75 Meter Extra Class WAS Net

Happy New Year !! 🎉

To all GERATOLers far and wide, we would like to wish you a Happy, and above all, Healthy New Year !! For many of us, we can’t wait to put the year 2020 in our rear view mirrors !!

Here’s to a great 2021, without pandemics, pestilence or poor propagation !!

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Since we are celebrating the coming of a new year, and the passage of time, here are some photos of some Ham Radio gear from years gone by. See if you can identify any of the following rigs, and/or manufacturers.
(There is a description of the various rigs shown, following the last picture)

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Rig # 1

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Rig # 2

Rig # 3

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Rig # 4

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Rig # 5

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Rig # 6

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Rig # 7

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Rig # 8

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Rig # 9

My Gonset G-50
Rig # 10

Details for Rigs listed above, starting with Rig # 1:

RG # 1 Drake R4C; Manufactured by the R.L. Drake company.

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This receiver was used in tandem with the Drake T-4XC Transmitter. It was capable of receiving SSB, CW, AM and RTTY. It was the third generation of the receiver; it’s predecessors were the Drake R4, R4-A and R4-B.

Rig # 2 Johnson Valiant Transmitter; Manufactured by the E. F. Johnson company.

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This transmitter was manufactured circa 1955-1962 and was capable of Modes: AM/CW, Bands: 160 – 10 meters, Input Power: 200 watts (AM), 275 watts (CW), VFO: Internal, Power Supply: Internal
Final Tubes: ( 3 ) 6146 parallel, Modulator: ( 2 ) 6146 push-pull

Rig # 3 Ameco AC-1 Transmitter, manufactured by AMECO Company

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This transmitter was sold as a kit, and was a popular rig for Novice operators, looking to terrorize the HF bands on 80 and 40M CW. I bought mine at Lafayette Radio in Natick, MA for around $25.00 Wound my own coils, and found the Novice band crystals at local ham fests ! What a blast.

Rig # 4 Heathkit SB101 Transceiver; Manufactured and sold as a kit by the Heathkit Company out Benton Harbor, Michigan

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Heathkit rigs were designed to emulate the look and feel of the more expensive, Collins equipment. The SB-101 was an 80-10M CW/SSB Transceiver. 180W PEP on SSB, circa 1967-1970

Rig # 5 Collins KWM-2 Transceiver; Manufactured by the Collins Radio Company. Today, known as Rockwell Collins Inc.

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This transceiver is still sought after by many old time radio enthusiasts. I got my first chance at using one, while stationed at NCTC Naval training center in Pensacola, FL. What an amazing rig it was, and still is to this day. It operated 80-10 Meters, with SSB and CW. Output was 100W PEP (nominal)

Rig # 6 The Yaesu FT101 Transceiver; Manufactured by Yaesu Corporation

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This transceiver was a solid state rig, except for the finals. It also employed the use of various modular elements, which could be removed from the rig for repair, and/or sent back to manufacturer for repair. Upon graduating from college, my wife purchased this rig for me, as a graduation present, and I used it up until I purchased an ICOM IC-735, at which time, I gave it to my Dad, WA1EJY who used it for many, many years. The rig had an output of around 130W PEP, and was extremely rugged and forgiving. It operated 160 through 10, on SSB, AM and CW.

Rig # 7 Heathkit Apache Transmitter, Manufactured by the Heathkit Company of Michigan. The rig operated AM and CW, and was sold circa 1958-1960 and sold at the time for a whopping $230.

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It had input of around 150W on AM and 180W on CW and the transmitter weighed in at a hefty, 103 lbs. !!! I saw one of these in MINT restored condition at the Tampa, FL Hamfest a few years ago, and was tempted to barter with the owner, but remembered I only had so much room in our car for the return trip to MA !! LOL !

Rig # 8 NCX-3 Transceiver, manufactured by the National Radio Company of Malden, MA.

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The rig only operated on 80/40/20 Meters, but had an output of 200W and could operate SSB, CW and AM with the latter output reduced to 30W. It had VOX or PTT, a 5200 KC (now khz) filter and bandwidth of 2.5KC at 6db

Rig # 9 R390A Receiver; The one pictured was manufactured by the Collins Radio Company

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For those of you ex-service guys who were in communications, I bet this receiver brings back memories from the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s era. Total production of the R-390A is over 55,000 units. Initial production started in 1955 and ran through approximately 1970. The receiver was manufactured for our military by a variety of manufacturers including: Collins, Motorola, Capehart, Stewart Warner, Fowler Industries and Electronic Assistance Corp. I recall, as a Navy intercept operator in training, having to spend many hours listening to CW on an R390A

Rig # 10 Gonset Communicator G-50 6 Meter AM Transceiver, Manufactured by Gonset Corp

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The rig operated on 6 Meter AM, covering the entire 50-54 Mhz and putting out 50W. The rig was popular during the mid 60’s, when the 6 Meter band was open every day. With openings so regular, I recall having a sked with a fellow ham in Iowa during my summer vacation.

Feel free to place a “Comment” on this POST and let us know what rigs you recall using over the years, and perhaps, which ones you are using today.


Kevin, N1KL Website Administrator

posted by Kevin in From the Administrator,GERATOL NET NEWS and have Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Happy New Year !! 🎉”

  1. Barry K2MF says:

    The pictures of these old rigs are marvelous! Thank you for posting them. 🙂

  2. Al Gritzmacher says:

    Owned a couple of those, used quite a few of them, and lusted after a couple more! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    I got my first WAS (In 1976 for the Bicentennial) using a SB-101!

  3. Kevin says:

    Hi Al, I’m still using an SB-101 I usually check into the net with it at least once per season, so the guys can chase me up and down the band as it drifts !! LOL They are a patient bunch…thank goodness I fired it off this New Year’s Eve on SK Night, and worked W1AW
    Kevin N1KL