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KD6TKX USA flag USA

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WW-2 Navy radio spoken here.

Transmitters on the air: TBM-9, TBL-12, TCK-4, TDE-3, TCS-8, TBX, TBY, MAB

Receivers: RBB/RBC, RAK/RAL, RAS, RAO, TCS, RBO

Antenna: 140 foot end fed long wire.

 

In March 2016 I retired from a 25 year police career and moved to the Radio Ranch. The remote 50 acre ranch is a dream come true for me and is located approximately 20 miles west of Coalinga Ca at the base of Curry Mountain.

 

I have a 250 long wire up and am using my BC-610E and SX-28 station for now as the rest of my gear gets retrieved and set up.

 

 

A new and very enjoyable addition to the ranch is this restored 1944 Willys MB jeep which has proven its amazing 4WD capabilities on the steep hills around the ranch. Radio installation in the works..of course. 

 

Another project in the works is the restoration and rebuilding of this very rare early war (1939-1942) U.S. Navy 36 x 16 foot Quonset hut!

 

Here is a comparison of my Quonset hut with a wartime photograph. It's very unusual to find a WW2 Quonset hut still in it's military confirguration and without any civilian modifications after all these years. Just lucky I guess.

More to follow.......

 

Finally got around to updating my page with some of my latest aquisitions and restorations in 2013 and 2014.

A major project that has been completed was locating, purchasing, and restoring a Westinghouse "TBM" transmitter. The TBM was used on larger ships of the WW-2 era and was capable of 500 watts of CW output and 350 watts of plate modulated AM output. My transmitter is a TBK-18 which is identical to a TBM-9 but was issued without a modulator. By adding the modulator (very hard to find) my TBK 'becomes' a TBM....well sort of.

Restored to fully operational condition using a homebrew AC power supply instead of the motor-generator.

 

Here is the TBM during the final testing and gremlin locating process in the garage.

 

The TBM runs a mighty 861 as a final amplifier. This tube is nearly 2 feet tall.....very cool.

 

Big transmitters have big manuals! I spent many hours pouring over these during the restoration.

 

LOTS of individual interconnect wires need to be made up to put a TBM on the air!

 

After a few 'to be expected' issues were taken care of the TBM has become a reliable and frequently operated part of the station.

 

One of the coolest 'lucky finds' for me yet was this AN/MRC-56 Navy radio trailer built in 1955. The trailer was purchased surplus in the early 70's (probably) and moved to a large ranch in the Central Valley of California where it sat undisturbed until 2014! With the exception of two of the radios it was intact, original, and never altered since leaving military service. All racks, cables, antennas, and even the awning frame were still inside waiting to go back to work. The trailer uses a TCS for HF, a ARC-1 for VHF, a ARC-27 for UHF, and a VRC-32 for 6 meter FM.

As found...

 

Grungy but very complete....a very unusual stroke of luck to find a military vehicle with it's original radio installation intact.

 

Cleanup and restoration in progress. The missing ARC-1 and ARC-27 have been sourced, repaired as needed and installed in the original racks. I still need a C-45 remote for the ARC-1...please look in your junk boxes!

 

Even the original 28 volt 90 amp generator was found on another part of the ranch. Lucky break!

Youtube link to a short clip showing the PU-250/U generator running for the first time in decades:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmoSNkxNdsc&list=UUYbU42JiZ8vWiGCi6P_WaIA

 

Here is a before and after of the recently completed generator restoration.

 

 

During cleaning I discovered the outlines of original US Navy markings on the back doors. I have had these letters reproduced and they will be applied when the restoration is complete. This picture shows the new markings temporarily applied to make sure they fit correctly.

 

Progress continues on this very interesting restoration.

Here is a Youtube link to a short video showing the first on air contact with the TCS set in the MRC-56. On the other end is my long time friend and Elmer Tom HorsfaLl WA6OPE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDN4dRz34Vg

 

My new "inside the house" station consisting of some of my very favorite radios...the BC-610 E and the SX-28 with it's original R-12 speaker.

 

 

Check this link for updated pictures of the station :

https://picasaweb.google.com/109841011841081439205/KD6TKXRADIOROOM2012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJmMxeSm9OGPPA&feat=directlink

 

Getting my TBX set ready for field operations this year. This is a TBX-8 and the somewhat rare dual vibrator supply which is the only one of the numerous and confusing TBX power supplys that runs both the transmitter and receiver! I recently retubed the transmitter (all three tubes) and gave it a good going over. The cables in the picture were made by me to replace the ill-fitting original cables.

 

 

 

 

The TBL-12. The speech amp sits atop the very wellconstructed homebrew AC power supply built in the 70's by Dennis Gillium.Obtainedfrom Tom WA6OPEin exchange for aNOS TBM transmitter and original motor generator!

 

Here is a picture of the main operating desk withRBB/RBC. My friend built the desk to Navy dimensions with the exception of a typewriter well. Someday I hope to find an original desk.

.

 

The TDE-3.This transmitter rescued from a remote corner of Monterey County amidst piles of junk. I was thrilled to find a factory Navy AC power supply in the MG cabinet.

 

The TBL-12.Obtained new in the crate in the 70's.

 

TCK-4 and AC power supply saved from the California desert.This set has been with me since the early 90's. The transmitter front panel was powdercoated in the original wrinkle finish and I was very happy with the results. The power supply was found with four others in a warehouse LA.

 

Recently restored TCS-8. This set was placed in service in 1943. Below it are the TBY,BC-611, MAB,and BC-222

 

Detail of the newly installed copper feed lines. It only took me 10 years to finally set these up!

 

RAS-5.A very cool receiver. After seeing a picture of the Austrailian Coastwatcher control station KEN using one on Guadalcanal during the war....I had to have one.

 

The famous RAL receiver. Contrary to popular belief (thank you surplus conversion manual!) When working properly this is an amazing receiver.The radio drives the 12 inch speaker with no problem at all. The AM reception is very nice but the lack of AVC is a drawback.Operating this radio is like driving with a stickshift instead of an automatic!

 

The big find.....NOS TBM transmitter, modulator, and motor generator. You never know what is still out there.

 

1000 pounds of MG set WITHOUT the drive motor!

 

When I am not messing with radios I like to be out backpacking in the Ventana Widerness.SometimesI pack my Ellecraft KX-1 for CW contacts. That's my oldest daughter Lauren in the picture with me.

 

 

The new secondary operating position with TDE-3transmitter and RAS-5 receiver. The chair came from a junk shop and the deskfrom a store in Oregon. Yes, the phone works!

 

 

 

 

 

7363059 Last modified: 2016-06-05 20:34:15, 12024 bytes

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