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eHam Forums => Boat Anchors => Topic started by: AB5S on December 22, 2012, 07:50:44 AM



Title: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AB5S on December 22, 2012, 07:50:44 AM
There's something really wrong when Kenwood 520 and 920s
(or any other "plastic" radio) is considered a "boatanchor."

I think it might be "I'm getting old" disease!   ;D ;D ;D


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: KE3WD on December 22, 2012, 08:37:25 AM
Apparently our boats, like our automobiles, have been getting smaller and smaller...


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: KB2WIG on December 22, 2012, 11:03:37 AM
Well......  Si is sand isn't it ???? ??.


klc


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: G3RZP on December 22, 2012, 01:23:57 PM
How old to be a 'Boat Anchor'? The FT102 is at least 25 or more years old and has a tube PA and driver - isn't that a 'Boat Anchor'?

And the RF performance is still competitive provided the operator has some nouse, switches out the pre-amp,  and isn't a complete lid...


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AC5UP on December 22, 2012, 02:07:57 PM
.............you say that like it's possible.

Set all knobs fully to the right and start calling CQ!


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: KC9VZB on December 24, 2012, 07:54:18 AM
I've been fooling around with the kenwood 520 for a while.it receives and transmits for a while.The drake tr3,a real boat anchor spends most of its time waiting for tubes not much fun in that.It receives a little with vfo having little affect.Manual says just because a tube checks good doesn't mean it will work.So 2 or 3 at a time it gets new tubes.I guess I'll have to dust off signal generator if that doesn't work.300 watts would be great.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AB5S on December 24, 2012, 08:12:36 AM
re: Drake TR-3
It may not be that all the tubes are bad.
I've seen some abused rigs,
 but never one where all the tubes were bad.
A TR-3 is a fine rig, but many things get old besides tubes,
especially capacitors and high-value resistors.
Gets worse if someone has had a "diddle stick" in it.
Is there a reliable tech available to take a look at it?
Ask around for recommendations.  Most ham communities
have one or two guys that get a rep for knowing
at least something about fixing boatanchors.
Good Luck,
D.S.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: KC9VZB on December 24, 2012, 08:59:02 AM
Threr'd be no fun in someone else fixing it.I'm new to ham but I have allot of experience restoring old radios.I had over 300 tube radios at height of my illness.I'm allot better now,and only have a few. To me its more fun to puzzle a thing out and maby learn sonething new.Once a radio is working,it goes on the shelf.I enjoy the pursuit more than the end.I just got a kenwood 450sat to use if I just want to get on the air.Theres a chart in manual showing resistances at tube sockets.I haven't done that yet.I'll take a look at the high value resistors.I replaced a couple of caps,but its far from being re-capped. 


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: N4NYY on December 24, 2012, 11:22:14 AM
The boatanchor requirements seem to be shifting. I always thought of them as tube radio, with weight. Then you got the smaller tube radios of the 1960's. The the hybrid radios with tube finals. I am not seem some transistor radios that can be boatanchors, like the Zenith Royal 3000. That is a huge transistors radio. And now with surface mount components, the transistor radios appears to be heading in the direction of boatanchors.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: W2WDX on December 24, 2012, 03:58:11 PM
Essentially I define a "boatanchor" as any radio where all the stages are vacuum tube. Hybrids like the FT-101 and such do not fall into this category.

First of all they are lightweight in relation. Take a radio like a Hallicrafters HT-37, it weighs probably 3 times a FT-101. It also isn't a transceiver, just a transmitter. I could certainly tie a rope around it, throw it overboard and use it to hold my 26' sailboat in place. I think an FT-101 would drag along the bottom. HiHi!!!

Essentially, if it is all tube it's a boatanchor. If it has any transistors it is not. It's not a matter of age, something can vintage but not be a boatanchor. It's not even really a matter of weight. A Gonset Communicator could be considered a boatanchor.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: K1CJS on December 25, 2012, 06:55:53 AM
The younger you are, the more the definition of boat anchor shifts.  Myself, I consider that a rig that has ANY tubes in could well be considered a boat anchor.  It depends on how long you've been in the hobby too.

Weight?  Heck, my standby rig--an all transistor Kenwood TS130-SE is heavy compared to some of the newer rigs with a lot more capabilities, but I don't consider it a 'boat anchor.'


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: N8CMQ on December 26, 2012, 11:24:02 AM
If you need a special desk just to hold the radios, you might have boat anchors...
Try Hallicrafters HT-32 and SX-101, 70+ pounds each, boat anchor material.
In the past, boat anchors were 6 foot rack cabinets with discrete modules for
the exciter, modulator, amp, and power supply.
Or, as I once had, a 'portable' 75 meter rig with a 100 pound dynamotor power
supply to run the receiver/transmitter/antenna tuner unit.
But for our younger generation, FT-101s and other hybrid radios might be boat
anchors, due to their age, and they have tubes.
It seems every generation has their own definition for boat anchor.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: WN2C on December 26, 2012, 02:09:38 PM
How about the difficulty in getting parts?  Any radio that you have to canabalize another for parts must surely be a boat anchor.  It is getting that way with transistors.  They don't have NOS availability like tubes.

