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 Post subject: Nova Tech Pilot II
PostPosted: Mar Fri 27, 2009 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1218
Location: Charlotte,NC
I just picked one of these up for $2.99 at an antique store in Kansas City, Mo. It works! Well, sorta. The meter appears to be dead and I get nothing on the VHF band (Some static, nothing else). BC band could definitely use an RF alignment and the dial string slips as the tension spring on the pulley is shot (bent out).Does anyone know where I can get a schematic/ manual /etc. for it? There's nothing on BAMA (Of course! It's solid state and nowhere near boatanchor size).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Fri 27, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I have scanned the manual with schematic and can send this evening.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Fri 27, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Charlotte,NC
You da man! My e-mail : kkershaw (at) carolina.rr.com Thanks in advance! Neat little radio. It's at least the equal in performance and maybe a little better on the BC band as my Grundig YB-400. I didn't expect that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Fri 27, 2009 11:55 pm 
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Location: Black Hills, SD 57745
For slipping dialcords, I rub a little beeswax from an old wax capacitor on the cord near the tuning shaft. Run it one way, rub what cord is exposed, advance tuning and repeat.

-Ed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
Hi,

Wow, you made out like a bandit on that one!

After seeing these come out when I was young, I finally bought one a few years back, A really neat little set. There was a series of these Nova-Tech sets. A marine band one, the Pilot II (aircraft), one for the VHF high police/fire band, and one even had the CB band.

My dial cord slips also, and I haven't had time to get into it.

As for the receiving on the AC band, the signals might come in few and far between. Tune around slowly in the 118-121 mhz area if you live within 30 miles of an airport for the most activity.

You might want to carefully spray the cleaner on the bandswitch in case something is dirty in there.


Dave, if it would be easy to email me a copy of the manual, I"d appreciate it. I will PM with the address.

Good luck on your little set,
Gary,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2009 11:10 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34326
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
I find listening to aircraft a bit frustrating. The pilots are a lot more disciplined than hams are, for sure. Their transmissions are short and concise and to the point with important words spelled out phonetically By time you have them tuned in, they are gone. Occasionally, I have found a pair of aircraft taking off at about the same time and flying to a common destination and the pilots will ragchew a bit on the unicom frequency, but even that, it is only for a minute or so. It is like their transmitters have a pair of 6146's in the final and they are running a full kilowatt! Keep it short and your hands on the stick.
Curt

_________________
Curt, N7AH
(Connoisseur of the cold 807) CW forever!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 5:28 am 
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Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
Hi Curt,
Yes, I know how short those transmissins can be. They are short, to the point though, to they don't tie up the freq.
I used to fly thru the LAX area and surrounding LA area whe I lived in Ca. You have to be on your toes, even back in the late 70's, now I can imagine it's a lot more crowded.

Short messages ometimes you will hear a descending flight coming into , say LAX or Nashville, All you'd hear on the approach freq would be "Southwest 511 leaving 220 for 140 we have Juliet"

220 is short for flight level 220 which is 22,000Ft. You know it's descending because the FL 140 is 14,000ft. Juliet is the current airport information. The next updated info would be Kilo.

I really enjoy listening though, I always get to the airport to pick up family early, to sit and listen to their flight come in from many miles away, watch it land.
Cheap thrill, I know :)
Take care,
Gary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 5:52 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1218
Location: Charlotte,NC
VHF was dead. I was about a mile from MCI airport when I tested it. I found one problem when I got it back home. The VHF antenna jack was disconected. I can now pick up the signal from a generator. When I change the generator frequency, I get a nice sharp peak. However, when I change the radio frequency, nothing much happens. I get the generator signal all across the band with a low, broad peak around the generator frequency. I'll try to align the IF and see if that helps. With the volume up full, I get static at a really low volume.

As for the slipping dial string, The dial pointer was getting caught on the antenna. This also affected the RF alignment. The antenna had been pushed down and impinged on the dial string and pointer. Its held in place vertically by a screw. I loosened it, pushed the antenna back up, tightened the screw, and it all works fine. The tension spring is OK. It looked like it was done that way at the factory. The string is tied around 4 turns of the spring.

The meter is still dead. I only checked the connections, as the meter is buried in the chassis and removing it to completely check it out would require almost complete disassembly of the radio, too much unscrewing and de-soldering for me.

