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Author Topic: Six Meter AM Rig  (Read 17405 times)
WA4NJY
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Posts: 146




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« on: January 24, 2008, 06:40:02 PM »


  I want to have a vintage AM rig for six meters, when
and if, it ever opens again.  Looks like the best cho-
ice would be a Swan 250(C). They are plentiful and
should be easy to work on.
  How much carrier can be run safely?  Also, is the
receive and transmit audio within reason?
  Any input would be appreciated.

                thanks,
                   Ed Purvis
                   Bradenton, Fl
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W2ISB
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 07:45:55 AM »

The Swan 250 series were primarily 6 meter SSB rigs... AM was an afterthought. If you want high power AM I'd suggest finding Clegg Zues transmitter.

Gerd, W2ISB
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21836




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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 09:24:24 AM »

I agree the Swan 250 or 250C are terrible AM rigs.  I had a 250C when it was new nearly 40 years ago, and I'm sure they have not improved with age.

A "good" 6m "AM" rig (not SSB) is the Clegg Thor-VI.  Sounds tremendous, has VFO control and a great receiver.

Other good 6m AM rigs include the Gonset G-50, the Clegg 66'er, the Gonset Communicator-IV.  "So-so" 6m AM rigs include the Clegg 99'er, the Heath Shawnee, the Gonset Communicator II and III, the Hallicrafters SR-46(A), the Polycomm 6, etc.

The Clegg Zeus was great, but it's only a transmitter; you'd still need a receiver.  The matching receiver was the Interceptor, followed by the Interceptor-B; the "pair" takes up a lot of space and is now well more than 40 years old so to find a pair in very good condition would be quite a find.

WB2WIK/6
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5688




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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 11:32:07 AM »

Swan didn't derive true double sideband AM IIRC.  

One sideband with a carrier, no?  

Do some research online using google or another websearch engine to be sure, but I'm fairly certain that was the case, been a long, long time since a Swan was in my life.  

They drift, too.



KE3WD
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 01:02:08 PM »

The Swan on AM was indeed carrier-inserted SSB.  It never sounded very good, bandwidth is too narrow both transmitting and receiving, makes everything sound muffled.

For an AM rig, I'd go for a Thor-VI if I could find one.  Probably the best actual 6m AM rig ever made.
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WA4NJY
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2008, 02:08:24 PM »


  Thanks for all the info.  I forgot about the  carrier plus one sideband transmit and other items.

  Maybe for now, I will settle for a ricebox. Heard
a Kenwood 570SG on AM, it sounded pretty good.

                       tnx, Ed
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K3JVB
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 06:43:55 PM »

I vote for the Thor.

Never could afford one in the day ! Great audio. Plate modulated I recall. Most of the Clegg line up from that era was pretty good.
73
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K3JVB
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 06:49:37 PM »

...and do pass on the Swan for AM work. As stated it was a ssb in design. Am was an after thought. I have one now that is part of a Swan vintage station. It took a lot of work to make the "drifty-250" stable.
And it sound's great on ssb...and ugly on AM.

I did hear a Icom 551-d that sounded very decent on am.And it is an 80's era rig .
JohnB
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KE3WD
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 08:54:34 PM »

The modern low level modulation rigs get a bad name merely from bad operators.  

If you know how to set one up and how to make it swing forward, they all can sound very decent indeed.  

Most tune for max smoke at the carrier level, resulting in little to no forward modulation, no swing.  This will sound pinched and the real AM crowd will tell you so every time.

But tuned properly, those same "real AM" guys won't be able to tell what you are using unless you tell them.  

Low level modulation rig and linear amplifier working together, set up so that the ALC lets it dead carrier at a low level and swing forward at the modulation peaks but not exceeding the 100% mark can sound mighty like the old wonderful high level modulation AM boatanchors of yesteryear.  

Learn the art of radio and you get more out of radio,


KE3WD
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WA1RNE
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 06:53:09 PM »


 The G-50 was one of the best all-around AM rigs.

 I have a Clegg 66'er and it isn't the rig of choice. The receiver is OK but the negatives are no transmitter VFO and a lousy modulator that doesn't come close to fully modulating the carrier.

