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What was your first rig?




 
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Author Topic: What was your first rig?  (Read 88407 times)
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w1es
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« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2006, 09:13:39 PM »

We didn't even SEE cotton plants in actuality until I brought Pat down here to NC in late '04 to check out the area!

The first rig here was a Swan 500 that I fired up on 16 October 1982 and worked a guy in Sewicklay, PA (George) as my first QSO, (KA3BNI).  His QSL is in a frame in a box up in my shack.  Funny thing was that Rebecca, N1GZD, several years later when she got her JN licence, worked George as HER first QSO but his call had changed to a N3 at that point.

That Swan had a selctivity as wide as a barn door which didn't suit my proclivities for CW.  I still work a lot of CW and go to AM for fun when the spirit moves me.  I quickly found a Drake R-4A for getting more selecivity!  I hope to have my stuff ALL unfurled by December and will fire up the SX-101 and Ranger on 40m to catch up with all of my New England friends!

Steve, W1ES/4
Triad Region, NC
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KD2NX
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2006, 11:28:03 AM »

I received my Novice ticket on March 31st, 1980 when I was living in Forsyth, Montana. My Elmer was Paul Fourtner, K7ISW and my callsign was KA7GXF. I lived in Montana from 1977 to 1982. Quite a change for a kid from Brooklyn! My first station consisted of:

Johnson Ranger II transmitter (it cost $75.00 from Conley Radio in Billings)
Drake 2-A receiver with the 2-AQ speaker/Q-multiplier (also from Conley Radio)
15 Meter dipole constructed of speaker wire stapled across the eaves of the house

Somewhere I have a picture of my first station, but who knows where it is. What started out as a cost-savings necessity became an admiration for vintage equipment that still holds true to this day. 26 years later, it is still a very important part of my life now, just as it was when I was a 13 year-old kid. What a great hobby!
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Vortex Joe - N3IBX
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2006, 02:11:17 PM »

Hello All,
          The first "real" transmitter I had was a B&W 5100B I used with an R-390. rx. Previous to that I used any number of homebrew 6V6 and 6L6 PW transmitters, and old 1930's type "allwave" receivers.
Regards,
            Joe Cro N3IBX
           
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Joe Cro N3IBX

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Vinnie/N2TAI
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2006, 02:21:50 PM »

I got my no code tech in 92 and resurrected an old BC-625 transmitter, part of the SCR-522 military set, that I found in a barn, it was set up for 6 meters AM. I used a Hammarlind HQ-110 receiver that a good friend gave me. Had to wash the mice nests out of the 625. Change over was strictly manual.
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W8EJO
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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2006, 03:16:38 PM »

First licensed in 1959, age 12 as KN8WVI. Receiver was a borrowed Heathkit AR-3. Transmitter was a borrowed DX-40.  The Heath receiver was lousy at best but the QF-1 helped & sunspot activity was very high in th 1959.

Saved up my pennies & bought a used Hallicrafters SX-115, my first decent receiver. Then, in what may be the dumbest equipment move in the history of ham radio, I traded the SX-115 (+ cash even) for a new Tempo One SSB transceiver. Today the SX-115's are going fo $1K+ while the Tempo ones can be had for $75.
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W3RSW
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« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2006, 02:58:18 PM »


Ah yes, the days of WB8FRZ; JN extraordinaire, 1970

HQ 110 A/C
hb single 6v6 xtal osc. into pi net.
40 m folded dipole fed with 300 ohm saxon twinlead. - neat stuff had little blue plastic spacers about every 4 inches.
hb ant. tuiner.

Dipole and tuner didn't work. I wonder if the "dual drive" rubber band from knob to knob on two 365 pf caps was at fault Shocked

rigged up a decent "75 ohm" dipole and fed with rg59.-  finally loaded up fine.
My first QSO was with a station unknown.  I was so nervous I couldn't copy well. I swear the only copyable phrase was "not the tiger, eh rick?"..   And that after endless hours with the same CW training record.  Well, it was 33 1/3 rpm.
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WBear2GCR
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Brrrr- it's cold in the shack! Fire up the BIG RIG


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« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2006, 03:20:19 PM »

Circa ~1967-1968 in my parents basement, Bronx NY.

