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Here is an interesting photo I was able to take, by being at the right place at the right time. Counting the antennas was NOT easy, so I thought it worth sharing.  See if you get the same count two times in a row. 

1st QUIZ:  how many antennas are on this "mobile unit?" Count carefully and decide  a) less than 30, b) over 20, c) over 25 but less than 30 d) over 30 (see photo below -- it is mobile WAØTV alias WAØKGU (sk) going eastbound Interstate 70 near O'Fallon, Missouri)

A second quiz is at the bottom of the page.



 Novice Call:  WNØMHP used an awesome 6146 PA final in a Globe HG 303 (see pics below) Hammarlund HQ 110AC receiver, with a 40 / 80 vee, Hy-Gain Monoband on 15. Novice year: WAS, RCC, and worked five of the continents.  This was back when first class postage was five cents, and gas was 19 cents or less for a gallon, with tax.

Current set up as of 06 January 2017 is pictured below.... from left bottom row:  Swan MB40, Swan SW175, Swan SW140, Swan SW120, Swan 117X pwr supply, Heath SB200, TS2000.  second row:  Kenwood vintage 2 meter TS7625, Swan 100MX, Swan 750CW, Swan 300B, Triplet Frequency Meter 3256, Swan 2000WMA wattmeter, Kenwood 570D.  top row rotor control, Atlas 210X  (mics:  Astatic D104 stand with Heil Element 5, Shure controlled magnetic model 444.  The catalog is Mosley (undated) from the 90's.

Next is a closer view of the vintage Swans. 

The Goldfaces 120 & 140 were manufactured in Benson, AZ -  The Greyface in Oceanside, CA.

Goldface production date would be during Fall 1960 / Winter 1961 and with its
low serial number may be the oldest (non modified) SWAN transceiver actively on the air


Our most recent project (November 2017) was being Co-Event Sponsor of Special Event Station WØW commemorating the 50th Anniversary of our nation's first Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Wentzville, Missouri.

The dedicated page for that Event is here  https://k0mhp0.wixsite.com/veteransday2017

Another recent project: serving as the Event Coordinator for the SWAN 25 on 20 Special Event and we produced a video for HamNation for episode #215 --  this is the edited out segment or you can watch the whole episode on youtube.com


A third recent project can be seen on youtube -- it is all about quick portable station deployment.


I am a big fan and operator of Swan gear. More times than not we are operating one of the vintage Swan series.

Swan Rule no. 1 Swan:  Because life is too short to have a puny signal.  ©

Swan Rule no. 2   Swan:  No menu required.  ©

here is  how to tune Swans using maximum output

here are  photos of the rarest solid state members of the Swan Family of Radios

Each of these rare radios (seen in the linked photos) had a limited production run AND each represented advanced state of the art design and features that were to be envied by Kenwood, Yaesu and others during that early era of solid state transceivers.  Need more info on these rigs contact WA3VZK. 

In trying to determine which of two Benson, Az. addresses was the famous "Herb's garage site"  The first Swans were assembled in Herb Johnson's (Founder CEO of Swan Engineering) garage -- right out the backdoor, in his backyard, so to speak,  Since one of my Swan 120's (a Gold Face, is in near mint / factory condition) has a street and city address stamped on it, I contacted the Swan historian, K4BOV, and I received this from Stu:


The 187 West Cactus address is where Herb and his wife Mary lived.

At that time he was using an old brick building behind the house in the back yard as his hamshack and "lab and plant" where he assembled his first radios.
As business grew, Herb needed more room and help; so, he leased the place on East Fifth which was formerly the Naegle's Wood Working Shop. That facility gave him about 2500 sq feet and enough room for his dozen or so employees. In June 1962 the Benson plant was closed down and Swan moved to Oceanside, CA.
So, now you know, Stu K4BOV Swan Group Moderator

That West Cactus address places my Gold Face 120 in the 'Swan Garage Era'   Its s/n is 120 - 2 

I purchased it in the condition seen here. It is not refurbished.  A few resistors, a few disc caps and a light bulb have been replaced.  Output is just over 100 wts., using the 117XC power supply.  In the picture showing the top of the VFO assembly, find 2 written in pencil tube nomencatures.  I've often wondered if that is Herb's penmanship. 

It is possibly the oldest Swan transceiver on the air -  assembled winter 1960 - 61

Here are some of our other Swans....this group and others in storage.

