eHam

eHam Forums => Boat Anchors => Topic started by: IW5CI on September 05, 2014, 05:50:09 AM



Title: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: IW5CI on September 05, 2014, 05:50:09 AM
I am wondernig which of the following receivers is more rappresentative of BA spirit and have the best all-round performance both for ham reception and BC reception:

RCA AR-88
HAMMARLUND SUPERPRO (200-400)
HAMMARLUND SP-600
COLLINS 51J4
COLLINS R390/390A
HALLICRAFTERS SX-28
HAMMARLUND HQ-180
NATIONAL NC-303
HALLICRAFTERS SX-117
HALLICRAFTERS SX-101
BC-348
...



Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: AD4U on September 05, 2014, 06:04:34 AM
This is a lot like asking which is a better classic automobile a 55 Chevy, a 57 Chevy, a 55 Ford, a 57 Ford, or a 63 Corvette.  It all depends on whom you ask.

Now back to your question.  As a serious boat anchor collector I own a Hammarlund HQ 180A that I purchased many years ago in pristine condition.  I personally made any needed repairs and I did the alignment.  IMO it is a GREAT boat anchor receiver.  

I also have a true Collins R-390A that I sent to Chuck Rippel for one of his famous restorations.  I know my limitations.  Even by today's standards the R-390A is an amazing receiver.

I have not had any experience with any other receivers that you listed, but I seriously doubt if any of them will beat the HQ 180A or the R-390A in a head-to-head competition.

Dick  AD4U


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: G3RZP on September 05, 2014, 10:18:15 AM
The 51J4 may well give some competition to R390A, but it depends exactly what you want. For BC reception, forget the SX101 and the NC303 - they are both ham bands only. The SX117 allows 4 crystal positions for 500 kHz bands between 85 kHz and 30 MHz so its HFBC capability is a little limited.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KB4QAA on September 05, 2014, 10:36:19 AM
http://www.amwindow.org/tech/htm/jnreceiverguide.htm
Here is a long standing article by John, W3JN, on his personal preferences on Boat Anchors for AM operations. 

John can often be found hanging out on www.amfone.net, though his work takes him away from home for extended periods.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: AC5UP on September 05, 2014, 04:31:57 PM
I just finished reading the article and must say one that one paragraph in particular is just oozing with truthiness..........

Ten Worst Receivers for AM Use

1. Heathshkit Mohawk
    A passel of design mistakes make this very attractive receiver almost worthless for ham use. Heathshkit took advantage of every opportunity to add distortion they could. Electric Radio had a 3-part article several years ago that outlined the steps necessary to correct these deficiencies. If you have the patience and expertise to do the mods, this radio has definite potential.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... A sentiment I can agree with 110%. The Mohawk was a looker, but aside from that, ewwwwww!  ;D

BTW: It wasn't too many years ago that most of us knew the TMC GPR-90 was a desirable all-band RX that conveniently worked quite well with the TMC CV-591A outboard SSB adapter. TMC gear wasn't built to the Collins standard of fit & finish nor were they blessed with oddball tubes. No frills, no hassles, no unobtanium. GPR-90's tend to live long and prosper.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KE6EE on September 05, 2014, 07:26:37 PM
I just finished reading the article and must say one that one paragraph in particular is just oozing with truthiness..........

I want to add that the article also celebrates the outstanding beauty and charm of the Hallicrafters SX 28. I have to agree that it is the Most Beautiful of All, bar none. The article also points out the poor quality of many of it components which means a lot of time and trouble in renovation.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K8AXW on September 05, 2014, 09:38:33 PM
I've used the Super Pro, the SP-600, the R-390 and the SX-101A. (In that order)  I also used two or three other high performance communications receivers during this time which are not on your list.

From a professional viewpoint, the R-390 was the best.  We were told our unit was to receive the R-390.  At that time (1956) it cost about twice as much as the other top 3 communications receivers being used by the military. 

The second best was the SP-600.  I was able to check out an SP-600 to use in our ham shack.  We tried about 3 or 4 receivers available at that time (Commercial, no amateur) and the SP-600 out performed all of them, including the popular Collins 75A3 or 4 (I think). We were not allowed to take the R-390 out of the building and we wasn't even allowed to speak of it outside the operations building.

The Super Pro was the receiver used by the military very early on and although they performed well, they simply didn't have the modern circuitry that the new receivers had.

I owned the SX-101A.  It was a triple-conversion receiver, ham band only, and performed very well. 

