to hear.  Great fun!!! Smiley Smiley

73,  Jack, W9GT

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73, Jack, W9GT
WD8BIL
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« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2006, 02:07:14 PM »

Viking 1 (now the infamous Viking Bud), S-38C w/ QF-1, Vibroplex Blue Racer cir.1963 (a gift on license day from my elmer WA8MXU), Hygain vertical on the ground for 40/80 meters. Xtals 3725, 7125, 7135.



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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2006, 02:37:59 PM »

I got licensed in March of '83 with my current callsign. First on air rig was a Yahoo FT-101EE picked up from a CBer for the then-princely sum of $500. It still had the protective plastic on the panel. Made my first CW contact with it, DX at that! Okay, so Ontario isn't really DX, but it was another country. I recall my girlfriend got bored and went back downstairs while I sent code. After what seemed like 20 minutes or so, I went down to announce my victory to all, only to be told it had been 2 hours! Time flies when you're having fun? Must've been a tad nervous, because I know I didn't say very much beyond di-di-di-di-di-dit...

Also listened to the invasion of Grenada on that rig, even heard the putz Dan Rather get tossed off the air when he tried to get an interview with Mark Baratella(?) on the outgoing-only frequency.

Something always seemed off about the receiver, or maybe 'numb' is a better word. The $5 RAO-7 really pulled in the stations, and it was WWII surplus. So I saved my pennies and did a lot of reading for the next year or so. Discovered the KWM-2 transceiver, found one for sale in Illinois in the back of CQ mag for $550 and bought it. (Sounds scary today, but most all hams were still pretty honest back then). Set it up next to the '101 with an antenna switch between. Tuned them both to the same frequency and was astounded at the difference. It seemed like the signals were ten deep on the Collins, and you could pull them all out. And it was a decade older! Still have my original key and "homebrew dipole", but the Yahoo went down the road fast, years before 'VZR tried to make the '101 Toss an Olympic sport.

First AM transmitter? Did the Yahoo 101EEEEEEEEE! have AM? Can't remember, but if it did, I never used it. So it would be a toss up between the CE-200V and KW-1 that I got in a deal for a 'bunch of junk' from an antique shop in '88. And since the 200V still isn't fixed, the KW-1 is probably the weener. That or the 32V I got in another pile of 'boatanchor crap' from a local dealer. Wish I could find the box with my old logbooks. I'm just thankful for being crazy/foolish/gullible back then, hauling off all of that heavy, outdated stuff.

Carl, you're right: that was a pretty special time in my radio life, too. One of my radio rooms consisted of a small upstairs closet no deeper than 3 feet, with a slanted ceiling and only enough room to step in and sit down. Many an hour of wonder was enjoyed squeezed up next to the small shelf holding the radio, headphones pressed to my ears, trying to pull out that next letter. Hmmm...was that a P or X.....?
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N8LGU
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« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2006, 07:30:17 PM »

javascript:void(0);
SmileyIt was the summer of '62. I got my Novice Ticket as KN3ZFW. My Dad bought me an NC 2-40D and an EICO 720 with 4 PR 40M XTALS. Several months later, another Ham gave me a SpeedeX bug. Boy! Did I have fun!! That XMAS I got a HeathKit Twoer and put an Astatic 200 xtal desk mike on it. My dear Dad saw me having so much fun that he got his ticket as KN3ZPY. Wish my Dad was still around..javascript:void(0);
Cry.
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2006, 08:01:59 PM »

Now I know where all the money was in 1955.  We sure didn't have it in rural Oklahoma.  I started with a BC 45(X) , whatever the number was, for 80 meters.  Converted it to xtal control and used an ARC 5 Receiver as a Novice.  When I received the Conditional ticket, I found the same transmitter and left it VFO, also found the 40 and 20 meter versions plus the two place rack for them.

Then after having the Conditional license for about 4 months I won the preregistration prize winner at my first hamfest.  The prize--and Elmac AF-67.  I chopped cotton all summer and pulled boles (remember that term) that fall until I could afford the factory power supply. 

After I paid for it, I worked for a farmer until I had the 15 dollars to buy some sort or military receiver that was better than the ARC 5.  I don't even remember the nomenclature.  I had one push up pole so I used a long wire for 80 meters until I went mobile in 1961.  Used the Elmac wilth a home brew crystal converter into the car radio of a 1956 Ford Fairlane.  You shudda seen the cap hat on the antenna.

You guys had it easy.
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Mike/W8BAC
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« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2006, 08:46:04 PM »

  "I chopped cotton all summer and pulled boles (remember that term) that fall until I could afford the factory power supply."


I have to ask, What dose "Pulling Boles" mean?

Dumb Northerner,
Mike
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2006, 09:17:21 PM »

The answer lies in the phrases, Pick Cotton and Pull Boles.  Pick Cotton came from the fact that people pulled the cotton fiber from the boll so ilt was without the hull around it (assuming you have seen cotton on the stalk).  It is like a pecan that the hull opens and the fruit is inside the hull.  Picking cotton is a very old phrase before the gins could seperaate the cotton from the "bole".

Later the gins could do that separation so the entire boll could be pulled and sent to the gen.  So the phrase "Pull Boles" came along.  All this happens in the dead of winter, usually January after the boll opens.  Now that machines do all the work, they wait until after the first freeze for the leaves to fall from the plant.
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« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2006, 09:46:16 PM »

                    "The answer lies in the phrases, Pick Cotton and Pull Boles"

.... and I thought it was  about bugs.....   klc
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wa2zdy
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« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2006, 10:33:43 AM »

It was about bugs in a roundabout way.  If the bole weevils got the stuff first (they're bugs) the cotton was ruined.   So picking the boles ahead of the weevils is the idea.
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GEORGE/W2AMR
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« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2006, 05:53:06 PM »

An Icom 2At.  Embarrassed
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