Tube Radios For Prepping?

Started by gil, December 18, 2012, 05:24:18 pm

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What are you guys thoughts about tube rigs for prepping?

I have a Gonset Communicator III 6m AM transceiver, and this thing is built like a tank. Still works just fine even though it was built in the 50s. I don't think it would be damaged by an EMP. It doesn't mind a high SWR too much either.. Of course it is a base only option. Within a group or family, for local communications, it would work just fine. More private then CB. There is nobody on the lower portion of 6m in AM! I am not worried about leaving out 24/7. Most of my other radios (tiny CW QRP rigs) live in a metal box when not in use. You only need a tech. license to use it..

And what can I say, it is fun and warms up the room nicely in the winter! (photo of the radio on the Nets forum).



X-ref to your other thread, looked at your Gonset.

It's pretty, in a classy way. You are now wedded to 20m also because you have an official boat-anchor. Seriously a neat vintage piece.

Given how finicky it is I don't know how 6m AM would be in terms of preparedness (some simple NVIS 75m might have more utility) I think there are still smaller tube rigs that used alot of the common tubes seen in the industry, nothing as nifty as your CW productions. One affinity I have for tubes is they're happier with Mr. Maxwell's way of looking at the world. That is, much more forgiving of an SWR issue than the arbitrary 3.00000009:1 and you're busted world of the modern solid state affair. (Remembering that not all standing wave is "lost" forever, which is why I don't care for simple forward-minus-reflected formula approaches.)

They are going to be heavier, but not necessarily by as much as people think. If a person wasn't constantly on the move but had, perhaps, relocated to someplace else to act as a base/relay for someone or it would be their new digs for awhile, tube transceivers are often a bit more flexible than total solid-state in being sympatico with a piece of wire operating over a wider range.

The other thing about tube rigs is this:
Even if you don't want to keep it forever but you are where you are NOW, and trying to LEARN, and are on a BUDGET, sometimes they can be picked up for not too much - some common models, not all. A good boat-anchor aficionado can check/replace some caps & go through it for not much. You're obviously pretty handy with this stuff so an internet schematic is all you'd need. And they're very open to being worked on, like an old Ford pickup under the hood before a/c and fuel injection.

A disadvantage is that alot of the older ones drift quite a bit unless they've been squared away; it's not flip the switch, talk & scoot unless the distant-end is going to be chasing you around trying to zero-beat while you warm up.

But warm glass is nice.* Whatever works, as base rig (of whatever band) they shouldn't be discounted at all. It is a neat looking radio.