Old Rig

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mixfm
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Re: Old Rig

Post by mixfm » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:46 pm

one of our faithful boxes 150 watt tx
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teckniqs
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Re: Old Rig

Post by teckniqs » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:25 am

50w at the most. ^

(BLW60C or equiv)

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mixfm
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Re: Old Rig

Post by mixfm » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:58 am

heres a 50 watt alan rig we had knocking around, the rig we used to install last result. lol memories... built in a disco light...
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Re: Old Rig

Post by teckniqs » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:43 pm

Cor fuckkk me, that thing's gonna give me nightmares!

...No filtering again, piece of coax straight out the transistor like the first rig on the thread.

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Re: Old Rig

Post by Albert H » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:39 am

I have seen worse ones... but not many!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: Old Rig

Post by projuicer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:19 pm

mixfm wrote: Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:58 am heres a 50 watt alan rig we had knocking around, the rig we used to install last result. lol memories... built in a disco light...
Alan liked those Disco lights! I remember seeing one like that round Johnny B's place at some point.

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mixfm
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Re: Old Rig

Post by mixfm » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:16 pm

bought a few alan rigs back in the day to stay on the fm dial..a number of wellknown stations in birmingham used alan for years, cheap & cheerful, had a few 50 watt no psu in them, used to buy 13.8 5-7 amp power packs.lol, what ever happended to the man alan,

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Re: Old Rig

Post by Albert H » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:25 pm

Years ago, I bought all the car battery chargers in our local branch of Halfords. I'd discovered that apart from the crude ammeter, mains transformer and a chunky rectifier diode, there was nothing else inside apart from a lot of air! I removed the original secondary (and re-used the wire in PA coils for years) and then I wound on two secondaries and could get 12V at 2 Amps and 28V at 6 Amps. There was a standard, fairly cheap Farnell heatsink that would replace the back panel exactly, and the PA transistors, the bridge rectifiers and the regulators would get screwed to it. I then bolted a mains powered fan to the heatsink to give it a bit more of a chance. The exciter was in a small tinplate box at the front of the rig, with the PLL logic in another box beside it, and the 3-stage PA, running at about 32V DC, used the 2N3866, 2N3375, 587BLY line-up to take the 100mW from the exciter up to about 95 Watts after the output filter. There were about 40 of these rigs built in a week back in 1983, and I recently saw one in use near Den Helder in the Netherlands!

They were really cheap to build - the exciter was a doubler type, using a BF494 Colpitts oscillator into a pair of BF494s as the doubler / amplifier, which gave 100mW out. The PLL was a 74HC4060 as the reference oscillator and divider, using a 4 MHz crystal, a 74HC4040 as the pre-settable divider and a 4046 as the phase comparator and lock detector. There was a 4558 dual op-amp as the loop filter and modulator. The output device was £2.50 from Birketts in Lincoln (much cheaper when I bought them by the hundred!), the 2N3375 came from a secret source (they had been soldered to) and cost 40p each, and the 2N3866 cost 50p from Stevenson's in Bromley. The only parts that cost much were the output trimmers - "Blue Spot" types that cost £1.20 each. The whole rig - including the purchase of the battery charger - came to <£20! The exciter, PLL and PA each had an etched PCB. Really simple, cost-effective rigs!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: Old Rig

Post by OldskoolPirate » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:24 am

I really don’t understand why people moan about these cheap rigs. It’s not about putting up almost like military spec rack systems when it probably won’t even last 3 months. It’s cheap and shitty for a reason. All the people who know what there doing with RF charge a ridiculous amount of money for rigs these days.
:tup

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Re: Old Rig

Post by Albert H » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:07 pm

How long was your electrical or electronic training? Mine was nearly 10 years between University degrees, "on the job" training (fnarr fnarr), and Marconi Marine training. I could throw together a nasty sprog box like the one at the top of this thread, but it would cause interference, and so would be raided in no time at all. I want to get proper recompense for my skills and training!

The rigs that have always been left alone for the longest are the ones that don't cause interference - whether from sprogs or harmonics or from overloading local services (like the TVs in the block you're on!). That's why I tended to use groundplane aerials well above the communal TV and radio aerials, and that's why my rigs were always sturdily constructed, carefully aligned, and pop-rivetted shut to prevent dingbats from opening them up and twiddling. I can honestly say that I took every precaution to prevent interference of all types - even mains conduction issues (how many rig builders filter the mains going into their rigs?).

I've certainly got one or two ugly prototypes here in the junk box - they were thrown together as bench experiments to prove one principle or another - but there's no way that you'd ever have one of these up a block somewhere!

I always tended to build rigs in batches. When I'd got all the parts I needed, I'd etch a load of PCBs, invite a couple of friends over to help, and have a week-long rig-building session.

