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Author Topic: Knight Star Roamer  (Read 16004 times)
N4NYY
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« on: April 03, 2012, 04:27:53 PM »

Anyone ever have one of these?
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N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 11:33:44 AM »

I had a Knight Space Spanner and a Star Roamer.

The Space Spanner is a regen.

The Star Roamer is a very minimal superhet.

IIRC the Space Spanner had a hot chassis, the Star Roamer actually had a power transformer. But check me on that before touching it!
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N4NYY
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 01:16:01 PM »

Quote
the Star Roamer actually had a power transformer.

That is correct.

The Heathkit equivalent of the Space Spanner, the GR-81, had a iso transformer. But the Knight Space Spanner, did not.

Anyway, I was looking for something old and fun. Will use it for mostly AM DXing.
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KG6YV
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 03:23:47 PM »

I have owned all of them.  The Heathkit GR-81 is the best of breed, a very good little receiver that won't bite you
if you touch the chassis.  That is probably why the GR-81 demands a pretty good price even today.  Mine is not
for sale though.....

Greg
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N4NYY
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 04:29:38 PM »

I have a FT-950 as my transceiver. Call me stupid, but I do not get the warm fuzzies DXing AMBC with that, even though it works very well.
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N3QE
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 11:31:34 AM »

I have a FT-950 as my transceiver. Call me stupid, but I do not get the warm fuzzies DXing AMBC with that, even though it works very well.

Sort of fundamentally, there's a dichotomy between a ham rig (SSB/CW product detector and the widest filter is just enough for a single sideband, not both) and a good AM or SW rig (AGC time constants built around AM detection; envelope detector or in the fancy ones a synchronous AM demodulator) that makes a ham rig not be the best choice for AM DX'ing.

There are of course "communications receivers" that support both product detector for SSB/CW, and an envelope or synchronous demodulator for AM. And with time constants in the AGC really appropriate for BCB DX'ing. Those can be really sweet.

But all that is way beyond what I could ever do with a Space Spanner :-)
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N4NYY
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 02:20:57 PM »

Tim,

I picked it up for $65! It is immaculate! Assembly manual is also there, and that is immaculate! Time to change out the caps and just go!
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 12:50:11 PM »

I had one back in the early 60's. It was my first "real" radio, and I had a lot of fun listening to stations all over the world.
It was an "OK" radio, but nothing special, and the Trans-Oceanic I got later would walk all over it as far as usability, sensitivity, selectivity, and audio quality.
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W6TVK
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 11:10:50 AM »

I have one...a Christmas gift from my parents in 1967.  The radio still works.   It has a pentagrid mixer, three stages of audio amplification and one IF amplifier stage.  The IF amplifier is regenerative.  If the regen control is turned up far enough the IF amp oscillates, and CW and SSB can be copied to a certain extent.    Obviously it's not a true communications receiver but it is a nice and fun little bare bones receiver.
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N4SAX
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 10:50:47 AM »

I had a Star Roamer as well.  It was an Xmas gift when I was about 16.  Built it with my older brother who was an electronics engineer.  I had the terminal strips and most of the "light work" done when he arrived for Xmas and then for 3-4 nights we were up to way in the early AM hours soldering and putting the final wiring together.  It was a wonderful experience with my brother.  Got my SWL feet wet with that radio and listened to a lot of international broadcasts. Also got me listening to the Hams which led me into amateur radio.  It was a fun radio project for sure and a nice little rig.  Sadly, while I was off in the military, my neice decided she'd "clean my shack" and have a few yard sales....hence, my Star Roamer and a bunch of my ham gear which would not fit in my VW when I left for the military...were sold for pennies I suspect. So some lucky soul somewhere in Western Maryland has my Star Roamer. Smiley  Also sadly, the "shack cleaning" did not do too much for my relationship w/the neice. Smiley  
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 10:53:32 AM by N4SAX » Logged
N4NYY
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 06:02:42 AM »

I must have aligned this right after me restoration, because it picks up NYC AM stations better than my Grundig S350-DL. It does not drift as much, either.

Last night, I listen to a baseball game (Mets vs Yankees), which is extra super cool on a 1964 radio. It picks ups some SW, mostly on the 40M band. The other bands seem to have been rendered obsolete. With no BFO, I can't really do anything with SSB.
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W7ASA
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 07:03:34 PM »

Aaaaah but you CAN listen to SSB and CW.  The "Sensitivity" knob control is -going from memory here- actually to control a regerative detector at the output end.  So, when you turn up the 'Sensitivity' it goes into oscillation and becaose a VERY sensitive product detector.  In short , you CAN have a StarRoamer copy CW/SSB.  Now, selectivity will mostly have to be between your ears, because this is not an R-390A, but you will have a ball.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

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KQ6EA
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 01:04:32 PM »

Out of the three Star Roamers I've owned, using the Sensitivity knob has never worked to make it go into regeneration.
Since I owned them all before I really got into tinkering with stuff that "didn't work", perhaps they were out of adjustment.
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