Hope you're all well.
Some of you know that I've had a few problems with my old Yaesu FT757GX HF set. I've had quite a few problems with the old girl over time but for a forty year old radio I suppose I would have. Like some of us she's no spring-chook and getting a bit ragged around the edges.
I've since repaired it.....and not repaired it!
She receives great now that I've 'repaired' her, better than she ever did in all the time I've had her, but will she transmit?!?! After spending hours and days on her she does transmit.....when she's apart on the bench! Put her back together and she stops transmitting! Arrrggghhhh! Frustrating is not the word and there aren't enough profanities to exclaim it.
Yes, I know, there's a "loose" connection in there somewhere.....but with loads of wire interconnects inside her resembling an explosion in a spaghetti factory it's tedious to locate. So for now she's on the back burner and apart from my little Baofeng thingy I have no radio.
So I trawled the 'bay' to see if I could get hold of a cheap CB, maybe even something needing repair and boost my confidence in my electronic skills.
Cheap CB? Pah! Fat Chance!
Prices are still through the roof for even the most basic of old rigs that have passed through more hands than a fifty year old hooker. I wanted something old being better able to repair it than some fancy display microprocessor controlled nonsense the size of a 20 Dunhill pack of cigarettes.
(These modern rigs are tiny, especially for old hands and eyes and that's just operating them let alone repairing them!)
Then I came across something that sparked my interest.....put my bid on and after a few days notified that I'd "won".
Here she is, a late 1970's 2m, (144Mhz), mobile transceiver :-
To some she'd be an ugly bugger but to me she was absolutely beautiful and I had to have her!
Something about those red seven segment displays drew me in, reminiscent of many an old CB and she's got four of them rather than a CB's typical two.
Listed as 'spares or repairs' it was worth the punt at a lowly starting bid of £25...and that one bid won her. Not surprising really, who in their right mind buys a radio over 40 years old without 2.5kHz steps and no CTCSS? Only a mad fool like me!
The 5kHz steps will do me fine, gets me good old GB3PI and throw in the old Simplex channels too. I'll soon knock up a Tone encoder to give me CTCSS access too.
Notice the badge? "Memorizer" - she's got a whole four memories! Can you imagine?! FOUR! Don't disconnect the power though...she loses the lot! (When wired up in a vehicle as intended she runs live via the battery so even when you turn the radio off and the ignition she'll keep the memories.....unless the battery goes flat.)
She's built like a proverbial tank and almost weighs as much as one too. No plastic casing fronts here my friend, solid metal construction.
I took a look inside too, I do like a peek, but was hit with the smell that only 1970's electronics have. Wonderful! She's also a 'virgin'...no dirty mitts have defiled her or scabby old soldering iron burned her innards. She even has the original light bulb indicators which are still all working!
(The green 'Busy' indicator and red 'On Air' really give me a buzz being the sad old git I am.
For all intent and purposes she looks like she stepped out of the Doctor's TARDIS not showing her age one bit. Awesome!
Those in the 'know' may be interested in that she runs on an old uPD857 PLL (phase locked loop). Perhaps the old Uniden uPD858 rings a better bell? Oh yes, she be a Uniden and was even sold under the Uniden badge. As expected for such a radio of that era also equipped with beautiful dual gate MOSFET receiver circuitry and a proper Foster-Seeley FM discriminator. None of that typical FM chip 'hash' here but a gentle breeze of true FM goodness. Sounds flipping wonderful on receive!
Talking of receive, she picks up more than the Baofeng ever does even when connected up to the same homebrew 2M antenna. Through the old audio amplifier circuitry and internal 3 inch speaker the sound is full rich in mid-tones and bass, really good on the old ears.
To say I'm happy would be an understatement - I'm flipping ecstatic!!
If you've never given 2m a go, (most newly qualified Hams seem preoccupied with HF interests), it'd be worth giving it a go. There's far less of the the BR68 old guard bemoaning you being on their HF frequencies, ("We had to do Morse and everything dont-cha-know!"), some good old chit-chat can be had on the old repeaters and you'll often find someone gabbering on the Simplex channels too. It's doesn't usually herald much in the way of DX, (but tropospheric prop can be exciting, a friend and myself once had a 'break' from a 2m operator in Liverpool some 120 miles away!), but then "Repeat please....yes 5 over 9 my friend...QRZ" HF working becomes tedious after a while.
Anyway, enough of my waffle. (Been a while.
I'll just leave you with this picture :-
Oh yes - Came in the original box, original inner packaging, manual, accessory box with components and a microphone with a curly cord you could physically tow a truck with!! What a microphone too, proper old school fist mic with the smoothest PTT you ever did handle!
She did step out of the TARDIS and I flipping love her.
Think I'm weird? Here's weird for you.....that original box smelled beautiful in only the way old cardboard can! Can you imagine holding onto a radio for over 40 years let alone the box? Wonderful stuff indeed.
All the best,