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Vintage Ham Radio Articles

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The Pioneer 530

In 1917 a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. But he was shocked when many people couldn’t understand the books. They spoke Cakchiquel, a language without a Bible.   He believed everyone should understand the Bible, so he started a linguistics school (the Summer Institute of Linguistics, known today as SIL) that trained people to do Bible ...  READ MORE
ranickels
07/02/2022
Vintage Ham Radio
The Mosley Commando II

The Mosley CM-1 receiver is quite well known and not especially hard to find in the US even though it was the only radio produced by the company that has been well-known for antennas since 1939.   Or is it...?A full-page ad (advert for you on the other side of the pond) appeared in the RSGB Bulletin in 1963 for a nice looking and very capable SSB transmitter called the "Commando II&...  READ MORE
ranickels
04/15/2022
Vintage Ham Radio
My Johnson "Five Hundred Desk" Story

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
ranickels
01/22/2022
Vintage Ham Radio
Hammarlund PRO-310 Restoration

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
ranickels
01/14/2022
Vintage Ham Radio
The Multi Elmac A54-H project

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
ranickels
01/13/2022
Vintage Ham Radio
Meck (Telvar) T-60 transmitter updating

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
ranickels
12/16/2021
Vintage Ham Radio
The Sonar MR-3 mobile receiver

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
ranickels
11/01/2021
Vintage Ham Radio
The Multi-Elmac CD-10 Project

 In 1958, the Multi Elmac Company was riding high on the ham radio waves.   The company had seen an opportunity to provide feature rich but affordable transmitters and receivers to hams itching to "go mobile", which was all the craze.   Instead of sticking a converter in front of the car radio like many competitors did, Elmac produced full-blown receivers that tu...  READ MORE
ranickels
09/28/2021
Vintage Ham Radio
Mystery Transmitter

 I didn't set out to buy this homebrew CW transmitter, it was included in an auction lot that I wanted so I had to take it to get the desired item.   But even though I always like to see good quality homebrew gear, this one is just a mystery.Most of the transmitter, including 6CL6 oscillator and buffer stages and a 6146 PA are built on a sub-chassis that is clearly part of a com...  READ MORE
ranickels
07/15/2021
Vintage Ham Radio
The Vector VR-50

 Most hams are aware that Herb Johnson W6QKI founded Swan in Benson Arizona to make single-band SSB transceivers and then moved his operation to Oceanside CA where Swan thrived throughout the 1960s.   Swan merged with Cubic Corporation in 1967, and Johnson managed Swan as its subsidiary until 1973. Johnson founded Atlas Radio in 1974, with the assistance of Southcom International fo...  READ MORE
ranickels
07/12/2021
Vintage Ham Radio
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