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 100KHz Crystal Calibrator Kit for tube type rigs

Boat AnchorsSo you bought that old Galaxy V or National tube type transceiver and got it running, but you're not sure exactly how good the VFO's calibration, or how linear the output is.

An easy way to check calibration of your VFO is by way of a 100 KHz oscillator loosely couple to the receiver. This should should allow you to adjust the dial calbration at 100 KHz intervals and allow for less uncertainty when tuning the bands. Unfortunately, most of the older rigs that had those options fitted have had those useful bits removed and pressed into service elsewhere. The Galaxy transceivers had optional plug in 100 KHz or 25KHz calibrators but they're hard to find today, and if you do find one- it may need repair. If you're looking to enhance your operation of the radio, why not build and install a solid state modern calibrator?

A 100 KHz crystal calbrator is a very useful tool for the radio experimenter and Grandpa's Electronics has designed a nifty little kit that sells for about $18- check out the calibrator kit here- it looks like a great kit!

Posted by master on Thursday, January 01 @ 10:13:46 EST (9380 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)

 ICOM IC-27A Intermittent Transmit Repair

Ham Radio Repair Notes and TipsI have an old ICOM IC-27A which I picked up at the TARCfest a year ago. Naturally, the fellow I bought it from said it works perfect and of course I trusted this was true.

As luck would have it, it did work- if you call having no sound from the speaker working and a loose mike plug working. I replaced the speaker- luckily I had one from an old computer case small enough to fit inside the rig. I took the mike socket apart and cut but the cable end a couple inches as this is where the strain usually causes weak and broken wires in the cord. After resoldering I thought the rig was fine- a quick bench test indicated so. Once it was installed in my shack on wheels, I found that sometimes it works on tranmsit, sometimes not. I figured I have a bad plug or socket- the easier item to try first is the plug, so I ordered both items from R & L. The IC-27A has a 8 pin mike plug that is recessed so a regualr plug will fit, but not screw down. The guy at R & L was nice enough to remind me of that when they asked what I was putting the plug into.

When the plug and socket arrived, I set about to install the plug first. After careful soldering, I fired up the rig and same thing. intermittent transmit. I noticed if I pushed and held the plug to one side I could transmit. So I took the rig aprat to check the socket and replace if needed. That's when I got lucky!

The socket is soldered to a small PCB and it looked great. No cold joints on the board as I had hoped to see. Then I noticed the board has two ground leads, one a solid wire soldered direct to the chassis, the other black wire should go to a ground point somewhere- but it was never soldered. A close look at the joint on the solid wire, where it was soldered to the front panel chassis showed a broken joint- the reason it worked when pushed over. The other ground wire, had it been soldered, might have prevented this issue in the first place. I resoldered the chassis ground, found a ground point for the wire, reassembled the unit and now it really does work perfect!

This is yet another example of why you should NEVER use solid wire for grounds on mobile equipment- not even internal. After years of bumps and shocks, they WILL fail. ICOM engineers knew this and put two in place. It is easy to see how a lack of a redundant ground could be missed at the factory.

Here is a photo I took of the Icom 27A Repair

73- Bill N4BKT

Posted by master on Monday, December 22 @ 08:08:56 EST (8407 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)

 W4RNL LB Cebik Silent Key

General NewsL.B. Cebik, well known Amateur antenna expert and author of many texts and books on antennas has passed away. W4RNL's published writings helped hams at all levels of understanding and it seems not a day goes by that I do not get referred back to something he has written regarding virtually any antenna I research or build.

Cebik gave much to the Amateur community and in the true spirit of ham radio, asked nothing in return other than the favor of passing on what you've learned to another ham. So the next time you read or refer to one of his articles, you should ask yourself: "What have I done lately to help the new guys learn this stuff"? Through his actions and writings, Cebik was (and always will be) a great Elmer (someone who helps new hams get started). Are you a good Elmer?

73 OM - hope to see you down the log.

Posted by billbill on Wednesday, April 23 @ 07:29:21 EDT (8405 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

 Did you know? In 1964 Leo's WRL Team were spot-on with the Galaxy III and V

WRL Globe and Galaxy RigsI ran across a sales brochure add-on from WRL's Galaxy line. Leo and his guys sure had their act together back then. They sold tons of the Galaxy V, not so many of the three band unit though, as the prices were too close. Here’s a scan of the list, originally published in 1964-

Did you know? Galaxy III and V transceivers:

1. Have the most RF power output of any transceiver this size.
2. Are the smallest in size of any 5 or 3 band transceiver.
3. Are the most easily adapted to mobile operation (less than one cubic foot of space needed).
4. Has the finest six crystal lattice filter available in any transceiver. With a filter width of only 2.1 KC's at 6 DB, and only 3.8 KC's at 60 DB down.
5. Have receiver sensitivity comparable to any receiver available today, regardless of price, and better than most. Remember receiver sensitivity is BETTER than 1/2 microvolt for 10 DB S/N.
6. Have one of the finest dual attack and release AVC systems available, makes the receiver, on frequency, virtually block proof on the strongest signals.
7. Have an average of 8 to 10 DB of ALC, which aids in preventing flat-topping and distortion of the transmitted signal.
8. Have carrier suppression in EXCESS of 45 DB and unwanted sideband suppression in EXCESS of 55 DB.
9. Have selectable Upper and Lower sideband on all bands.
10. Are the only transceivers available, which incorporate the EZ VUE DIAL for minimum visual error of frequency readout while operating mobile.
11. Are manufactured with the strictest possible quality control. Each unit is individually subjected to rigorous tests that exceed any normal use for which intended.
12. Have been tested and demonstrated (at ARRL National Convention, 1964, New York City) at full output, (200 Watts into an accurate dummy load) for over 5 minutes continuous CW carrier, without loss of power output or damage to tubes or components.
13. Full uniform output on all bands, 10-80 meters.
14. Have shifted CW carrier for best CW operation.

Posted by billbill on Friday, March 28 @ 19:03:13 EDT (13249 reads)
(Read More... | 3519 bytes more | Score: 5)

 How to find your local Maximum Wind Speeds for Tower building guidelines

Antennas and TowersWhen designing a Amateur Radio Station tower installation, how do you determine the maximum wind speeds to design for? The maximum wind speeds will vary depending on the geographic location of your tower installation. In the USA you can consult the NOAA Climate Data tables of observed data for an area close to you. For Example, I live in Stuart Florida, my town is not big enough to be on the list but it is about 30 miles north of West Palm Beach, so I should be safe to use that data for my reference point. NOAA Maximum Wind Speeds

It appears by looking at the row for West Palm Beach, that throughout the last 57 years the annual measured wind speeds peaked at 86 miles per hour. I can tell you from first hand experience, August is a bad month for wind. October, though slightly lower at 83 miles per hour, is the month my last tower was destroyed (October 2005, thanks Wilma) So it appears to me that if you are building a tower in my town of Stuart FL, it should be at a minimum built to withstand 90 mph winds when fully loaded.

Posted by billbill on Monday, March 24 @ 08:23:47 EDT (12140 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

Stories on restoring radios are:

not very interesting.
very interesting. Please keep them coming
best covered elsewhere.
too technical. KISS


Votes 363



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