Of the receivers I've used this is the order in which I would list them as far as performance is concerned.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KAPT4560 on September 06, 2014, 02:28:27 AM
 Every BA tells a story. In the cold war days, a budget-conscious family man might purchase an S-38 to stay in tune with world events. That may be why there are so many of them. It is how many of us got bit by the SWL bug when we were young.
 Battery radios might be more prudent in times of disaster or a civil defense emergency if the power went out. Many BA's could be run on batteries if the thirsty final audio and rectifier tubes were pulled and headphones used. Charged car batteries are good to keep around. You can run a radio and have light.
 Shortwave radio sales to the public always jump in times of distress, but not not so much lately. 'Did you know that there is an 'app' for that?' People don't realize that shortwave might be the only medium still operating if the internet and cell phones go down or become very limited.
 I have an R-390A that I rebuilt the geartrain on (a bandswitch gear clamp was cracked and slipping). It was akin to rebuilding a manual transmission. I never could have done it without the y2k manual instructions. It is the boatanchor queen.
 I have a Hammarlund HQ-129X that is my current bedside radio with the attic longwire. It also goes to the cabin with me for my yearly October vacation at Letchworth park. Very good AM broadcast band DXing, especially just before dawn with coffee and doughnuts!
 http://i836.photobucket.com/albums/zz289/wmccryst/100_12742_zps678564a7.jpg
 I have a BC-348L (attractive style and performance), but it misses the AM broadcast band.
 I have the National NC-200, NC-98 and NC-125.
 The NC-125 has the built-in Select-o-ject for selectivity control in the audio stages, it has no IF crystal selectivity. It takes some getting used to like a one-knob graphic equalizer. The results are fair. I would almost rather have crystal-controlled selectivity.
 The Millen-era Nationals are exemplary. The 1950's-1960's National NCs are OK, but lost some of their early mojo.
 The AN/GRR-5 is handsome in green with its olive drab shawl and vibrator purr. It is sensitive, well-constructed and simple (except for the power supply).
 A CRV-46151 was my first radio. I still have it and went through the bandswitch and redid the mods that allow AC house current and loudspeaker level audio a couple of years ago.
 The classic half-moon dial of the Hallicrafters radios and Raymond Loewy styled cabinets are attractive and iconic. The wife likes the SX-42 so she can listen to her 'FM'. I have an SX-25 with 2 rf amp stages on bands 2, 3 and 4. It also has a PP audio output.
 Any big metal gray, green or black-wrinkle finish 'General Coverage' radio is awesome.   ;D
 


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: N4NYY on September 07, 2014, 07:29:13 AM
Knight Star Roamer !



Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: AC5UP on September 07, 2014, 10:08:07 AM

... you'd be bragging about the Lafayette HE-30 if you hadn't had sex with yours.

60's example of a Kenwood all-band receiver that was not only attractive and well designed but used no exotic tubes.

Definitely a keeper with a long service life.  Unless you clean the slide rule dial glass with a Brillo pad.   ::)


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: N4NYY on September 07, 2014, 03:59:32 PM

... you'd be bragging about the Lafayette HE-30 if you hadn't had sex with yours.

60's example of a Kenwood all-band receiver that was not only attractive and well designed but used no exotic tubes.

Definitely a keeper with a long service life.  Unless you clean the slide rule dial glass with a Brillo pad.   ::)

I sent you a message. You read it?


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: W8RXL on September 07, 2014, 07:02:29 PM
I am wondernig which of the following receivers is more representative of BA spirit and have the best all-round performance both for ham reception and BC reception:

RCA AR-88
HAMMARLUND SUPERPRO (200-400)
HAMMARLUND SP-600
COLLINS 51J4
COLLINS R390/390A
HALLICRAFTERS SX-28
HAMMARLUND HQ-180
NATIONAL NC-303
HALLICRAFTERS SX-117
HALLICRAFTERS SX-101
BC-348

I don't think that there is one that represents the spirit of a boat anchor above another  but all in that list and a few more.

