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 Post subject: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
A friend and I in the Pacific Northwest are kinda perplexed about what to do with about a dozen old 2 MHz AM boat radios we have.
We have manuals for only a tiny few of them. Altho you "can" use these with little or no work on 160 and 80 meters and with some,
even 40 meters AM, neither of us is enthusiastic about that. You have to really want to preserve these things to do that, and it's not like there's a shortage of classic AM ham radios around already, and the ham radios aren't locked to channels either. So if you give the standard
recommendation, "Put them on Ebay", consider that they MAY fetch $10-20 each, cost the buyer maybe $40-50 or more to ship, and very
few people will pay that, like around $70+ for one of these, plus I really do NOT like spending $20+ worth of my time and packing material to sell something for $15-25. If you say, take them apart, well, the tubes are most often the 12 volt car radio tubes, not a great big deal, and you end up with a surpus of parts that aren't in big demand either, mostly you get a variable capacitor and a couple nice airdux type coils. Which is exactly what will happen to them if i take them to a hamfest and put a price of $5 - $10 on them. In some cases the radios are maybe the last of their model around, "the last of their subspecies", like P.A.R. Bremerton WA, or Intervox Seattle. So what to do? Maybe the common ones, like the Simpsons, or the big ones, like the Apelcos with the dynamotor supply, just have to die, go extinct after their time on earth is over; maybe after being photographed for archive. And i step up and be the hero and try to preserve the P.A.R. models and such. Anything with a tunable receiver does have a stronger reason to live on, in my opinion. So maybe just the more common sets must die. There is one east coast USA fellow who collects the old AM boat radios, as well as marine RDF. His website is under Angelfire dot something. But he says his house is full and he cannot take more. I have from time to time sold such a radio to one of the extremely uncommon other persons interested in them, as kind of a favor, i mean for low forgettable price, but that is tiresome and there's still the oversupply of the common sets. Probably i should just divorce myself from any more concern about them and just be realistic and take them to the hamfest and put $5 to $10 on them. They do not sell like hotcakes at any price, though, i find. But i should try to be coldly
rational about this. I'm just thinking out loud here, but your input is welcome. tnx - Hue


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 12133
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
I live near New Bedford MA. A local ships communications provider took all the 2mhz gear in trade and sent it all to South America for $$$, where, at the time, the 2mhz band was or is still in use...

I did wind up with an Apelco transmitter less the power supply. It also doubled as the ships P.A. system, full of 807's, a nice modulation transformer and a plethora of quality mica caps. Still havn't taken it apart.

Ask around it may still be useful...

Chas


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3034
Location: Seattle WA US
Hue-
If you find a good home for 2mc stuff, I have a channelized transmitter, featuring parallel 3 x 6146 output, 6146 driver, 2x 6146pp modulator with channelized switching on the tuned circuits and crystals to set the transmit channels. Am eager to find it or its parts a new home. Maker and model unknown.
-Chuck K7MCG


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
Yes, it's still useful, but not on boats ANYWHERE now. Solid state VHF gear is so much less expensive, easy to use, and reliable.
There is still an oversupply. I do not expect to find any seekers. I also have a big Apelco with separate dynamotor supply. It has a tunable
AM band receiver which I thought would be not difficult to move to 80 or 160 so it may survive a little longer. I have a couple large
over-and-under Northern Radio ( the Seattle company ) sets with the tunable receiver with 2 or 3 bands in the lower section. I need to find a home for those as they deserve to live.
I worked in a Seattle electronics surplus store when the FCC regs ruled the end of 2 MHz band AM at end of 1976. We got a big bunch of
unwanted AM radios, i think maybe Mac cut a deal with a marine radio shop or something like that. Nothing up in the Northwest was sold
to any other part of the world, it was either junked, donated, sold, or tossed over the side. Some of the radios ended up in bootleg hobby radio operation, like a kind of low-frequency CB, and a few became broadcast band transmitters, i'm sure. What's more sad is that most of the manuals seem to have disappeared. Some of the little known local manufacturers for example "Pan American Radio" Bremerton WA are known only to a few nuts like me.