The rig is a pretty exact copy of the 6146 screen modulated xmiter from the '67 handbook. The receiver was an ARC jobbie, but soon to come was a Heathkit SB-301 which I had to extort out of my old man... heh. The ant. was strung on top of the adjoining 6 story apartment buiilding eventually, it started in the canyon which was the backyard surrounded by other 6 story apartment buildings. We had one of the few "private houses" on this block.

Wish I had grasped a bit more theory back in the day and had built up a plate modulated rig back then, or used a bigger toobe! Of course I was rock bound, called CQ on CW and tuned up and down the band looking for a reply... but that handbook project looked as complicated as I could handle, and the parts costs were modest so I built it... still have the rig today.

Oh yeah... now I remember, max input for a novice was 75 watts!! That's right. So, that's why it was a single 6146.

DX was Mark, WN2GCS, and Peter, whose call I can not recall... they were about a block and a half away...
Bob W2UO (sk) was my mentor, and gave Mark and me the Novice exam on his dining room table... he had a Harvey-Wells Bandmaster (?) and an NC-101A receiver, then shortly thereafter the Yaseu FTDX-400, which looked to us like the greatest imaginable piece of gear... used to go over to Bob's place and hang out for hours talking radio. I was WN2GCR back then... Note the 4CX5000 pull sitting on its side, or maybe it was the 4CX10000... Bob was chief transmitting engineer for WOR back then... His olde NC-101a sits here living a pampered existence.

That shack never really looked that good, I recall cleaning it up and using the self timer to pose for the shot...  Grin 

Oh, hey, the keyer was a home built key from a QST project, and the electronics were from Digi-Key!! That's how they started, same company!


* WBear2GCR-1968.jpg (77.81 KB, 700x574 - viewed 811 times.)
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« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2006, 03:49:42 PM »


This was my first receiver. Use to monitor the 300 to 200 meter band with this Rocket Radio crystal set.
Then I got a ARC-5 which could do 75 meters and as I said before once I got my Novice license (WN1QWT) I got a HQ-110.

Regards
Q
W1QWT
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2006, 09:38:48 AM »

wow! my rocket radio was red. WTIC came in real good when the wire was connected to the base board heat.
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The Slab Bacon
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« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2006, 11:15:29 AM »

wow! my rocket radio was red. WTIC came in real good when the wire was connected to the base board heat.

Yea, that is the first blue one I have ever seen. Mine was red, and i assumed that all of them were red!
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« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2006, 11:42:07 AM »

must be a cheap knockoff with substandard components....   klc
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w1guh
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« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2006, 12:28:15 PM »

My first radio was posted before - the Air Champ crystal radio kit, in Boy Scouts clothes. that was '54

My next radio was the Air Champ two-tube radio in the summer of '55.

BTW - if anybody has a picture or any info about it, I might give up body parts for it. Grin

First ham rig was a Globe Chief 90A and an AR-3. Yea, the AR-3 sucked on the upper end of the 20, 15, and 10 meter band, but 20 m. was not bad....but I'm getting ahead of myself.

My particular AR-3 had an unstable component somewhere in the 40m range and I couldn't use it because it would unexpectedly jump frequency at random times. That left me with 80m, on 3725. But that was excellent. I had the QF-1 for the receiver, and that helped immensely in those days, the bands were very crowded.

First antenna is hardly worth mentioning...a random length folded dipole in the attic. Well, I got 569's from 20 miles away. Argh. Finally got a full size folded dipole and then worked most of the eastern half of the country.

When the general came, I tried using a borrowed VF-1 until I got an "advisory notice" from the FCC along with a copy of a Canadien monitor report that claimed I was somewhere around 8 MHz! Well, at least it was only and advisory.

When I finally got the Knight V-44 I scraped together whatever it took to get enough wire for a 20m dipole and some 72 ohm twin lead, and my first contact was thewest coast - Washington state. Yippee!

The next upgrade was a Knight R-100, and I loved that one. It was as sensitive as the catalog claimed, so I was finally on all bands. Shortly thereafter I got a HyGain 14AVS and started "real" radio.

