The Frankenradio

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The “Frankenradio (FR-13) is completed with acknowledgements to Warren W0WDA who first gave me this project several       (or more ) years ago, Al, W1UX who donated the PW dial, and Ron K1VYU who provided advise and encouragement.I have to say this has been the most challenging and at times frustrating project. Ultimately it has been the most rewarding too.

 When Warren sent it to me, there was no documentation, 3 coils for 20 meters and 8 empty tube sockets. The empties included octals and  2 miniatures that had obviously been wired into replace octals at one point. None of the tube sockets or shafts (no knobs either) were labeled. Oh, there was also a loctal tube plugged in one socket. Needless to say there was nothing like it in any reference book I could find. Clearly it had been through several iterations and some of them were not very friendly. The radio sat on a storage shelf for several years until I took it down one day “just to look at it” Well one thing leads to another and pretty soon I was up to my neck in it. Rather quickly I got the IF and osc/mixer working after a fashion and faintly heard a signal on the signal tracer. This spurred me on. At that point, Warren sent me the rest of the coils for 80, 40, 15, 11 and 10. and Al donated the PW dial. Warren also sent me the wood case that went to it and donated the National knobs.

I will not go into the rest of the story but every stage from the power supply to the AF amp presented me with a challenge. Often it seemed I went two steps forward and one step back. The calculation and wiring of the 160 coils seem like they should be rather simple as I had the other coils to model them on. After numerous attempts and much frustration because I kept ending up around 7-11 megs and tuning that tracked backwards. I went into some old books and found that although other coils were tapped midway, for band spread purposes, the 160 coils are not. Got rid of the tap and away she went. I added a nice octal tube 100 KCS calibrator from last months ER. So the final tube count is 13, hence FR-13. The brand name “Frankenradio”, represents its evolution.

The audio is really nice and it came with a 6 KC Collins filter which works well for 75 and 160. The dial and osc tracking do not match so I intend to make up tuning charts for 160, 80 and 40 and place them in the open area to the right of the dial 

So she works well on 160 and 80 but a bit weak on 40. (I am pretty sure I know the problem there). I have not tried it on higher bands since they are not my primary interest.

So thanks to all involved and I look forward to hearing you on the Frankenradio. Now to finish collecting the parts for the 813 rig to go along with it……. 

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COPYRIGHT 2005 Carl Nord                                          Last updated 04/25/05