I’ve been taking a bit of a break on the Viking II project I mentioned in the last post. Multiple projects always seem to make their way into the shack and cause me distraction. I had an offer come up I couldn’t refuse, and so, had to make room on the bench. My friend Ward K8FD has four Johnson Viking Rangers in his collection. Two are the original model Ranger and the other two are Range II models. He wants to have the best one of each model repaired and keep it for himself. I get to keep the other two for my collection as payment for making all the appropriate repairs. Sounded like a good deal to me. Fortunately, Ward already purchased a couple nice capacitor repair kits and some missing hardware from Nationwide Radio and Equipment Sales.
The new parts are quite a bit smaller than the original parts so it wasn’t too much trouble fitting them into the chassis. Several of the old caps were pretty crusty and would certainly would be an issue if they hadn’t already failed. I didn’t want to take any chances so I went straight to making repairs instead of giving an initial test. Along the way, I also tested the tubes and found a couple bad and wrong spec. I was able to do a swap-a-roo since there were four transmitters in the shack!
Repairs have been pretty straight forward so far. Considering it didn’t work at all when I started, making even a little power is success. Power output stays around 25-30 watts AM and CW. I’ve found it to be pretty easy to tune up compared to other tube rigs I’ve tried. It also seems to be pretty forgiving and tolerant of my slow tune-up, which is nice…I have smoked components before from persistent mis-tuned conditions.
This is actually a 160-6m transmitter which is kinda cool for such an old rig. I suspect most people really only operate them on 80 and 40m if running AM. Maybe other bands on CW I suppose. The dial reads within about 12 kHz which isn’t too bad. Looking forward to installing it back into the cabinet and giving it a try on the air.