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Author Topic: Restore to Original? or Modify to make better?  (Read 49781 times)
G3RZP
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Posts: 1286




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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2014, 09:21:23 AM »

Carefully ignoring the FCC licence requirements on spurious emissions if the rig can't meet it unmodified?
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W1BR
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Posts: 4190




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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 09:00:03 AM »

there are many early radios that are rare enough and worth restoring to at least looking as original as possible. This is my SX-16 receiver... I spent a few months going through it to bring it back to working condition, while maintaining as much of the original appearance as possible, including above and below chassis.

Pete



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G3RZP
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 11:53:31 AM »

Nice job, Peter.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6283




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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 12:10:13 PM »

In the case of the FT101 (and the 102 if I'm not mistaken) receive components were on plug in cards in the rig.  On those, the problem was solved simply by getting another set of plug in cards and making the modifications on those.  I've got a 101EE and there has been some work done on it.  Whether or not it has components that have been changed (valuewise) I don't know.  One day, I'll go through it and find out.

But back to the subject--if I wanted to I could get another set of cards by searching ads for them or simply by getting another 101.  Any mods I made could be put to original simply by swapping out the cards--and I'd include the extra set of cards with the rig when selling.  A purist could simply put the original cards back in, and someone who is more interested in rig performance could leave the modified cards in.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but that rig is one of the best designed older rigs around, simply because of those plug in cards.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2014, 10:33:23 PM »

Peter,

The problem with the FT101 series is the very poor receiver performance in terms of IMD. The last of them, the FT101ZD, has in the three I've measured, a bad (like about 20dB down) tx spur at 18MHz (twice IF) when on that band.

The FT102 has no plug in boards, relays that give trouble (easy to fix), a bad receive spur on 3500 and to some extent 7000, which is nasty if you are a CW DX'er. Also, some runs were VERY bad on key clicks. It is pretty easy to work on though - it was just designed by a guy who very obviously didn't do CW DXing and didn't understand the requirements! It's very good on rx and tx IMD and on phase noise.
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K4TFJ
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2014, 02:45:58 PM »

Carefully ignoring the FCC licence requirements on spurious emissions if the rig can't meet it unmodified?
I just have to ask... It seems that the majority of your responses include "FCC requirements" and/or "spurious emissions" or something similar. Do you get a royalty or something for constantly harping on this? Or is it an OCD/pet-peeve thing?
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AC2EU
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2014, 03:33:05 PM »

K1ZJH,
 
That hallicrafters looks minty!
What did you use to clean the chassis?
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6283




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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2014, 04:50:10 PM »

...The FT102 has no plug in boards....

Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure.  

I do know about the IMD in the 101--that's why I mentioned about modified boards, although I know there are other modifications/improvements not on those boards as well.  73.
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AB1MN
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Posts: 62




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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2014, 06:27:42 PM »

Well, let me put my .02 cents worth in. I think if you are going to spend the time and effort to restore a radio, you should restore it to original and without modifications (other than factory mods). Part of  the "fun" of old radios is seeing them perform as designed. I recently restored a Heathkit AR-3 receiver (same as I had as a novice back in '57) as well as a Hallicrafters S-38 and both made me appreciate how much the technology has changed since then. Also made me wonder why I just didn't flat out give up on radio out of frustration as both of them are way inferior to anything you would get today - but still fun to listen to.

If you want "new" or "improved" performance, then you might consider a current radio, or (heaven forbid) even a Software Defined Radio.

Bob,  AB1MN
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G3RZP
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Posts: 1286




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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2014, 03:09:26 AM »

K4TFJ

I spent 13 years as a volunteer at the ITU and CEPT to minimise the effect on amateur radio of international regulation on technical aspects. Now the FCC may not worry over much, but if you want to see international amateur radio and not just US domestic amateur radio survive, it is necessary to at least show willing to meet their requirements. The spurious emission requirements in Part 97 aren't there for fun, either. There was a BIG pressure at one stage to look for mandatory equipment type approval and the banning of home brew, which the few countries wanting it were persuaded to accept wasn't either practicable or desirable. Further, to just ignore the Part 97 requirements is just as silly as to ignore band limits and operate where you want to. Are you happy to ignore the rest of Part 97?
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2014, 11:09:19 AM »

Most radios more than 25 or 30 years old won't meet the latest FCC requirements.

