RAN Technology

"A Pair of 6V6s"


Vintage Audio 0 Comments 12/03/2018 

What more does one need to hear good audio?

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)

The first audio amplififer I made (that worked) used a single 6V6 to amplify the output of a regenerative receiver.    Ever since they've been my idea of what a good audio tube should be and with a big speaker mounted on a piece of plywood, a 6V6 will produce "room filling volume" as the magazine articles fo the day said.   But as my music tastes grew acoustic-suspension speakers and a solid-state amplifier capble of driving them took center stage.

But as is often the case, returning to our roots can be fun, as was the case when I restored a little hi-fi amp using not one but a pair of 6V6s - the model 2122 made by Bell Sound of Columbus OH.   After cleaning and recapping it sounded great, but would not make a good mate for inefficient speakers, but another trip into the storage are solved that.   A  $5 flea-market find, a Knight KN-800 12" coaxial speaker mounted on a piece of plywood that might have once been mounted in someone's rec-room wall, as was the custom at the time.   Allied Radio sold their own linke of speakers with the Knight brand (online rumors suggest they were made by Jensen) as a lower-cost alternative, but they were good speakers and quite popular.   The KN-800 sold for $45 ($370 in today's dollarettes) and the Bell 2122 went for around $55, so an Eisenhower-era audiophile would have close to a grand invested in his modest 10 watt system.   But 10 watts is plenty of power to drive an efficient speaker, and while my KN-800 sounded a little thin by itself, I found that it fit underneath one of my benches like it was made for the space, and the additional air volume behind it produced a nice improvement in the bass response.

Knight called this speaker the "Best fat the Price!" and I can't disagree.     Now you can't go buy a Knight kit from Allied but you can buy them on eBay for under $100, and one of the versions of the Bell 2122 for about the same amount, so it's pretty affordable to take a stroll down memory lane, listening to "historic mono" on a pair of 6V6s!

Click on the image title or on the image itself to open the full-sized image in a separate window.

   Lakeshore Industries of Manitowoc WI was an early follower of Wes Schum and Central Electronics to supply single sideband transmitters to early adopters of the new mode in the mid-1950s.   Both companies used the phasing method developed by Don Norgaard at General Electric and made popular through articles in QST, CQ, and GE Ham News.  Like most companies, Lakeshore sought to c...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/26/2021 
  

International Crystal and the crystal synthesizer

How a crystal company reduced the number of crystals needed
Category: Vintage Radio
I have always been intrigued by the International Crystal CB radios which had a unique appearance with a channel selector that resembled a telephone dial.    The high end "Executive" models were big and expensive and sported an aluminum trim ring that no other radio had.    So I had to buy one to play with.     It was cheap, like $25 and ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/19/2021 
  

KBCX - US Forest Service Regional Radio

from Missoula Montana to the northwest
Category: Historic
Hams, especially those who enjoy operating AM and QRP should be aware of the pioneering efforts of the US Forest Service to adopt and advance the radio art in the early decades of the 20th century.The history of radio in the USFS literally takes a book to cover, but an interesting example can be found in station KBCX, the Region 1 Radio Operations Center in Missoula Montana.    It w...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/11/2021 
   Working on various vintages of equipment gives one a better appreciation for what we have today.    Example - this is a frequency counter from the "HF Manual Receiver" which was part of a wideband surveillance receiving system that extended from VLF to microwave frequencies using a bank of front-ends to cover the range.    It was designed as "ESM":...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/09/2021 
  

The John Meck T-60 Transmitter

the only ham product from this famous radio/TV manufacturer
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
Plymouth Indiana might not be famous for too many things, but John Meck Industries was the first manufacturer to start producing radios for home us in the US after World War II.   He'd started the namesake company prior to the war but like most others in the radio business it was converted to wartime production, making quartz crystals among other things.   Later, thousands ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  01/30/2021 
   If, like me, you enjoy flipping through old issues of 73 magazine from the 60s, you're bound to have at least seen the ads for the Transcom SBT-3 three-band SSB tranceiver.  Being made in Escondido CA in the mid-60s, my guess has always been that engineers from other San Diego SSB compnanies such as Don Stoner, Les Earnshaw from Southcom, Herb Johnson, founder of Swan or Faust Gonsett may...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  01/16/2021 
  

Model FP-1 "FORESTPHONE"

The Amalgamated Wireless Ltd. (AustralAsia)
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
This short article about the AWA Forestphone was the last one put on the Midwest Classic Radio Net website by for former webmaster George K9GDT before he unfortunately became a Silent Key.  MCRN articleNow that a longer version has been published in Electric Radio magazine I thought I'd include it here as well.Throughout most of the 20th century AWA was Australia's leading electr...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  01/13/2021 
   Alexander M. Lewyt died in 1988 at the age of 79, a holder of patents on scores of inventions. His penchant for invention, he once said, was so strong that he had chronic insomnia from lying awake at night envisioning new products. When he learned of undertakers’ difficulty in fastening neckties on corpses, the teen-age Lewyt devised a new kind of bow tie that clipped on. He sold 50,000 of t...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  01/08/2021 
  

AN/GRC-9 Bias Battery replacement

Cheap and easy fix using coin cells
Category: Technical
The Korean-war vintage AN/GRC-9 is one of the most useful and fun military field radios for ham use, as with AM and CW modes and 2-12 MHz coverage and a VFO it's all ready to go on several ham bands.    The battery tube superhet receiver is also power-friendly and sensitive and stable enough to copy CW and SSB but has one annoying flaw - the 4 volt bias battery used by the audio...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  01/03/2021 
  

Beware of the LED Noisemaker!

MR-16 lamps have no home in the hamshack!
Category: Technical
Halogen type MR-16 lamps are commonly used in track lights and other spot lighting applications so what would be cooler than to drop in LED replacements!   A lot, as it turns out.   The LED replacements are HORRIBLE RFI emitters that totally trashed several ham bands when I unknowingly installed them.Halogen spot lights are 12 volt devices so it's long been common prac...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  01/02/2021 

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