And again soon, I'd gotten rid of the Globe Grief and had a shiny new Eico 720 on the air.

But before that, I'd had the Globe screen modulator for the "grief", but didn't use it much. Instead I built the push-pull 6AQ5's out of the '62 handbook, and that worked really well. I had a borrowed DX-20 and used the 'AQ's to screen modulate that. Worked good. But then, when I got the Eico and got down to hooking up a screen modulator I decided that I'd rather use plate modulation at lower power 'cuz the xmtr was already set up for that. That rig stayed in place through '62 and early '63. In those days, 10 m AM was busy locally, and I used the rig a lot for local contacts and the local radio club net on Thursday night on 29.610.

Then, in '63 I got an HX-20 and started down the SSB path.

Re: "it was more fun then..."

Yep. The novice bands were very crowded, and there were lots and lots of fun contacts to make and friends to make. ('course up on the AM bands it was wall to wall carriers...) CQ's were usuallly answered fairly quickly.

My first contact, the day my license came, was at the rig of the ham across the street.  He had a DX-100 and a brandy-new SX-111 that he'd just gotten at Duffy Radio in Detroit.  He trade a RME-45 for it. 

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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2006, 12:43:53 PM »

Remember how the ear wax would collect in the head phone of the rocket radio....
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W1RKW
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« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2006, 04:07:29 PM »

Yeah, and if you collected enough of it you could use it to seal the slugs in IF transformers.

Remember how the ear wax would collect in the head phone of the rocket radio....
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His fear was when I turned it on for the first time life on earth would come to a stand still.
Bill, KD0HG
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« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2006, 08:32:36 PM »

45-year flashback:
Did anyone else ever unscrew the little cover off of one of those wax-collecting earpieces?
IIRC, there was a resistor in there...Wasn't there?

I used my Rocket Radio at the home of my grandparents in Omaha.

The *best* antenna I found was the metal finger stop on a rotary telephone.I could get WOW and KFAB just fine. At the same time.
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2006, 08:51:47 PM »

we only had one phone in the kitchen but yes that worked also. Didn't have a third wire in the outlet to try so had to settle for the baseboard.
AH the day Dad took me on the roof to put up a wire from the chimney to the close line pole. 67 feet end fed with TV 300 ohm lead I was so gotham strappin.
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David, K3TUE
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« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2006, 09:03:37 PM »

I have read posts where people have said that the original manual suggested trying either side of the AC wall outlet to use the mains wire as your antenna.   Huh
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David, K3TUE
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« Reply #67 on: September 12, 2006, 10:33:03 AM »

David,

Used the mains for an antenna on many "xtal" type radios, zip cord with one side hooked to the main and the other wire on the radio, so had capacitive coupling to the electrical system. Worked great, and no danger of killing yourself. Would recommend it today, but only if you were as smart as I was at 10.

My first rig in Feb 1963 was a homebrew 6DQ6 keyed oscillator and an S-107 into either a 80 or 40 meter folded dipole made of 300 ohm line and feed through a set of Heathkit Balun coils. I still have those Balun Coils, but they have gotten a little smashed in the last 43 years, I was looking at them a couple of weeks ago thinking I should try and straighten them out. Oh, well, another project I may get around to some day.

73, Marty WB2RJR
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wa2zdy
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« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2006, 03:10:07 PM »

On several occassions I loaded up one wire of the unused pair in the phone jack.  In an apartment complex I can just imagine the chaos that caused but it worked.