VINTAGE RADIO SUNDAY NETS: the Vintage SB Net -- 14.291 +/- at 1 pm Central (CDT or CST).   Listen for Lynn K5LYN, Al W8UT  -- main net control stations.   The Heathkit net follows.

Then the Swan Users Net.  Same freq.  Net Controls:  WD5IKY Duncan, W4WHW Bill, KC7PSY Ron, WA5BDR Jim, Jay WA6MWL, Jack KG5GP, Steve W4ASM  The Swan net may start as late as quarter past the hour, waiting for the HeathKit net to sign off,   Net starts between 3 & 3:15 p.m. Central. You do not need vintage gear to check in to any of these nets.

ANOTHER RECENT PROJECT:  was the creation of a youtube.com slide show, assisting KG7TR & K5LYN with information on the 1956 QST Cheap and Easy.   Also featured is the second generation CHEAP-N-EASY built by KG7TR.  This one was featured in the November 2013 issue of Electric Radio

THE LINK IS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E03Oz9brNg


Next the GLOBE HG 303.... CW ONLY transmitter (photos follow).

Vintage 1960's, when CW ruled, because of the influx of the Novice Licensees.  The HG 303 was relatively common on all bands, all segments.  Our's (not this one) had a temperment of eating tubes.  Likely caused by over tuning.  Ran a 6146 as the final and later we upgraded to the 6146B.  We had over a thousand contacts, between my dad and myself, that Novice year.

I am guessing only a very few of them remain in working condition, like this one.  There are 2 internal crystals (xtals), plus an external xtal socket -- and on the back panel a VFO socket, an accessory socket for external Ancient Modulation, relay control, etc. (Ancient Modulation:  that is what the SSB ops called AM then, and we wont mention what the AM crowd  called the SSB ops, some of you will remember, I'm sure --  think:  W4-Easy-Baker-George (Conrad in Kentucky) if you ever worked 75 meter phone in the 60's, you will know -- he even "breadboarded" a variable auto shifting VFO that would drive the SSB crowd nuts, but not enough shift for AM reception... he had many warnings from the FCC and later was fined... do a web search for more on W4EBG exploits but not the NEW W4EBG, who just this year requested that vanity call sign)

The HG 303 was compact in size:  roughly nine by nine by about five inches tall.  With a few small air vents on the bottom and a perforated top (no room for an internal fan), this likely added to PA tube demise. But as a kid, I didn't know to add an external fan.

BESIDES in my defense, there wasn't a Globe Yahoo group then.

Just how did we survive without Yahoo groups back in the day?

Field Day - great event, when one can find the time.

Mosley TA33, two meter yagi, 40 meter inverted Vee at 40 some feet off the ground   Kenwood 520S, Ten Tec Omni

Seen above is one of our FD ops -- YEP, you are looking at an extension ladder in the picture. The ladder was radiator hose clamped to a T-fence post, then we added 16 feet of fiberglass tubing strapped to it (also guyed) and our infamous forty meter vee at the top. It too survived the storm and it is a great deal easier than putting up a tower !!

Our best FD to date (2008) was when we operated from Lindenwood University's Skyway Farm (west of town and now sold to new unfriendly owners) at 1000 ft above sea level. High elevation is in short supply in the mid-Mississippi Valley. Skyway is rumored to be the second highest elevation along the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, 8 miles due east of Skyway.

That year we operated 2BMo. Second op was KCØLKG. We placed first in the 2B Missouri category; nationally we were seventh in total QSOs for our category; our total contest points placed us 12th over all nationally in the 2B category.   And we weren't even trying... too many interuptions.  But.

Not too bad for fighting off four drenching down pours of rain, high winds and meanwhilie, taking time to BBQ. Somehow, the charcoal (and equip) stayed dry. Oh, and did I mention the heavy fog?   Fog so soupy and thick we could not see the red flashing beacon (light) on the 300 foot commercial microwave tower across the highway from us.  Field Day weather is so dependably unique -- here anyway.

Below:  vintage solid state  Alda 103 and Swan SS-200A

Anyone who may own a QSL card from WAØMGV,

I would appreciate hearing from you. That was my father's call.

2nd QUIZ: 1)  in what city can you find these street signs? 2) what is the signficance of their names? and 3) if you know where, what Swan Engineering original employee lives in this city, just around the bend from this signage? (on the way to his home - is that cool or what)?

know the answers?  let me know

QSL via ARRL Bureau (click here) or direct.

73s. K-Ø-Modulating-Hot-Plate k0mhp@yahoo.com

8507476 Last modified: 2017-12-12 02:04:41, 27818 bytes

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