Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: EF Johson Avenger in estate gear at Grand Rapids swap meet this month  (Read 6445 times)
KA5S
Member

Posts: 229




Ignore
« on: September 02, 2012, 01:31:54 AM »

http://www.w8dc.org/index_swap.htm

Includes many boat anchors, examples, HRO50, 60, (AND coils), NC300, NC-173, 125 and 98; SP200 w. PS, SP600's, R390's, an R392 and an R808; WRL Globe Champion 300, Heath Marauder HX10; Hammarlund HX50, Swan 102BX, Galaxy GT550 and  more modern radios too.  Many either haven't been tested (out of concern for letting the smoke out) or don't show good function on being (very carefully) powered up; others work better than their age would suggest.  We're still testing.

Probably the biggest surprise in the basement was an E.F. Johnson Avenger with AC and DC power supplies.  That is rare enough it may be sold by private bid.
Personally,  I hope someone with connections to EFJ will get that and restore it, but we can't play favorites 

The sale is on behalf of the widow and family, so we are looking for a good turnout.
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2546




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 07:58:46 PM »

Quote
Probably the biggest surprise in the basement was an E.F. Johnson Avenger with AC and DC power supplies.  That is rare enough it may be sold by private bid.
Personally,  I hope someone with connections to EFJ will get that and restore it, but we can't play favorites

I'm drawing a blank on an "E.F. Johnson Avenger with AC and DC power supplies." Seems to be a HT and not even for a ham band.
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2546




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 08:17:09 PM »

Thanks to N2EY for his 2010 post that describes that Johnson Avenger:

"in the early 1960s EF Johnson developed a revolutionary SSB transceiver called the Avenger. It was all-solid-state except for the final and driver tubes, had dual VFOs and many other features. But it cost something like $2000 to manufacture at a time when a KWM-2 was $1100 or so, and only about a dozen prototypes were made. EFJ lost a bundle on the Avenger, and it soured them on SSB and transceivers at precisely the time they should have gotten into the game."

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,68242.0.html
Logged
N4NYY
Member

Posts: 4749




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 08:34:26 PM »

$2,000 to manufacture? What the hell was the retail cost and what is in on today's money? Holy crap!
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2546




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 08:39:12 PM »

The $2,000 certainly didn't go for cosmetics.

Even photos of the Johnson Avenger transceiver are ultra rare. Here's the only one I can find on the web. Hope someone takes a bunch of pics of the Avenger at the swap meet and posts them online:

http://rigreference.com/rig/5543-E_F_Johnson_Viking_Avenger
Logged
WA2CWA
Member

Posts: 295


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 12:46:36 AM »

I have an original 8 page product brochure that Johnson had printed for the Avenger. I was told that 30 prototypes were built. Some went to employees after the project was canceled. I was also told by someone who acquired one of the Avengers that a preliminary manual was produced. Unfortunately, that person passed  several years ago and no one seems to know what happened to the transceiver or the manual.

Pete, wa2cwa
Logged
AC5UP
Member

Posts: 3841




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 04:56:06 AM »

$2,000 to manufacture?

We're talking early 60's.... Well before transistors got cheap.

If a mass produced six transistor pocket AM radio sold for the equivalent of $30 - $40 in today's money, what would it cost to build a niche market item like an SSB transceiver that's many orders of magnitude more complex than a pocket radio?

Your Unca' Sam used to pay TI something like $300 a pop for an IC that was the equivalent of a 741 op-amp back in the day because in certain applications... Like a fighter plane or space capsule... The size and weight saved by the chip was far more important than the cost. Remember that Neil Armstrong flubbed his line in 1969 and in sand-state technology that's almost Barney and Fred at the quarry territory.