On the plus side, the radio came in it's leather case with the 3 telescoping antennas.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Posts: 20956
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
For reference, this is an example of the Nova Tech Pilot II that we have been talking about:

Image

Image

Image

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1218
Location: Charlotte,NC
I got the VHF working, sort of. I've found that IF transformer T2 is out of sorts. There are 5 IF xfmrs. I think that there is an intermittant in it or the VHF "sub-chassis" where it is located. It seems to affect the squelch. The only peak I can get on T2 is with it at the bottom of it's travel or at the top. Depending on how you turn the screw, I get squelched or unsquelched reception. The squelch knob is turned off. I can also affect it with light pressure on the sub-chassis. Just tapping it gives full reception. I'm going to try to set it somewhere in the middle and peak the others as with it all the way in, I lose reception at the bottom of the dial. It's going to reqiure a delicate touch. I don't know if I can remove the sub- chassis without complete disassembly of the radio.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 16, 2009 12:38 am 
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Location: Charlotte,NC
I finally got back to this. I think T2 (1st IF xfmr) is shot. I managed to take the VHF sub-chassis off and re-soldered all the connections. T2 now gives no peak except at the absolute bottom of its travel, when it gives a giant jump in sensitivty (busted slug?). All the others give a nice peak. I am able to pick up VHF comms, although the dial calibration is a little off, despite my feeble attempts at an RF alignment. It also has FM band images from 103.5. The antenna is about 1/2 mile away. Could all of this be from a bad IF xfmr?

Also, I confirmed that the meter is dead. It shows no deflection at all. I hooked up a voltmeter to the leads and it is getting the appropriate signals. The meter is just stuck at zero. Dave, thanks again for the manual. It came in real handy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Tue 09, 2010 7:58 pm 
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Hi Kent, Dave & all,

I'm new to the group and found this discussion via Google. I picked up a Novatech Pilot II a few years back on ebay. With the exception of the slipping dial cord, it works very much like yours Kent, i.e. the VHF seems dead.

Were you able to get the VHF band working sufficiently?

I am interested in finding out if it is practical to get the VHF band functioning. I know next to nothing about radio repair let alone any tools to troubleshoot the problem.

Any recommendation on where I can go for repair?

Regards,

Jay


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 11, 2010 12:40 am 
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Location: Mesa, Arizona
Dave Doughty wrote:
For reference, this is an example of the Nova Tech Pilot II that we have been talking about:

Dave


Nice set, Dave. I've got one of these, too, but mine is sitting in a box, mostly disassembled. It was pretty dirty when I got (so, as is my habit, I disassembled it for ease of cleaning), plus the dial string was broken and it was obviously in need of a recap. I haven't gotten around to fixing it and putting it back together yet.

Anyway, I also need the schematic. Can you please e-mail one to me? schepler@cox.net.

Thanks!!

Aaron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 11, 2010 12:45 am 
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Location: Mesa, Arizona
Jay wrote:
Hi Kent, Dave & all,

I'm new to the group and found this discussion via Google. I picked up a Novatech Pilot II a few years back on ebay. With the exception of the slipping dial cord, it works very much like yours Kent, i.e. the VHF seems dead.

Were you able to get the VHF band working sufficiently?

I am interested in finding out if it is practical to get the VHF band functioning. I know next to nothing about radio repair let alone any tools to troubleshoot the problem.

Any recommendation on where I can go for repair?

Regards,

Jay


You may have a repair shop in your area that's willing to take on the job, but that's no fun! :) Just do what I did about a year ago, with no technical training whatsoever: just start tearing into old radios and teach yourself how to fix them. Slowly but surely you'll get there if you have the interest.

Good luck!

Aaron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Thu 11, 2010 12:48 am 
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Location: Mesa, Arizona
Curt Reed wrote:
I find listening to aircraft a bit frustrating. The pilots are a lot more disciplined than hams are, for sure. Their transmissions are short and concise and to the point with important words spelled out phonetically By time you have them tuned in, they are gone. Occasionally, I have found a pair of aircraft taking off at about the same time and flying to a common destination and the pilots will ragchew a bit on the unicom frequency, but even that, it is only for a minute or so. It is like their transmitters have a pair of 6146's in the final and they are running a full kilowatt! Keep it short and your hands on the stick.
Curt


I know what you mean. I occasionally listen to aircraft transmissions on my Realistic SW-60. But half the time, I can't understand a word those guys are saying! :)

Aaron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sat 13, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
Hi guys,
These little sets may be a bear to work on. I know they are really tight and packed in.

