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Reviews For: Johnson Viking Valiant

Category: Transmitters: Amateur radio

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Review Summary For : Johnson Viking Valiant
Reviews: 16MSRP: 349.50 kit, 439.50 wired and tes
160 - 10 Meter Plate Modulated CW/AM Transmitter
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W1JTP Rating: 2022-06-13
Great Am/CW rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got mine back in late 1959.Worked perfect during Sun Spot Cycle 19. Those were the days.
W6SSP Rating: 2021-04-19
One of the best of the era Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A lot has already been said about the Valiant and Ranger.
Including some of the problems and cures. What hasn't
been said is how easy they are to work on and how
reliable they are as compared to other transmitters
of the era. Of the Johnson transmitter family the
Valiant is my favorite. Built in VFO, 200w CW and
150w AM. Looks good, plenty around and prices
are usually decent. If you're looking for a vintage
AM/CW transmitter, this is one of the best.
Steve W6SSP
KE0ZU Rating: 2021-03-13
A great addition to any station Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought my Valiant almost 6 years ago. It had output problems when I got it, but a couple new pi-net output caps and it has since worked very well.

Mine is virtually stock having only a couple audio coupling cap values increased for a little additional low freq response. The clipper remains although I don't use it. I use a D-104 for a microphone, and get good audio reports.

If you get the chance to own one of these, don't pass up the opportunity, you'll find it to be a fun, reliable, and very capable transmitter.

KA4KOE Rating: 2013-05-14
Work in Progresss Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My Valiant has a multitude of problems. I got mine relatively cheap but will still pay less than one obtained off of Ebay after the cost of new parts and widgets. One has to do a whole lot of work to get one ready for reliable air time without 4th of July fireworks. Here is what I've done to date:

1. Replaced all electrolytics. Mandatory.
2. Installed a 3 wire, fused line cord. Mandatory.
3. Replaced 866 rectifiers with 866AS' solid state direct replacements from RF Parts. Highly recommended.
4. Replaced "Chernobyl" 18K power resistor in the VFO. Mandatory.
5. Rewired accessory socket as it is a big cause of intermittents in my case. Optional.
6. Cleaned all tube sockets and corresponding pins with Caig Deoxit.
7. Fixed intermittent connections in the microphone jack.
8. Installed new transmit "ON" lamp.
9. Insulated HV/LV wires where the exit the transformers from underneath the chassis with spaghetti to prevent arcing.
10. Cleaned all rotary switches with Caig Deoxit and a toothbrush.
11. Replaced both modulator tubes as well as their associated 22 ohm suppressor resistors.
12. Will undo speech clipper bypassing to have this function available.
13. Needs work in the clamper section to stop high plate current condition on "key up".
14. Calibrate VFO.
15. Set RF bias and clamper voltages.
16. And last, purdify the silver coils on top (gently) to remove all the nasty tarnish.

Again, not bad for what I paid for it.

Fortunately, none of the big iron items appear to be defective. The group is a must if you're a newbie like me and working your way through a host of issues.

This transmitter is not for the beginner. A manual is also a mandatory item.

If you enjoy tinkering, you'll love it.
K2OWR Rating: 2012-01-13
Great Old Transmitter Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Found one of these at a hamfest. It looked awful, and filthy. Underneath it all though was a piece of equipment that had never been modified, or even played with in any way. This meant none of the mods that you find recommended all over had ever been done. After re-capping, a bunch of new tubes, a lot of cleaning, and several boxes of fuses, it came to life. I added the old D104 mic I bought at the same time. All I can say is that this thing works great and I use it regularly, and get great audio reports.

