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Author Topic: Sonar FS-3023  (Read 26142 times)
N0ZT
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« on: October 31, 2013, 08:41:52 AM »

Hello All-

A coworker, who is a scavenger and collector kind of a guy, approached me and told me that he came across a Sonar FS-3023, which I realize is a CB AM tube rig. He says it powers up, and asked me about testing the transmitter portion of the unit. While doing some googling, I came across a message from some forum where a ham was advising an owner to consider converting his unit to operate on 12 or 10 meters. For one thing, I'm assuming that 12 meters would not be practical, due to AM signals being so wide. For another, would that even be legal? Which leaves me thinking that it might be feasible for 10 meters. How practical would a project like that be, and what would be involved? Or, would it make more sense to just leave the rig stock, as is, and try to find a good home for it? I'm told it's very clean and in good shape. I'll probably get the chance to eyeball it soon, maybe in the next week. I'm interested in any thoughts or comments that anyone might have about this piece of equipment, and suggestions on what to do with it, if anything. Thanks! -Dan
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2013, 09:03:56 AM »

This same question has been posted many times.  Different wording but the same message.  The consensus of opinion is that it's best to leave the CB gear where it belongs.... on 11M. 

I can understand the reluctance of discarding what looks like a nice piece of electronic equipment though.  I used to be one of those scavenger/collector guys but managed to kick the habit after 50 years of effort.

If he's going to give it to you.....find it a good home to assuage your conscience and move on.  It hurts for just a short period.
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A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!
N0ZT
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2013, 11:11:02 AM »

Thanks for the input. I had  afeeling that might be the answer. I got no dog in this fight. I think the guy might use it himself and just play around a bit on CB, but i was just checking to see if it would be worth doing anything else with that rig
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N4NYY
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 11:14:07 AM »

Those are nice looking radios. But unless you can mod it to work on 80M AM, it will have little use outside of CB. Sonar mad some nice Marine radios on the older 2 MHz marine band, as well as some other stuff. They are not like Cobra or something like that.
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WA2CWA
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 05:50:19 PM »

The FS-3023 would make a great rig for 10 meters AM. Lots of 10 meter AM going on over the last several weeks with guys using lots of converted CB rigs. On 10 meter AM, I've worked numerous stations in Eastern and Western Europe, all over the U. S., and even worked a station in Japan.

Pete, wa2cwa
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N4NYY
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 04:23:33 AM »

The FS-3023 would make a great rig for 10 meters AM. Lots of 10 meter AM going on over the last several weeks with guys using lots of converted CB rigs. On 10 meter AM, I've worked numerous stations in Eastern and Western Europe, all over the U. S., and even worked a station in Japan.

Pete, wa2cwa

What frequencies?
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AC5UP
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 08:46:14 AM »

Any weekend when 10 is open cruise around 29.00 to 29.30-ish MC's. Most of the activity is between 29.00 and 29.10.

You will hear some heavy iron mixed in with the older Charlie Brown conversions and discover that a well cared for Johnson or DX-100 can be a delight for the ear. You'll also learn why the rest of us run SSB....... It's the better choice for weak signal / QSB infested Q's.
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W9GB
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 12:02:27 PM »

The Sonar FS-3023 and earlier FS-23 were 23-channel crystal controlled CB radios from EARLY 1960s.  
Same time period that EF Johnson mfg. their classic tube based Messenger CB radio series.

It is a well-built unit that is prized, if in very good condition, by vacuum tube era CB radio collectors.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 12:42:39 PM by W9GB » Logged
WA2CWA
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 12:11:23 PM »

The FS-3023 would make a great rig for 10 meters AM. Lots of 10 meter AM going on over the last several weeks with guys using lots of converted CB rigs. On 10 meter AM, I've worked numerous stations in Eastern and Western Europe, all over the U. S., and even worked a station in Japan.

Pete, wa2cwa

What frequencies?

You'll find lots of AM activity from 29.0 to 29.10 MHz. I worked the JA on 29.040. Lots of rag chew and DX-type contacts and lots in-between. Making the same type of contacts on SSB is easy, but with AM, it's a lot more fun. Other then for big phone DX contests, where come SSB contesters seem to get lost or confused and stray into 29.0 to 29.1, that range is the big hangout for AM operating. I was on this morning, 11/5, and worked about a dozen European stations, and several U.S. stations off the back of the beam, with just a mere 85 watts. Come on up and hear real operators making lots of DX contacts without big boy linears and multi-stacked antennas.

Pete, wa2cwa
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KH2G
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 01:58:17 PM »

Put the thing on CW!
Dick KH2G
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AA4HA
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Posts: 2630




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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 02:44:10 PM »

Gosh! Sonar, that is a blast from the past.

I still have a Sonar UHF 2 channel handheld. Steel case, hammered grey industrial with a big circular speaker/mic. I think it takes six or eight AA batteries, about the size of a brick.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
KW5JC
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2013, 10:01:53 AM »

This Sonar unit was the only tube unit that I am acquainted with that had push-pull audio.
I believe it would make a great, fun unit conversion to 10.  The hard thing is buying the xtals.
Reach for your deep pocket book...
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W4OP
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2013, 10:32:22 AM »

This Sonar unit was the only tube unit that I am acquainted with that had push-pull audio.
I believe it would make a great, fun unit conversion to 10.  The hard thing is buying the xtals.
Reach for your deep pocket book...


You can change out one crystal and get 4 10M AM channels:
29.00 29.01  29.02  29.04  About $25 shipped from ICM.

These are wonderful plate modulated rigs and you'll find good activity on the AM portion.

Dale W4OP
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AA4HA
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Posts: 2630




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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2013, 12:02:00 PM »

I could not condemn a radio solely based upon where it has been used (CB radio). After all way back when that was a service that had gear as good as what was in amateur radio at the time. It is going to have the same quirks, limitations and capabilities of any piece of tube gear from that era.

Some of the stuff that is going on in the past few decades with CB service, market dumping, completely unprofessional mods and outright illegal activities is not the same thing that was happening in the early 60's.

You can buy a few crystals and have a decent rockbound 10 meter rig for AM service or you can find or build a VFO. I do see that at one time there was a VFO for the FS-3023 (Siltronix).
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
KC4MOP
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Posts: 960




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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2013, 08:07:21 AM »

Roger Roger AM operation on 10M.
The beauty of our Ham license is that we can modify a CB radio to operate in the Ham bands.
http://www.cbradiomagazine.com/Legal%20Mumbo%20Jumbo.html

Not the other way around. CBers using Ham gear in the CB bands.

Fred
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