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Author Topic: 1949 Dodge mobile station  (Read 26984 times)
VE3KJX
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Posts: 11




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« on: December 10, 2014, 03:43:54 PM »

Have been considering something interesting, I love boatanchor radios, and I love old cars. I have a 1949 Dodge Special deluxe.

Now, I'm age 35, and not anywhere near having the years behind me to possibly pull this off, but I would love to do a 1949 era mobile station in my car. Note that would probably mean anywhere from 1949 to 1959.

To even see the feasibility of this, I bought a CQ 1953 Mobile handbook written by my favourite radio author, William Orr, W6SAI. Smiley

I'm going to get reading tonight, but if there are any hams around old enough to remember, or even have some info, I'd love to build a mobile station into my '49.

Note that it likely wouldn't be used while mobile, as I kind of struggle with the safety of even operating modern rigs and modern cars, but I'd like the station to be fully functional, and something cool for Hamfests and car shows.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. I am just putting my feelers out at this point, as I'm not really sure how possible this is, what gear was even used, and if I can get my hands on any of it. I have the feeling much mobile stuff from this era may have been home-brewed with old WWII gear or something.

My Dodge is 100% stock, 6v Positive ground. It's got an AM radio, and I actually do have a shortwave RX converter for it, (which I can put to use).
 
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AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2014, 04:27:48 PM »

Gonset tunable converters were often used with the car radio.

http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/GTriband.htm
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
VE3KJX
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 04:29:41 PM »

Gonset tunable converters were often used with the car radio.

http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/GTriband.htm


Sweet. That is a good start, Thank you. My father and I just finished a complete rebuild of the car radio, and it's quite sensitive.
The schematic isn't much different from my hq-129.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 06:33:39 PM »

Remember that your car radio is AM only (no SSB or CW) so you won't be able to copy most of the signals in the ham bands.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
G3RZP
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Posts: 1221




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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2014, 11:41:20 PM »

Pretty well all mobile operation then was AM. One popular arrangement besides a converter to the BC radio was a Command receiver (ARC5 or SCR274N) series modified for 10 metres: the BC454 with its 1415 kHz IF  was a good compromise between selectivity and image. Some people even modified a 7MHz Command tx for 10, (changed the oscillator to a 6AG7 ECO doubling in the plate and the magic eye to 6AG7 doubling to 10 to drive the 1625s in the PA) while others used the ARC5 more or less 'as is' rx and tx on 160, 80 and 40 - the tx didn't cover 160 as stock but was easily pulled down from its 2.1 MHz lower limit. These were all pretty small pieces of kit - at least, for the time. The tx was modifiable to a 12 volt system, and the rx needed 6 volt tubes and heaters rewired in parallel.

10 metres was humming at that time, being pretty well sunspot maximum....and quarter wave whips
were practical when mobile.

I believe that a few brave souls even used a BC625 VHF aircraft tx in the trunk on 2 metres, with a tuneable rx at the driving position: those were the days on 2m where everyone had a crystal controlled tx and tuned the rx looking for a QSO.

There are quite a few designs in the ARRL handbooks of the time - although whether you can get some of the tubes, such as 2E30s or good (i.e. non-gassy) 832s is another matter.
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VE3KJX
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2014, 08:11:35 AM »

Pretty well all mobile operation then was AM. <snip>

There are quite a few designs in the ARRL handbooks of the time - although whether you can get some of the tubes, such as 2E30s or good (i.e. non-gassy) 832s is another matter.

Funny thing, I had a few of those rigs (BC series) back in the late 1990s when young, they were given to me, and I had no idea what to do with them. gave them to someone for parts.

And, I realize that too, pretty much all AM at the time. I have some thinking to do, what band, what mode, what rigs. I'm still reading through my mobile manual from '53. Tnx for the information very useful.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2014, 08:51:53 AM »

The 6V, Pos ground thing is probably going to be an issue to overcome if you want it to be operational. As I recall, by the 1950's most systems were 12V Neg ground. Most of the 6V systems were also Neg ground. You may need to come up with some sort of a DC-DC converter to get power for the radio equipment.

The Gonset converter from the link in my earlier post operates from 6V and gets B+ from the car radio. Since the 6V is for tube filaments only I assume it can be either polarity.