I've got several on the list, omitted is an SX-88 - which is my favorite when I get to use it (not often because it doesn't live here with me). Another one that is missing is an National HRO, which I think works very well.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: IW5CI on September 08, 2014, 10:17:26 PM
Well, no help from the group solving the question... :)

I own all of them, unfortunately all this stuff is heavy and fills a room of my house and my girl-friend is asking for a reduction of the radio gear to a couple of full working Lines instead of 30 more radios just showing up in the shelf.
At the moment i am considering the collins 390 (non A) with the tmc ssb converter or 51j4 coupled with johnson valiant for the first line and hammarlund 180a coupled with hammarlund hx-500 for the second. But i also like a lot the an/art-13 with bc-348.
And what about sx-115 coupled with ht-32... Also another cool combination.... Maybe changing girl friend is a better option?  ??? :)



Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: IW5CI on September 08, 2014, 11:09:27 PM
some of the stuff...

(http://i60.tinypic.com/65zxx3.jpg)
(http://i62.tinypic.com/2u5aof6.jpg)
(http://i59.tinypic.com/2akgz14.jpg)


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: W1BR on September 09, 2014, 06:50:41 AM
That is an odd mix of receivers.

To be fair, you'd have to make allowances for different generations; such as the best of the earlier single conversion designs vs. later double conversion models.

I did note you left the SX-42 off of the shopping list; it is an interesting receiver and a good band cruiser.

pete


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K8AXW on September 09, 2014, 07:43:35 AM
I'm voting for "changing girlfriends!"  Once that s*** starts, it never stops.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: WB2WIK on September 10, 2014, 01:56:14 PM

(http://i59.tinypic.com/2akgz14.jpg)

Wow!

I can understand about screwing the Valiant down to prevent it from falling, but how did you keep the cat from sliding off the Valiant?

Good job! ;)


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: W1BR on September 13, 2014, 08:39:40 AM
Velcro the cat's ass.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: AC2EU on September 13, 2014, 09:24:46 AM
I'm adding a new criteria to used equipment purchase besides "non smoking".
-no cat piss!  ;D

That's a very nice collection of BA's though. When's the last time you used the ART-13 and BC-348 ?


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KG8LB on September 13, 2014, 04:21:52 PM
It is fine with me that you left the over-rated , Ham bands only ,no 160M -SX-115 off the list .   It is good that you grouped the R-390 and R-390S together as well . The R-725 is a blend of the two and the best of that group IMHO .
   However , what works fine for the military may lack tools that hams find useful to indispensable . For many reasons military receiver don't find much use in the shack here . The SP-600 is the exception for amateur radio operation among the military radios listed .

  I have owned and operated every RX on your list and then some .
Still , my personal favorite BA receiver isn't even on your list .  "Best" is a personal issue but not a one of the receivers you listed makes it as "Best" here .


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K8AXW on September 13, 2014, 07:52:38 PM
Quote
what works fine for the military may lack tools that hams find useful to indispensable

LB:  You're absolutely correct!  It's easy to form an opinion when evaluating a receiver designed for a specific job and then say, "This one is the best for ham and BC or any other use for which the receiver was NOT designed for.

This is the trap I fell into when I listed my preferences. 

For example, the R-390 was an incredible receiver for SW CW work but needs to be modified for use as a SSB receiver.  (As I understand it - I've never used the 390 for anything but CW)

KAPT4560 nailed it when he said, "Every BA tells a story."  The collection SCI has is very nice and would hate to see him give it up.  As for using any or all of them.....this is like a gun collection.  Chances are you'll never use ALL of them but they are nice to look at and nice to pick up, feel and work the actionl.  Only a ham will understand this.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: IW5CI on September 18, 2014, 01:54:00 PM
Well.. It is very difficult to chose one radio over another.... Really.

For example for am usage , it is difficult not to fall in love with art-13 and bc-348 with ls3 speaker. I have tested this station a month ago after one year , and it works strong.
Anyway the receiver is wide and not the best for am activity on crowded bands.

A better choice would be johnson valiant coupled with hammarlund superpro same tx power but the receiver is definitely perfect for am.

Another cute combination can be national nc-303 with the visual appealing ranger II.

But if i want also to use ssb?

Maybe i can use the rare hammarlund hx-500 with hammarlund hq-180a receiver.
Or sx-115 with ht-32

At the end a drake B-line is a good ssb choice too, difficult to beat but less visual appealing.

I would like to have one more room in my house to Put all the radios in working condition..


