RAN Technology

Trio Multibander TX-88A


Vintage Ham Radio 0 Comments 05/18/2021 

A time capsule from JA-land

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)

 

All who operate AM in the midwest know and probably have talked to Masa, AB9MQ, who is a very active AM operator.    Having become interested in ham radio while still living in Japan in the early 1960s,  Masa's memories of the "dream rigs" is a bit differen than most US hams, and because the markets were still quite regional at the time, much of the ham gear that was offered to Japanese amateurs was not exported to the US, so most US hams have never seen even pictures of it before.    The notable exceptions are the receivers made by Trio Corp. that were imported to the US by Lafayette Radio and sold in both assembled and kit form.    The most common ones were the Lafayette HE-10 (KT-200 in kit form),  HE-30 (KT-320 in kit form), and the HA-350.  

Those model numbers would have meant nothing to a Japanese ham, but he would have instantly recognized them as the Trio 9R4J,  9R59, and JR-300S which were popular in Japan!

In addition to receivers, the Trio Company made transmitters.    I'll write more about this at a later time but for now, suffice it to say the TX-88A Multibander was the companion to the 9R59 (Lafayette HE-30) and after Masa obtained one I thought it was a great looking transmitter and one that would be neat to own.   But even today most ham gear that was intended for the domestic market stays in Japan, although thanks to eBay, that is changing.   And that is how I was able to obtain a very nice TX-88A transmitter which can be seen in the photos below.

Again, I'll be adding more to this article as I learn more and as I pull key information out of the original manual that came with the transmitter but is printed in Japanese, naturally.     The images here do no due justice to this transmitter - it is truly "mint" in appearance with no scuffs, scratches, or even signs of having been used.   It arrived in a plastic dust cover and I suspect it has spent most of the past 50 years underneath it.

Enjoy looking at what I consider to be a time capsule of ham radio from another time and another place.


    A while back I acquired a six channel HF transceiver made by the Radio Industries division of Hallicrafters, probably in the 1960s, called an SBT-20.    It is capable of 20 watts SSB or 5 watts AM (or CW with an optional board) in the range of 2-12 MHz and thus was probably aimed at commercial and light-duty military applications.   The radio could by ordered with fu...  READ MORE
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- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  04/29/2021 
  

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Boatanchor parts from the home improvement store
Category: Technical
 It's not often that you can buy a replacement part for a vintage transmitter or amplifier off the shelf at the home improvement store, but this is one example.   And since it's not a perfect drop-in replacement, here's now I adapted a new Broan-Nutone BP-27 bathroom-kitchen exhaust replacement fan to fit into a Johnson Desk Kilowatt.These small shaded-pole "C frame...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  04/23/2021 
  

My SWR Dilemma

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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
 When I got my Novice license in the fall of 1965, my dad had also decided that as long as he was taking me to the classes at Blue Valley Amateur Radio Club in Seward, Nebraska, he might as well try for his license too.    I was fortunate that not only were my parents supportive of my ham radio interest, but my dad could build anything.   So the first thing was a 40 f...  READ MORE
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The WRL Duo-Bander 84

An "only 50 cents per watt" transceiver
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
  Go Mobile!  That was an attractive marketing message to 1960s era hams who were enjoying the fun of operating SSB mobile, and WRL knew a low-cost rig that didn't have to be hauled back and forth to the car would be a winner.   Heathkit and Swan had already proven that with their single (mono) bander transceivers, but what if you're heading out in the middle of th...  READ MORE
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    After the conclusion of World War II, there were only about 300 radio amateurs in Japan.   In the  year 1952, the JARL reported that only 30 provisional licenses were granted.    Realizing the value of ham radio in developing a technological workforce, Japan introduced its entry level Class 4 licence in 1959 -  it would prove to be the world's most succ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  03/24/2021 

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