I had a friend in the late 1950's that had a mobile rig that used a dynamotor to develop the high voltages (B+).
 
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 08:59:36 AM by AA4PB » Logged

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
KD0REQ
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 09:10:33 AM »

dynamotors were what you used to convert voltages and polarities, and besides being big and heavy, they were not terribly conversion-efficient.  you did gain something from direct conversion to the fil and B+ voltages and not having that loss creating 120 volts and feeding it to transformers in the rig.  so that's a full trunk, big thick heavy wires to the battery with a shutoff switch under the hood (you can get them from Hone Depot online).  load the battery/generator down quite a bit.

anybody know if they used to use a truck generator and battery in those mobiles?  would seem to be a good idea.
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K1AZG
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 09:11:07 AM »

I can tell what I had in a Desoto of the same vintage. A gonset tuner to the BC radio, a Harvey Wells TBS 50C powered by a PE103 and the antenna was a center loaded whip. I had some help putting this together and as I remember when I keyed the TBS 50 and the dynamotor kicked in the sound was quite impressive. I did not have a leece neville alternator so this raised heck with the battery, very short transmissions.  Donna K1AZG  
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2014, 12:53:24 PM »

A Gonset converter and a Harvey-Wells TBS-50 would be a very representative setup.
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KA0HCP, ex-KB4QAA Relocated to Ks. April 2019.
G3RZP
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2014, 11:55:06 PM »

I was told that when, in the 1960's 4 metre mobile was popular in Northern Ireland, one guy ran 50 watts of plate and screen modulated AM, all powered from a dynamotor. If he pressed the transmit switch when moving away from a stop, the car noticeably slowed down!

But above about 15 watts in those days, you were stuck with using dynamotors. Below that, vibrators were used, either synchronous or non-sync with a rectifier tube - usually a 6X5 or an 0Z4
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VE3KJX
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2014, 08:50:48 AM »

A Gonset converter and a Harvey-Wells TBS-50 would be a very representative setup.

Looks like so far, yes. The Mobile manual shows the use of a Gonset converter, and a very nice diagram on how to
make a steering column mount for it.

I have a 19 set, tempted to throw it in there and call it a day. Hihi. That wouldn't be quite correct for the timeframe I'm thinking, 19 sets likely werent surplussed out then.
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VE3KJX
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 08:57:42 AM »

So far, thanks to you guys and my mobile manual from '53, I have a much much more solid understanding of how to undertake this. A dynamotor is needed, Gonset converter, I'm not sure on the TX side yet, we'll get there.

The Mobile manual shows quite a few really brilliant home brew circuits for control, etc.

Mobile back in the day took some serious dedication! It wasn't just sticking a DC to Daylight rig with auto-tune screwdriver antenna on your car, that's for sure.

I enjoy boat anchors, and old cars for the reason that it isn't all just push button, auto transmission, click and go. It takes work, maintenance and some semblance of skill.

I'm looking forward to mixing up the two.

Weekend is coming, so I can get some time to sit down with the mobile manual, make some notes. I'm in the midst of a full re-wire of the 1949 dodge, which is what brought this to mind. While i'm in there, I could make sure I have what I need to add some gear in the future.

Lots of lists to make.
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VE3KJX
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2014, 08:59:42 AM »

The 6V, Pos ground thing is probably going to be an issue to overcome if you want it to be operational. As I recall, by the 1950's most systems were 12V Neg ground. Most of the 6V systems were also Neg ground. You may need to come up with some sort of a DC-DC converter to get power for the radio equipment.

The Gonset converter from the link in my earlier post operates from 6V and gets B+ from the car radio. Since the 6V is for tube filaments only I assume it can be either polarity.

I had a friend in the late 1950's that had a mobile rig that used a dynamotor to develop the high voltages (B+).
 

Yeah, I'm somewhat aware of it, lucky for me,
this is mentioned in the mobile manual. Another thing to look into.

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G3RZP
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Posts: 1221




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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 02:13:06 PM »

There was very little military gear for 6 volt use - from memory, the 19 set is 12 volt. The R109 is one of the few I can think of. But people did add a 12 volt battery and a generator just for the radio gear.
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