Homebrew Amateur Radio

Technically this radio is not one of the HBR series from QST but it is from the July 1963 issue of QST.  The article is from the Beginners & Novice section.  In 1963, at 14, I was indeed a "Beginner".  This is the first radio I built.  I recently pulled it out of a box where it had been stored for many years.  I looked at it and thought to myself, "Damn, I really didn't know what I was doing".  Then, after a bit of reflection, I decided it wasn't too bad for a first major project.  I had built other smaller devices but none as complicated as this.  My construction technique left a lot to be desired.  I didn't have all the exact parts but found parts close enough to get it done.  After I completed construction it did not work.  A friend of my father, Gene Reed, was an amateur radio operator.  He kindly assisted me with the changes needed to get it working.  I don't know where Gene is today or if he is a SK.  I do know he gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going and taught me a lot about electronic construction techniques. 

When I powered the radio up it didn't work.  I dug through my old QSTs and found the July 1963 issue.  I read the article again and looked closely at the pictures.  I remembered that I always had trouble tuning the receiver.  Well, I saw why.  I had reversed the bandset and bandspread variable capacitors.  I also found the volume control was working incorrectly.  It had a few K ohms resistance to ground.  I took it apart, cleaned it up and it now works.  The next problem was no output from the 6AQ5.  Even though the tube checked good it did not work in the radio.  A new tube fixed the audio output problem.  Once I had audio I quickly remembered another problem I never resolved when the radio was first built.  It "motorboats" when the volume control is turned up.  I did some troubleshoot and after all these years I finally fixed the problem.  I added a grid leak resistor and that solved it.  The dial pointer broke off years ago.  I actually found a NOS unit on ebay.   I am using it with a Hallicrafters HT-40 and HA-5 I recently acquired.  It has been restored and the pair is working.  One other modification was to change the stand-by switch to function as a T/R switch for the external relay.

Click on picture for larger image.

rs3_3.jpg (123515 bytes) rs3_2.jpg (198364 bytes) rs3_1.jpg (160706 bytes) These pictures were taken before restoration
ht40station.jpg (160340 bytes) rs3_1.jpg (108570 bytes) rs3_2.jpg (123385 bytes) These pictures were taken after restoration and front panel mods

BackReturn to Amateur Radio Page


Created: March 30, 2004. Last Updated: June 15, 2013
Copyright 2004, PakRatz, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA