Radio Shack Views including some history and other photos.

updated on April 3, 2023

Links:      VU2ESE visits W7ZOI Shack.  

               W1FB(sk) and W1DX(sk)  (And how I knew them...)     

                  K7TAU (sk)

              
WA7TZY (sk)

W7ZOI, Then and Now..

  W7ZOI in 1957.

The gear in the above photo is pretty common for a novice, or post-novice station of the era.   The Viking Adventure kit transmitter was driven by a remotely-tuned VFO built from a description in the 1954 ARRL Handbook.   The receiver is a four band outgrowth of the "SSB Q-5er," which consisted of a crystal controlled converter ahead of a BC-453 Command Receiver.   The Novice Q-5er and the SSB Q-5er were creations of W6TNS as published in CQ Magazine.   A National NC-46 receiver provided general coverage listening in an era where there was a lot to be heard.     My antennas were simple low dipoles or a vertical of one sort or another.    

A "portable" station to keep me on-the-air in 1961.

The above rig is one I built while in college, under grad.   I knew I was going to be moving from Washington to California, so I sold my NC-46 and Viking Adventure Transmitter.   I then constructed a station for 40 and 20 meter CW.   It ran 90 watts input to a 6146B driven by a 6AG7.  A 5763 was the VFO that used a previously built remote tuned circuit.   Power supplies were built-in.  I eventually demolished part of this rig for parts to be used in a solid state station, and gave the rest to a fellow I was working with at the time.

This was the station that was in use by February, 1963.   The upper unit is a superhet receiver using 9 Germanium transistors and a half lattice crystal filter.  The bottom unit was a transmitter with an output of 1 watt on 40 meters, crystal controlled. The PA was a pair of 2N696s.   A built in 12 volt lantern battery powered the transmitter.   The receiver had it's own 9 volt battery.  Each box was 5x6x9", so it was nearly portable.  
This is the appearance of the same rig in 1965.  The transmitter, now with 3 watts output, is smaller, but bolted to the receiver.   This photo was taken at a Field Day location at an elevation of 12,000 ft in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.    Eventually the transmitter circuitry was crammed into the receiver box.   That rig was used on a climb of Washington's Mt. Adams in 1967.  

station on 15Jan'19
This is the shack as it appeared in January, 2019.   The meter from the 1964/1967 rig is still part of this 2019 station.

The station in 2016 and later generates a power similar to the Viking Adventure shown above and is still mostly CW, but is now all solid state.   Much of the present station is homebrew.
    Click on the station photo below for more views.  
    rotary
        dipoles  Click photo for more station views.

The antenna photo shows rotary dipoles for 15 and 10 meters.   This antenna also functions on 17 and 12 meters when a transmatch is used.   The array is 28 ft above ground on a push-up mast that is rotated by hand.       

Our homebrew gear is built in another corner of the basement.   A view of the lab/shop is shown below.
  The lab is dynamic in that it changes frequently, depending upon the experiments being done.   The photo shows the main lab oscilloscope, a Rigol DS1052E.    The 'scope moves between rooms, depending upon the needs.   Two spectrum analyzers and a VNA (N2PK type) are included in the lab.    Out of view we also have an HP4342A Q-Meter, HP6002A power supply, HP8640B signal generator, and an old analog Tektronix oscilloscope.    We have recently added a microscope to facilitate SMT work.  A NanoVNA is also in the collection.  

Some other history.

  While on a 2013 trip to Florida, we spent a couple of days with John Lawson, K5IRK, and his wife Carol.    John and I collaborated on a receiver project, the "Progressive Receiver." (QST, Nov, 1981)    Click on the receiver photo for a shot of John and me with the receiver.   (John is the one with the hair.)   John tells me that the original receiver still works just as it did in 1981.   John replaced all of the electrolytic capacitors to achieve this status.    Guess even our 1981 solid state homebrew receiver has reached boat-anchor status.     

A major ham experience in my past was my participation in EME.  I helped Fred and Susan Telewski, WA7TZY and WB7BST, with construction of a station for 432 MHz.   I built the 400 MHz LO chain used for the receiver converter while Fred built several LNAs in that pre-GaAsFET era.   The EME station was first put on the air in November 23, 1975, so we could work a group at the large dish at Stanford University.   We devoted an all-night session to the project, finally making a contact at 5 AM.    I returned the next morning in daylight to get a photo of the antenna before it was moved to Fred's back yard where it did not irritate and confuse the neighborhood.   (The photo below was by Fred.)  The antenna was a 128 element extended expanded co-linear (bed spring) on a polar mount, an outgrowth of a QST paper by Joe, W6FZJ.   (Remember him?)  Great fun -- many thanks to Fred & Susan.
wa7tzy, wb7bst, and w7zoi on the morning
        after. WA7TZY, WB7BST, and W7ZOI in 1975.  I have a color version of this photo on the wall of  my shack. 


  WA7TZY (sk)

This photo of Fred Telewski, WA7TZY, was taken the last time I saw him.   He and Susan met us at a reception at the Seattle Space Needle in 2013.   It was an amateur radio gathering associated with the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques sponsored International Microwave Symposium.   We lost Fred in the summer of 2020 at age 74 when he died of complications following heart surgery.  

I first met Fred when he joined Tektronix in the early 1970s.   Fred was a circuit design engineer in the spectrum analyzer group.  I was also working at Tek, but in a group called "Display Device Development,"  far removed from his world of circuit design.   We had a connection through amateur radio and related writing that we had both done. (See ref 1 below.)   I joined Fred in the Tek spectrum analyzer group in 1974.   Fred and another ham, Larry Lockwood, W7JBY (sk) were my mentors in this transition.   Fred eventually left Tektronix for greener pastures, but remained on the west coast.   We stayed in contact and would talk on the telephone a couple of times per year with our last call only two days before he entered the hospital for surgery.  I'll miss those calls as well as our occasional QSOs on VHF and above, or personal visits at meetings in the Northwest.   Fredís amateur radio interests were dominated by VHF and UHF including 432 MHz EME.   Fred preferred EME contacts where the CW signals could be heard by the operator.    In later years his ham interests moved toward chasing DX on the 160 and 75 meter bands.    Fred's other interests varied from ball room dancing to color photography, including the color processing.   We'll miss him.


Ref 1.  Telewski, Fred, ďA Practical Approach to 432-MHz SSB,Ē Ham Radio Magazine, June, 1971.    This was followed by a HR paper in Nov. 1971 about a 432 MHz Corner Reflector antenna.