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 Post subject: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVED!!
PostPosted: Dec Wed 25, 2019 11:21 pm 
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As a Christmas post, in loving memory of the legendary radio collector Joe Cro (AKA: Vortex Joe; N3IBX), I would like to announce that The Museum of Trailing-Edge Technology has successfully salvaged and preserved Joe Cro's favorite receiver and transmitter. It was a challenge given that the pair were sold at different auctions. In his September 14th 2006 post on the Antique Radio Forum, Joe gives the remarkable story behind this radio (see below).

We are hoping to continue the receiver's restoration. I will update this post with more details after I come back later tonight from my Xmas dinner with my mom.

Cheers,
Christopher Lee Kavanau, Ph.D.
KB6MJM

P.S.: For anyone not familiar with Vortex Joe, here is a link to a photographic survey of his truly galactic-sized museum/collection of radio specimens, before its pieces were sold off.

http://w2dtc.com/2004-0711-vortex-joe-page.htm

Lastly,
Here is a terrific YouTube video link to Joe for the Holidays:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo


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File comment: Transporting from the Kutztown Radio Show auction site!
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Last edited by DRKAVANAU on Dec Thu 26, 2019 7:17 am, edited 13 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Wed 25, 2019 11:35 pm 
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Thanks for posting this. It's great that you were able to keep them together. Grouped together with the safe, I assume The Museum of Trailing-Edge Technology
has pretty sturdy floors!

Thanks again, and Merry Christmas, Christopher (and all other forum members)!!

Dale

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 12:52 am 
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Chris,

First Class!

I Googled The Museum of Trailing-Edge Technology looking for further information on the museum and came across Colorado Computer Museum. "Trailing edge" phrase is in the mission statement. That said, I want to keep a fresh eye towards electronic & communications museums that are 501C3, anticipating the move of at least a part of my collection as I did in '15.

Indeed, is the museum that got Joe's gear, a 501c3, and are they accepting gear on a regular basis?

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 3:28 am 
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I have a Jones 37 handbook, so I will get around to looking at that receiver design in there. If I ever build a tube receiver though, I think I will stick to miniature tubes! QST this month has a nostalgia article about their 1966 tube novice receiver plans. Uses all 6U8 tubes for simplicity, and they are still a dime a dozen. Surprisingly, the week before the new QST arrived, I happened to pull that 66 issue out of a random lot in the garage and was reading about it. The hard part would be finding the crystals for the IF filter. And probably others.

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 5:35 am 
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Thank you all for your replies! I will reply in several parts.

Hello Wazz, that's great you have a 1937 Jones handbook! I've been looking for one for purchase for over a year. Zero luck. I was hoping to better understand its circuitry. I've uncovered a few restoration-related mysteries (I'll describe in another post). Sadly, I bought a Jones 37 on Ebay only to discover - after I paid for it - that the seller was actually out of stock on that item.

Also, does anyone know what smaller period microphone Joe is using?

.........more to follow. I have to see family out the door.

Cheers,
Christopher (AKA Kit)
KB6MJM


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Last edited by DRKAVANAU on Dec Thu 26, 2019 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 6:11 am 
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Here is a photo from the W2DTC photo library, referenced above.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 9:58 am 
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Obviously must have been quite a character who knew a lot about the hobby. I have never got into the ham stuff and wont now.

Looking at the collection makes me feel good as mine, far smaller but still too big, should be a lot easier to sort out when down size time comes up.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Hello Chas,
Many thanks for chiming in! The Museum of Trailing-Edge Technology is presently housed in the historic Afflerbach Mansion, which was the Allentown Mayor's Mansion while Mayor Roy Afflerbach was in office. Allentown is the third largest city in PA. No, the museum doesn't have 501C3 status at this particular juncture. Presently it's privately owned with working plans to gift it to the Baum School of Art. The museum has a particular focus in early Radio, early Television and early transistorized/vacuum tube computing devices.

Cheers,
Chris


Last edited by DRKAVANAU on Dec Sat 28, 2019 5:16 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 11:37 pm 
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What a fabulous 1930s station. And there was so much more in his collection of boat anchors. Never knew him, but heard of him. I believe the monicker Vortex Joe refers to his habit of acquiring massive quantities of boat anchors, that were figuratively sucked into his vortex.