BTW:  The line was supposed to be: " One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind... "
Logged

Never change a password on a Friday                
N4NYY
Member

Posts: 4749




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 10:48:20 AM »

I am assuming that these will blow the doors off the Hallicrafter's SX-88 as far as value.
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2546




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 12:37:24 PM »

I wouldn't think it would be worth a fortune. It's an ugly early prototype. basically a homebrew radio made by Johnson. And it's a prototype of a transceiver failure, not for example a KWM.

OTOH, an SX-88 is a gorgeous and rare radio from Hallicrafter's pinnacle, that will be functional for decades to come. It has a pedigree; it's impressively sized for display. Note that some apparent prototype SX-88s survive. I don't believe they have special value. I'd rather have the last SX-88 made than the first one. LOL!

Such prototypes exist in coin collecting... pattern coins. They're numerically quite rare, of course, but they're pretty removed from the numismatic mainline and sometimes aren't that valuable. (It doesn't help that many pattern coins left the mint under questionable circumstances).  The 1804 silver dollar is a very special case.
Logged
N4NYY
Member

Posts: 4749




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 01:09:54 PM »

I wouldn't think it would be worth a fortune. It's an ugly early prototype. basically a homebrew radio made by Johnson. And it's a prototype of a transceiver failure, not for example a KWM.

OTOH, an SX-88 is a gorgeous and rare radio from Hallicrafter's pinnacle, that will be functional for decades to come. It has a pedigree; it's impressively sized for display. Note that some apparent prototype SX-88s survive. I don't believe they have special value. I'd rather have the last SX-88 made than the first one. LOL!

Such prototypes exist in coin collecting... pattern coins. They're numerically quite rare, of course, but they're pretty removed from the numismatic mainline and sometimes aren't that valuable. (It doesn't help that many pattern coins left the mint under questionable circumstances).  The 1804 silver dollar is a very special case.

That is a fair point. I am sure as hell curious how much it sells for. Were they ever functional?
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3877




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 06:46:16 AM »

That is a fair point. I am sure as hell curious how much it sells for. Were they ever functional?

If you mean the Avenger, yes they were. There was an article about it in Electric Radio some years back, with pictures and block diagram. I thought it looked great. Had dual VFOs and a number of features the KWM-2 lacked. The writer said it was a very good performer for the vintage.

The reason they cost so much to make was that transistors weren't cheap back then - particularly RF transistors suitable for use in such a rig. And it used a LOT of transistors, plus lots of other parts. IIRC, the driver and finals were tubes.

Sad, really. What EFJ should have done was come out with a good low-to-mid price range SSB transceiver - maybe even a kit? -  to get themselves in the game. Similar to what Heathkit did with the single-banders and SB-100.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Logged
G3RZP
Member

Posts: 4487




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 08:27:58 AM »

EFJ really got themselves hooked into the CB boom. Then into VHF mobile radio, and I'm not sure if they still exist.
Logged
KA5N
Member

Posts: 4380




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 08:39:20 AM »

Early equipment used mostly Germanium transistors which were easy to destroy and suffered many
failures.  Replacements were costly and most transistors were PNP which seemed upside down
to those of us who were accoustomed to tube circuits. 

If one wishes an example of  early ham gear that actually worked check out the Davco.  I lusted
for one of these and a few years back I discovered one at a ham fest.  It was in such poor shape
that I just sighed and walked away.

The first portable solid state TV sets were also a bucket of worms.  A sideways look was enough
to pop transistors in these hopeless hulks.

Allen KA5N
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2546




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 09:38:25 AM »

Quote
the driver and finals were tubes.

Anyone know what tubes were in the Avenger? That would play a role in determining its current value. 
Logged
WA2CWA
Member

Posts: 295


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 11:37:07 AM »

6HB6 was the driver tube and two 6HF5 sweep tubes were the final. Selling price estimate, taking into account recovering development and material costs, was somewhere around $1900. Truly they priced themselves out of the current market before they even got started considering the Drake, National, SBE, and Collins SSB rigs were selling for way less.

Pete, wa2cwa
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!