WB8YYY Vintage Rigs

Those of us first licensed when they still made rigs whose devices glowed in the dark are sometimes drawn back to using these relics.

HW-16 and HG-10. This so-called transceiver is actually a receiver and transmitter in the same box. They share a common power supply and are integrated with a reasonable QSK. When novices of the sixties often had separate receiver and transmitters, and often used a toggle switch when they could not afford or find a transfer relay - an almost seamless transceiver was a major advance. Well except that the transmit vfo is remote and needs to be separately spotted on the receive frequency. As the receiver was designed for CW it has a reasonable CW filter - in fact a real nice one compared to what was provided in lower end ham receivers such as the HR-10. This is my second rig as it was purchased used at a hamfest in York PA when I was a college student on work assignment away from home. I remember at this hamfest picking up this rig, a couple crystals, a key and a small antenna tuner - enough to get on the air.

Later I obtained the HG-10 VFO. It is likely older than the HW-16 as it has a smooth finish (instead of the matted finish on the HW-16). It came with a BNC connector and had a test equipment calibration tag on it - making me think it was in a lab but used to repair ham gear during spare time. Hence the calibration tag was a diversion to keep it in whatever lab it was in. Finally the vintage Heath keyer was found to complete the station. I really need to modify it to allow a modern paddle to be used with it!

After much dis-use I discovered the HW-16 had a chirp and it was finally abandoned to my junk pile. Then one year I decided it had to be trashed, given away or fixed. I opted for the latter. After fixing it I took it to a club meeting to show off. Then when I used it at home - funny smell and then a little smoke. Correct answer is turn off the rig. But instead I decided to poke my head to the back to see what was going on - pow! A small explosion and a little fire in the midst of a QSO. OK the fire was the size of a birthday candle but it was real and the entire house had to be aired out. The remnant of the capacitor is shown below. Also the explanation that when I installed new caps I used 35 mm film containers to house them in similar fashion to the originals on the top of the chassis. In my restoration other caps are down below.

HR-20 Receiver The receiver above the HW-16 station is an HR-20 which was my first receiver. Its covers the five primary HF ham bands. It includes a crystal SSB filter, product detector with LSB and USB settings, an S-meter and a noise blanker. It was made between 1962 and 1965 and actually intended for mobile use with a matching transmitter. Originally I had it paired with a Heath Cheyenne Transmitter which was the mate to the HR-20's predecessor. This transmitter featured a VFO which was legal for novices when I was licensed. But it was impossible to tune, and after a couple OO reports it was returned to the ham store for a more modern DX-60 and some crystals. I made my first contacts with this setup into a 40 meter dipole only tuned with a tape measure as I had no VSWR meter. When I got the urge to turn it on after it sat for a couple decades I discovered no audio. On the bench I turned it on, and put it on its side - and out came some audio. The maladies were one loose disc cap that caused an open circuit, and a loose nut on the volume control that allows a relay to engage and power the grids of half the tubes. Most of the tubes by the way are original.

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