Phil's not so old comms receivers
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Not so old Communications receivers
Many years ago I was a keen short wave listener, tuning in at night whenever I was out in my workshjop tinkering around with something. About thirty five years ago I collected a number of 1940's valve receivers and I rebuilt a couple of these. The rest were put away in a dark cupboard in the storage shed. The working valve receivers were side lined by a pair of amazing Sony solid state, very portable receivers. I used these in the workshop and when travelling around Australia and overseas. I bought these duty free in Asia when they were first released on the market. They performed wonderfully, enabling me to get news from home all over the USA and to a lesser extent while travelling in Europe Asia and England.
When I took up working for Geoscience my job required travelling in the back blocks of Australia and so I packed the trusty Sony radios into my luggage and off I went. After a couple of years of this I discovered both were in trouble. When the batteries got down a bit they motor boated and all I could do was to feed in new batteries every night (part of my expenses for the trip). I lost interest for several more years but eventually I needed my fix of short wave listening when on holidays so I did a web search for a clue to the problem with them. My guess was the surface mount electrolytic capacitors and sure enough, I found a great web site that expained these devices had an expected usable life of ten years and as they were by then perhaps fifteen years old then I had done quite well. Now how do you get into these little things without damaging them ?.
The web site I found had very detailed information on pulling the SW1 apart and what to do when you got there. There was also a site dedicated to the 7600D and although it was not as detailed, it would also be a great help. I ordered the offending capacitors and when they arrived I pulled the SW1 apart. To my horror I now needed a suitable surface mount rework station if I was going to do these repairs without doing damage to the delicate insides of these little beasts. I put them both away in the "too hard basket" again and did not think about them again until May 2011 when we were planning an overseas trip.
About the time I was first thinking of trying to fix there "wonders of modern radio" I had to come to grips with euipment with surface mount components at work so I bought a suitable workstation for the offce and one for home. I am an old dog who was just going to have to learn new tricks. I thought I may be able to slip out of this world before lead free solder and surface mount technologies made my life a misery but luckily this is not the case, I was just had to adapt and "retrain" once again.
Sony ICF-7600D I have at last fixed this little beast
A foot note about the Sony ICF-7600D: While recovering from the knee operation mentioned below I spent much of the first two weeks in a recliner chair in the lounge and I soon was very bored with the rubbish on our many television stations so I sat and tuned around the Ham Bands with this radio. To my surprise I could listen in to the VK BoatAnchor Net and the 7130 DX net and could hear many of the stations with just the little whip antenna. This also prooved to me the many LED downlights I had installed in the house in place of the fourty year old fitting I put in when I built the house, were radio quiet. The lesson to learn form this is to buy local brand name fittings, not the cheap rubbish found on Ebay. My guess is they are made in the same part of the world but the local brand names ensure what they sell meets the RFI standards that do not seem to be enforced DownUnder.
More modern communication receivers in my collection !
- Yaesu FRG-7700 A donation from a friend to help me recover from a knee operation. Much appreciated, especially as it has the FM board fitted and I will use it with some VHF converters. January 2015
- Yaesu FRG-7 I picked this radio up at a Ham Radio Buy and Sell I soon discovered it was in BIG trouble. The seller assured me it was working but it did not work when I "fired it up". I opened it and found "Harry The Ham" had been inside and made a mess of it. One of the antenna coils had been destroyed and Harry had made an very bad job of adding a five to one reduction drive to the main tuning shaft. January 2015
- Drake SSR-1 This one had an intermittant fault and I have fixed it. January 2015
- Trio 9R59DS Nice valve type Ham receiver in good condition. Did not need any restoration.
- Trio JR-200 Another valve type receiver, restoration involved making a new dial scale. The figures were falling off. I scanned the remains of the original glass dial and created a new one that is now printed on photo paper and stuck on the backing plate behind the dial. The artworks can be found on this page.
- Hallicrafters S38D Very simple valve general coverage receiver that was originally 110 Volt transformer less.
Fitted a transformer from a common mantle set and replaced the valves with 6.3 volt heater types. Looks the part now.
- Realistic AX-190 This receiver is a surprise, it is very good, not like the other Tandy/Realistic receivers
- Realistic DX-150A This was in very poor condition when I picked it up, read about what someone had done to it.
- Realistic DX-160 In very good condition.
- Realistic DX-302 - More about this receiver when I get time to write it up.
- Heathkit HR-10 Classic valve Ham receiver restored with a 240 Volt power transformer. OK on the lower HF bands.
- Heathkit GR-78 Full coverage early transistor receiver, poor performance. The biggest problems with it were dirty switches and an audio output stage that had popped a germanium output transistor. The built in battery pack had long since gone and I did not trust the tiny little power transformer in the GR78 so I did a few modifications, adding a DC jack for a plug pack and a voltage regulator.
Valve only Boat anchor Communications Receivers in my collection
My collection of BoatAnchor Receivers include a Hammarlund Super Pro, two Marconi B28/CR100, a Hellicrafters Ultra High Frequency Receiver S27 and two AR7's with more than two sets of coil boxes. These are featured on other pages on this web site. I did have an AR8 that I "souped up", adding all the goodies like product detector, EF50 RF and IF valves, S meter and noise limiter. For some reason I gave this one away many years ago with the matching AT5 transmitter in mint condition. Would like to find another one just for old time sake. The B28 / CR100 and AR7's each have their own web page because they are "work in progress".
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Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 17st April 2016