I sincerely believe that lots of 75 AM guys just have microphones that don't get along with their transmitters and so they start modifying everything to make it sound better. A work a lot of these guys who've made the "mods" and have to laugh at how they sound.
W1CJF Rating: 2011-10-24
one bad mama jamma Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got my valiant on craigslist for $200. After chuck ( put new caps and checked it over she got a clean bill of health. Its just badass! You just can't beat one of these old transmitters.I was lucky to find mine all 100% stock paint and all. Just a great radio and one that will goto the grave with me. Being 30 years old I just love this old stuff and want to collect more.. plus the 6146's are cheap and can take a beating!
KG8LB Rating: 2008-04-01
Fine transmitter Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Over the years I have owned at least 6 of these great transmitters. Due to the fact they are approaching 50 years of age there are of course a few areas that may need attention. The coarse loading switch may be showing affects of boneheaded "hot switching" Seems some sloppy operators over the years may have seen fit to simply increase the loading by moving the switch to the next position while the carrier is on. With all that RF current circulating a careful operator will drop the carrier before moving the switch. The audio is quite good when properly set up and a good mic is employed. Old $5 hamfest D-104s with aged elements may not cut it.
The meter shunts have been mentioned in an Electric Radio article and they are an area to give some attention. Too many folks blame low output on the meter shunts and never really confirm the real source of low output which in many cases is simply the wrong type of 6146s in the final.It is best to actually CHECK the meter accuracy before assuming error. BTW, Loading the final above the 335 mA limit can lead to poor audio. The modulator works best when operated as intended and loading above 335 mA is not going to work well!
Most of the imagined "shortcomings" held by a very few critics are actually symptoms of operator error or lack of maintenance. Valiants often fetch pretty good selling prices simply because so many folks have had excellent experience with them.

Most of the "audio mods" for the Valiant have been debunked as un-needed and in fact having a negative outcome. There are a few reports on the internet in that regard. A well setup , properly adjusted Valiant is a fine sounding and operating transmiter.
BTW there are many "mods" out there for the T-60 KNIGHT, RANGER, Apache, DX100, DX60 Viking II etc. Be careful and do your homework before trying any of them is my suggestion.
W1BKZ Rating: 2007-01-29
Typically E.F.J. Nicely designed and implemented rig. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first transmitter (after the Heath AT-1) was a Viking II. Its major problem was key-clicks and no VFO. This was in 1955.
Along came the Valiant, and I longed for it in the worst way. It wasn't until 1980 that I was given one (from a CB'er who all but destroyed it. Several months of tender loving care and replacement of a LOT of parts, she came to life. I solid-stated the HV rectifier, softened the clipper, re-tubed the final, and replaced the fixed caps (that turret-like thingy) in the pi-net output. I thought about replacing the modulator, but I left well enough alone for the time being. I did, however, increase the speech amp coupling caps.
Capacitors, burnt resistors, and the like were replaced, and it came back to life like the day it was made. It made 100% modulation, with a carrier of 125 watts out, and gave me really fine AM (of course I used a D-104.....what else???). A little cleaning up of the VFO got rid of some spurs, and I took it down to the CW portion. What??? No key clicks???
Yes, the Valiant is first rate in my book. Since it is running good, my next rig will be a 500....I can dream, can't I?
KQ6IG Rating: 2007-01-02
Nice Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It's funny how nostalgia influences what otherwise would be objective reviews. I was born in 1974, after the AM era. So, I think I'm viewing this from a more objective perspective.

The Valiants strength is it's coolness factor. It's big, and bold. I love the way the operating table shakes every time I switch on the HV.

As an AM transmitter, it's a solid design that's held up pretty well. My Valiant still has all of the original capacitors, and functions well. How these rigs age is largely due to how they were treated (stored, operated, etc). If it's clean on the outside, it's probably clean on the inside.

The only problem I've found with my Valiant is the inprecise Ip reading due to a bad meter shunt.
It does suffers from spectral inpurity, however.

If you get a Valiant, use a low pass filter on the output, and keep the neighbors happy! Also, replace the inefficient 866 HV rectifiers with solid state plug-ins. It'll take stress off of the LV transformer.

If you're more interested in performance than nostalgia, homebrew yourself a rig. Valiants were obviously built to cost. You can build yourself a much better rig for the same cost many Valiants are going for.

WA2DTW Rating: 2006-10-25
No complaints Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have enjoyed this rig for 3 years. Reliable on AM. "Communications quality" audio, as was meant to be. Easy to tune up and to use. Cuts through the noise on 160 and 75. Mine worked well with few if any modifications.