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 Post subject: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:06 pm
Posts: 9
Hello, everyone. I am very new to ham radio and i need some help choosing between 3 radios. My great uncle who i have almost no contact with gave them to me and I can't decide which one to use. They are
Hammarlund HX-Fifty
National NC-183D
Drake TR-4C

They are all tube radios to my knowledge and as such, I have absolutely no idea how to test them. I don't really want to buy a new one but I will buy a new ham radio if I need to.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 8:04 am 
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Location: Costa Mesa, California
The Drake transceiver is a great radio, but you will need a General license to use it on the lower bands. There isn't much on the 10 meter band right now. The National is a good general coverage receiver, not especially suited to ham use, but it could work. The Hammarlund transmitter is one I haven't used, but it looks like it would be fun. It puts out 60 watts SSB and covers about the same range as the Drake. The Drake puts out 150 watts so will get you a lot more contacts.

I would suggest the Drake. It is newer, probably needs less work, and is a good radio. You will need a power supply and speaker. I would suggest you get a good dummy load and maybe an antenna tuner. It will work fine with a dipole. I use a fan dipole where I am at, covering several bands from 40 up.

Norm

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Mr Schumck, good morning, welcome to ARF and ham radio. It would be nice if you would include your call or the city you live in, in your profile, as there may be someone locally who could be of help to you.

I too would recommend you choose the Drake transceiver, That particular model was quite popular and Drake was a well respected manufacturer, and at the time offered somewhat revolutionary designs. It does need an external power supply, and if you don't have same I would recommend you contact your uncle to see if he has it. They are reasonably priced and all over the bay if you need to buy one.

As Norm said, the National NC-183 is a good general coverage receiver and will give you the ability to explore the entire short wave bands. Although not like they were 40-50 years ago there still are many interesting things out there.

The Hammarlund HX-50 is a fairly uncommon transmitter and somewhat of a collectors item. There were a few problems with them which were more or less cleaned up with the HX-50A version. Neither sold well, and and I think it was only the third transmitter made by Hammarlund over their entire 60 or so year history. I would suggest that if you were going to sell any of them the HX-50 would be the one. It takes a fair bit of work to get them up and running properly.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:06 pm
Posts: 9
Sorry for not including those things in my profile, but to be perfectly honest, I don't have my license yet. When I was looking at the Drake model I did notice it had a funky power input. I looked around a bit and the power supplies are out there. Do you guys think that spending around one hundred dollars would be justified by the quality of the radio? Out of all of them it looked to be in the best condition and I also have the external speaker for it.

Also, how do I go about testing these radios? I'm pretty electronic savy and if it's something simple I could probably fix it but I've never worked with vacuum tubes. The package from my uncle contained a bag of tubes but I have no idea if any of them fit in the radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 700
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Suggest keeping all of them. You've got two nice, vintage setups.
The Drake will be the best to start with. Of course you will need a ham license to use them.
Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:06 pm
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Steve, am I allowed to listen and not transmit without a license?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11055
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Anyone can monitor or listen to the Ham bands...

Quote:
I'm pretty electronic savy and if it's something simple I could probably fix it but I've never worked with vacuum tubes. The package from my uncle contained a bag of tubes but I have no idea if any of them fit in the radio.
Put your efforts into obtaining the license. The knowledge needed for the license will be a big step forward in knowing what you have and how to use it..

Chas
WA1JFD

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There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See: John Heywood, 1546


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:06 pm
Posts: 9
Okay cool. I'll look around for a way to learn all of that stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sep Wed 10, 2014 2:01 am
Posts: 1319
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Any of those radios would have good resale value. The $100 power supply could also be resold easily.

I used hamtestonline

http://www.hamtestonline.com/study.jsp? ... l49fiws72v

It was worth the $25 and I found it to be a good learning experience and a quick way to gain the knowledge for the test. It also helps schedule your exam when you are ready. I am not affiliated with the site, but did have success there.

Norm

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:06 pm
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Nice. Sounds great. I'll go sign up!


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 700
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Mr. Schmuck wrote:
Steve, am I allowed to listen and not transmit without a license?



Yes indeed and I hope you do so. Getting a license is easier than ever now but it
does involve some studying. If you've never had a chance to explore the ham and/or
short wave bands you're in for a treat. Understanding how it all works, restoring
and using vintage equipment is a blast. Hope you join us!
Steve W6SSP


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Tue 03, 2017 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 01, 2017 11:06 pm
Posts: 9
So I did some studying and I'm passing the tests consistently so ill probably take the test soon. I think I found a club near me and I'm really excited to get started. Thank you guys so much for the advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a Radio
PostPosted: Jan Tue 10, 2017 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 8936
Location: Powell River BC Canada
zarco wrote:
Mr. Schmuck wrote:
Steve, am I allowed to listen and not transmit without a license?


In Canada, if you are a Ham, you need to have an Advanced Class license to repair
a radio transmitter for use in the ham bands. Also the frequencies, and power of transmitter
is governed by your class of license.

Yes indeed and I hope you do so. Getting a license is easier than ever now but it
does involve some studying. If you've never had a chance to explore the ham and/or
short wave bands you're in for a treat. Understanding how it all works, restoring
and using vintage equipment is a blast. Hope you join us!
Steve W6SSP

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de
VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
ve7aso@rac.ca


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