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Jul Tue 21, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 797
Location: SW WA state
Hue and Chuck,

Against my better judgment (i'm cleaning out and downsizing right now), I would be happy to play with some of the radios.
I have converted several Pearce Simpsons to 75 meter operation...
PM me, I can take them off your hands and act as a clearing house to find homes for them.
Are either of you going to Winterfest in Mineral on the 25th and 26th? It would save you time on packing.
Occasionally, I do get to Seattle, Tacoma, and SeaTac...

-Tom N1BEC/7


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 13, 2018 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 19, 2011 2:31 pm
Posts: 5381
The perfect deal for those who are:

1. upset that SSTRAN is out of business and no longer producing the AM rebroadcaster kits and
2. upset that the little AM rebroadcaster kits don't have enough range.

Highly illegal for conversion down to the BCB as a rebroadcaster given the power output and range but given the lack of FCC enforcement of just about anything these days that is a fairly small risk in most areas of the U.S. unless you start operating a jihad radio rebroadcast setup. Required disclosure: I have a SSTRAN model 3000 which covers my needs of providing source material for my vintage broadcast receivers AND I was one of those novices who faithfully logged EVERY CQ called, even when I received no answer, making sure I conformed to FCC regulations. I also carefully calculated the input to my Johnson Valiant, including the control grid and screen power, to stay within the then FCC 75 watt novice limit. Of course if I knew then what I know now about the lack of accuracy of Johnson plate meters and associated shunts I would have been afraid to operate at all back then :)

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 12:15 am 
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Joined: Jul Tue 21, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 797
Location: SW WA state
For the good of the order, here is the Winterfest announcement, courtesy of Dick Dunlap, KB7RIK:

The W7JHS inspired Northwest 3870 AM Group's Winterfest West 2018 will be held in Mineral, Washington, at the Mineral Neighborhood Christian Center located at 127 Mineral Road North, across the street from Dick and Leslee's house (same as in past years). Doors will open Friday morning January 26, 2018 at 9 AM. We can have the facility until mid-afternoon on Saturday at which point tables must be broken down and chairs rearranged for Sunday morning church services. Help with this is always appreciated!

Thursday night remains pizza-night-at-the-Headquarters Tavern in Mineral--we will begin gathering there around 5:30 pm. FRIDAY is the BIG day for our event with swapping and chatting in the morning. AND,like last year, because many attendees can't stay late enough for dinner at dinner time, we will be serving an early pot luck meal beginning at 3 PM. Since last year's meal was such a success, we will again feature an Italian motif (spaghetti and maybe Marconi macaroni). Anyone with questions concerning what pot luck dishes to bring should contact Joy and/or Leslee. Food will continue to be available on into the evening in case we get hungry after gorging ourselves at 3 pm. As always, there will be a morning meal on Saturday.

Some thoughts and answers to anticipated questions. Same as last year, no cussin', drinkin' (alcohol), or smokin' (smokin's ok outside in the parking lot).

We won't have access to the facility until Friday morning and there can't be any sleeping over inside the facility. RV's will be ok overnight Thursday and Friday in the church parking lot--sorry, no hookups.

Coffee will be ready when the doors open Friday morning.

Admission and tables are free, BUT a donation to pay for facility rent continues to be NEEDED and appreciated. Any money collected over basic event expenses will be given, via the church, to needy families in the Mineral area.

*****************************************************************************
I always enjoy Winterfest!
From past experience, I'm going to try and get there earlier on Friday morning to get in the queue to set up.
People are welcome to bring stuff to give away: It seems that quite a bit of stuff is rehomed via Winterfest.
This event targets AM operators, and essentially rolls the clock back to stuff you'd find at Hamfests in the 1960's or 70's...
It is more of a social event that a cutthroat, knock down drag out free for all like Puyallup...

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 12:22 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 01, 2015 9:37 pm
Posts: 347
Location: Laflin, PA
rsingl wrote:
The perfect deal for those who are:

1. upset that SSTRAN is out of business and no longer producing the AM rebroadcaster kits and
2. upset that the little AM rebroadcaster kits don't have enough range.