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 12:43 am 
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Great you were able to preserve this. It would be good to get it on the air sometime. I spoke to Joe a few times on 160M. He must have had a tremendous 160M antenna system as he was using a Codar AT5. So 5 watts out on 160 AM. My log states an S-9 signal to Cape Cod. I followed some of the auctions. And I thought I had a lot of "stuff"!

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 2:38 am 
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OMG-Vortex Joe.There's a name I haven't heard in a while.Didn't know the man-I'm not even a ham,but I heard many a tale about "The Vortex"."Timtron",Wa1hlr,Henry-Yellar used to mention this guy and his hoard quite frequently on 3885.


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Being a ham SWL'er, I heard Joe many times here in upstate NY where he had an excellent signal. I once asked him (using an ARF PM) if that, due to his similar call letters, he once had any connection with Utica's oldest and legendary AM station, WIBX-950. He replied "no...just a coincidence".

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 4:45 pm 
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I was at that sale- a huge amount of gear for sure, we all took home some interesting pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 8:46 pm 
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Thank you for giving those pieces of gear a good new home!

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Sun 29, 2019 9:03 am 
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It's great that a home constructed set is so appreciated, and that it's history is known. Many must have been scrapped not just as they were boat anchors, but then merely 'home brew'! A favorite receiver of mine is an R1155, beautifully restored and modified by I believe the former chief RF engineer at Plessey, 20 years ago. It works superbly, but I got it cheap as is a modified set and lost the DF etc. I'd love to find a good quality 30's, entirely home made receiver. Home construction and mods must be an important part of radio history, but imho is under appreciated. Good for me as it's more affordable.
Tony


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Sun 29, 2019 5:16 pm 
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Tony,

I agree completely and so many of those great homebrew rigs were scrapped and of course many had parts that were used over and over again in other projects so at least they sort of lived on. There is a true beauty in well constructed homebrew gear.

In general, for commercial gear I acquire I "un-modify" it during restoration but I have a couple of RCA ACR-136 receivers and one had belonged to a RCA engineer from their Rocky Point facility and when I restored it I kept his modifications (largely to the IF section) intact. That receiver had been unused for decades and when I got it the only true fault was the socket for one of the dial lamps had a hard short.

With homebrew gear, I replace failed components as needed and take care of any safety issues (i.e. proper fuse added inline so as not to require any holes) but otherwise I don't change the design if it works. There was a retired Tektronix engineer on the original boat anchor mailing list who had a great term for leaving communications receivers cosmetically as found if they just had some scratches and dings. He referred to them as "blue collar" receivers and felt that those war wounds told part of the story of their history and usage.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Sun 29, 2019 5:36 pm 
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Quote:
"blue collar" receivers and felt that those war wounds told part of the story of their history and usage.


That's a great description for it.

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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Mon 30, 2019 1:42 pm 
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Multitudinous thanks for all your input and insights! I too am a purist about restoring originality. The radio's two meters are not original, but later replacements. Given the wiring and hardware from looking inside, the original meters were back-illuminated. At some point it would be good to find meters for it that are closer to originality. Joe's restoration on the radio did not include re-connecting these two meters, which will definitely be a high priority in the near future. I will post in the next couple of days high-resolution photos of the inside of the radio from above the chassis. One great regret that I have is not having purchased Joe's microphone at the auction. It would have been great to have included it with his favorite receiver/transmitter.

Cheers,
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Dec Tue 31, 2019 1:48 am 
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That's Brent, W1IA at the microphone in those last 2 pictures.

Having been to the Vortex and seen this receiver in person, it's extraordinarily impressive. Glad you gave it a good home!


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 Post subject: Re: JOE CRO - N3IBX - "MY FAVORITE RECEIVER THAT I OWN" SAVE
PostPosted: Jun Mon 29, 2020 3:32 pm 
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Thank you W3JN for sharing that recollection!

We wanted show everyone the updated Joe Cro exhibit! Note the addition of the period period microphone on the right.

Best,
Chris

KB6MJM


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