Real Outback HF BoatAnchor Transceivers

Harbros 1153

The frequency of the crystals in this one are: Transmit = 2.692 MHz and Receive = 3.147 MHz

It was made in the 1950's by Hardinge Bros. of Melbourne, Australia. David Macnaughton (VK2BA) on his web site has a reference to Reg VK2ATS remembering a QSO with VK3TA who was recorded in the 1957 Call Book as B.E. Hardinge, Natimuk Rd, Horsham, Victoria. Someone, I do not remember who, emailed me with information the VK3TA call sign was still registered to a Hardinge on the ACMA web site. I did a web search on the name Hardinge as there was no email address on any of the Ham directories and found Murray Hardinge in country victoria. When my web search told me he had a buiness fixing radio equipment and security systems I knew I was getting close to finding out more about the radio. I sent an email to Murray and about three weeks later he phoned me and we had a very interesting chat about his Fathers company that built Harbros equipment. He was the apprentice about the time this radio was built.

March 2012 after taking it apart to show it to a friend who had called in from country SA, I decided it was time to get it working. First I replace all the paper capacitors.The photo of the collection of junk below shows just how many I had to replace. I also replaced any body-tip-spot resistors and a few others that were out of the 20% tolerance range. When I powered it up again from my 12 Volt battery supply in the shack the receiver burst into life, giving out a lot of vibartor hash, so I turned on the signal generator and sure enough, it was receiving RF on the designated frequency. All the valved seemed to be OK so I made a dummy load with a 5 Watt 12 Volt lamp and pressed the PTT button. Sure enough, it transmitted on 2.692 MHz, and the lamp glowed brightly, not a bad output for a humble 6AQ5.

Once it was working I traced the circuit and I found it had a 12AU7 used as a noise blanker circuit, straight out of ARRL or RSB hand books of the 1950's. When I get time I will draw the circuit properly and put it on the web site. Looking at the vibrator power supply I found it had very lttle RF filtering to keep the power supply hash out of the radio so I installed a high current RF choke in the heater supply line to the receiver and some 470uH 200mA RF chokes and 0.01 uF ceramic capacitors in the HT supply lead. Seems to be quieter. Now that I hasve fixed it what am I going to do with it ?. Perhaps I should get two crystals made so I can put it on a frequency used by one of the AM BoatAnchor nets.

Wagner Model C1-100 Mk5A Outback HF Transeiver

Not much is known about these but my guess is they were quite common in the outback used to access the Flying Doctor and School of the Air radio networks. Mostly solid state with a BIG tube in the RF output. There was one on Ebay some time ago.

I could not find the crystals at first but after I went back to it recently and put power on it to see if it received I found only the 4.055 MHz position was receiving. That was when I guessed the board SB6B was were the crystals were originally mounted and someone had removed the other two crystals. The other two operating frequencies were 4.450 and 5.255 MHz.
The crystal frequency is 13.0568 MHz and it has a 9 MHz crystal filter. By some clever maths the same crystal must be used on RX and TX.

I am wondering if it is a worth while exercise modifying it to work on 80 or 40 Metre Ham band. This would involve making it work on LSB and perhaps building a PLL VFO. If you know of a project like this please let me into the secret. Any information on this item would be appreciated. Peter (VK2EMU) in issue five (2005) of the Radio Homebrew and Experimenters Group news letter has an article on another later model Wager transeiver and he talks about changing it to LSB.

Traeger Safari 100

This radio shows just how crude the Traeger radios were but they worked well.

Codan 7727-TB

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Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 9th Spetember 2013