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Old 02-03-2017, 06:18 PM
davet753's Avatar
davet753 davet753 is offline
David Thomas
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 309
Vintage 6 Meter Gonset Transceiver

I picked up this Gonset G50 Communicator last month, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting it back on the air again. I was lucky enough to find this still in the original box, complete with owners manual and warranty card. It looks like it saw extremely little use.

All it took to get it working was a couple of capacitors, a 5U4, and taking care of some bad tube socket connections.

I love working 6 meter AM, and was wondering if any other VK members liked repairing and using tube transceivers.
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Last edited by davet753; 02-03-2017 at 06:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2017, 01:27 PM
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jr_tech jr_tech is offline
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Interesting! 6 meters is pretty much dead in my area (former ch 2 location in NTSC days)... do you find many on 6 in your area?
Nice looking unit... are the knobs original?

jr
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2017, 02:41 PM
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davet753 davet753 is offline
David Thomas
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 309
Yes, the knobs are original. The G50 Communicator came out with blue plastic knobs, but they switched to the metal ones towards the end production. To be honest, I like the looks of the blue knobs better.

Yes, there's a lot of 6 meter activity near me. There are 5 FM 6 meter repeaters I can use (3 of those are pretty active). The interest and use of 6 meters in the Knoxville area is definitely picking up these days. There's several of us who like restoring tube gear, so AM activity is picking up ground. We're working on getting a monthly AM net started specifically for tube gear operators. I'm really looking forward to that!

We also have several other 6 meter nets that are active. The local club runs a 6 meter net every Sunday night that starts off on a repeater, then moves over to sideband, and then on to AM. One of my favorites is a Wednesday night "Rag Chew Net" that meets on the 53.250 repeater, it's a lot of fun. We all get together and talk for a couple hours every Wednesday.

Of course, 6 meter's is pretty dead for DXing at the moment. I can't wait for the June/July "Sporadic E" season where I can get in some good DX.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:17 AM
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dewickt dewickt is offline
Will fix about Anything
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 87
Had 32 states confirmed in 1963, took a month after school with a HB 30W AM transmitter. Still have the rebuilt (1969) transmitter and an Ameco CN50 converter in the closet, should dig out the R390 and put up an antenna, be fun to get back on 6M AM.
WB4NHB
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2017, 09:02 PM
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davet753 davet753 is offline
David Thomas
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 309
The RACK (Radio Amateur Club of Knoxville) 6 meter net is Sunday night. The AM portion is done last, usually about 9:40 or so on 50.400. Get that tube gear fired back up and join in the fun. Our little group of 6 meter tube enthusiasts seem to have generated more interest in not only vintage gear, but 6 meter AM operation.

David
KM4NYI
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2017, 03:16 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
<----Zenith C845
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fairport Harbor, Ohio (near Lake Erie)
Posts: 3,417
Perhaps I was operating at the wrong time of the year, but during the short time I was on 6 meters (about six months, IIRC), I couldn't work any DX even if I wanted to. However, the first day I was on six meters, shortly after getting my Technician license in mid-1975, I had a Heathkit Sixer transceiver and heard a station in North Dakota (WA0SDK).

Unfortunately, since I was using a makeshift antenna in a third-floor bedroom at the time, I couldn't reply to the station, but I have never forgotten hearing it nearly 42 years ago. However, I was active on a local 6-meter net, the (now defunct) Apricot Message Net, in suburban Cleveland Heights for a few months. Since the net control station (NCS) was only a short distance from me at the time, my crude antenna and 5-watt Heathkit Sixer kept me active on that net until I moved (see next paragraph).

Later on (as in several months later), I moved back to my hometown (long story) and had the same Heathkit Sixer, but with a circular-element beam. Didn't work anything much other than locals from then until I got on 2-meter FM in mid-1976, then was on six again for about a month when, in 1977, the final transistors burned up in my 2m rig.

I didn't work anything much on 6 meters during that time (early-mid 1977); in fact, I didn't work anyone else, even though I was on quite regularly. I still have the QSL card from the station I worked on 6 from my hometown, but I don't know where the card is anymore (may have gotten lost when I moved here 17 years ago). I do know, however, that the station, WA8CSQ, is no longer on the air, the license having expired some time ago. The operator may have become an SK (Silent Key) by now as well, but that is just a guess on my part. I do know, however, that WA8CSQ is no longer listed in Hamcall.net or Buckmaster, so even if the licensee is still alive, he is definitely not operating any kind of amateur station any longer.
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Collecting, restoring and enjoying vintage Zenith radios since 2002

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  #7  
Old 02-10-2017, 06:30 PM
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davet753 davet753 is offline
David Thomas
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 309
6 meters is good for local use year-round, but 6 meter DX is an entirely different animal. Several types of propagation rears it's head occasionally, but the most dependable is Sporadic "E". This starts to heat up in June and lasts a month or so. This past year, it was towards the end of June before it started up, but it lasted into August. There's also a winter season for this propagation that usually comes around in December. Of course, sporadic E can happen at any time, which is why 6 meters is known as the "magic band".

I've had the radio on and heard nothing for hours, and then all of the sudden a station comes in loud and clear from several states away. There were mornings in June and July where the stations were coming at me so quick I couldn't log them fast enough, only to have the band suddenly go "dead" and not hear another station for days. Suffice it to say, DX on 6 meters requires patience
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