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Author Topic: What Makes a Rig Worth Restoring?  (Read 49440 times)
N4NYY
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Posts: 4820




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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 06:41:34 PM »

I think what makes a radio worth restoring depends on what the restorer is trying to accomplish. Why are you repairing or restoring the radio? For me, it's to preserve a small piece of the past, and revive or stabilize a working, classic rig. I have repaired several tube radios from the 30's up the 50's including Philco and Hallicrafters radios. I like the sound, smell, and look of old tube radios, and showing them to others introduces them to a bygone era. Nearly everyone who sees them thinks they are cool.

As for what will happen when the generation that grew up with tube radios dies out: Some of the "youngsters" from my generation will keep them running. I'm only in my 30's, but I appreciate the old technology.

Very well said. I typically, buy them, restore them, and sell them to bu another project. I am not a collector. I do keep a couple like a Zenith 755M for baseball games in front of a fire pit. But when I sell them to a person that had one as a youth and beings him back to that time, the look on their face is priceless.
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KG8LB
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Posts: 243




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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2013, 08:21:04 AM »

 
Someof us have been around long enough to see old rigs go from being desireable, to being superceded by developments and largely ignored, to now, a rare nostalgic amazing item once again and worth alot of money online. I guess one aspect of big boatanchors is, they can be valuable but are the least likely thing to be stolen!  Too heavy/large to tote away unseen, and looking like old junk to the unwashed masses. Which will the burglar choose-your big screen but fairly light and fenceable TV, or a clunky looking 75A4 receiver?  But most of us have been spoiled by newer developments, nostalgia can lead to some disappointments when the old gear is actually run again.

Hmmm,
 I cannot recall any form of disappointment from the old gear I have aquired and used . Some of them have remarkable performance . Surely after using the SuperPro 600 , GPR90 and the R-390A/R725 , I have wondered why I ever brought the Icoms and Yaesus home . At any rate , they don't remain here long .  The Johnson 500 , Viking I and II , B&W 5100B , BC-610 etc sound great and work quite well . Unlike most of the microprocessor based stuff offered today , these radios are still working well at 50 to 70 years of age and parts are still obtainable .

   The full , rich sound from a golden age radio is stll hard to beat . Properly maintained and set up , the better boatanchors perform quite credibly on today's ham bands .  We like radio without the TV screen/SDR obsession . Using the receiver audio passband is still  a fine means to "visulize" your area of the spectrum .
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:27:56 AM by KG8LB » Logged
G3RZP
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Posts: 4957




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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2013, 12:42:32 PM »

For real performance when chasing DX, I look for a rig with good RF performance - but there are limits that you don't need to go beyond. Bells and whistles are another matter. So for most hams, the FT102, TS830 and TS 820 are really all that you NEED on receive, although you should get spare PA  and driver tubes. If you're hooked on solid state, there's no better transmitter for a clean signal since the 1990s  than the Yaesu rigs that can run the PA in Class A or the 1993 Japan Radio JS245.
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KAPT4560
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Posts: 89




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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 02:48:36 PM »

 The Challenge? I used to collect everything and had to downsize when moving, etc.
 I now only try to collect higher-end boatanchors as space is tight and my standards have raised.
 I still have my boyhood ARB (CRV-46151) that I got at a hamfest about 40 years ago. I pulled it out of storage and knowing now what I didn't know then, was able to clean it up and redo some questionable modifications.
 I rebuilt an R-390A geartrain that would have been impossible without the Y2K manual information on the internet.
 The wonderful internet has opened up resources for parts, information and fellowship that I didn't have even 10 years ago.
 I wasn't a big fan of National NC receivers, but somehow wound up with several. I like to make them the best that they can be. Same with the Hallicrafters and Hammarlunds. Great for a rainy or snowy weekend when I need something to do to stay out of trouble.
 A longwire in the attic was here when we moved into the house and I have installed 3 prong outlets in place of the 2 prong outlets.
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KG8LB
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Posts: 243




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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2013, 03:48:59 AM »

For real performance when chasing DX, I look for a rig with good RF performance - but there are limits that you don't need to go beyond. Bells and whistles are another matter. So for most hams, the FT102, TS830 and TS 820 are really all that you NEED on receive, although you should get spare PA  and driver tubes. If you're hooked on solid state, there's no better transmitter for a clean signal since the 1990s  than the Yaesu rigs that can run the PA in Class A or the 1993 Japan Radio JS245.


   Not real "Boatanchor" class gear by some people's standards but one can always move up from those . We got over the whole solid state thing long ago . Costs too much to keep sending the Yaesus in for service Wink   Trying to get parts for a 10 year old Kenwood can be a real challenge though .  In any event , any possible real world benefits of class A operation for CW are of no concern . Great for heating up finals that may be hard to get in the near future . For AM , a class B / class C RF/AF combo yields excellent results .

 For those who like solid state AM , the efficient class D and class E rigs are outstanding for  not only the added efficiency their superb , very low distortion audio,  and very low heat generation .
 The transmitters like the K7DYY are readily available . It can be serviced by the owner/operator . The K7DYY comes in a totally self contained standard 19 inch rack panel  that is only two rack units high (3 1/2') by about 5 inches deep . With anaverage input from the 120 volt AC line of only 5 amps the K7DYY will easily do the legal limit with very high quality , low distortion AM . However , like the Yaesu they are not boatanchors .

