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My Start in Ham Radio. . .

I was first licensed at 12.5 years old (half a year made a difference then) as WV6HDY, Novice Class, while attending Elliot Jr. High School in Altadena, CA. My first station consisted of a World Radio Laboratories (WRL) Globe Scout 680A transmitter and a Hallicrafters S-20-R "Sky Champion" receiver. Pictured below...

WV6HDY Seated while my brother points out my first DX a Hawaiian Islands contact confirming QSL. My FCC Novice Class License warming up atop the water heater in the background.

Upgraded. . .

I upgraded to General Class license in 1962 while attending Pasadena High School, when the "V" was replaced with an "A" and I have held the Call Sign WA6HDY ever since. In 1963 I upgraded my station as well to a Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter and a Hammarlund HQ-110A receiver.

On active duty operating from Overseas. . .

I spent two years on active duty in the Naval Reserves based in Florida and Kamiseya, Japan operating from the Base Amateur Radio Stations. While in Japan I acquired a Yaesu FTDX-560, a super "QRO" rig that I brought home with me to the states.

My current Main Station. . .

My primary operating position includes a Kenwood TS-530S with the Matching Speaker, Antenna Tuner, SM-220 Monitor Scope/Panadapter, along with an ElectroVoice EV-619 Dynamic Desk Mic. For a Power Boost when needed I have a Heathkit SB-201 Linear Amplifier with a Drake MN-2000 Antenna Tuner that feeds either an Invertered Vee for the HF Low-Bands or a HyGain TH-3 atop a 40 foot tubular crank-up tower for the HF High-Bands.

Boat Anchors a plenty. . .

I enjoy "Boat Anchors" from the 1950s and '60s and I have just a few (OK really quite a few) including several each Hallicrafters, Hammarlund and Heathkit Receivers and several Johnson, a Heathkit DX-60 (with HG-10 VFO), a DX-100, SB-201, Harvey-Wells T-90, and several WRL Transmitters to mention just a few.

Rediscovering AM - wonderful, pure and clean AM. . .

A number of years ago I rediscovered AM or Amplitude Modulation, I am a current member of AM International and particpate in several nets and roundtables on AM regularly including the AMI West Net on 3870 KCs on Wednesday evenings at 8 PM Pacific Time. Early check-in begin around 7:30 PM. The local West Coast AM gang hang out on 3870 or 3880 KCs most every eveing. If you haven't been on AM in 50 years or have never been on AM, you have to try it out. There are some excellent basic stations that include QRP and Kits to full blown AM Broadcast Transmiters modified to operate on 160 or 75 Meters. Virtually all of my stations will operate AM and that includes some vintage Gonset VHF 6M and 2M AM gear.

For info on the AMI West Coast gang visit their Web Site at: http://california-am.com/

Johnson Viking II-CD (Civil Defense verison), Johnson Match Box and 122 VFO, National NC-183D with Hammarlund HQ-140X sitting atop. One of several AM stations regularly used in the rotation.

Part of the "Wall of Receivers" A Hammarlund HQ-120 top left, HQ-129X just below left, and an EH Scott Engineers RCH "Battleship Boat Anchor" receiver with Speaker.

OK, you can't tell I love Amplitude Modulation can you? Above left abeautiful Johnson Ranger II, Hammarlund HQ-110A and just to the right an early Johnson Ranger with the Astatic D-104 Mic.

The well designed Heathkit DX-60 transmitter and HG-10 VFO has been a favorite of many vintage AM operators. A matching Heathkit HR-10 receiver will soon replace the FT-101E place holder in this cabinet waiting its turn in the rotation on Wednesday nights for the West Coast AM International Net Wednesday nights on 3870.

Anything from a screen modulated Heathkit AT-1 to a Collins Broadcast transmitter or even a Flex 5000 SDR will be heard on this popular West Coast AM net.

Above a spectacular condition Hallicrafters S-40B receiver sits above a Harvey-Wells T-90 AM/CW transmitter. No, not a light bulb but a very early "Valve" vaccum tube. Above right an "Ice Cream Scoop" Mic.

Back to the early 1950s is the World Radio Laboratories - Globe Scout and WRL VFO.

Just above you see vintage SSB lurking ready to pounce on an unsuspecting DX station with the Side Band Engineers (SBE) Model SB-33 transceiver. An all solid state except for the driver tube and a pair of PL500 finals producing about 65W PEP on 80-15M in this 1961 ground breaking transceiver.

Following the lead set by Collins Radio with the introduction of their KWM-1 Transceiver in the late 1950s, Swan Engineering introduced a series of affordable transceivers such as the Swan Cygnet 270, a 5 band 80-10M transceiver that featured solid state oscillators including the VFO and a single Sweep Tube final that produced more than 100W PEP SSB output. An amazing bargain in the 1960s and recently add is a Swan 1200X matching Linear Amplifier seen below.

Lower left Swan 1200X Linear Amplifier matching the Swan Cygnet 270 completes the Swan Lineup. A new addition to the "Green Machines" is the Heathkit HW-12A mono band 75M SSB Transceiver.

A growing collection of vintage SSB equipment now compliments the vintage AM stations at WA6HDY. A favorite, the Yaesu FT-101E transceiver with YC-601 Digital Display atop, FV-101B external VFO for split operation, and YO-100 Monitor Scope to the right and above the "Landliner" Phone Patch /Speaker.

Hangingout Tuesday Evenings around 7PM on 3895 for the Vintage SSB Round Table. Come join us with a rig that's at least 31 years old (built before 1981) including homebrew stations.

and then there was SSB. . .

I recently joined a group known as the Vintage SSB Roundtable, who are a group of West Coast Hams that enjoy briging out Vintage SSB gear from the 1950s through to around 1980, mostly made up of US made Amateur Radio gear until the later half of the 1970s when the Japanese made radio manufactuers Kenwood, Icom and Yaesu made their assault on the US with some very nice gear. That gear includes vintage Central Electronics, Collins, Drake, Hallicrafters, Hammarlund, Heathkit, and Swan to name the more popular brands and a few lesser known such as Alda, Atlas, Cubic (mostly spin-offs from Swan) and SBE started by Faust Gonset. Bringing this old but quite great gear back to life, restoring and operating is a blast. The numbers speak for themselves with around 240 different stations joining the weekly roundtable since it started in April 2009. The Vintage SSB Roundtable meets every Tuesday evening at around 7 PM Pacific Time on 3895 KCs, with early check-ins about 30 minutes before hand. It is a very informal net, you just need a rig made or homebrewed on or before 1980.

Visit the Vintage SSB Roundtable Yahoo Group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Vintage_SSB_Round_Table/?prop=eupdate

Dr. Bernard closing up the patient up after rebuilding the Power Supply on the 'ol Heathkit SB-201, (right) trying out an SB-102 at KD6AZ's QTH (now WI6R).

Thanks for visiting my Shack! 73 Bernie WA6HDY

6431850 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:35:05, 14203 bytes

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