I finally looked at my dial cord slipping. It seems there is a plastic shaft with serrations in it, and has worn smooth. It is hard to get to. I figure that if a person were really carefl, they could take a sharp pin and rout out the grooves for a better grip.

Or, you could wrap a very thin (like the tinckness of a balloon) piece of rubber around the shaft, and secure it to itself with a teeny dot of super glue. NO glue to the shaft itself in case you need to re-do it in a few years.

"I know what you mean. I occasionally listen to aircraft transmissions on my Realistic SW-60. But half the time, I can't understand a word those guys are saying!

Aaron"

Yes, unless you inderstand some of the long, you will be lost. But if you listen long enough you can pick up on certain things.

I believe there is a site online that describes some of the transmissions. If you need to know something, PM me.

"American 135 leaving 180 for 240"

This plane is leaving 18,000 ft, climbing to 24,000 ft. Flight level means is how many hundreds of ft. altitude.

These two sites might help explain some of the lingo:
http://www.westwingsinc.com/IFR.htm

http://www.westwingsinc.com/vfr.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sun 14, 2010 5:16 am 
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Problem is, you'll be hearing only half the conversation unless you're within a few miles of the airport when you will/should be able to hear the control tower.

If you hear an aircraft say "American 125 leaving 180 for 240" then your not listening to a local control tower freq, your listening to a high level route frequency with the controller maybe hundreds of miles away.

Hunt around for your nearest airport and Google for it's name and 'radio frequencies'. It should spit out quite a few - look for one called 'approach' or something like that. If it's a large airport, it may have different approach freqs for each runway, but at least you'll hear the controller and the aircraft.

There will also be a departure frequency, where they'll talk about SID's (standard instrument departures).- things like "cancel SID, proceed direct rep point wingco". Listen for 'call control on 121.9 through 5000' - that means the aircraft will change frequency to 121.9MHz when passing through 5000feet. All freqs are simplex. Altitudes below 13000feet are given as the actual altitude, above 13000 they are 'flight levels' given in 100ft increments and spoken as 'flight level 240'

Once you get the hang of it, it's good fun. A scanner is better of course!

_________________
Cheers - Martin ZL2MC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Fri 29, 2011 2:47 am 
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I just bought a working novatech pilot II. I am very excited about it! I am missing the side antenna though. otherwise it is perfect! Works great after cleaning the battery terminals! I have no idea how it works though. I do not understand how the VHF or the Beacon or how the Marine option work? Think I need the side antenna? Can anyone help?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Fri 29, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
johnjohn wrote:
I just bought a working novatech pilot II. I am very excited about it! I am missing the side antenna though. otherwise it is perfect! Works great after cleaning the battery terminals! I have no idea how it works though. I do not understand how the VHF or the Beacon or how the Marine option work? Think I need the side antenna? Can anyone help?

I bought one a few years back, and recapped it. Works great on the BCB, given that it has an RF amplifier in the front end.

The "Beacon" band is the low frequency area of 190-400 Khz, 140 Khz below the broadcast band, and is tunable with just the rotating ferrite antenna, IF there were anything to receive. Turn the DF Level off, and adjust the squelch control to near maximum, and you may pick up some strange tones along the dial.

You can test the meter function by setting the bandswitch to Broadcast, turning the DF Level on and adjusting it about mid to 3/4 rotation, and tuning in a station. On the BCB at least, the DF Level control can act as a volume control.

AFA the Marine/VHF band, you will need whip antenna extensions, which plug into the two jacks at each end of the top of the rotating antenna bar. They appear to be "Banana Jacks", in that there are no screw threads.
You would need to jerry-rig something to act as antennas. Perhaps someone who has one of these with antennas can advise what length to use. If not, I would imagine 9 - 18 inches would be sufficient.

_________________
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins/////////////////////////


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 Post subject: Re: Nova Tech Pilot II
PostPosted: Mar Sun 29, 2015 9:31 pm 
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Anybody know a source for the telescoping antennas for this radio?

They are the kind that screw in.


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