Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hamstyle Recycle

Much of Amateur Radio relies on using, or reusing things in ways which the equipment designer didn't intend. I've seen rectifier diodes used as variable capacitors, small signal diodes used as voltage doublers, high speed switching transistors used as buffer amps, and oscillators. I've even used flourescent light bulbs to test for Radio Signals emminating from my antenna. That's where this piece of Vintage Junque comes into play:
Heathkit, OOOOHHHHHHH
I got this for free when visiting a fellow ham, and he said "It might work..." I plugged it in and PPPPBBBBXXXZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT! went some electrolytic capacitor in it.

Ok by me, it has tubes and sockets, and a power transformer inside! I decided to dismantle this stately relic from bygone days in between QSO's while hangin' out in "The Shack in the Back". If I can't bust the pile up, might as well bust up a pile of junk!
Once upon a time Heathkit was a company that "Made builders out of ordinary people" and I've got to admit, most of the time, I'm pretty ordinary. Looking inside the monitor, we see a plethora of old mil surplus parts. That is correct, one of the things that made Heathkit possible in the era of time in which it existed was the presence of a large and cheap supply of surplus parts.
Nothing like that exists today.
I suppose that's why Elecraft costs so much.
GUTS!
 Inside this station monitor you find several interesting things, notice how big the carbon composition resistors are, and how they are %10 tolerance resistors. Don't find them in Radio shack these days! No sir! they have them fancy pants %5 parts. High tolerance that is.
Cleaned out some.
Cleaned out the chassis some in this pic, let's take a closer look at the sockets I removed:

Socket to me!
Once I'm done cleaning this thing out, it will be perferct to serve as a test bed for all sorts of MOPA's, VFO's, Regen RX's, or whatever I think to stick in it!
Let's just hope it survives the rain we will be getting over the next couple of days.
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