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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AM Madness: Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get any Cooler...

I pulled an old Eico 435 'scope out of retirement.  I hope to use it as a modulation monitor (any suggestions on easy ways to hook it up for this purpose?).  I really like the grey and aluminum look of this station.  I tried putting a DX-60 on the same bench, but the green of the "modern" Heathkit clashed with the serious-radio look of the DX-100 and HQ-100. Thanks again to Tim Sutton for the aluminum boxes -- I am temporarily using them as supports for the D-104 and the 'scope.  You see, I'm standing up when I modulate this gear.  Somehow it seems right.  Also, the transmissions on AM are so long that you can go back to your chair and rest (a lot!) between your transmissions.  When your turn comes, the few seconds it takes you to get to the rig provide the customary (and polite) "dragging of the feet" that allows others on the frequency to announce their presence.  Then comes what is perhaps the most fun part of this setup: the AWESOME KERCHUNK sound of the DX-100 going from receive to transmit.  As you can see, we pay a lot of attention to aesthetics and radio ergonomics here at SolderSmoke HQ.  That little blue recipe box holds my AM contact card file from the 1996-2000 period of operations from Northern Virginia.

I'm planning on doing a little work on the DX-100.   There is a standard set of mods to the audio amplifiers, mostly just changing some caps. And I need to find out why some of the crystals are not working -- I suspect dirty contacts.   I might also change the mic connector.  Looking ahead, Steve Silverman KB3SII (SolderSmoke Lex-pert), Pete Juliano N6QW and I have vague plans for an assault on 160 meter AM.  

Over the weekend this rig yielded a number of really FB contacts. Brett N2DTS in South Jersey was running an amazing homebrew station:


  1. Hi Bill, you might try this circuit from Allen W2AEW,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4Zt_LJX1Tc. Worked well
    for me!

  2. Showed this to my XYL and her first words were, "Well, I'm glad somebody is out there helping the economy!"

    Bruce - KK0S

  3. Showed this to my XYL and her first words were, "Well, I'm glad somebody is out there helping the economy!"

    Bruce - KK0S

  4. Armand beat me to it and posted a link to one of my videos. There are two more on the subject of RF taps/samplers:

    There is a third possibility too. That old Eico might give you direct access to the vertical deflection plates somewhere on the back panel. If so, you can simply capacitively couple to them. The deflection plates "look like" a small capacitor - on the order of a few 10s or pF. You can couple to them from your transmission line with capacitor, thus making a capacitive voltage divider where the deflection plates are the "bottom" of the divider. This is exactly how the purpose built station monitors like the Heathkit SB-610, etc. work.


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