This has nothing to do with radio astronomy. I have been a ham radio operator for many years. I have never owned a nice new expensive piece of ham gear. Throughout the years I have built my own radios or fixed up old used equipment. One of my first transmitters was built from a article that appeared in September 1964 Electronics Illustrated. The article was titled The Scrounger. The premise was that you could build this Morse code 10 watt transmitter for $5 or less depending on what parts you could "scrounge" from you "junk box". This page presents the original article that I scanned from a recently acquired copy of the old magazine. There are also a couple of pictures of my Scrounger as it exists today.
Click the magazine picture below for the article in pdf form.
I somehow managed to hold on to my Scrounger over the years, though the power supply did not make the trip through time. I built my Scrounger many years after the article appeared, probably about 1972. My original version looked something like the one in Electronics Illustrated. It was built on an inverted square pie tin. At some point I must have decided I wanted something "fancy" so I transferred the electronics to an old TV UHF converter box. I kept the separate power supply on a pie tin. I don't know why I did this. It was dangerous to have the high voltage connected from one chassis to the other, especially the way I did it with a used octal socket. It is really a wonder that I survived those high voltage years. I received many high voltage shocks!
Below are pictures of what has survived all these years and a move to Hawaii. The original 6V6GT is gone. I hope I find in one of my junk boxes some day, but I can probably get another on ebay. I no longer have the KE4Y call. I am now KH6SKY. That toilet paper tube really hasn't held up well after 35 years. I upgraded to a used a surplus meter military from Olson electronics (remember them?), instead of the neon bulb.
update 2011: I have acquired a NOS 6V6GT and a few parts for a power supply. Will I ever do anything with them? Nobody knows.
The inside view is a bit scary. Behind the meter is a homemade shunt so that the meter would indicate plate current. It was wound from enameled wire stolen from an old transformer.
Thank you again, and best of73's,
Below are some great photos of Don's scrounger.
Below are some scrounger QSLs from when Don was WN4CKM. Even the stamps elicit nostalgia.
Read with interest your scan of "The Scrounger 6V6 xmtr".
I remember seeing that article lo so many years ago. Man, how time flies
when we are "having fun". I built a xmtr, I think from
Poptronics in the early sixties, using a 50L6 and 35Z5 rectifier. All
line powered, with NO xfmr! The power cord only had one wire, an earth
ground was the power return. If it didn't work, the ac power plug had to
be reversed. It was built on an
aluminum plate, which sat on the bottom of an old cigar box. My first
contact with it was on 40m and I received a 599 report! That one contact
got me hooked on QRP. I later replaced the tubes with a 6AQ5 and a
separate xfmr p.s. I worked both coasts with ease using a Mosely V40 trap
vertical. Remember those? I still have the xmtr and it still works fb!
I'll send you a pic. if you are interested.
One comment about "The Scrounger" article. One part of the
construction was BAD! The coil should have been mounted at least one
coil diameter away from the chassis! A great deal of r.f. energy was
coupled into the chassis. It is a wonder that it worked at all! The
coil should have been mounted vertically so that it was well away from the
chassis. I used the coil form from an old radio i.f. xfmr. Yeah,
those old radios had huge i.f. xfmrs!
Thanks for the "trip down memory lane"!
Keep those dots and dashes going!
73, Ron, K5DUZ, Houston TX