Highly illegal for conversion down to the BCB as a rebroadcaster given the power output and range but given the lack of FCC enforcement of just about anything these days that is a fairly small risk in most areas of the U.S. unless you start operating a jihad radio rebroadcast setup. Required disclosure: I have a SSTRAN model 3000 which covers my needs of providing source material for my vintage broadcast receivers AND I was one of those novices who faithfully logged EVERY CQ called, even when I received no answer, making sure I conformed to FCC regulations. I also carefully calculated the input to my Johnson Valiant, including the control grid and screen power, to stay within the then FCC 75 watt novice limit. Of course if I knew then what I know now about the lack of accuracy of Johnson plate meters and associated shunts I would have been afraid to operate at all back then :)

Rodger WQ9E


I am pretty sure the DX-100 we used when I was a novice was never capable of the 75 watt Novice limit but we sure gave it as try. I think in my area at least the FCC might notice a high power radio station, some areas I bet they wouldn't!

_________________
Bob
73's WA3TVH


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 1:04 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 19, 2011 2:31 pm
Posts: 5381
Bob,

Where I am I could safely run more input on the AM rebroadcaster without concern. My nearest neighbor is about a mile distant and the nearest grouping of any size is a village of 1300 population (if you count the chickens and those who have died in the last decade as part of that figure) five miles distant.

It appears the higher power FM transmitters are the rage now with multiple Chinese sources along with amplifiers also available. As on the air broadcasting slowly dies the old AM and FM broadcast bands will end up getting as much (or actually as little) attention as CB enforcement got by the 1980s.

I didn't operate 80 much as a novice and used a 40 meter inverted V for 40 and 15 meters; it would load up on 80 but finding a loading setup that kept the plate current low enough for 75 watts input was tough. Antenna efficiency wasn't great but it worked fine for the old novice era Mississippi Slow Net on 80 meters.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 1:08 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
I bought a Ramsey AM-25 for BCB relay. I really like the DIPswitch programmable frequency. I thought about trying a boat radio on BCB with plate power reduced to something like 1/5 or less. BTW, i don't think the sets would actually hold up for broadcasting at full rated power
( IF you wanted to do that ) as i don't think they can stand that full duty cycle.
Maybe i'll lug a couple to Puyallup hamfest, no price tag on them so i can detect whether an inquirer only wants to take it apart for the
airdux coil. If it's someone who wants to actually use the thing, we can probably cut a good deal for you.
I do have a couple old AM rigs that will be among the last to go. I might want to try them out. I have a Motorola Airboy which has
a LF receiver and a 1 watt transmitter on 3025 kHz, about the size of one of those mini tube radios. Also an aircraft radio, don't recall
brand, but bigger. Dave Stinson pionneered using a converter for 80M to the LF range and then a crystal or two for the 80 meter band
for the transmitter. These things are much smaller and lighter of course than the boat radios.
One thing i brought back from WA in November is a real beat up P.A.R. small, boat radio. A real minimal design, the receiver is tunable
from around 1 to 3 MHz, not crystal controlled. To transmit you depress the switch and speak into the radio's speaker. I saw a bunch of these at Pacific Surplus in Seattle around 1963 A.D. and much later i figured out that this was a final leftover stock from when P.A.R. went out of business in the early 1950s, maybe not later than 1955. P.A.R. also had a bigger set, around 60 or 80 watt, that used a lot of military surplus parts, like the knobs, modulation transformer, meter. It even used a "Command Set" modulator repurposed as the dynamotor power supply.
Such trivia !


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 1:20 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
I was just reading last night in a magazine about some Scandinavian country that was going to convert from FM BC to DAB, so
yes, that band is also threatened.
I used to be vehemently against the "pirate broadcasters" operating around 6.9 MHz but with the decline of regular SW broadcasting,
I just don't care, as long as they don't bother other, legitimate users of the spectrum. ( From what I've read though, their programming
is a little too predictably juvenile for my taste. )
Yes, the boat radios, powered down a bit, would maybe be okay for that, but you'd have to improve the audio chain for wider
band audio.
73 magazine many many years ago had a project transmitter which had a 6AQ5 final driven with B+ from the modulated audio,
clamped to DC. In other words, with no audio input, no carrier. I thought that was kinda cute and at one time i thoght a boat radio
would make a test bed for this interesting circuit. Might be noisier than conventional AM though?? with the AVC dropping out when
the audio level goes down ?
-Hue


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 1:42 am 
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Hue,

I will have to look up the 73 article about the AM rig, sounds interesting. I also remember reading about the FM changeover in northern Europe and it was expected that will spread to other countries. I rarely use traditional broadcast radio in any of my vehicles, for awhile it was mostly XM but now I find I am using XM less and USB sticks more to the extent I didn't bother renewing XM when I took my Z06 out of winter hibernation last Spring. Maybe as I drop XM I will experiment with what is left on the broadcast bands. It used to be great fun to sample the local AM "flavors" when I was on driving trips around the U.S. but most of that individuality went away 20 years ago just like so many local restaurants disappeared in favor of the "tastes the same everywhere" corporate franchise offerings.

