Today I found a new toy. Whenever the opportunity comes my way, I like to collect old radios. Here is another one for my collection.
The radio is a Zenith Long Distance Radio, model X390W. I think the “W” stands for “wood”, as there is also a X390 model that looks like it has a plastic case. This radio WORKS! And it “glows in the dark” like all good radios do. The radio seems to be in pretty good shape except for a label on the bottom of the wood case. It looks like it was scrubbed partially away. The Zenith X390W is and AM and FM radio that has a nice clock, and alarm function. Click on the picture to see more.
I’ve acquired an old Ratheon CK722 transistor several years ago. I knew it was a find when I got it, but then it sat, stored away, for many years. Today I took some pictures of it and here they are. If you have never seen one of these beauties, they are royal blue with a red dot on them. It has a date code on it that says “542” That means it was built in 1955 in the 42nd week.
The inside of the package has the strangest disclaimer. It reads “The purchaser or lesee of this device shall not be granted by implication, estoppal or otherwise any license under the patent rightsof American Telephoneand Telegraph Company andits subsidiaries for any combination of another element orelements with such device.”
The CK722 started out costing more than $12.00 to purchase and later went down to $7.50. WOW! I have no idea what that is at the current rate, but it is expensive. I could not find the current price of one of these gems.
Our local radio club, Capital City Amateur Radio Club, (http://w7tck.org) was donated a bunch of equipment. We decided to have a silent auction for it for the club members. The idea was to allow members to obtain some equipment inexpensively rather than try to make a bunch of money off of it. Here is my windfall. WOW! What Fun!
Click a picture to see a larger view, or click HERE for a slide show of my new “Junque”.
My favorite acquisition was this beautiful Heathkit SB-230 Amplifier. When I built my shack several years ago, I plumbed into it 220 Volts for that day that I may have an amp. It is about 1 KW input (probably about 600 Watts output), but that is very sufficient for me, since I operate in the QRP range much of the time. This will be fun too though! Look HERE to see my Ham Shack equipment; and you will see that I like Heath gear.
The photo below shows an old Heathkit Impedance Bridge. At first, I was hoping it would be an instrument I could use to measure impedance of RF circuits, but it is usable at audio frequencies. Non the less, it is a beautiful instrument with a wooden case and will sit up on my shelf with my other vintage items.
The photo below is of a James Millen model 90662-A Grid-Dip Meter. It is in perfect shape and is a very beautiful piece of test equipment. I have a much older Heath grid-dip meter that I have been using that I will be glad to put up on the antique shelf, and put this beauty to use. It is really a nice piece of test gear and a welcomed addition to the Ham Shack.
The picture below is of a Heathkit Tube Tester model IT-17. I have wanted a tube tester for many years, and passed up an opportunity to acquire one a couple of years ago and have been beating my self up over it ever since. Since I have vacuum tube equipment, this will come in handy at that time in the future when it will be needed. Tube testers are becoming increasingly rare and I am glad to add this one to my test equipment collection.
The picture here, is of a Step Attenuator. I have been thinking about either building, or purchasing one of these for a while now. Of all the pieces of test gear I purchased in this sale, this is probably the most practical. I am eager to put it to use while I learn and build transmitter and receiver circuits. This is going to be a good piece of gear to have.
The following picture is a Wilcom Reference Level Test Set model T 105B. I believe it was used with phone systems. I purchased this gem for the case. It is a very nice case that has nice rubber feet, handles on the instrument face, buckles to keep the lid closed, and a rubber seal to help keep the elements out. It would make a very nice case for a piece of portable radio equipment that might be made some day for it. It looks like it will be a good source of some nice parts also.
Here is another piece of Heathkit gear. It is a model IM-5228 VTVM (Vacuum Tube Volt Meter). I really purchasedit for the meter movement and for parts. I might, however, keep it together as I do not have a good analog meter. I fired it up and it works, so I might keep it around for those times an analog meter will do better than a digital one. It will make a nice addition to my test gear collection.
There was a few odds and ends that the club was trying to just get rid of. I just couldn’t let this one go to the dump, so I acquired it. I’m sure I will be able to use some parts of some sort from this box of goodies.
The following is portion of a news entry from the ARRL. Click the link and read the whole post; and if you have some vintage gear, fire it up and get ready for this fun sounding contest. I am hoping that I will be able to participate in the fun. Will you join me?
John – K7JM
Warm-up those filaments for the Classic Exchange contest, January 25/26 and February 15/16.
Do you have any old equipment from the bygone days of radio? Are you a homebrewer who likes to make nifty low power (QRP) radios or replicas of old rigs? Well the good news is that you can put those pieces on the air in an operating event that will make you feel like you are in another era. That event is called Classic Exchange (CX) and it is held twice a year. The purpose of CX as described in their newsletter is to “Encourage restoration, operation and enjoyment of older commercial and homebrew ham gear.” Some years ago, I heard stations on 40 meter CW calling “CQ CX.” After some research, I discovered that this was a contest for vintage and homebrew gear. It sounded like a great way to get some use from the old rigs I had in my basement. Since then, I have rediscovered the magic of radio and await the next CX event for more of it.
I love to collect old radio items. I don’t really go out of my way to find them, but when they find me, I am very interested in picking them up if they are not too hard on my bank account. I found this beauty at a garage sale today. There were a couple of other radios there also, but I have a family to feed so I purchased only one. The radio was from Montgomery Wards and has the label “Airline” on the back. I have not had a chance to really dig into the innards or look for information about the radio yet. The radio is a dual bander consisting of the broadcast band and the shortwave band from 5.75 to 17 Mhz. Click the picture to see a slide show of the details. If you know anything about this radio, please leave me a comment.