If we were to voluntarily comply or if the FCC were to institute mandatory compliance it would mean either redesigning and modifying every old radio or wholesale banning from use.

The result would be Amateur revolts and ignoring of regulations and/or abandoning of the hobby.

We should make good faith efforts to run old rigs [and homebrew old designs] with clean signals, but it is just not practical (nor desirable) to deface historical radios to meet constantly evolving standards.

The number of really old [and homebrew] radios in use at any time is probably fairly low, especially given the huge increases in US ham population in recent decades.  I suggest the minor emissions from a few old radios are far more acceptable and less troublesome than the general and widespread pollution of the spectrum by unenforced consumer devices.

[edited]
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 11:18:46 AM by KB4QAA » Logged

KA0HCP, ex-KB4QAA Relocated to Ks. April 2019.
K4TFJ
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2014, 08:32:26 PM »

I spent 13 years as a volunteer at the ITU and CEPT to minimise the effect on amateur radio of international regulation on technical aspects......<portions not quoted>...... Further, to just ignore the Part 97 requirements is just as silly as to ignore band limits and operate where you want to. Are you happy to ignore the rest of Part 97?
Your first sentence answered my question quite well! You are passionate about it; I get it. Its ok with me if you feel strongly about it, if thats your thing. Seriously, just curious. I am not attempting to start a flame war, nor advocate ignoring any rule we are governed by. I was merely curious why it seems to overwhelm your responses to this topic.

But to set the record straight: I do not intentionally ignore any portion of Part 97, never claimed that I did or intended to do so.  Most of the mods I have in mind would improve receive audio, hum, transmit chirp, voltage regulation and filtering, etc. Nothing major like trying to do more bands, modes, or power. They would not degrade its current transmit specs, but could potentially improve them. I am all for doing something better.

73, TJ, K4TFJ
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KE0ZU
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« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2014, 05:20:52 AM »

I do a little planning when it comes to modifying old radios, and also tend to be a minimalist, but in pursuit of "needed performance improvements" there are some cases when "you just can't get to there from here".   

In those cases, almost always SS mods, I put the mods on perf board(S) and wire them in, leaving as much of the original components/wires as intact as possible should I want to pull the mod.   I keep a notebook for each radio with a copy of the original manual and any additional information I can find, and, full documentation of every thing I do to that radio, and when I sell it the docs go along.    In the overall scheme of things, its probably a waste of time but...
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Regards, Mike
https://mikeharrison.smugmug.com/
Pics and bold print are usually links.
W1BR
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Posts: 4190




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« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2014, 08:01:08 AM »

K1ZJH,
 
That hallicrafters looks minty!
What did you use to clean the chassis?

Rust remover on the worst areas, and metal polishes on the rest, and a lot elbow grease and time.

The receiver had a half hearted "restoration" when I received it. Only half of the wax caps were replaced--the ones that were the easiest to reach. The soldering was atrocious, with many joints having loose wires.  I scouted a set of donor wax caps from a friend who was restoring his, and rebuilt them with yellow Mylars hidden inside.  It is a dated design, but it is a fun band cruiser and that is what I use it for. I'ms sure there are some modifications that would improve performance, but that wasn't my goal.  It looks pretty awesome with the matching R-12T parked on top it, and it sounds good on the AM bands.
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KD6RF
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Posts: 850


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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2014, 04:55:21 AM »

My vintage units, HW101 and Hammarlund HQ145 are modified (quite significantly in the case of HQ145) for usability. 

My personal "rule" is to have them appear stock from all angels, except perhaps the rear panel.

Both units have oscillator outputs for connection to counters (for future nixie tubes, of course).

HW101 works well enough as-is.

The Hammarlund however has a number of mods that address stability, the relatively dead high band where it goes double conversion, a real bandspread cap, and an AGC and S-Meter that works properly in SSB/CW mode.  The mods make the HQ145 perfectly usable, even on 10 Meters.

They both cleaned up nicely, and work well, while retaining the vintage experience.
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VTenn Antennas
Bay Area Technical Equip Rental and Test Range
http://vtenn.com/Blog/
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