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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Johnson Viking (One) Help

Reviews Summary for Johnson Viking (One)
Johnson Viking (One) Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $220 kit/270 assembled
Description: E.F. Johnson 160-10 meter plate modulated AM/CW transmitter. Single 4D32 class C final modulated by 2 X 807 tubes. Sold new in kit form or asssembled from 1949 - 1952. Available with Johnson Viking 122 VFO.
Product is not in production.
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WD4SCZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2017 02:26 Send this review to a friend
Classic workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Viking was a gift from a fellow ham, making me its third owner. The TVI mods were done long ago. It is in daily service on an AM phone net. It is a pleasure to use either crystal controlled or with the 122 VFO. There is a slight tendency to chirp in CW if crystal tuning is not perfect, but that just let's old timers know they are hearing a "real" radio.
W2SI Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2011 10:44 Send this review to a friend
Solid CW rig once TVI-proofed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my Viking I around 1972 while still in high school. I had been using a highly modified ARC-5 transmitter on 40 CW when a friend dropped it and all the ball bearings fell out of the variable capacitors (probably for the best, as the rig was an electrocution waiting to happen). One of my Elmers took pity on me (or decided he'd found a convenient way to get rid of a white elephant) and sold it to me for practically nothing, along with a Heathkit VF-1 VFO.

Fortunately for my neighbors, when I opened it up I found it had been extensively TVI-proofed with scads of copper sheet and screening, and lots of bypass capacitors. Because I only intended to use it for CW, I pulled all the tubes in the modulator and wired in handfuls of silicon diodes to replace the rectifier tubes and increase the HV. The occasional diode stack failure added the element of adventure.

I used it with an HQ-100A, an HQ-170, and a homebrew solid-state receiver. The antenna was a long wire and a Mor-Gain 5-band dipole, not that it mattered to the Viking's matching network; that could load into just about anything.

I was able to work Europe on 40 CW on winter nights without a peep from the TV watchers downstairs. I always got good signal reports, and my modifications reduced power consumption which kept the unit cool and the VFO fairly drift-free.

The Viking, along with the HQ-170, were left behind during a move to smaller quarters after college. I gave the VF-1 and homebrew receiver to a fellow CW enthusiast. I still have the spare 4D32 tube as a reminder of a great old rig that did everything I asked it to do.
W1BKZ Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2007 15:20 Send this review to a friend
Design base for the Viking II, and a really nice transmitter.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I still remember the day my Elmer, W1AVP, allowed me to tune up his Viking I, a backup XMTR for his TZ-40 homebrew. He took me through the radio step by step, and taught me how to use it. What I didn't know was that my Dad had bought me a Viking II kit, so Bill's teachings were a preamble to my getting my own rig built and running properly. As it turned out, the operation of the Viking I and II were essentially identical.
It wasn't until last year that I actually aquired a Viking I, and restored it from a physical WRECK to a functional transmitter. Mine came to me with an 829B in the final, which I removed and put in the venerable 4D32, of which I have 6 in boxes.
All electrolytics and micas were replaced, all variable caps were thoroughly cleaned, as was the roller inductor.A good general clean-up, replacement of meter shunts, and any "smoked" parts brought the old girl back to life.
I gave it a 4 only because in its original state, it is full of TVI Gremlins. If I choose (Ihaven't done it yet), I can incorporate the anti-TVI techniques employed in the Viking II and come up with a thoroughly enjoyable transmitter.
I even have a spare 122 VFO that works just fine with the old girl.
WB1AEX Rating: 4/5 Nov 14, 2004 09:51 Send this review to a friend
Rugged and durable transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
This transmitter has what it takes to keep on running without random failures. It is built on a sturdy steel chassis and features a ceramic roller inductor and substantial variable capacitors in its PA tank assembly. The steel rack-type enclosure may be used, or if desired, the Viking One can be mounted in a standard 19 inch rack enclosure. The modulation transformer is somewhat small for the task, and is prone to failure if pushed too hard. Many satisfactory replacement arrangements can be devised if needed. The plate supply easily meets the needs of the power amplifier and modulators. The 4D32 final is an extremely forgiving tube, and is easily driven by the 6AQ5 driver through the 160 meter - 10 meter range. The 807 modulators will provide enough audio to drive this rig to 100% modulation, however, an external 811 modulator may provide more desirable headroom. It is suggested that this unit not be used for portable operation as it may be difficult to hold while transmitting. Mine was purchased used more than a quarter century ago, and it still runs very well. I would not easily part with it.

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