Hey. . .   I've been trying to figure out what to use for antenna here in this super restricted subdivision where I don't have even an attic nor a tree outside to run a #24 wire to.   This house is wired with Cat5 to every room, and I'm not using it.   It's all wireless here.  Hmmm . . .   I'm liking this idea.  No connection anywhere except to a junction block in the wiring closet.  Yeah, I'm liking this idea . . .
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« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2006, 03:59:14 PM »

Open or closed eves??? If you have  to, try an ant there.. If you have a peaked roof, you may be able to get away a center fed on the back side of the house.  klc
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« Reply #70 on: September 12, 2006, 08:57:29 PM »

 first ticket was WN2OMH and i came on in 1970 with a 3-6 MC ARC-5 receiver, and 6L6 xtal osc. link coupled with 500 volts on the plate to a 75 foot end fed wire and tuner on 80. i later found it was a great match with no tuner on 40. used it on 40 when Dad was in a good mood and let me use his BC-348 there. before and during that time i also used to get on 3885 with his DX-60/HG-10, using his call (before he would come home from work, HA!) and got beat up BAD by the likes of Timtron and Chuck WA1EKV. Bill W3DUQ was a bit friendlier, but i was piss weak and yellowy to the max! being 14 and trying to cut it with those guys was a trip, and helped build fortitude for a life on 75 AM. a "QSL" card from the FCC about bootlegging influenced me to upgrade by 1971...
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2006, 11:37:58 PM »

This was my first receiver. Use to monitor the 300 to 200 meter band with this Rocket Radio crystal set.

In 1962 (I was 9) my parents gave me a 2 transistor kit radio for Christmas.   I can remember sitting up at night listening to it with the headphones. I also remember listening and then calling into the request line on WLIS 1420 (Worst Liars In Connecticut) to speak with Paul Sidney" to request a song. I told him I was listening on a SHORT WAVE RADIO and he asked me on air if I thought I was talking to Castro.....

After upgrading to a Lafayette KT-320 I took it apart for the tunig cap. Over they years  I still had one coil from it and often wondered what it was. I remembered more or less what it looked like, but could not remember the make, or anything else . I knew it was not a popular model. One night I was listening to 1.945 MHz and heard George (W1AJW) talking about a two transistor 1963 radio kit he had bought at a tag sale. My ears perked up slightly and when he mentioned it was built by Revell, I was 99% sure that it was the one. I was so interested that I called him on the phone to confirm my recollections about it and elicited a promise he would call me if he decided to sell it.

I was real excited about it and mentioned it to my XYL. Unbeknownst to me she contacted a local ham (Ron, K1VYU) who figured out who I was talking about and gave her George's name and number. She arranged to purchase it as a surprise 1997 Christmas gift.
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« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2006, 12:10:53 AM »

This was my first receiver. Use to monitor the 300 to 200 meter band with this Rocket Radio crystal set.



Carl,
     Your "Revell" is one kewl little radio! Is it regenerative? How well does it perform?
Joe N3IBX
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Joe Cro N3IBX

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w1guh
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« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2006, 02:19:52 AM »

I knew I had one...here's the rig I remember most fondly from those days....

(Can't seem to preview...hope it comes out OK)





* 037small.jpg (308.89 KB, 3084x1984 - viewed 713 times.)
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wa2zdy
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« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2006, 08:43:18 PM »

Overall I agree with your assessment Phil, but there is no other satisfactory housing available in this area.  There are these restricted subdivisions or run down shacks.  And for several reasons this is the area my wife and I have chosen for our family to live.   As important as ham radio is to me, not living in a shack ranks higher.   Had there been a reasonable alternatives, I would certainly have preferred them, but there are no such alternatives in this area.

That said, I will deal with the hand I've dealt myself.   You are familiar with the Bunns Lane apartments in Woodbridge.  I survived my childhood there, including my teen years as a ham. I got RF into the air there, I'll succeed here.

As for the Cat 5, no, it's not in use.  This is a single family home and my LAN here is wireless.  So I have this unused wiring running all over the house.   I think my biggest disadvantage, besides the restrictions in the first place, is that there is no attic.  If I had an attic I'd be just fine.  I've always managed to make contacts with my piss weak signal, this would be no different.  Fortunately I don't and never have aspired to be on the honour roll, nor to have a strapping signal on 75.  Within my interests, the antenna situation here will be fine.  I'll get my cake and eat it too.

In case anyone is wondering what my house looks like, pics are available at www.wa2zdy.com/house    The pics with the furniture and lights turned on are of the model but it is identical to my house except for the fireplace.  We don't have one.  Who the hell uses a fireplace in Florida???  But after growing up in the projects, I think I've done ok for myself, restrictions or not.
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