 One of my favorites is the Lafayette HA-460. It doesn't pack a lot of transmit power - ~12-15 watts output - but it has a good receiver, built in transmit VFO and the audio on receive and transmit is very good.

 Another alternative is a Heathkit Seneca transmitter which runs about 120 watts input on AM. Add a 6 meter converter to your present receiver and you're in business. The Seneca will likely be tough to find....


 ...WA1RNE

 
 ....

 
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2008, 09:44:08 AM »

>RE: Six Meter AM Rig  Reply  
by WA1RNE on January 27, 2008  Mail this to a friend!  

The G-50 was one of the best all-around AM rigs.<

::I agree, it was good.  The VFO is a separate control from the receiver tuning, so you have to SPOT a lot (and both sides drifted a bit), but overall, a good all-around rig in a sturdy enclosure that doesn't overheat.  Wilhelm Gonsett was a huge fan of VHF and he designed some great stuff.

?I have a Clegg 66'er and it isn't the rig of choice. The receiver is OK but the negatives are no transmitter VFO and a lousy modulator that doesn't come close to fully modulating the carrier.<

::That's not symptomatic of the 66er at all.  If yours doesn't modulate well, something's wrong with it.  The 2E26 is very well modulated, and at the factory (when I was there) we routinely tested every single one off the line for 100% modulation, which could be achieved on positive peaks easily (negative peaks limited to about 90%) as long as the rig was tuned up properly ("loaded" heavily enough).  They normally sounded great, as did the 22ers.

>One of my favorites is the Lafayette HA-460. It doesn't pack a lot of transmit power - ~12-15 watts output - but it has a good receiver, built in transmit VFO and the audio on receive and transmit is very good.<

::Also ran hot.  Then, so did the Polycomms, the SR-46s and the Gonset-IVs -- those all ran hot! Just not enough ventilation for the low-profile enclosures.

>Another alternative is a Heathkit Seneca transmitter which runs about 120 watts input on AM. Add a 6 meter converter to your present receiver and you're in business. The Seneca will likely be tough to find....<

::Actually, they're really easy to find!  I've had several offered to me as sacrifices, for free -- of course they had something wrong with them, but they were all "fixable."  Problem is, of course, the Seneca's only a transmitter and one still needs a receiver.  I built a Seneca in 1966, which is a few years after it was taken off the market (a guy in NY bought one and never built it) and it was a very fun kit, smaller and lighter than an Apache and much easier on my back!

WB2WIK/6


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K3JVB
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2008, 03:40:53 PM »

....And then there was also a Utica-650. It used the same tube(2E26). And also was a decent performer. 20 or so watts input. It also had a out-board vfo, came with a "Chrome" case too :)And a dual conversion RX

Not as many survive today. It seems the clegg's are much more available on the "boat-anchor" market.

I also see a few TX-62's (Ameco) from time to time. They were a grid modulated transmitter, about 70 watts input on AM. I had one way back...it was QRO rig ! LOL
I used it with a Sb-300 and a pair of heath converters, for 6 and 2.
73
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N2BIX
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2008, 09:27:07 AM »

I have a Knight T60 and also a Ameco TX 62. I know the Knight is challenged on AM but what about the Ameco? I also have the Ameco VFO. Is it stable? I'm not looking to be a "big dog" on AM ,just to have some fun with the old rigs.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2008, 10:27:25 AM »

The TX-62 was a fine transmitter, and the matching VFO-621 is very stable.  In fact, stable enough for CW work, and I used the TX-62/VFO-621 with a big homebrew amplifier to chase "DX" on 2m CW for a few years back in the 60s before building up an SSB station.

Problem is, there's no receiver in that bundle.

I used an NC-303 with various receiving converters, then upgraded a bit to a 75A4 with the same various receiving converters.  One of the best converters was the "Janel Labs" CA144.  I probably still have some of these in the garage!  Bob Larkin W2CLL (now W7PUA) was a neighbor of mine and manufactured these in his basement shop...great memories.

WB2WIK/6
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WA2CWA
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2008, 12:05:40 AM »

I've used my VFO-621 and Clegg 66'er many times over the years. VFO is stable enough for both CW and copying SSB stations on receive. Great modulation on the 66'er.

Lafayette HA-460 and HA-410 were designed not only as transceivers but also as hot plates.

Pete, wa2cwa
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