Old radios and New Hams

September 19, 2017

In the October 2017 QST Magazine Tom Gallagher NY2RF , ARRL Chief Executive Officer, wrote a commentary about new hams (radio amateurs).  He noted that of the thousands of newly licensed hams each year, nearly half never get on the air.

Please take time to open your October 2017 QST to page 9 and read Tom’s editorial “Second Century – A learning Moment”.  This is a call to arms for us more experienced hams to remember our elmers (Mentors) who showed us the way.  We need to take the time and effort to get back to basics and help the new hams get on the air.  ARRL is doing its share but this needs some one-on-one training as well.

Pastime Projects (www.pastimeprojects.com) has manufactured radio amateur projects  from the 1940 and later eras.  (Grandpa’s radios).  We are proposing to write do-it-yourself articles for new hams.  Our format tends to be very fundamental,  without too much engineering data.   The hows, not the whys.  What media would best suit our articles?  Would a PDF file emailed to you be worthwhile?   Read through our past POSTS and see if this format would work for you.

Pastime Projects has a new regenerative receiver kit.  Our  biggest concern is its a little complicated.  We are considering offering it as a multi step mailing in increments so that the builder tackles one assembly step  at a time.  Good idea?  Let me know.  W8JZI Glenn Brown, owner, Pastime Projects.   pastimeprojects (at)  yahoo (dot) com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Special Sales on Pastime Projects Web Site

August 14, 2017

From time to time http://www.pastimeprojects.com adds items to the “special sales” page.
These items may be marked “delivered in Ohio” or “Pick up only”. Pick up will save
a lot of postage cost. More importantly, it gives the buyer a chance to see the
item and see it work. Please let us know if you are interested.

Pastime Projects Releases 1940’s Style “Companion” Power Supply

March 21, 2017

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Pastime projects http://www.pastimeprojects.com has started production of the ‘Slat Board’ Style Power Supply that closely resembles the original style of the companion power supply shown in the ARRL Handbooks for use with the 6V6
‘Slat Board’ novice transmitter for 80 and 40 meter CW. This model uses a vacuum tube as a rectifier instead of the solid state diodes used in the other power supply available. Either model has been tested and performs very well.
Full specifications will be available on the web page. Or contact pastimeprojects(at)yahoo(dot)com for more info.

Pastime Projects “Remember When” 6V6 Transmitter Kit 40 Meter Special

February 27, 2017

PASTIME PROJECTS

“REMEMBER WHEN” 6V6 TRANSMITTER KIT

40 Meter Special Edition

Thanks to the suggestion of one of our overseas amateur radio builders, this kit has been packaged as a 40 meter Special Edition. The trend of 40 meter operation using low power cw is growing in popularity. This kit includes the three coils, plate, antenna link, and cathode coil, pre wound and packaged with the kit.
In exchange for the labor and cost to include these prefinished coils, the common 8 penny nails used for coil winding have been excluded from the kit. Also, the extra wire for winding the 80 meter coils is not included.
The coil winding form layout and winding information are, of course, still part of the provided manual. Our design includes Amish prepared oak strips and end pieces, brass screws, “sucker sticks”, and other hardware just like the original. Many of the components are new (and we think more reliable than originals) but the retro look remains.
This kit will operate on 40 meter or 80 meter CW ham radio frequencies with power out in the 2 to 5 watt (or more) range. It is crystal controlled. Change from one band to the other requires different coils be soldered in. The 40 meter version seems most popular among our builders.. The manual that comes with this kit contains step by step instructions for assembly, wiring, and soldering. The vacuum tube is included. The builder will need a crystal and power supply.
To put this kit on the air a license, antenna, and power supply will be required. The builder should be familiar with working around high voltage before applying power to this kit.

NO CHANGE IN PRICE AND SAVE A LITTLE ON SHIPPING COSTS
!

See http://www.pastimeprojects.com for more information or contact us at pastimeprojects@yahoo.com

Pastime Projects shipments out of United States

January 14, 2017
Prototype Receiver

Prototype Receiver

WE ARE SEEING DAILY ACTIVITY ON OUR WEB SITE OF POTENTIAL BUYERS WHO ARE LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.  WHILE WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION, THE COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN ARE LISTED.  I WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO INQUIRE ABOUT YOUR INTERESTS IN OUR PRODUCTS.  WE WILL HELP YOU THROUGH THE  PURCHASING PROCEDURES.

IF PURCHASING PASTIME PROJECTS ITEMS FROM YOUR ADDRESS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES SIMPLY EMAIL US AT pastimeprojects(at)yahoo(dot)com AND LET US GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE STEPS. ONE EASY WAY IS TO SIMPLY ENTER YOUR ORDER THROUGH THE PAYPAL BUTTONS.  WHEN WE RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT WE WILL CALCULATE THE ADDED POSTAGE AND SEND YOU AN INVOICE FOR THE ADDITIONAL PAYMENT.

WE WILL COMMUNICATE THROUGH EMAILS THROUGH THE  ENTIRE PROCESS.

