WA2WHV
A Historical Tour

IT ALL STARTED WITH THIS

 

This is a photo of the Knight Kit "Span Master" SuperRegenerative Receiver kindly supplied by Richard Post - KB8TAD.
Thanks, Richard!

I don't have mine anymore, but it was the beginning of my venture into electronics and ham radio. My father gave it to me for Christmas of 1959 (or thereabouts). By the way, the very first thing I remember hearing when I got this receiver working was a song called "The Big Hurt" sung by Toni Fisher on WMGM AM 1050 NY. The recording itself sounds like shortwave reception, because it was one of the first recordings that the "flanging" effect was used on, causing variable frequency cancellation. (Producer, Phil Spector's finger on the tape deck flywheel flange).

Visit Richard's page for details on this receiver and many others, including another favorite of mine, the SX-28.

 


FIRST TRANSMITTER

The schematic diagram for my first 6L6 (8 watt ) ham transmitter is shown below.
The circuit was found in "The Radio Amateur's Handbook" by
A. Frederick Collins 10th Ed. 1961
(This is not the ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook)

 

B1
C1, C2, C3
C4
Crystal
L1
R1
R2
R3
RFC
V1
terminal board
0.01 uf 600V paper Cap
50 pf variable cap
7.175 MHZ (First Freq.)
40 M Link Coupled Coil (Barker & Williamson)
20K 1W
200 Ohms 2W
15K 2W
2.5 mh RF choke
6L6G

First contact was Ted Lund (WV2YJS) Oradell, NJ
August 9, 1962
My Novice test was given to me by Pete Riker,
who was then WA2HLN and is now K4BKD
with QTH at Marietta, GA
I received my General Class license the following year.
I took the written and code test in the old Federal Building in NYC.

On this 50th anniversary year, I was granted an upgrade to Amateur Extra Class. I took the test from VEs at a hamfest in Tinton Falls, NJ on May 12, 2012 sponsored by the Garden State Amateur Radio Association.
The FCC database made it official on May 24, 2012.



LIST OF RECEIVERS I HAVE OWNED

List May be Incomplete. I will add to it if I remember any others

Knight, Span Master Gone. Don't know what I did with it. I've seen this two tube super regen. auction for a quite a bit on Ebay. This was probably the first for many hams and SWLs.
Old 40s RCA multiband, pulled from a console. I made my first ham contact using this receiver. I eventually pitched it.
Hallicrafters, SX-110 I remember seeing this attractive receiver in a store window on "radio row" in NYC. My father gave it to me for Christmas and I used it for a few years. It seemed to drift indefinitely. I would have my right hand on my CW key and my left on the tuning knob so I could keep following the received signal as it continued to drift. I wasn't curious enough to see how far it would go before stabilizing. Gave it to Father Zachery at my church in the late 60s. Most tube receivers I had were not fully stable. Once, solid state, digital receivers came along, drift was no longer an issue.
Hammurlund, SP-200 I rebuilt circuitry. Gave it to my cousin, Mitch.
Hallicrafters SX-43 Used it while in USAF. Don't remember what happened to it.
Hammurlund, HQ-110 Used it while in USAF, Sold it!
Hallicrafters, SX-101A Used it while in USAF, Sold it!
Ten-Tec OMNI-D Transceiver Still have it. Great little box! I've owned this longer than any other piece of equipment -- about 33 years.
Clegg, FM-28 2 Meter Transceiver. Bought if trom my late friend Peter Floro, WA2FCF SK.
Used it for both mobile and VHF Packet. The transmitter part quit. Trashed it.
Radio Shack DX-300, digital. Gave it to my nephew, Timothy.
Hammurlund, SP-600 Given to me by my friend, Rich. Later, gave it to my friend Bruce.
JRC, NRD-525 Still have it. Wrote DOS GUI shareware program to control it. Audio is OK for communications, but the distortion (slightly clipped - raspy) makes it undesirable if you want to record air checks from AM broadcast stations.
Next to my reclining chair. Use it to listen to WHLI AM in Long Island and WBCQ The Planet. I suspect I will own this one till the day I die or it dies.
ICOM, R7000 with NTSC
Television adapter
Still have it. Use it for FM broadcast listening, but, occasionally, listen to weather, police and 2 meter QSOs. The NTSC television adapter was really cool before the HD mandate.
Sony SW-100 While it worked, it was terrific. I could take it anywhere and it was handy when I was testing the audio on my transmitter. I could put the receiver in my pocket and walk around with the earphones one while messing around with the AM transmitters in my garage. After owning it for 3 years, the '0' button, the mode and some other important buttons quit working after three years. I opened it up figuring I had nothing to lose, but saw no way to get the buttons working, so I pitched it. It was the size of a cigarette pack and I used to take it on trips.
Two Hallicrafters SX-28 Purchased in 1998. Beautiful receivers with very very fine fidelity. I dare say, that on top of being general coverage receivers, the SX-28 is the best sounding AM receiver I ever heard!
Sold them both at Sussex County Hamfest in 2008 for about the same price I purchased them for.
NC-105 Purchased at hamfest in 1999. Cute little tube receiver for tuning around. Good condition. Sold it again at hamfest for less money.