Controlled carrier AM was a popular way for manufacturers to add low cost AM capability to a "novice class" transmitter and the Heathkit DX-60 and Knight T-150 are common examples of this type of rig and Drake uses the same approach with their 4 line transmitter (and also the TR-3/4/6 transceivers). The output from these actually sounds very good and the audio range is wider than most traditional plate modulated ham rigs since there is no modulation transformer involved but some complain about the lack of a full steady carrier at the receive end with that system also. I have listened to a lot of these rigs on the air and most of them sound quite good and they are also more compatible with modern linear amplifiers than a constant carrier AM setup which creates a much higher duty cycle for the external amp.

It would also be interesting to experiment with one of the "super modulation" types of setups that have a separate carrier and peak tube with the carrier tube slightly increasing output on voice peaks. These were supposed to be a bit of a pain to adjust to get the levels between the two tubes set and required significant readjustment even when making a frequency shift in the same band but they could provide a lot of recovered audio with a fairly lightweight transmitter. I am less interested in the ability to go beyond 100% in the positive direction (where many receiver detectors go into distortion anyway) and more curious about good AM without heavy modulation sections with their accompanying transformers. With an operational Johnson Desk KW, 500, T-368, BC-610, and a Globe King 400 awaiting restoration I don't need any more heavy modulation transformer rigs around :)

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 2:12 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
When I was still working, up to 2010, and had a Ranger pickup truck, I would be driving around the hills here in coastal Oregon in the late
afternoon and tuning around the AM radio. I could regularly listen to Seattle and even Vancouver BC stations and as I recall, when CBU 690 Vancouver faded down, i could perfectly hear the cross border station serving San Diego, i think it's XETRA. Also there was an Alberta station
on 1060, comedy, that was good to hear. I still find quite a lot of diversity on the AM band. Oregon has a bunch of NPR stations on AM for example. I noticed here about 3 stations on CA with India music. In fact i was walking on the beach one night and listened to a long session
of India devotional music ( a narrowly appealing taste, i think ) from a CA station. They were kind of amazed when i sent them a note about the reception here. This town, 8000 pop, has 2 AM stations, one a talk radio with actually a pretty good mix of programs, a Mex music station
( pretty bad stuff ), and get this, an NOAA weather broadcast and a Coast Guard coast conditions broadcast, both the latter above 1600 kHz.
I can see the USCG station's antenna on top a shed with the ground screen wiring spead on the roof.
If i find that 73 mag article i'll post the date. When i saw it originally i thought it was so neat i hand copied the schematic, but don't know if i can find it. I didn't think the audio would be wider range or more level than with conventional plate modulation, but that may be so. I don't recall the clamper circuit right now, and i'm wondering if the size of the capacitors in the circuit limit the high end of the audio. -H


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 2:33 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
A PM just now somehow jogged my memory. I have a couple 1950s Northerns that have a tunable receiver below and a 2x 807
transmitter topside. I do like CW and I was thinking how I could use these. The receivers don't have a bandspread control but they
do tune to 18 MHz, have a nice lighted dial, the calibration is no worse than on some old military equipment, and - Northern had a
BFO optional, so it's not total fantasy to copy CW on them. The transmitter however has only 1 control, "channel". I thought maybe
I could carefully fit a crystal socket to the front panel, and take out the channel switch and put in plate tuning capacitor to cover
80/40, with link output - going to a tuner. This might be do-able and definitely a unique rig, and not grossly hacked. -Hue


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 3:30 am 
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Joined: Jul Sat 23, 2011 9:33 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Long Beach Ms. USA 39560
There is a new market - 630 meters and 2200 meters.
The band is very narrow, so adding a BFO, padding the oscillators and tuned circuits, and removing the AM capability could get you a few $$ from a magazine article and then you can sell the rest as exciters to make up for your storage costs.
Somebody may do it, why not you?
73,
Pat W5THT
P.S. The HF radios I saw being used by shrimp boats on the gulf of Mexico in the early 1960s were all converted surplus with the ten volt final and modulator tubes run on 12 volts (3 tubes in series across ships battery 36 volts). They had nice paint jobs outside and the bandswitches were ganged together with metal bars across the tuning unit front. Thanks for the memories...

