Wards Airline GEN-1451A

tuning dial of 1970 Wards GEN-1451A
tuning dial

This $30 late-1970 device became the FM-DXing machine for me until it was 
supplanted by the SX-62 in late 1973.  The whip antenna and at times about
30' of indoor random wire clipped to it were all that were ever used.     
There was a similar-sized stereo-multiplex adaptor that could be plugged  
into it, but that was never gotten.                                       

I have a PhotoFact schematic for this unit, but I'm not going to try to   
reproduce it here and may settle for just a block diagram of the stages   
with the transistor types indicated.                                      

The tuning knob was replaced with a slightly larger diameter one to give  
better ergonomics.  The dial (88-108 c. 3" worth) was a "challenge" to    
determine what frequency you were tuned to - hence the added callibration 
marks (done with liquid paper).  The sensitivity of the unit was good as I
was able to log several meteor scatter idents with it, along with 600-mile
tropo.  The selectivity was also fairly good as Es loggings were made on  
channels adjacent to locals.  However, like most inexpensive solid-state  
sets it could be ravaged by intermod from local overload - something that 
became very apparent when I moved QTHs in Jun 1972 and got closer to the  
downtown local 100-kw items.                                              

Soon after that an Allied 426 Stereo tuner was tried - and found inferior 
in several ways - notably the overcoupled i.f. stages tended to produce   
the "double-hump" tuning maxima that had been noted on the Stewart-Warner.

The long-term solution (1973-1979) was with the SX-62 (and ICM bipolar    
preamps with tuneable LC circuits ahead of them to minimize overload).    

As a sidenote, this unit also did well with the then-few 162.55-MHz NOAA weather stations that were starting up (it would be in the late 70s before we had a local as priority was for the coastal areas due to the hurricane threat).


Page Created: Jun 16, 2011