  Boatanchors are still around because we can work on them , we can keep them running for decades and indeed have , they are fun to operate , durable and , in the right hands totally viable performers .

  Thankfully ,there is a lot more to ham radio than "chasing DX "  .
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1077




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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 05:17:14 PM »

I restore for my own personal satisfaction and nostalgia. As an example I restored a 1948 model 558 Emerson portable radio. This was at the time a pseudo pocket radio. My father bought me this in 1948 to use at the beach in New York. I bought one inexpensively from EBay and restored it to bring back old memories. I had to make a "B" battery from 9 volt battries approx. 67.5 volts. The "A" battery was a 1.5 volt standard "D" cell. When I listen to it brings back old memories (old people like me are nostalgic). I have also restored or rebuilt some of my original ham radio equipment for a similar reason. I do not restore equipment to resell it. It is just for my personal use.

73s

K2OWK
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W2WDX
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2013, 02:43:33 PM »

It's funny. I will bet you the old true boatanchors will most likely be around once all the FT's, TS's, IC's run their course. Like some have said it is more difficult to find certain IC's, transistors and other "parts of the month" (so to speak) that these rice warmers used. I have an FT-221R 2m rig that used some output transistors that are for all intensive purposes made of "unobtainium". I have been scoffing up them up, both the final and drivers, whenever I find some NOS.

The point is since these really old radios use "the basics" its more likely we will be able to keep them working. I know my Collins 75A's and my Hallicrafters HT-37 will be around for at least another 30 years. Can't say the same for my FT2000DX.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4957




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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2013, 01:59:02 AM »

Not all the FTs and TSs. The older ones with tube PAs (i.e. pre 1983)are likely to be repairable with substitute components.

But it will be easier in 2023 to find parts to keep a 1944 HRO5T going than a TS2000!
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KG8LB
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Posts: 243




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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2013, 04:40:09 PM »

Positively . And it will need less servicing....a LOT less . Grin

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KC6USM
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2013, 02:13:14 AM »

Hi There,
          I have 2 kenwood Ts 520's , 1 is 80 thru 10 with 80+ Watts out and The other is An SE with 160-
   10 M. The Receiver is good, but the Tx has QRP wattage levels. So Im working on that with a Svc Manual
    when I have time. The audio is great, even the wife said it was clean. I have a newer Icom 735 but its
    is not as clean as the Old Boat anchor kenwood. There's something about yesterdays Radios. Maybe
     quality, pride in workmanship. When gas prices were Low, and the Economy wasn"t  as bad as it is now.
     I also have a Motorola mcx 1000 in each vehicle which is .2 uv Receive sen, 40w + output on 2 M .

      with Pl encoder built in.. The pentium computers are no good for programming them via rib box, One has to use a 386- 20 - 50 to program them.. They work well, and the audio is great.. Sometimes a Slug
      has its Value.. Its all in what you want, or can afford to buy.. I'd Love to Have a ts 940 even though
      its 20 years old. My shack is growing as now Im semi retired as a Elect tech for a local utiity co. Ive
      seen the ground from 150 ft up. And come to appreciate all that I own. Even though It may not be
       be top notch, Its still mine..  And I like them. No matter what the age of equipment is.. Gary
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IW5CI
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2013, 05:27:20 AM »

When i found this SX-28 i was absolutely shure that the only thing to do was to take some spares and then put the rest in the dust bin.
But while i was looking at this severely injured and modified receiver i saw a dim light (lamp reflection) on the main dial... and i imagined what can happen if i dared to restore it.
It worth spend tens of hours doing the restoration ? Absolutely yes!!

http://boatanchors.tumblr.com/page/2
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KC6USM
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2013, 09:11:24 AM »

Take the time to fix it, it will be time well spent. Doing it youself will bring a sense oF Accomplishment.   Gary
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4957




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« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2013, 01:05:52 PM »

People restore old furniture. It gives a sense of achievement and a recognition of the skills of those who have long by. Same with restoring boat anchors. Although I severely hacked my TR3 to get a rig that really worked WELL on CW....

Plus so many boat anchors with a tube PA have a cleaner signal than the sand PA's of modern rigs...
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W2WDX
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2013, 07:46:27 PM »

HI all,

Here's a few I restored. It certainly is a labor of love.


A sad Collins 75A-2 Before:




Do a little of this ...




Do a little of that ...





... And you get this after! (It even got a restored cabinet!)






National NC-109 (This is a tough cabinet and faceplate to refinish. How's it look?)






My Clegg Zeus





You fix some these ....




Stick them in one of these, that you have cleaned and alodined ...




Paint and bake one of these ...




Go blind doing this ...




Put it all together ...



And you get one of these!!!




And that's just a small sampling!

Doing this is great fun, educational and rewarding. That makes it all worth it.

John, W2WDX


Oh and for you guys talking about ClassA SS rigs. Open one up and test the microphone stage. You will find THD and IMD in the tens of percent. A ClassA PA does not fix busted audio pre DSP.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 08:18:19 PM by W2WDX » Logged

G3RZP
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Posts: 4957




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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2013, 01:00:52 AM »

If the IMD and harmonic distortion in the AF stage is so bad, how come it doesn't show in the 2 tone tests?
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