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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Johnson Viking Adventurer Help

Reviews Summary for Johnson Viking Adventurer
Johnson Viking Adventurer Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $54.95
Description: Crystal-controlled 80-10 meter CW transmitter, originally marketed in 1954
Product is not in production.
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NN0B Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2004 12:22 Send this review to a friend
Sturdy and Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I must agree with Ray, the Johnson Viking Adventurer has to be one of the all-time classic transmitters. I built mine in 1958, and used it until I went to college. It was as sturdy, reliable, and simple to use as a hammer. I don't remember what ever happened to mine (I think my mother gave it away while I was in the Air Force), but I recently got another one on eBay and hope to get it back on the air when I get time. In my opinion, with crystals or an outboard VFO, and with a decent receiver, it would still be a very viable transmitter for a new ham getting on HF for the first time.
W2RS Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2004 11:22 Send this review to a friend
A fun trip down memory lane, after 50 years  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Adventurer celebrates its 50th birthday this year, and some could well be on the air 50 years from now.

This CW transmitter has a 6AG7 oscillator and 807 amplifier stage, with bandswitched pi-network output for 80-40-20-15-10 meters and built-in 110 VAC power supply using a 5U4 rectifier. Frequency control is via plug-in FT-243 crystal or external VFO. Typical power output is 20-25 W. A front-panel key jack provides cathode keying with a simple but adequate click filter.

Johnson made a plug-in screen modulator for it, but few were sold because most people who wanted AM phone used their own plate modulators (the B+ voltage is brought out to an octal socket on the rear panel for this purpose). The screen modulators are rare and expensive today.

I had an Adventurer in the 1950's, and proved it was virtually indestructible by doing everything a new ham could do to make its life miserable. It just kept on ticking! The wide-range pi network put RF power into every "antenna" I tried, from a bedspring to a window frame, including even a half-wave dipole. Mechanically, it's a "battleship" that will survive nearly any form of abuse.

Last year, I bought one on eBay that looked as if it could use a little TLC. I replaced the filter caps, re-soldered a few questionable connections, and put in a new 807. Works like a champ, and puts out a good T9 note.

Nearly all the Adventurers were built by new Novices, so you'll want to look carefully at the workmanship and solder joints. Mine had a cold one right at the 807 plate cap. I wonder if the original builder ever knew.

The original Adventurer used an RCA socket for RF output. Most of the ones you see today have had this replaced by an SO-239 somewhere along the line.

Mint Adventurers go for well over $100 on eBay, but you can find a workable "fixer-upper" for considerably less. Enjoy!


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