WDX: is a Heathkit HW 16 a boat anchor?  It it all tubes but for some silicon diodes and a transistor that does the switching for xmit/rcv

73
Rick  wn2c


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: N8CMQ on December 28, 2012, 10:34:09 AM
How about the difficulty in getting parts?  Any radio that you have to canabalize another for parts must surely be a boat anchor.  It is getting that way with transistors.  They don't have NOS availability like tubes.

WDX: is a Heathkit HW 16 a boat anchor?  It it all tubes but for some silicon diodes and a transistor that does the switching for xmit/rcv

73
Rick  wn2c

The rig I started with a few decades ago...
It served me well as a novice.
Can you use substitute transistors like NTE?
Or use Partsbase to find your parts?


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: K5HFG on December 29, 2012, 01:08:01 PM
I take exception to your classifying the Hybrids as plastic radios. Although, I would not call them boat anchors. They are Hybrid
radios.

73,
Don K5HFG


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AA4HA on December 29, 2012, 01:41:31 PM
In five years the definition will include any radio where the lithium backup battery needs replacing.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: N3QE on December 31, 2012, 08:33:21 AM
I was surprised too. When I was first licensed, the TS-520 was the "Brand new" radio. Subtle hint to the young guys: if it came with LED displays and integrated circuits (either by default or an option) it is not a boatanchor!



Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: N3QE on December 31, 2012, 08:39:23 AM
WDX: is a Heathkit HW 16 a boat anchor?  It it all tubes but for some silicon diodes and a transistor that does the switching for xmit/rcv

Just IMHO: HW-16 (even though it has some crystal diodes and a transistor) is a boatanchor. HW-100 (FET in the VFO) is also a boatanchor. In either case, while there is a slight "Ding" factor for the presence of semiconductors, the use of tubes in every other stage outweighs the presence of solid state stuff.

At the same time, rigs like the TS-520 that only use tubes at the finals or finals+drivers, are not boatanchors simply because they have a tube or three. If I hook an Elecraft K3 to an Alpha 9500 (http://www.rfconcepts.com/PRODUCTS/New-Products/Alpha-9500-Autotune-Full-Legal-Limit-Linear-Amplifier), the presence of the tube in the final does not make the result a boatanchor.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: G4FUT on January 02, 2013, 09:52:16 AM
The OPs definition of "boat anchors " is becoming far too pedantic. The original concept was that a wireless was so heavy that it could act as an anchor for a boat( With me so far?)  Since when did they have to be purely tube radios?  What about a Marconi coherer? No tubes there.
How far will this filtering down of definitions go?  Will we be stating that to be a boat anchor, not only must it be all tube but also that the filaments must be 6.5v....or that it must be AM only..(out goes that coherer again  ::)..anything else doesn't count.
 I maintain that these early TRIO (Kenwood) and Yaesu hybrids earn the definition of boat anchor due to the early definition. Try carting one of these up a flight of stairs. :)

Jon G4FUT


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: K1CJS on January 03, 2013, 04:02:11 AM
All this arguing, and for what?  Arguing about the definition of a 'boat anchor' is like arguing about the definition of 'old fart' or 'young lady/ex-young lady.'  Everybody has their own ideas, so why argue?


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: KA5ROW on January 04, 2013, 03:18:02 AM
I would say as long as it is a 100% tube type radio it is a boat anchor. The Kenwood TS-530 doesn't qualify the TS-520 would and would be the last in line of the boat anchors.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: N2EY on January 04, 2013, 05:49:26 AM
I would say as long as it is a 100% tube type radio it is a boat anchor. The Kenwood TS-530 doesn't qualify the TS-520 would and would be the last in line of the boat anchors.

Why would a TS-520 qualify but not a TS-530? Both are hybrids, with identical driver and final tubes. The two big differences are that the 520 has an analog VFO and doesn't cover 30-17-12, while the TS-530 has a synthesized VFO system and covers the WARC bands.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: W1JKA on January 04, 2013, 06:35:20 AM
   Just for the sake of argument I will have to say that my MFJ cub is a boat anchor since it went over the side of my canoe in 3 ft. of water along with attached 12v car battery and held me in position for about 2 minutes via the anchor chain(antenna wire)before a gust of wind came up,broke the wire and set me adrift.So I would define my Cub as a fair weather boat anchor only.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: K1CJS on January 04, 2013, 09:16:59 AM
   Just for the sake of argument I will have to say that my MFJ cub is a boat anchor since it went over the side of my canoe in 3 ft. of water along with attached 12v car battery and held me in position for about 2 minutes via the anchor chain(antenna wire)before a gust of wind came up,broke the wire and set me adrift.So I would define my Cub as a fair weather boat anchor only.

