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 Post subject: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 3:48 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
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Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
Northern Radio ( of Seattle WA, not to be confused with the East Coast radioteletype equipment manufacturer ), a boat radio company, produced in 1946 this large, expensive, multiband SW receiver. Tunes AM BC thru 31 MHz in 5 bands; 1 RF 2 IF; S meter;
variable selectivity; voltage regulation; large audio output. No BFO and NO FM. So who was this marketed to, with no FM ? Some kind of remote bases? Logging camps and fish processing stations, from what I know, did not spend a lot of money for top-end
radios. So who was Northern hoping to sell to? Also - by just maybe 2, 3 years later, I think the market would have dried up,
as by 1947 there was a huge surge of war-surplus, and you could get a Scott receiver or a Super Pro for less than new retail prices.
Also, I have NEVER seen any Northern ( Seattle ) advertising in any publication, only handouts and brochures, so there's no help
there.
I noticed that a few years later, in the mid 1950s, RCA sold a relabeled under the RCA name, a Harvey Wells receiver, the RG-9A,
which was a gen cov version of the HW R-9A ham receiver. This is another AM BC and gen cov shortwave receiver, with BFO, and
also with a powerful audio output. Again, I have no clue what this receiver was intended for. I briefly thought, "ocean liners", but I don't think in the postwar era there was a lot of passenger ship building, as that was winding down, plus you could buy all the
leftover Scott ship receivers you wanted. For yachts? But then the radios would be 12, 24, or 32 volt powered. These are AC only.
Much puzzlement.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 4:14 am 
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Hue,

Do you think maybe Northern developed that during the war to compete for a "morale" receiver contract but the war ended before it was ready? Post-war they may have tried to market an AC only version hoping to salvage something from the effort.

I have one of the RCA badged Harvey Wells RG9A receivers that I picked up to use with my T90 until I found the proper receiver. Here is the thread I started 7 years ago: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=167972

I did finally find the correct HW receiver for the T-90 and fortunately it hadn't been modified like the RCA variant.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 4:21 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
I will have to think about that. The example of the Technical Radio LRR-6 "morale radio" came to mind just now, as an example
of another overbuilt expensive broadcast receiver. That is not a bad guess at all, certainly better than anything I came up with.
Good deal on finding yourself an R-9. The general coverage one would be terrible on the ham bands with its fast tuning.
I also have the HW pair and the antenna tuner; still need someday to repair them and build an ACPS. -Hue


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 4:40 am 
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Joined: Jul Tue 21, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 800
Location: SW WA state
Hue Miller wrote:
Tunes AM BC thru 31 MHz in 5 bands; 1 RF 2 IF; S meter;
variable selectivity; voltage regulation; large audio output. No BFO and NO FM. So who was this marketed to, with no FM ?


No BFO?!? That would be a huge detractor, Hue!
Can't use it for CW, then...
FM wouldn't have been an issue: There really wasn't anything that low of any consequence: The FM broadcast band was re-homed from about 40-50 MHz to the present 88+ MHz...
10M didn't have any FM, unless people were occasionally using war surplus tank radios or the like.
I know there were AM operations (forestry) going on just above 30 MHz....
So, this does make for a good mystery...
I can ask people at Winterfest about Northern Radio and see if anyone remembers or has information.

BTW: I have a Northern Radio set of some sort and an amp promised to me. No further information, but they should materialize shortly.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 4:49 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
Well, there were AM & FM broadcast receivers in 1946 that included some SW band. This receiver has no FM. The dial is marked
for SB BC and ham freqs. So it was meant for voice or broadcast reception only. I thought about a BFO adapter and I might or might not do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 5:04 am 
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The N605E is a cool looking radio and I see Universal Radio sold one a decade ago for quite a bit. The dial scale and front panel reminds me of some of the 1930s Meissner sets like their Traffic Master.

The only Northern Radio gear I own is one of the NC-183D receivers that they modified for diversity use.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 5:10 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
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Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
Your Northern Radio NC-183D is from the 'other Northern', the east coast company that dealt in teletype related equipment.
Northern Radio ( Seattle ) started out as Northern Radiotelephone Co. but changed their name sometime postwar, maybe to accomodate them moving into other areas such as land mobile or aircraft radio.
I have an ad from a mgazine "Electronics Technologies" that shows the NC-183 in a rack full of Northern equipment.
Was this Northern receiver relabeled with their own label, or does the National label remain ?


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 17, 2018 5:18 am 
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Hue,

Thanks for the clarification and there was no Northern label on mine although it could have been removed at some point.

It has additional panel controls and tubes that were added and the additional tubes created a problem with both the bias supply and the VR tube regulated supply. I had to change a few resistor values to put things back to National spec so that it would work properly.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 22, 2018 6:33 am 
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Location: Seattle area, WA
Hue, I wondered exactly the same thing--What was the market?--when I got my Northern N605E. It seemed most bizarre that it doesn't at least have a BFO.

Here are a couple photos of mine. It's had some unfortunate mods. And the back is missing. Guess I'll never find one, will probably have to reproduce one. This thing tips the scales at 45 lbs!

-Rodney


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 22, 2018 6:58 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 241
Location: Newport, Oregon, 97365 U.S.A.
Rodney, the no BFO points toward its market, if we can figure that out. The dial is marked for ham and SW broadcast frequencies.
Ham traffic at the time was AM mode. The user of this set apparently was not expected to have interest other than in voice communications. I still don't know the market except the previous suggestion of military "morale radio" broadcast receiver is along the right lines. The military would be one of very few potential buyers who wouldn't blanch at a high price.
The only nonstandard I can see with your set is the replacement meter. My radio is packed away now but when I see it again
I will note the meter size and type and we can be on the lookout for a better fit meter.
I noticed the selectivity switch only affects one IF stage. I was thinking I might modify mine for high selectivity coupling in the
fixed stage, but maybe not.
So we know about 4 existing, at least: mine, yours, the "Spokane one", and the "Universal Radio" one.
I was fortunate to find the original Northern "manual" which is only a couple pages, and exactly the same material is in the Sams
published sheets.
I think a BFO addition would be pretty easy. Maybe the switch ( BFO power, AVC disable ) could be placed on the back panel.
-Hue


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 22, 2018 8:39 am 
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Location: Seattle area, WA
Wow, 4 known, I didn't realize they were that scarce.

Mine is serial number 114. The one in Spokane was serial# 141. The next time you see yours, grab the serial# off it, too.

Which one is the "Universal Radio" one?

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


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 Post subject: Re: Northern N605E: what was the market ?
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Posts: 8749
Location: Seattle area, WA
Ah, I found the "Universal Radio" unit. It was serial number 57.

No photo of a back with it, either.

https://www.universal-radio.com/used/sold490.html

-Rodney


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