It appears as though I haven’t made a post in over a year. Time flies when you’re having fun…or extremely busy. It’s time to start a new project. In doing so, it might be fun to document the progress here in cyberspace (does anyone even still say that). It’s a good way to keep track of what’s been done, and also share with friends. Often times it might also be a topic of interest to many others outside your local chums. My posts on the ARD 230 project sure generated a lot of feedback from other owners. I received inquiries from hams as far as Spain and Germany! Strap in for the ride…here it begins.
I got energized to try something new after participation in the AM Rally early this spring. I’ve always been interested in vintage radio and the roots of our hobby. While CW holds the crown as oldest mode, AM isn’t too far behind. Many modern and vintage radios will operate AM, but I get a kick out of using vintage gear to operate a vintage mode. My lash-up for the event was a Heathkit DX-60A transmitter with the matching HG-10 VFO and Astatic D-104 mic. Classic 60’s and good for about 55W PEP. The receiver was a Yaesu FRdx-400. Early 70’s production, and it did pretty well for me, too. I didn’t yet have a dowkey relay so all the switching was done manually. Let me tell you, that’s a lot of work just to complete an exchange! My time was limited, and I made only one contact but I think the hook was set. Time to finally breath new life into this old gear that’s been sitting around cluttering up my shack.
Ten years ago I purchased a Johnson Viking II transmitter from a good friend and elmer Joel, K2LYC (now SK). I also came home with several other vintage pieces from his extensive collection, but that will become the subject matter of many future posts. The intent was to setup an AM station (Studio B) to accompany my then-modern Icom IC-756 station (Studio A). Somehow a decade passed away and, sadly, so did Joel. I guess I feel like I owe it to him to get this stuff playing again. So, it begins with the transmitter. I’m going to start there because usually they’re simpler. I’ve also had pretty good success fixing others. Fortunately, there’s loads of info available at my fingertips. This is the intro so I’m not going too deep. My plan is to remove the chassis from the cabinet for overall cleaning and inspection. I’ll replace any faulty components and perform only the mods that are proven and considered best practice. No total restoration needed. I’m sure every scratch and scrape tells a story. It’ll never be a mint specimen, just an honest workhorse. Eventually it’ll pair with my Collins 75A-3 (which will probably be the next project). But you see I’m already ahead of myself. Next post will start getting into the real heart of the job. 73!