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 Post subject: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Oct Sat 22, 2016 2:20 am 
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When I saw this set (which I have never seen an example of before) pop up with a reasonable BIN, I didn't hesitate at all to buy it, because it's immediately obvious that it's based on the Miller Transistall, which is itself quite rare (and I have been trying to get one of those for a while).

I suspect the meter (which is a milliamp meter that reads up to one MA) on top is not original, because it is an older high-end unit, but it could have been war surplus or something. The pin jacks are almost certainly not original (they don't even match each other). Also, notice how the back is from a Miller crystal tuner, they just turned it to face inwards.

The battery holder is missing, but I stripped the two loose wires that went to it, and hey it works, but not very well, and it could clearly use new caps.
Have any of you heard of this model before?


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Oct Sat 22, 2016 4:33 am 
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Matt,

I figured that if anyone had anything even remotely similar, it would have been Ray-Jefferson out of Philly. I just scanned through their offerings from '68 thru '82, and no luck. I also looked in an older FAA repair station listing, from'73, and there's no such critter listed as a manufacturer or repair station for avionics of any type.

Tim

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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Oct Sat 22, 2016 6:40 am 
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For a boat?

https://books.google.com/books?id=pi2nq ... df&f=false

Airborne, perhaps it would do 121.5 and 243 Mhz, not LF marine frequencies......

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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Oct Mon 24, 2016 2:55 am 
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WOW, WOW, & WOW isn't even enough !!! Absolutely amazing radio that I've never even heard of ! Wonder if it came out in the late '50's after the Transistall ?

Just got home and saw PM from Matt---probably wouldn't have even looked at this thread since marine electronics are outside my "realm"...

Matt---could you post some good quality interior pics of this very unique radio ??? Where did it come from ? Wonder if it's a prototype ? Did you ask the seller if they knew any of its history ?

And thanks for the message---sure glad you contacted me !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Tue 01, 2016 3:42 am 
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Yesterday I took this radio apart and re-stuffed the original electrolytic capacitors, which turned out OK, but not perfect by any means (I will post pics of that later, I forgot to take any).
It works decently well now but it's still not a great performer, and I don't see how you could navigate with it and I don't see what the market for this set was, since if you own a boat you can probably afford a more usable RDF. Unlike the standard Miller Transistal, this set has 4 transistors, with the fourth mounted on the back of the board. The other three transistors are in sockets and all are Raytheon made units. The meter is marked Made in Japan", so that pretty much sinks the idea of it being cheap war surplus. I added a 9v battery holder, since the original battery holder was missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Tue 01, 2016 6:00 am 
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Just a guess, however, I'm wondering if it may have been intended to satisfy the curiosities of students who wished to learn about radio direction finding/detection? Movies throughout the late '40s, '50s, and '60s often contained references to 'signal detection', and there may have been a classroom demand for just such a device:
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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Tue 01, 2016 6:06 am 
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,,, and while I'm at it, I would be remiss without posting a photo of the 'oscillator' they were following: (check out that cardboard stick of dynamite!)
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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Wed 02, 2016 2:20 am 
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Hey Matt,

Thanks for posting the good pics---have added them to my folder on this radio...

The audio output transistor is normally mounted on the backside of the PCB---where is the third topside socket ? I see the one in center and another to the far side of tuning cap which are both also "normal"...

I'm pretty certain now that this was a one-off prototype---would be great to find a former employee who is living that might know someone to contact for more info... Having some history of that set would sure be neat !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Wed 02, 2016 9:04 pm 
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Quote:

For a boat?

https://books.google.com/books?id=pi2nq ... df&f=false

Airborne, perhaps it would do 121.5 and 243 Mhz, not LF marine frequencies......


Yes, certainly for a boat - marine LF beacons all around any coastline up to when Loran/Decca Navigator/Omega became common and rapidly obsolete - many commercial DF receivers had the broadcast band too - higher power but suffered from coastal refraction. With a variable cap that large it wouldn't be for aircraft band VHF and DF on VHF is notoriously difficult in hilly terrain.

A portable DF unit is only a rough indication of bearings - you have no idea what influences there are from local metalwork and unbonded wires etc. Even if a ship was in drydock or similarly stationary for a few weeks then a compass and DF recalibration had to be carried out as the steel structure magnetic signature would have changed.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/marconiint ... e_758.html

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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Fri 11, 2016 5:19 am 
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xrhonda91 wrote:
Hey Matt,

The audio output transistor is normally mounted on the backside of the PCB---where is the third topside socket ? I see the one in center and another to the far side of tuning cap which are both also "normal"...

John


The "extra" one is hiding right next to the volume control, it has a silver case that oxidized black, so it's hard to see.

I asked the seller if he remembers the name of the estate owner, but he hasn't replied unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Fri 11, 2016 6:50 am 
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Thanks for the info, Matt---need to compare bottom of PCB to mine as it looks as though they've made other changes besides the one added transistor.

I'd ask the seller again in a week or two, but sometimes they break off communication once feedback is received... Wonder how big of a company it was ? Maybe someone else who worked there and is still living might remember---just snipped the address from site mentioned a few posts back:

Aeromarine Electronics, Inc.
6055 Fairmont Ext.
San Diego, CA 92120

Probably defunct, but maybe it'll lead somewhere ?

John


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Mon 14, 2016 12:22 am 
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WOW, now you got my attention Matt, when I saw your photo in the first post I immediately thought of John's Transistall, as a Canadian I don't think any of these ever made their way across the border that I know of, but I could be wrong.

Actually, Ive never seen a Miller Transistall until John posted posted his a while back.

My question: is this the same Miller company that made various coils? which I happen to have a few in my parts bin (new in boxes)

This is certainly a rare find Matt, very cool, we may never see another one in our lifetime.


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Mon 14, 2016 1:36 pm 
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Hey Rocco,

Yes---it is the same company, J.W. Miller which made the Transistall Model 555 kit radios back in 1957.

And I still strongly believe that Matt's radio is a one-of-a- kind prototype---just need to see if we can find anyone living connected with the old Aeromarine Electronics in San Diego to verify...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Tue 15, 2016 1:39 am 
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Thanks John, I suspected it was the same company, just needed confirmation.

I am also interested in the history behind this, with the Model number being 101 it's a good indication that it is a prototype.


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Nov Wed 16, 2016 1:47 pm 
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Just found two employees of Aero-marine electronics in San Diego from mid 60's city directory---will research and see if either are still living...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Dec Sat 03, 2016 6:10 pm 
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I created an album of larger sized pictures of this oddball set for those who may be interested: http://imgur.com/a/LOxio


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Jan Fri 06, 2017 1:02 am 
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Matt - I enjoyed watching your youtube video on the Aero-Marine Electronics radio direction finder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2a9ucjqqZY


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Jan Sun 08, 2017 6:13 pm 
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3Transistors wrote:
Matt - I enjoyed watching your youtube video on the Aero-Marine Electronics radio direction finder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2a9ucjqqZY


Thanks Mark, I'm glad you liked it!


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 Post subject: Re: Aero-Marine Electronics - Model RDF No 101
PostPosted: Jan Sun 22, 2017 1:14 pm 
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The date codes of 743 on the tuning capacitor and 747 on one of the electrolytic capacitors would put production around late 1957 or early 1958. Nice find!

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