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Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day DX-100 Story

Warning:  In this post we are DEFINITELY leaving the world of QRP.  There is nothing even remotely QRPish about the Heathkit DX-100.  This rig is all about power. And weight.  Heavy metal, plate-modulated power.  And weight. 

Back in February of last year, John, K2ZA, and his wife Erika drove down from New Jersey to give me something very special:  the beloved Heathkit DX-100 transmitter of John's (SK) dad.  Here's the report on that memorable day:

I meant to get the rig on the air right away, but I got distracted by other projects.  Well, this week I decided to get going.  I ordered a new can of Caig Deoxit D-5.   I removed the screws from the front and back of the old rig and carefully (for the sake of my fingers and toes!) pulled it out of its cabinet. 

I found it to be in remarkably good shape. There was a bit of dust and some of the tubes were a bit loose in their sockets, but otherwise it was perfect. 

John's dad had made some mods to the old rig.  The most noticeable were on the front panel.  He got rid of the old plastic Heathkit knobs, and he had added reduction drives for the driver and amplifier tuning caps.  My first instinct was to try to take this rig back to original form, but over time, as the rig sat on the bench, I came to appreciate the work that John's dad had done.  I decided to keep the rig as he had left it. 

John's Dad used this rig on RTTY.  He has an FSK stage attached to the oscillator circuit.   

He also added a very useful VFO "spot" or "net" push button switch on the front panel. And he put a T/R relay in a box on the back of the cabinet.  Useful mods, all nicely done. 

After the cleanup, of course I couldn't wait to get the rig on the air.  Using my old Dominican Republic HQ-100, I fired it up yesterday afternoon on 40 CW.  On the first call I worked KK4RF in Suffolk Va. Then I went to 40 AM and worked a bunch of guys there.  Later I went to the real heartland of heavy metal AM:  75 METERS!  Yea!  They tell me the old rig sounds great.  

This has really been fun.  Thanks John.  Happy Father's Day. 

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Good for you for keeping the mods. I spent some time taking in the internals, remembering how things were built when I first got into electronics with my Novice in '65. Now I work for a chip company and wee just looking at the new MacBook Pro logic board. Spectacular changes in fifty years!


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