General class shack

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When I earned my WA4HQW General class license in fall 1962, I upgraded the Novice station.

I replaced the S-41 receiver with a Navy surplus Scott SRR-3 that weighed 106 pounds. I remember dragging it through the woods at night from my friend's house, then walking the final quarter-mile home and back to fetch a wagon to haul it the rest of the way. Whew!

I spray-painted the receiver gray. It was too big for the desk, so I used a 2x4 leg to support the left-rear corner. It wasn't a great receiver, but it was much better than the S41. I replaced the main tuning knob with a vernier dial, and soldered an "L" to the end of a super-long set screw in the knob to make a crank! (photo below)

I also replaced the 15W Ameco AC-1 transmitter with a Johnson Viking Navigator 40W (final plate input power) CW transmitter, my first VFO transmitter.

On the desk next to the antique headphones is a Vibroplex "Original" bug that was a birthday gift from my parents, and to its right is a military surplus J-38 straight key. It has no base, so is screwed directly to the desktop. I still have this key, but sold the Vibroplex in 2013.

The headphones and J-38 key belonged to my maternal grandfather. He was involved in many interesting activities before I came along – photography, printing, shortwave radio (but not ham radio). He owned an early Philco television – a dark wooden console with a 9" screen in the upper-left corner. While in the Navy, I acquired a sticker intended for Teletype machines modified to operate at 100 words-per-minute, instead of the original 60 WPM.
I humorously affixed this label to the Vibroplex bug!

Updated July 28, 2017