 

 

Pastime Projects Tube Type “Companion” Power Supply Status Update

December 6, 2016

The new “Pastime Projects” Alham VT-1 Power Supply Kit is being prepared for shipment.
It includes a tube type rectifier as was used back in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. It
has an output of about 200 DC Volts – same as the current power supply which uses modern
solid state diodes for the rectifiers.
It’s design is simplified and uses a capacitor input style filtering circuit. The
circuit is similar in design to similar power supplies of the 1940-1950 era. There is
no filter choke in the circuit. In tests, we see no degradation in performance, but see
an advantage is less weight to ship, and less cost.
The kit includes a Cinch-Jones style plug and matching socket to connect the power
supply to your transmitter. These add a sizeable cost to the kit, but it’s well worth the
convenience.
The circuit uses a fuse in the line cord circuit, and red and green neon lights to
indicate when power and high voltage are on. The high voltage lamp dims slowly as the
high voltage drains through the bleeder resistor built into the circuit.
While no decision has been made, Pastime Projects may discontinue the original
solid state supply as acceptance of the new power supply builds.
We will accept payment of the VT-1 power supply kits early, or, just email us for
notification of the release. Watch http://www.pastimeprojects.com for more news. 73 Glenn for
Pastime Projects.

Pastime Projects Regenerative Receiver Kit Redesign Coming

December 2, 2016

7.28.09 prod

The regenerative receiver kit is returning to the http://www.pastimeprojects.com catalogue of radio enthusiasts kits.
The design was redeveloped around the 40 meter ham band range. It receives AM foreign broadcast, cw, single side band with patience, and radio amateur AM stations. It is not recommended for use as a main receiver for radio amateur stations. Regen receivers tend to require careful tuning. They show more drift than commercial receivers.
But they are fun for beginners, short wave listeners, and experimenters. Our design now has been tested on the
3.5 MHz range, and 80 meter ham bands are being heard. The kit includes some unusual features. One is the use of
a “space charge” type tube that uses 12 volts on the plate as well as the filament. That means this receiver will be powered by your 12 volt DC power supply. The kit is somewhat difficult, but assembly, wiring,, and testing are explained in detail in the step by step manual that is included in the kit. Stay tuned for more! 73 Glenn for Pastime Projects (at) yahoo (dot) com.

30 meter operation with the Pastime Projects “6V6 MC 30” transmitter kit

November 18, 2016

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A new coil for the Pastime Projects 6V6 MC transmitter kit (http://www.pastimeprojects.com/) has just been wound for the 30 meter amateur radio band. This was done at the request of an interested fellow radio amateur.
The instructions for winding the 30 meter coil will be added to the 6V6MC construction manual which is included with each new transmitter kit sold.

While not yet used on the air, the transmitter here was checked on an older service monitor, our current Kenwood Transceiver, using a variable DC power supply, a Oak Hills Research WM-2 QRP Wattmeter, and a MFJ-264 dummy load.
The crystal available was a little high (11.000 mHz) but we compensated in coil design for the difference. Amateur frequencies on 30 meters should fall at resonance with the variable capacitor at half scale.

The 6V6MC 30 sounded stable and not chirpy in our tests. Readings included output of 0.5 W @ 100VDC, 2.0 W @ 200VDC, 5.0 W @ 300VDC, and 8.5 W @ 350VDC.

We will watch for on the air results from our radio amateur friends as this is checked out from their stations. 73 Glenn W8JZI for pastimeprojects.

Progress update – Pastime Projects new power supply for “Remember When” 6V6 Transmitter Kit.

November 5, 2016
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The prototype parts selection and acquisition is almost complete.  Parts are ordered and stock supplies are being arranged in the shelves.  The Amish have finished the first run of the wonderful oak slats and end blocks.  The length of the new power supply is shorter than the old power supply.  The weight will be less – a good thing when mailing!  The power out is equal to or better than the original design.  Again,  we are staying pretty conservative with 2 or 3 watts out on both 40 and 80 meter cw.

This is a really nice piece of art and will look good in your old tube type ham radio shack.  Now if you have purchased a “Look Ma” transmitter and or power supply from us in the last ten years, and you are interested in the new matching power supply, please contact us ASAP.  We want to get these out and tested in the field,  so now is your chance!   We will make it worth your while one way or the other..     73 Glenn W8JZI for http://www.pastimeprojects.com  or  pastimeprojects(at)yahoo(dot)com

 

TR Switches for Vacuum tube transmitter and receiver hook-ups

October 31, 2016

Before today’s modern transceivers,  radio amateurs used separate transmitters and receivers.  They were usually very large,  vacuum tube designs,  developed a lot of heat, and were quite a bit more sensitive to drift, filtering, hum, and adjacent channel interference.

Many amateurs continue to “work” with these designs for many reasons.  If you build a transmitter kit such as we offer on our web site http://www.pastimeprojects.com, you have to figure out how to connect it to a receiver and be able to share a common antenna.

It’s really fun to connect it with a ‘modern’ tube type receiver, such as the Collins, Hallicrafters, National, Drake and others.  EF Johnson sold a automatic switching TR switch, model 250-39 which worked very well.  Do a search on the internet for more information.  There are come up  for sale occasionally; be careful – the condition of older equipment is always a concern.

Pastime projects is working on a new TR switch for use between vacuum tube type transmitters and receivers.  “New” is not the proper term, as our design will be very similar to a published design from the 1960’s.  We have a couple prototypes on the bench. We also have a rebuilt Johnson Model for reference.  Watch for introduction on our web page soon.  As always, write if you have comments.  73 Glenn W8JZI  http://www.pastimeprojects.com  or  pastimeprojects(at)yahoo(dot)com

Just a final thought:  These designs use a vacuum tube as a switch and switching between a low to moderate powered tube type transtmitter and a vacuum tube type receiver is automatic.  Makes for very smooth transition. This is not a mechanical relay system which requires manual switching…