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: N4UE on September 18, 2014, 05:44:19 PM
Hi own most of the receivers on the list. All have their good and weak points.
One thing that should be mentioned is the amount of 'maintenance' or 'updating' of these great old radios.
Just as one example, I have a very nice 75A-4 with a bunch of filters, 4:1 dial, etc.
One day I got around to reading Chuck's "10 deadly caps" article.
Every coupling/bypass caps was horribly leaky and one mica as well. The radio really came alive after replacing those old caps. There have been a ton of articles through the years on re-engineering the A-4. I did the really simple ones, but let's face it: it's fun to listen to but it is, what it is......
My SX-117 was greatly 'improved' with the articles in ER Magazine, as well.

ron
N4UE


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: IW5CI on September 19, 2014, 08:08:43 AM
Of course all of my receivers have been overhauled before tracking place in the shelf. For example the sp-600 black beauties, but also ar-88 sx-28 sx-115 and bc-348 needed the replacement of many capacitors. Fortunately all the stock tubes still work great and only in a couple of cases the receiver problems where caused by bad tubes, so i have a lot of spare tubes.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: VK3DWZ on September 19, 2014, 05:33:36 PM
The best I have ever used is the R-390A.  I love mine.  I love the direct frequency readout, the ease of servicing, the nice audio (if the Rippel mod. is performed) and the Mechanical Filters.  To show how good it is I  am able to receive a Broadcast band station just 9kHz below super-strong 3AR (Melbourne) on 621kHz.  The tuning might be a little bit stiff but that doesn't bother me at all.

I've also used a Racal RA.17L professionally but the skirts on the bandwidth filters were so wide that we wonder how the professionals put up with it.  Ditto the Hammarlund SP-600 -- here the bandwidth choices, difficulty in servicing and poor readout make this receiver more of a curio.  The Collins 51J-4 looks to be a very nice receiver (it would have to be being a Collins) but even here it looks to be somewhat difficult to service.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K8AXW on September 20, 2014, 07:56:42 AM
DWZ:  "You can't spin the dial" was the common complaint among all of the R-390 operators. 

The SP-600 required an outboard or separate frequency meter..... which was a PITA.

Even though the R-390 outperformed the SP-600, the SP-600  was the favorite receiver "back in the day," hands down.



Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: G3RZP on September 20, 2014, 10:46:33 AM
No mention of the Racal RA17? Not that it was that brilliant a performer.....or the Eddystone 880, which was a sort of 51J copy but without decent filters.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K1YTG on September 21, 2014, 09:33:18 AM
The SUPER PRO 400 has the best Hi Fi audio I have heard for AM reception.  The adjustable bandwidth goes really wide and the push pull output gives full fidelity. 
It was built to commercial and military specs, not price reduced so hams could afford it.
But for ssb it is not a good choice.

Norm


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: W1BR on September 21, 2014, 11:10:13 AM
I was pretty amazed at the IF bandwidth in my restored SX-16... it beats most of the the boatanchors I own or have used when set to the broadest IF BW.

Pete


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: WN2C on September 23, 2014, 10:49:44 AM
Well, no help from the group solving the question... :)

I own all of them, unfortunately all this stuff is heavy and fills a room of my house and my girl-friend is asking for a reduction of the radio gear to a couple of full working Lines instead of 30 more radios just showing up in the shelf.
At the moment i am considering the collins 390 (non A) with the tmc ssb converter or 51j4 coupled with johnson valiant for the first line and hammarlund 180a coupled with hammarlund hx-500 for the second. But i also like a lot the an/art-13 with bc-348.
And what about sx-115 coupled with ht-32... Also another cool combination.... Maybe changing girl friend is a better option?  ??? :)


Which came first... the radios or the girl friend and which is cheaper to keep?

Rick  WN2C


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K8AXW on September 24, 2014, 06:21:30 PM
Once a BA is finished, it doesn't cost anything!  A girlfriend is like pouring money down a rat hole.   ;)


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: G3RZP on September 25, 2014, 12:06:38 AM
OTOH, the girlfriend may earn her keep with cooking, doing laundry, cleaning etc - things a boat anchor will never do.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KB1WSY on September 25, 2014, 01:44:01 AM
Al and Peter, mimicking the last of the unreconstructed OMs. :o

Even if their tongues are firmly anchored in their cheeks.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: K8AXW on September 25, 2014, 08:26:58 AM
Peter, one thing (out of several I guess) that a BA has that a girlfriend doesn't have.  That's an ON/OFF switch!   ;D

Quote
mimicking the last of the unreconstructed OMs.