Naw, the 'rope' you had attached to your anchor just wasn't heavy enough!   ;D


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: K4SC on February 18, 2013, 06:22:43 PM
Heathkit DX-100 is a Boat Anchor (about 100 lbs it seemed to my skinny 13 y.o. body)  Also Viking Valiants, etc.  The boat anchor really means it has no other use than dead weight.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: K0OD on February 20, 2013, 10:00:59 AM
Kenwood hybrids get additional boat anchor cred by virtue of having an AC mains power supply built in. 

I nearly tossed my old (1977) 820 a few years ago. It was barely working, had some rust poking thru, and had been unused for ages. My decision to restore it was based on it being my only radio that "plugs in."  It was also one of the last radios made with a purely mechanical freq readout (on the early non 'S'' models).

Plastic radio? The 820 weighs around 37 lbs as I recall.   


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: G3RZP on February 20, 2013, 01:23:52 PM
My main radio is a very much modified FT102. In terms of RF performance, it's still competitive - it has all the dynamic range actually needed in real life.

Plus I inherited it, so it did not cost me anything - always a bonus!


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: ZL1BBW on February 20, 2013, 11:56:46 PM
I have been musing over what new radio to buy....  servicing down here is an issue..  only one ham dealer in Auckland.

So what radio does everyone reckon is the newest that is user serviceable.  TS830 is that about it, or is there anything "better/newer"?

Would love a FT102 but doesnt seem to be any over here.

Am getting the Drake lines back on the air both B & C, or should I save my pennies and do the Sherwood mod/s on the R4C, do they make it that much better to be competitive with a modern box?


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AC2EU on February 21, 2013, 07:15:41 AM
I take exception to your classifying the Hybrids as plastic radios. Although, I would not call them boat anchors. They are Hybrid
radios.

73,
Don K5HFG

Maybe the Ham community will have to to find a universal definition like they have in the auto clubs.
Anything 25 years or older is classified as "antique" . In that spirit, any radio over 25 years old is a boat anchor?

However, the 25 year old radios may only be able to anchor a row boat instead of a 27 foot boat!  ;D


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: G3RZP on February 21, 2013, 07:35:16 AM

>However, the 25 year old radios may only be able to anchor a row boat instead of a 27 foot boat!<

I doubt that a 1939 HRO would even do that - it's pretty lightweight. I suppose if you threw in the power supply and all 10 plug in coils, you might manage it. Not if the coils were in the original wooden boxes, though!

And surely, a 1939 HRO with its 6D6 and 6C6's, a 6B7 and a 42 counts as a boat anchor ..........










Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: KA4KOE on February 25, 2013, 09:19:20 AM
...anything that will crush toes if you drop it on your foot. Not break toes, mind you, CRUSH them.

The Kenwood TS940 qualifies, IMHO.

PHILIP
KA4KOE


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: WA0ZZG on February 25, 2013, 12:13:26 PM
OK
Your Amateur rig might be a Boatanchor if:

1. You had to use a custom built table to hold it
2. It took two men and a boy to left it on that table.
3. A heavy duty 220V line barely provides enough power.
4. Operation includes the smell of ozone.
5. Warm up time is measured in hours.
6. You know the name of the design engineer.
7. The original owner was the Federal Government.
8. Viet Nam vets recognize it.
9. The owner's manual was composed on a typewriter.
10 The chassis is a fortune in solid copper.
11 Mobile operation required six feet of floor space and was originally no problem.
12 and the last, and most important: MADE IN USA was the normal.

Have fun!
de
Dave
WA0ZZG


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AA4PB on February 25, 2013, 12:22:59 PM
13. You can read the manual by the glow of the tubes.
14. The temperature in your shack is 80 deg with the heat turned off in the dead of New England winter.


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: ZL1BBW on February 25, 2013, 03:01:41 PM
When I was operating in the UK, the local ham joke, was that when I wound up the linear, I would have to ring the local (nuclear) power station to drop another rod in to keep the power up.  Now that was a boat anchor of an amp :-)


Title: RE: There's something really wrong when.....
Post by: AC5UP on February 25, 2013, 03:34:42 PM
Allegedly, back in the 1930's when Crosley Broadcasting had a waiver from the FCC to operate WLW in Cincinnati, OH at half a megawatt, the brightness of streetlights in that part of town would pulsate slightly in step with the modulation.

You can find more here:  http://www.ominous-valve.com/wlw.html (http://www.ominous-valve.com/wlw.html)

Even at 50 gallons the station still puts out a manly signal, allegedly due in part to the Blaw-Knox transmitting tower which is extra wide in the center of its length... And that's supposed to be where the current node in the radiation pattern lives. Phattest part of the tower radiates the phattest part of the RF. Or, at least that's the plan...........