T15 ARC-5 Transmitters And Phono Oscillators

Lee Smith ckvnfm at MB.SYMPATICO.CA
Fri Sep 10 21:40:06 EDT 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob <bmiller at CALWEB.COM>
>Another handy toy from the 50s was the Bud Phone Oscillator.  A single
>117L7/M7 tube provided AC/DC 115 volt operation.  The unit was a modulated
>oscillator.  My cousin and I pulled the power line rf shunt cap and
>connected a random lenth long wire that ran the lenth of the alley behind
>the old homestead.  All our high school pals had their car radio set to the
>unit's frequency.  Voice modulation was provided by an old F-1 carbon mike
>button and music from an RCA 45 changer with a crystal cartridge.  Despite
>its low power and lean modulation, the unit could be heard all over the old
>home town (population 29,000).

Hello All:

This takes me back to my first venture into broadcasting circa 1965!  A
buddy and I modified a phono oscillator to couple to a longwire (no ground
system) via a tuner we made from old bcb radio parts and started our own
pirate station in southern Ontario.  We were a little miffed over the low
modulation % so used an output transformer wired backwards into the plate
supply and drove it with the output of a reel to reel tape recorder.

My town was only about 4,000 people, and our friends from school thought it
was really cool that the "Briefcase Nerds" had started a station that played
good music.  Our veture lasted about a month.  A timer started the
transmitter power up and tape start sequence to begin at about 3:45 so we
could listen to it on the way home from school.  Frequently, we would
aircheck WABC New York and play Cousin Brucie and Scott Munie from the night
before.  We even operated on WABC's frequency of 770!

One day, we noticed a radio direction finder car stopped at the railway
crossing while were walking home listening to our 6 transistor radio.  We
went into a panic and ran home taking every shortcut we could think of and
took the transmitter off the air.  Then we raced outside and ripped down our
antennas, and hid the transmitter in the basement.  Never went on the air
again after that!

In reality, the DF car was likely just driving through town on the main
highway while going somewhere else, but it shook us up pretty good.  Knowing
we wanted to be hams very soon, we decided the fun wasn't worth the risk.

Later, when I graduated, I became the Chief Engineer of the local radio
station straight out of high school and enjoyed my time in broadcasting very
much.  After that, I became a pilot for my living, but maintained a strong
interest in broadcasting.  About 5 years ago, I returned to broadcasting as
a station owner of a Low Power FM station in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  You can
see some pictures opf the LPFM operation by looking at:

All the best to you all, and thanks for the memories, it was great fun!

Lee Smith

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