Posts Tagged ‘Ham radio’

Pastime Projects rights to copy

July 10, 2018

The Pastime Projects ( web site contains warnings about copyright
terms and conditions. This may frighten away those experimenters who are inspired by the
vintage makeup of our kits. That is the last thing we want to do! Please email us at
pastimeprojects(at)yahoo(dot)com for permission to copy or request copies of our materials.
We are “Makers” “do it yourselfers” handy men, or what ever you call yourself!
Let us hear from you! How can we help you?

Pastime Projects Aluminum Chassis 6V6 6L6 CW Transmitter Kit Now Shipping

April 25, 2015

APRIL 24, 2015   The new aluminum chassis transmitter kit manufactured by Pastime Projects ( is now shipping. This kit features a pre-punched aluminum chassis, a 15 page manual, tube sockets, variable capacitor, key jack, SO 239 chassis mount antenna connector, expanded metal bottom cover, chokes, capacitors, resistors, power and hookup wires, coil form with instructions, new tested 6V6/6L6 vacuum tube, power wire cable sleeving,  and hardware. The design is based on handbook designs of the 1960’s and allows band changing with coils and crystals. It has been tested on 160 and 80 meters and suitable coils will be released in the near future.

The 6V6 MC Model kit can be purchased from  See the web page for further details.

I think there are little green men!

October 4, 2014

I got into the Radio Amateur business way back when vacuum tubes were king. I read and re-read
the “Radio Amateur Handbooks” put out by the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) – They are still
publishing them – from cover to cover. I even read the technical stuff. Later, when I got into
the hobby and received the monthly QST Magazine, I would speed read each technical article to
discover what technical break-through the author found to advance the circuitry another step.

I could draw a transmitter schematic completely from memory. I passed the Commercial License
examination without studying. It was just interesting stuff to me. I really understood vacuum

Fortunately, I was still young and interested enough when transistors came along to grasp how
they functioned. This was about the same time I started college and flying saucers were in the
news a lot. I remember thinking, “Maybe they are right! The transistor was such a quantum leap
from the vacuum tube they learned the technology by reverse engineering the gadgets found aboard
the wrecked flying saucer!” To me that was just an interesting thought; to others, it became
an obsession.

Right now I am redesigning my regenerative receiver. And I have substituted toroid coils for the
old large plug in coil forms. The advantages of toroid coils are another example of a quantum
leap in technology.

Thanks to all you wonderful engineers out there for bringing us so far forward in a relatively
short time! Or should I be thanking the Little Green Men? 73 and enjoy building something.
Glenn Brown NN8G for Pastime Projects..


HF Antenna Work

September 16, 2014

The tower here at home in Ohio was erected by the previous owner. The house was built
in 1976. Some of three-section tower rungs had rusted through. It was time to take it down.
Unfortunately, I was not anxious to replace it at today’s costs. It held the center of
my 40/80 meter dipole about 24 feet above ground , and could be lowered by a rope and pulley.
The east end slanted upwards into a tree. The west end was tied to a 15 foot post.
Some local hams volunteered to take down the tower, so down it came! The dipole was tied
off to the tower support on the side of the house. The dipole was still on the rope and pulley,
so I could lower it nearer the ground. I lowered it to inspect the center insulator and wire.
Inspection showed the 20 plus year old antenna needed replacement.
I had some like new 14 AWG 7 strand copper Clad steel wire in storage. The old handbook formulas
indicate each leg should be 62.4 ft. long. (Resonant at 3.75 MHz, right in the center of the band).
I cut two wires about 63+ ft. to allow for tying the ends. My tuner can compensate for the actual
operating frequency and I like both CW and Phone.
I temporarily hoisted the antenna and went to the shack to check the SWR on both 80 and 40
meters. I use an MFJ 259B Antenna Analyzer to check SWR before applying transmitter power. The
SWR was tunable to very low values on both 80 and 40 meters!
It has been over a month since the tower came down. In almost daily use on day-time 75 phone,
the results of the lowered height trap-less dipole have been most satisfactory. Operation has
always been at 200 watts output or less. Be sure to clean and solder or otherwise secure a good
electrical connection at the center insulator. Order some “COAX-SEAL” ( to
waterproof your connection. Find a couple ceramic egg-shaped end insulators for the ends of your
If you are new to HF, please consider the adventure. It is a wonderful part of the Amateur
Radio experience.
Please note I not an expert at anything, other than growing older. Enjoy this hobby and
“be careful out there”. 73 Glenn Brown for Pastime Projects.

