RAN Technology

About RAN Technology


    It all began....

       In my 2nd grade classroom, where the teacher, Mrs. Jeffers, provided something besides the usual puzzles and games for spare-time play.   There were wires, light bulbs in porcelain sockets, knife switches, motors, buzzers, tools...and #6 dry cell batteries.   Several of the boys and I couldn't finish our work fast enough and would have gladly skipped recess to be able to wire up new contraptions that often didn't work, but fascinated us nonetheless....

 

My name is Bob (Robert) Nickels and by the time I'd moved into junior high, I'd graduated to a different kind of bulb - the vacuum tubes that made radio possible.  I'll tell more of my story on the blog here, but suffice it to say I'm a lifelong radio and electronics nut and what started in Mrs. Jeffers classroom has provided me with endless challenges, opportunities, and a career in the electronics industry, (I am now retired from Honeywell), and have the time and ability to indulge myself in my hobby full-time.   I've been a licensed amateur radio operator since age 15, hold an Amateur Extra class license (W9RAN) and have been active on many bands and modes over the years.  But no matter where I've lived or what's been going on in my life, I've never lost the fascination with making things, fixing them when they don't work, and playing radio.

This site reflects my wide-ranging interests and perspectives, from historian to author, experimenter, and developer of my own products  under my business and technology consulting umbrella,  RAN Technology Inc.   It will be an eclectic mix but I'll try to make it worth your time to hang around and see what's new, because I know I will run out of time long before I ever run out of projects and ideas that I want to pursue.   And there comes a time when it's time to share the knowledge, experience, and toys that have been acquired with others.
 

Pull up a chair...

73, Bob W9RAN

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Posted: 01/22/2022
Category: Technical
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The 8122 Story

with thanks to K9AXN and W6MTF The following information is attributed to Jim Liles, K9AXN.  Jim a long time user and expert on the Hallicrafters SR-2000 "Hurricane" with involvement going back to it's original production.   His website www.k9axn.com contains a lot of valuable information and is recommended.  RCA developed the 8122 which was also built by Burle, and later, Eimac (as you wi...  READ MORE
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Posted: 01/22/2022
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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My Johnson "Five Hundred Desk" Story

"it's about the journey, not the destination..." Not a lot is known about Jacob C. Thomas, other than he was born in 1903 to John and Anna Thomas in David City Nebraska, and died just a few months short of his 90th birthday in the same town.    And that he was a radio man.David City is a small town of 3,000 not far from my home town so it made sense that the auction notice would appear in the local newspaper where my Dad would see...  READ MORE
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Posted: 01/14/2022
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Hammarlund PRO-310 Restoration

"mechanically, it's a nightmare..>" Having grown tired of seeing this rare and somewhat incredible receiver sitting on the shelf, unusable due to slipping dial belts, I bit the bullet and tore it apart to begin restoration.  The quote above comes from Tom Rousseau K7PJT's article in Electric Radio on the PRO-310 and boy, is he spot on!Since I will be depending heavily on what he and others have written about this receiver, ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 01/13/2022
Category: Technical
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Elvis Mic fix

Shure 55 that is... How'd it get that name?  The photo pretty much says it all...One of mine had a problem - the guts could be heard rattling around loosely insdie.  The "capsule" as it's called nowadays at least is held in position by three rubber "socks" that fit over metal tabs to provide acoustic isolation from the mounting provisions in the housings.  Not surprising aft...  READ MORE
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Posted: 01/13/2022
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The Multi Elmac A54-H project

A tribute to Gus Undy W8YNC Elmac aka Multi-Elmac was actually the Multi-Products company after tube maker Eimac complained that their original name was too confusing.  Most hams just call them Elmacs anyhow!The company was started by Cletus Collum in 1947 to commercialize his design of a radio-controlled opener for garage doors and gates.  That product still lives on through the Stanley Company and it's succes...  READ MORE
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Posted: 01/02/2022
Category: Historic
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The way it was

when HAMS ran electronics companies We hear a lot about "tech giants" nowadays but there were tech companies back in the 50's and 60's that were run by actual techies...no offence to those today who can write code, but when most of us think "tech" we think of circuits and metal chassis and solder fumes. An interesting example comes from the files of the Hallicrafters SR-2000 "Hurricane" whi...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/16/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Meck (Telvar) T-60 transmitter updating

Meck, Telvar, Audar...what's in a name? Meck, Telvar, Audar -  three names for the same company's products.The John Meck company of Plymouth IN made exactly one amateur radio product: the T-60 transmitter. It was sold under the name Meck as well as Tevlar and based on a limited sample, they are nowhere near identical. The T-60 did not sell well and was only offered for a year or two. Among the reasons for this may have been the...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/04/2021
Category: Technical
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Where is the thing?

Applicable to everything  Looking for a tool?   Important papers?   Parts you just had your hands on minutes ago?   ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 11/05/2021
Category: Vintage Radio
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The Multi-Elmac SEA-RAD MM-50

Marine radio from the early 1960s   Among it's early products, the Multi Elmac Company of Oak Park MI made marine band radios and other products for boats, including the Sea-Deep DM-1 depth indicator, the Sea-Fume SF-1 vapor detector, and the BC-1 Duo-Charger for 6 and 12 volt batteries.   Thus it's not surprising that the marine radio-telephone would be given a "sea" name:   the Sea...  READ MORE
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Posted: 11/01/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The Sonar MR-3 mobile receiver

a literal "handful" of radio! The Sonar Radio Corp.  of Brooklyn NY is a well-known manufacturer of Ham, CB, and Marine Band radios over a period of several decades, and it's products were always well engineered and of good quality.    But despite several attempts, it's ham radio products never really managed to excite hams enough to plunk down their hard-earned cash.   The SRT series of t...  READ MORE

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Announcing the W9DYV Radio Society

honoring SSB pioneer Wes Schum W9DYV
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Hamfests Return!

A quick look at the Wauseon OH swap on June 6, 2020
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Making A Transistor Radio

in memory of Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV (SK)
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Wes Schum, Amateur Radio's Unsung Hero

new book released, available on Amazon
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Soviet Spy Radio found in forest

(oh yeah, I put that there...I'll take it now thanks!)
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Take the Boatanchor Survey!

Let authors and organizers know what you're interested in
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W9RAN's "VERSA-TR" (as featured in Dec. 2018 QST)

A Versatile T/R solution for SDRs and vintage radios

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