Drake R8B.
I purchased the Drake R8B late in 1999. I especially like the filter selection, the variable passband and the fine audio of this receiver. The variable passband is especially nice for receiving PSK31.
I think it is a terrific receiver. I predict I will own this also till the day I die.
There are only two things I don't like about the look and feel of the receiver.
1) The tuning does not have a flywheel weight so you cannot spin the dial.
2) When the receiver is off and you have not set the clock, it displays the word "PWRLOSS
L" on the front. I have no interest in using the clock part, so I'd rather either see nothing or have a way of turning this warning message off.
Grundig G6 Aviator Not very good, to put it politely. Poor dynamic range. Overloads easily. Bought it for power outage emergencies.
FLEX-3000 Software
Defined Receiver (SDR)
Purchased in 2012 Best transciever I ever had.



River Edge, NJ


River Edge, NJ,
after adding homebrew
modulator, control panel
and VFO

Just after moving
to Norwood, NJ in 1963.
Note, beginnings of 813 amp
in foreground.

Norwood, NJ. Completed 813
Rig in radio shack
room built by my dad.

Open back view
of power supply
and modulator rack.


AT K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan
1971.
K.I. Sawyer
Satellite Image

Home again at
Norwood in 1973
after my AF hitch.

At Hopatcong, NJ.



My shack
at Middletown, NJ.
Two computers are
now in the picture.

12/2/1998 On the air with my RCA BTA-500R AM
"Dream" rig. Fully operational on 160 meters.


My rig in various times and places in my life. I've never won any contests nor collected tons of QSL's, but I sure had fun setting up different rigs in different places.
The first picture is of me when I was 15 years old. That was over 30 years ago! I lived in River Edge, NJ at the time.
The most exciting part of ham radio to me was building my 813 rig. The top right, B&W picture shows the front and back of the rig. I modeled it after construction I had observed on broadcast transmitters. It consisted of two standard 19" racks. The right rack contained the power supplies for the modulator and final, the audio driver to the modulator and the modulator itself. I had a special 220 Volt line for my transmitter. The plate transformer was about 1 cubic ft in volume. I purchased it from Barry Electronics in NY. The rectification consisted of 2 872A mercury vapor for the final and 2, 866A mercury vapor for the modulator. The left rack consisted of the RF driver, an Eico 720 transmitter, and the final which consisted of a pair of 813 tubes using a link coupled tank circuit. The tank coil was 1/4" copper tubing.

The bottom photo (taken with my new Olympus D-600L digital camera) is my current radio/computer room. Equipment visible consists of Johnson Valiant purchased at a hamfest in (7/96). It works fine on CW, I haven't checked out the AM, yet; NRD525 (100KHZ - 34MHZ), Ten-Tec CW/SSB Transceiver 21" computer monitor, dual pentium-133 w/64MB RAM with Windows-NT 3.51 (used for graphics and animation work) and 486/100-DX4 w/32 MB RAM with Windows-95 (used for everything else). Antenna is 20 meter dipole! I always liked dipoles. They're inexpensive, easy to put up, you can hide them easy so your neighbors don't even know your a ham and they work pretty well when installed correctly. I have a TA-33 beam which has been in pieces since 1984 which is better than a dipole, but it'll take a bit more to put it back up again and this town doesn't seem to like towers.


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