“LookMa” 12K5 Oscillator kit gets Review from CQ Magazine

April 8, 2014

Pastime Project’s little 12K5 “transmitter” kit was originally written up in May 2006
CQ Magazine. Seven years later Rich Moseson, W2VU, Editor of CQ Magazine, writes of
his experiences with the Kit described in the original article.
It is highly recommended reading. You can learn more at
We still sell the little kit on our web page. It can be useful as a code practice oscillator
by listening to the output in a nearby receiver. Great fun constructing and following
the do-it-yourself instruction manual. Please read Rich’s article. Visit
Might want to send
along your subscription to CQ magazine at the same time!
Live outside US Postal Service? Contact us for quote.
73 Glenn NN8G for Pastime Projects…

Download Electronic Kit Manuals from PastimeProjects

October 21, 2013

Pastime Projects has begun converting their manuals to PDF format. These manuals
for radio and electronic kit construction will be available on the web pages of Pastime Projects for your reading and
Hope this helps spread the interest in kit building of
ham receivers, transmitters, audio amps, and other electronic kits to the amateur radio community.
Please share the news with your friends and have them
visit 73 Glenn NN8G

Prototype Pastime Projects Metal Chassis 6V6/6L6 transmitter on sale.

June 30, 2013

Assembled and Tested!

Assembled and Tested!

The new Pastime Projects 6V6 transmitter kit has been built and tested as a prototype. The difference between the prototype and the production models is the chassis. The metal chassis on the prototypes was machined by hand. The production chassis are cut in a high pressure water jet precision tooling machine. The prototypes were assembled and tested here and look and work great! Allow us a little time to get these out the door to you. There was a total of
7 or 8, and when they ship we will start packing the production kits with parts, manuals, and instruction manuals. This design is based on conventional handbook
designs of the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Operating on 40 meters. 3 to 10 watts of cw output into 50 ohms..
COME AND GET’EM Glenn for Pastime Projects

Use of light bulb dummy loads in Vintage Amateur Radios

May 29, 2013

We recently reworked a Johnson Viking Adventurer CW transmitter and an EICO 723 transmitter, both manufactured in the 1960’s. They can be seen at on the Special Sales page.
A common failure of these transmitters was the power transformers.
They can overheat from current draw in excess of specified limits. This is often caused by not tuning the transmitter quickly or by mistuning and operating out of resonance.
Back in the 1950 and 1960’s we often used an incandescent light bulb for a load. It was cheap, and the resistance was close to 50 ohms or so required for the output of the transmitter. Tube type transmitters are a lot more forgiving from misstuning than solid state types. Never use a light bulb for a dummy load on your new
solid state rig! Choose a light bulb that has a wattage higher than the expected output of your transmitter. Watching the light bulb as you quickly tune to resonance will get you properly tuned without
too much time passing. Brightness is an indicator of power out. After tuning make sure you are not exceeding the recommended current draw. If you are, decrease the antenna coupling until you
are lower than maximum recommended power. Remember the old transmitter were rated in power input, now output. Output will always be lower. Input is plate current times plate voltage. This discussion is very simplified. Stay away from high voltage and high r.f wires. It’s hoped that it will help you see how to tune your boatanchor radio. Look for more detail in our newsletters and we may put out a video on disc or YouTube.
Questions are always welcome. Glenn for Pastime Projects.


June 15, 2012

Just received an email from a ham in South Carolina that used our  Pastime Projects “Look Ma” 12K5 tube 40 meter cw oscillator kit to make contact with a fellow QRP enthusiast in Pennsylvania using his mini milliwatt kit on the 40 meter band.  Here are some excerpts from his email “This is the second qrp rig that I have built, and I have to say, it is quickly becoming my favorite” …” It is a simple kit to build” … “The only thing I did not like was the crystal did not fit into the beautiful ceramic crystal socket that was included in the kit”. “I would recommend this to anyone who loves to build and maybe learn something new”…”I really hope you guys continue to sell this rig…”

You will hear more from this Ham Operator.  Sure got us excited.  Very best regards  Glenn  www.pastimeprojects.comPastime Projects 12K5 Tube Type 40 Meter QRP Qscillator Kit