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Author Topic: Swan 400 Power Supply Question  (Read 4519 times)

Posts: 79

« on: September 16, 2012, 02:41:02 AM »

I've a chance to buy a very inexpensive Swan 400 with VFO, without a power supply...can other types/brands of power supplies be altered to work with this radio?

I know absolutely nothing about working on radios...just got my Tech Lic. a cpl weeks ago, and the only radio I have currently is a Baofeng UV-5R HT that was gifted to me, which I have yet to transmit on as I am still working on making a copper-pipe Slim JIM antenna for it. 

The Swan in question is from a long-time Ham operator, so it's not one of the "estate sale" deals where they pulled it out of storage, etc.  He claims it works fine, but he has a lot of other radios, etc. and hasn't replaced the power supply in this one.  For less than $100 I figure it will be a good learning experience as I try to get it working...but wanted to know if I have to have a Swan Power Supply, as I was told they are hard to find, or can another brand/type of power supply be substituted?

Thank you for your time and assistance,

Posts: 4464

« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 04:07:36 AM »

All the radio cares about is the proper voltage and current in the right places, not the pedigree of the power supply. Be aware the Swan 400 has approximately twice the transmitter power as similar radios of that vintage which means you cannot easily modify a Heathshkit PS-23 or similar. They're not heavy enough to supply the Swan at full output. Your next best bet would be to scrounge a nasty old tube style PA amplifier with a truly large power transformer, but most 6L6 type amplifiers ran 450 to 500 volts on the plate. The Swan might want nearly twice that voltage. Buying a new transformer is possible but not inexpensive, see  for more.

It also looks like the Swan 400 used sweep tubes in the final:  This is not a desirable characteristic. The published specs say transmitter distortion products are suppressed by at least 30 dB. By modern standards that's not a good number and the FCC would have issues with the radio if it was being sold today as a current model.

You can find the documentation at BAMA:

If you want to drop a Franklin as tuition for a practical learning experience that's OK, but not every old transceiver is worth restoring and there's a good chance the radio needs more than just a power supply... It's pushing 50 years old and there will be issues. My inner cynic says there's a reason why the current owner didn't replace the power supply but moved on to newer and better gear instead. Might have decided the radio has the potential of becoming a money pit and could be correct in that. You might be better off waiting until you learn more about which used radios are worth looking at then put the money toward something that is both complete and has more potential than a Swan. I have a feeling the Swan will be available for a while and there's no rush to buy it now.

There will always be a bigger & better deal in the future........  Cool

The end of the world will occur on April 23, 2018 ( the day after Earth Day. Go Figure ).  If you're reading this on April 24th look for updates coming soon.  If you're reading this after June first, fuhgedaboudit.....

Posts: 79

« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 08:09:37 AM »

Thank you very much for the advice...I've actually developed a case of "cold feet" over the purchase...for pretty much the same reason you pointed out: I know so little (nothing) about these radios and this hobby, that I have nothing to base a decision like this on...I will wait until I'm a bit better educated.

Thank you again for the information and advice,

Posts: 6757

« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 10:01:57 PM »

Raymond:  As "Dirty Harry" was noted to observe, "A man's got to know his limitations!"  Don't feel bad about this decision.  I just had to make the same decision about a piece of gear that I've always lusted after but turned down because of the amount of TLC it was going to take to get it up and running. Not only the TLC but a buncha bucks as well!  At this point in my life, I have neither.

Your time will come and "deals" like this will appear off and on.


A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!
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