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Pat W5THT
Unhappy tubes blush while unhappy power FETs scatter plastic


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 3:42 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
Pat, i think there's enough old military LF transmitters around that there'll be no shortage of LF band equipment. Most of the big long
range aircraft radios had LF capability.
re the surplus gear used on fishboats, you mean the big tall sets using the 211 / VT-4 triodes? This set used a plug in tuning unit at the bottom.
The subject of commercial converted surplus radios greatly interests me. I wish i had a few examples. I have seen ads from a CA company that converted receivers such as the ARB for boat use.
I saw a photo of a Western Electric 5-watt boat set that some company in Spain had converted to boat radio. I had the W.E. radio here unconverted so i was able to identify it for the owner.
-Hue


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 9:43 am 
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Posts: 2697
Location: Lincoln City, OR
Greetings to Hue and the Forum:

I'm in Lincoln City and I might be interested in a few of your radios... especially if you are going to part them out.

I thought it might be interesting to put together some kits using so-called "dollar" tubes to make simple low power CW transmitters for the 80 and 40 meter bands. Unfortunately, the cost of such kits rises sharply when one considers the cost of things like AirDux coils, variable capacitors and the like. One AirDux coil for 2 MHz could be cut down to make a full set of coils for such a transmitter... and the other RF components would be handy as well.

Twelve volt tubes are not an obstacle; many "dollar" tubes employ oddball filament voltages and designing around what is available is no problem.

I started a breadboard project a couple of years ago to see if I couldn't use 13GF7's and the like in a simple transmitter. I intended to use the oscillator half as a crystal oscillator and use the amplifier half as a grounded grid final with the drive coupled via the common cathode. There are gazillions of 6FM7's, 6EM7's, 13GF7's and the like out there that are pretty much useless now.... but if they could produce a few watts on the ham bands in a kit, you couldn't ask for cheaper tubes.

Anyway, PM me if you want to drop a few of the sets my way.... with the understanding, of course, that they will be cut up for parts... no preservation efforts here.

Regards,

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Jim T.
KB6GM


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 14, 2018 10:52 am 
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Posts: 8729
Location: Seattle area, WA
This sounds interesting. I have a Northern N605E and have found little info about them, but I'm curious about Seattle radio history. I haven't heard of Intervox or P.A.R., but would be interested in learning about and expanding my collection of radios from Seattle and its surrounds.

I'd welcome the opportunity to meet up and chat and possibly buy a couple of these for my collection. (I'm not a parter. I do like to sail, but hadn't connected the two interests yet.) If you'd like to meet at Puyallup or Mineral, let's figure it out. I'll send you a PM.

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Rodney -- KG7EPW
Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with a chainsaw.


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 15, 2018 2:10 am 
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Location: Ohio 45177
Crystal control of transmit might not be a total problem assuming you can get crystals to work with these radios. The hams that work AM on the HF bands tend to hang around just a few frequencies and you could probably get away with one or two crystals per band, selected for the AM watering holes, and get some use out of the things there. OF course you would be expected to tweek the modulators for "hi fi" AM quality to fit in with the elites! No carbon mics or tinny comm audio!


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 Post subject: Re: The old 2 MHz boat radios - what to do ?
PostPosted: Jan Sun 28, 2018 6:43 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 9657
Location: Powell River BC Canada
These radios were used in British Columbia, as part of the Marine Telephone
network. To place a call to a ship, or a camp located on coast, you would phone
the marine operator, and they would try and raise the contact. They would then
phone you back, and set up the call. Similarly, if a ship or camp wanted to
call a telephone on shore, the process would work in reverse.

Many camps and ships, also had radios without transmitters, just to keep an ear on what
the call channel was doing.


Some of these radios may be welcome in logger's museums in a com display.

Shown below is the dial of a Watterson transistor radio marketed especially for
marine coverage
Attachment:
Watterson marine dial minutiae.jpg
Watterson marine dial minutiae.jpg [ 45.83 KiB | Viewed 843 times ]

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de
VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
ve7aso@rac.ca


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