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Author Topic: Wanting to set up Vintage station with x Amount of  (Read 6951 times)

Posts: 6

« on: November 28, 2000, 04:10:11 PM »

Hello all in the forum.I just recently became interested in Am on the ham bands and would like to set up a beginner Am station. Any suggestions.I use a yaesu ft 101zd mk3 and that works fine but would like to have something more suited for Am like a Transmitter and Reciever,Please I would appreciate any feed back.


Posts: 729


« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2000, 05:00:41 PM »

One of the great AM transmitters that is readily available today without requiring you hock your soul was the Johnson Ranger I or II.  Not cheap today, but they were excellent rigs. They came in both kit and wired form, and it would be nice before buying if you knew which you were looking at, as some kits were not well made.  Other transmitters that were popular were the Heath Apache and the DX100B, although the DX100 is a large and heavy machine, and early models were noted for VFO troubles.   The Johnson Viking II (with external VFO) is a good rig.  I owned all of these at one time or another and found excellent qualities in all.  My favorite was probably the Ranger, which, though lower in power, at 65 watts plate power input on  AM Phone, was relatively kind to desktop space, could be moved without a truck, and had excellent audio.  The disadvantage of the Viking II was it required an external VFO, but they can usually be found.   Of course there are the Collins rigs, like the 32V series, but you are back to hocking a couple of souls just to get a look at one.   Globe (WRL) had a couple of good models, but they are all relined with platinum and gold now, if you judge by the price.  The Globe 400 could actually sit on a desk top and ran decent AM power.  One of the most popular AM rigs in use today, and because of that, it suffers from high price, is the Johnson Valiant.  Beautiful rig, very heavy, and wonderful audio.  Valliant I was a CW/AM rig, and Valiant II included, I believe, a way to incorporate the phasing SSB exciter.

There were many 'controlled carrier' types, such as the Heath DX35, DX40, the Globe Scout, and others, but their AM capabilities are more like what you experience with your FT101ZD.  For enjoyable AM, you need high level (plate) modulation.   Otherwise you may as well keep what you are using currently.

Receivers are easier.  Almost any of the vintage receivers from National, Hallicrafters, Collins,Heath,  and a dozen lesser brands, will do well on AM.  

Were I looking, with limited budget, I'd be seeking a Johnson Ranger I, (or II if I could afford it) and a National NC-series (183,109,270, etc) or Hallicrafters SX series.  These receivers can be had for quite reasonable prices on the ham radio lists.    Ideally, I'd repeat my old station of Ranger I and Hammarlund HQ170.  Maybe someday I will.

Good luck.  Hope you find it.  


Posts: 65

« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2001, 10:30:06 AM »

Listen on 3880 Khz Sundays at 8 AM. DX-60 net, you can hear a lot of the old boat anchors. Yes Rangers are nice, however they bring top dollar for a nice one. My suggestion would be a Heath DX35-40-60 and a Drake 2A or 2B. The Heath rigs can sound very good with proper microphone selection and attention to loading. I drive a Henry 3K with my DX-40 and it sounds very good.
For around $100/DX-40 and VF1, $175/Drake 2B you can play old times..

Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2001, 04:27:12 PM »

All great comments.  My personal favorite AM setup, which I actively used on the air in the mid-1960's and seriously wish I still had (!), was the Heath Apache TX-1 (180W plate modulated AM, built like a tank, reasonably stable VFO) and National NC-300 receiver.  I paid $150 for a partially-assembled Apache, which I had to complete (the ham who started it lost interest or something), and about $200 for the NC-300.  A good-condition TX-1 today will probably run $250, but the NC-300 should still be in the $200 range.  Wonderful combo!  Heath made a matching receiver to the TX-1, called the Mohawk RX-1, which I understand is quite good and would "match" the look, feel and size of the TX-1 -- but I never owned one of these.  I also owned a Johnson Ranger, Ranger II, Valiant and Valiant II -- all big, heavy workhorses worth a look if you can find them.  But my favorite remains the TX-1...maybe because I completed the wiring and remember it so well.  Beware any decent plate-modulated AM HF transmitter is likely to weigh at LEAST 70 pounds, most were heavier than's an interesting aspect of our hobby and deserves to be retained, but wow, the stuff sure was big and heavy.  Have fun and let us know what you find!
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