Martin, I have failed to understand this.  Sorry.  More info needed.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KB2WIG on September 25, 2014, 08:27:07 AM
You should check this out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy5gRxjxHtg


klc


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: G3RZP on September 25, 2014, 09:17:32 AM
Martin,

I do nearly all the food shopping and nearly all the cooking - her ladyship asks 'why keep a dog and bark yourself?'. About 25% of the time, I also sort the laundry, load and unload the washing machine and put the stuff in the drier.....those weeks when the cleaner doesn't come for some reason, I clean the bathroom and push the vacuum cleaner around.

She looks after any IT problems......

So I am not totally unreconstructed!


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KB1WSY on September 25, 2014, 11:07:47 AM
So I am not totally unreconstructed!

That's why I said you were mimicking!


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: JS6TMW on February 23, 2015, 02:22:39 AM
Ah, that NC300 was a beauty. Never got top marks for performance, but neither did Gina Lollobrigida.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: WN2C on February 23, 2015, 10:24:08 AM
Well, no help from the group solving the question... :)

I own all of them, unfortunately all this stuff is heavy and fills a room of my house and my girl-friend is asking for a reduction of the radio gear to a couple of full working Lines instead of 30 more radios just showing up in the shelf.
At the moment i am considering the collins 390 (non A) with the tmc ssb converter or 51j4 coupled with johnson valiant for the first line and hammarlund 180a coupled with hammarlund hx-500 for the second. But i also like a lot the an/art-13 with bc-348.
And what about sx-115 coupled with ht-32... Also another cool combination.... Maybe changing girl friend is a better option?  ??? :)

It would be easier to find a new girlfriend than some of those radios.

Rick  WN2C




Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KC2QYM on February 23, 2015, 11:48:27 AM
Our friend has a dilema and I feel bad for him.  Listen, all your radios have very good resell values.  It must be torture for you to choose which one or two to keep.  I'm sure you will feel bad if you keep two and sell the rest.  You will lament the loss of the ones you sell.  Therefore, the only way to solve this in my opinion (As long as your relationship is important to you) is to sell all the inanimate radios...end of story....sell them all and don't look back.  Take the money and buy some great modern smaller radio and be done with it.  I'm sure there are a bunch of guys on this thread that can help you liquidate them.  From what we've read here, there is no one right answer for you to make a decision.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: G3RZP on February 23, 2015, 02:00:23 PM
Guess I'm the lucky guy. Getting rid of the radios would almost certainly mean the XYL would go - of her own accord - too!


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KM1H on February 24, 2015, 02:27:17 PM
Quote
I am wondernig which of the following receivers is more rappresentative of BA spirit and have the best all-round performance both for ham reception and BC reception:

I cant add more to that than what has already been said BUT girl friends are easily replaceable.

My comments on those choices below based upon what I own, had, work on:

RCA AR-88 almost unknown in the US, most went to EU and some in Canada, worked on a few, quickly sold the one I owned around 85

HAMMARLUND SUPERPRO (200-400).  Poor RF performance and the 200 series never stop drifting as built

HAMMARLUND SP-600  Had one, rebuilt and dumped, too drifty for a supposedly high end radio

COLLINS 51J4  Own, use and love.

COLLINS R390/390A  Ditto for a 390A I use sometimes, a PITA to tune

HALLICRAFTERS SX-28 I have two but the fantastic looks stop under the hood. It really takes to a few simple mods however. Mated with prewar and post war HT-9's

HAMMARLUND HQ-180  Have one with the optional Noise Silencer. One of my daily listeners

NATIONAL NC-303  Have a NC-300 and with minimal work. its a great AM and even a rock solid SSB/CW radio. Often used with a Ranger and DTR-2000L linear

HALLICRAFTERS SX-117  Have a mint one but havent even turned it on

HALLICRAFTERS SX-101 I have a 101A and its OK but rarely used

BC-348  YUK! Its better than a S-38 but not by much. It was a huge improvement to cash strapped EU hams over the usual house radio. In the US there was a lot better on the used market for about the same cost.

My own BA's besides the above:

SX-73 plus a R-274D, blows circles around a SP-600 and easy to work on. The R-274D was never installed
R-388 Just a nice sounding band cruiser with simple mods.
SX-115 mated to a HT-32B and NCL-2000 and used often
75A4 mated to a CE-100V and another NCL-2000. Had all since the early to mid 60's.
75A2 and 75A3, the latter mated to a 32V2
HRO-60 usually used with a Viking II CDC or Valiant
HRO 50-1 and 50
BC-779 and 1004 far from stock and work/sound nice. No more drift.
SP-100 near mint one owner, it will likely remain a shelf queen
SP-400 bone stock except for some more TC, now reasonably stable even on SSB.
NC-200, NC-240CS, and 240D
NC-101X an interesting 160-10 hamband only radio from 1937
NC-183 and 183D
NC-173  Highly underrated and far better than the competition when new
SX-16, 17, 32, 42, 62A. Love my 17 and the 62A is my hi-fi set
HQ-129X and a Viking I mostly on 160.
HQ-140X, 150X, 160
RA-17  A PITA to refurb and less than stellar performance for the initial cost.
National NBS-1 A NC-183 with a 3rd IF and selectable IF selectivity; great for any band night or day; used with a January 1954 813 cover rig.
Second run March 1935 HRO  Building an era correct 500W rig
SX-42 Not a favorite but currently slaved to a NCX-1000 in an upstairs computer/game/music room when on AM...much better audio
HRO-500 A 42 pound SS BA, I have two plus a LF-10
RCA RBB and RBC  The ultimate USN radios: stable, selective, overload and bullet proof
RCA RAK-7 and RAL-7  The best regen radios ever built, 1934 design and in service into the 60's as backups on supply and other non capital ships
Several lesser models that are shelf queens.
Plus a Kenwood TS-950SD and LK-500ZC amp. I mention it as it is easily modified into a superb AM rig without giving up any of its CW/SSB/Digital capabilities.

Carl


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: N8YX on February 25, 2015, 06:44:05 AM
If your definition of "Boat Anchor" is limited to something whose active device complement is partly or wholly tube, perform the following:

Step 1 - Sell off your current BA inventory
Step 2 - Profit!
Step 3 - Find yourself a nice Drake R-4B or R-4C
Step 4 - Install in station and enjoy

I own a few solid-state receivers which would definitely qualify as boat anchors due to their size and weight, but the tube guys often pass them by.


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KC2QYM on February 25, 2015, 07:22:50 AM
KM1H ... Carl, what an impressive lineup of great radios.  What do you think of the WWII US Navy 2-20 Mc RBS CCT-46217-A made by Stromberg-Carlson?  I have one with the cable but no power supply.  Clean as a whistle I received it as a gift from the widow of an SK whose shack I cleaned up in preparation to sell her husband's radio equipment.  This is a clean radio but I lack the technical prowess to build a power supply for it.  Is it worth the effort to make it live again?


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: IW5CI on February 27, 2015, 07:40:05 AM
I recently added a Collins 51J4 and 51S1 to my collection.
About the first i must admit that is one of the best looking ba:

http://boatanchors.tumblr.com/image/110808760301

The unit is Mint and it works really good. I0MZR has realigned it to original spec and except for the PTO linearity of 6khz out from start to end of the scale (better not to open the pto for realignment). The receiver works very well.
Of course the audio stage in not as good as a Superpro, but stability and selectivity is perfect.

But the real surprise is the Collins 51s1:

http://boatanchors.tumblr.com/image/110756148411

I had read that the receiver hasn't' a good dinamic range and the lack of variable selectivity in SSB and noise blanker / limiter
was a limit in the performance... but with a good speaker this receiver is a poor joy , just tune your ssn signal and the decrease the rf-gain until something special happens.... the noise disappears and remain only the ssb station crisp and clean.
I felt in love with the 51s1 and in this case the linearity of the pto in excellent , less than 1 khz from start to end of the scale.
Unfortunalely this is not a real BA... just to small.. it's in the semi-ba category.
In the semi BA category i have all the family of the Drakes (2B 2C TR4 C and B line) that perform really well if not better.



Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KM1H on February 27, 2015, 04:35:32 PM
The RBS is rather insensitive and with a 1255 kc IF its as broad as a barn door. It also requires the separate PS/audio output box which is often missing.

Not on my list of "got to have" unless you are a WW2 collector.

Carl


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: W1BR on February 28, 2015, 09:36:50 AM
The RBS is rather insensitive and with a 1255 kc IF its as broad as a barn door. It also requires the separate PS/audio output box which is often missing.

Not on my list of "got to have" unless you are a WW2 collector.

Carl

Is that the same as the RBM-4 Westinghouse?  I used one in the early 1960s for VHF tunable IF with Ameco converters. As I recall, I used the BCB band ARC-5 receiver on the IF for more selectivity--that was a popular "mod" back in those days.

pete k1zjh


Title: RE: the very best of HF BA receivers
Post by: KM1H on February 28, 2015, 09:59:28 AM
Similar with a single 12A6 audio instead of PP 6V6's