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Author Topic: Boat Anchor Intro  (Read 3337 times)
W3JAR
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Posts: 50




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« on: March 24, 2013, 03:59:14 PM »

Hi Everyone,
New ham here as I received my ticket a few years ago. I currently have an IC706 as my base radio and am learning cw. In any case, I have always had an alure to older radios. For some reason, the century 21 rig is something that I would love to get. My question is, how did all of you gather knowledge into fixing rigs? My dream would be to take a not taken care of rig and bring it back to life. As usual, I am concerned I would be biting off more than I could chew?

Please let me know your thoughts!
John
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3895




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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 04:14:32 PM »

Visit your local thrift shop. Look for neglected clock radios and other electrical appliances going for cheap.

Buy them. Take them apart. Figure out what's wrong by testing, the process of elimination, observation and analysis of how they should work. Then do some web research on basic theory until you can figure out why they don't work.

Fix them. Buy more. Fix them, too. At some point you'll stop making rookie mistakes. Then you can play with the nice toys.

 Cool

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W9GB
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Posts: 2626




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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 05:11:26 PM »

You have to learn a number of skills ... that are not formally taught today.
I no longer tutor, since prospective students are rare -- most just desire answer (not to learn).
Some are more interested in emerging flipping/stripping business for quick cash -- shown on Reality TV / cable TV.


Start by repairing DC power supplies, rewiring/restoring furniture lamps, and AC clock radios.
Source product is common at thrift stores, at the curb, etc.

Then move on to repairing test equipment for your electronics workbench --
 you will need these for repairing radios.
If your short on $$, the Heathkit or RCA test equipment is a low cost entry point.

Hit the Books.
old 1950 - 1970 Ameco study guides, ARRL Handbooks, and Radio (W6SAI) Handbook.
===
Here is a good example !
John Schmitz passion of restoration / repair (Navy trained)
http://www.schmitzhouse.com/Johns_Electronics_01.htm

B&K AC Supply repair
http://www.schmitzhouse.com/Johns_Electronics_07.htm

==
I have been at it for 40 years -- and I am still learning !
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 05:19:48 PM by W9GB » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 3900




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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 09:12:00 PM »

I can't go along with the buying old radios, clock radios.....whatever, to startlearning to repair. 

This is a learning process which usually starts at zero and goes up.  You will need at least a meter that lets you measure voltage and resistance.  It can be a $3.00 digital or an old analog (with the meter) meter. 

From this point you'll need to learn to use the meter.  As GB suggests:

Quote
Start by repairing DC power supplies, rewiring/restoring furniture lamps

These are simple things that most people can work their way through.  Obtaining and reading is the fastest way to get started.  For example, the DC power supply mentioned above.  You'll have to know how power supplies are wired up and with what before you can work your way through them with a meter.

If you have a local Vo-tech school that has night adult classes, that would be great.  Next would be to sign up for a correspondence course on electronics fundamentals.

Both, but especially the correspondence course, will require dedication.  Don't bother looking for an easy way.  There isn't one. 

Again to paraphrase GB, I've been at it for 57 years and I'm still learning. 
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WA4NJY
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 04:40:54 AM »


One important item is a good place to work. Needs to have plenty of table top work space and away be from the domestic activities. 

Ed
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W3JAR
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 08:14:48 AM »

Hi Everyone,
Thank you all so much for the fantastic information as it is very much appreciated! A couple of follow-up questions for all of you who have been so kind as to respond.

1) K8AXW: Are you aware of any correspondence courses that are currently running? I have already attended votec electrical schools in the past and have a pretty good background with electric theory (which might have helped to mention in the beginning of the post!). 

2) W9GB: That is a fantastic idea with DC power supplies! Should have looked into this earlier. Maybe I should get a larger Astron broken power supply, fix it and then have that for permanent use in my shack (or donate it to some kids who would like to get into radioing!) Would you agree this is a good route?

3) WA4NJY: Thanks for the heads up! I don't think 2 year olds and radio parts mix all that well.

Thank you all again for your help!
John
W3JAR
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3900




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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 09:38:39 AM »

John:  I took several correspondence courses through the RCA Institutes (Electronics Fundamentals - Solid State Electronics - Industrial Electronics) and one from Grantham (sic) in Broadcast Engineering) 

The first two RCA courses were one year courses which I was able to finish quite a bit shorter than a year each.  Two were two year courses.

I have no idea if correspondence courses still exist but can't help but believe they do.  Google is your friend here.  I'll check because now I need to know.

If you do find something you can use with names like "Fundamentals, "Basics," etc., and they last no more than one year, check them out.  They provide a structured learning process and since you're a ham you can apply what you read with your hobby which will also help your retain what you have learned.

Good luck.
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KK4RHF
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 09:23:46 AM »

My question is, how did all of you gather knowledge into fixing rigs? My dream would be to take a not taken care of rig and bring it back to life. As usual, I am concerned I would be biting off more than I could chew?

Please let me know your thoughts!
John


I paid a big price for my education in electronics. I joined the Military. After my service I went to work at a Motorola Car radio Manufacturing plant for seven or eight years. Got an opportunity that required a college degree and impressed the prospective employer with knowledge and experience.
The best way I can tell you to learn is get the inexpensive kits that you assemble and study the theory of operation. Heathkit use to be THE way but I don't know if they even exist any more.  
However there are others out there the are used more or less to teach soldering. After you finish the kit and test it you have a useful item to incorporate in to bigger projects.

electronickits.com/ I have used some of these circuits for Temperature control in mobile applications. (Thermoelectric coolers)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 09:30:47 AM by WQNP788 » Logged
KB4QAA
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Posts: 2407




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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 10:23:19 PM »

Radio Daze,  www.radiodaze.com

Mid state NY, has lots of parts and supplies and a good selection of books on radio repair and history.
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W5RKL
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Posts: 893




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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 04:34:30 PM »

The book "The Basic Radio Course" by John T. Frye, is an excellent book for the beginner. The book, unfortunately, is out of print but it can be found on the web, possibly at your local library and maybe at a used book store.

The older handbooks, as one reply stated, are excellent sources of basic electronic information.

Heathkit manuals contain a section titled "Circuit Description" that discusses how each stage in the manual's equipment works and what the individual stages do. Heathkit is no longer in business but you can find complete assembly manuals on eBay and through online manual sales website.

Start with the basics first, learn them, including ohms law, how to take simple voltage (AC and DC) and resistance measurements using a AC, DC volt meter and ohm meter. Learn the terminology so you understand what someone is saying to you. Never move to more advanced subject until you have a solid understanding of the basics.

73
Mike
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4719




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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 05:50:58 AM »

Get an ARRL Handbook for the late 1950s or early 1960s. Full of basic information.
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W3JAR
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 06:22:28 PM »

Thank you everyone for the fantastic information!
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KH2G
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Posts: 307




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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 06:34:36 PM »

I will ditto the getting an old radio amateurs handbook but the best advice I can give is to be very careful as the old stuff uses higher voltage than the newer solid state and it doesn't take much current/voltage to kill. Check and double check before touching things and work wide awake not late at night were you might be holding a roll of solder when soldering a lead on a cap and had maybe forgotten to switch off and bleed the caps first.  (Voice of experience - hi)
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