The most we built in a week was 120 little 10 Watt PLL battery-powered rigs for an order from the USA. They were built into waterproof diecast boxes (as specified by the customer), and had no external controls. Frequency was set with a row of 8 switches (programmed in binary from 108MHz downwards in 100 kHz steps) and the aluminium VCO core had to be adjusted for lock. The PLL was the Philips TDA1057 controlled by a 16C54 PIC, with an active (4558) loop filter. The output stage used a pair of 2SC1971s and would give 12 Watts at 13.8V supply and a little over 10 Watts at 12V. The diecast box provided more than enough heatsink. Power was through a Molex connector, and modulation was in through an RCA socket. RF out was through a 50Ω BNC socket. The whole rig was built on a single PCB inside the box, but there were tinplate screens between the PLL and the rest and separating off the output filter too. The guy who bought them still has six or seven of them, and even uses them at Christmas each year - the rest are all over South and Central America.

It doesn't take much effort to build something properly. It might take a little more time, but if you have a quality product, your customers will pay quite a bit more for it. Back when some people were charging £250 for a 100W (ish) rig and another £50 for a link receiver, my 180 Watt rigs were £650 and a receiver was £80 - 150 according to type and frequencies. I also used to supply aerials - the most common was the ⅝-wave vertical with groundplanes which looked like a CB aerial from the ground. Link receive (and transmit) aerials were mostly Band IV TV Yagis. The transmit ones were modified for 50Ω match. I had no shortage of customers, despite being a bit more expensive than the solder-jockeys. Most users found that their gear lasted longer because it wasn't causing interference.....
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: Old Rig

Post by radium98 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:36 pm

copy paste ?

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Re: Old Rig

Post by sinus trouble » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:10 pm

Although agree with all the posts on these items, It is very easy to miss the big picture here!
For me it all depends on when these were made? Growing up in the 80s it wasn't just about what you know but who you know also! Access to data and components was very hard to find, Especially band II!

I think we take too much for granted these days!
I am as stupid as I look! :|

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Re: Old Rig

Post by Albert H » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:41 am

Sinus

We pressed all sorts of components into use for Band II! There were lots of "high band" transistors (2N6084, BLY90) that worked well at 100 MHz. There were other "HF" devices that worked reasonably well (BLW77 - meant to go to 30 MHz only, but still had 6.5 dB of gain at Band II)....

There was a lack of knowledge - I saw my designs copied widely by solder jockeys. It was funny when I got a job lot of 11kΩ resistors and every component shop in the London area was bombarded with requests for this unusual value, since they were all convinced that it was essential!

It's not really more difficult to built something properly!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: Old Rig

Post by yellowbeard » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:00 am

Back in the day the component suppliers had you by the nuts too - a pack of 5x 10pF silvered mica capacitors cost £15 plus VAT in the 80's from RS components. That was a night on the lash back before I practised my boozing. I still begrudge them to this day.
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Re: Old Rig

Post by teckniqs » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:14 pm

Feast your eyes on these!! :shock: :o

Built (and I must use that term loosely) by a Brighton 'engineer' who now lives in Somerset and used by a long-running Brighton station for approx 1 year!

And most surprisingly, this PA actually worked but appeared to be underpowered at around 80/90w which is just as well really! :whistle

Image

And now check this PLL out, have you ever seen as disgusting as this before? And unsurprisingly this one didn't work, OK well it did but tuned itself to the same frequency as a local Brighton community station LOL and they had to take it down, not that anyone in their right mind would put it up in the first place! :?

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Re: Old Rig

Post by mixfm » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:43 pm

keep the um coming,,, there must be a few more out there,

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Re: Old Rig

Post by teckniqs » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:49 pm

I doubt there is any worse then those, but if there is would love to see so please kindly share!

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Re: Old Rig

Post by Albert H » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:41 pm

I've seen a few that just seem to be random components with solder flicked at them!

There were a couple of London "engineers" who made really nasty heaps like those above. The weird thing was that they actually knew their stuff - they just didn't bother to make gear neat. Unfortunately, this tends to make rigs unreliable and difficult to repair.

The obverse - of course - are the guys that made pristine rigs that looked like their constructor had severe OCD. I used to be like that at times - the gear was just too neat! However, I've thrown together some experimental stuff that ends up looking like a wire hedgehog, but I'd never sell it or put it up a block!
"Why is my rig humming?"
"Because it doesn't know the words!"
;)

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Re: Old Rig

Post by thewoodstarr » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:34 am

teckniqs wrote: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:32 am ^^ With equipment like that, it's no surprise to see articles like this....

https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/551 ... air-alert/
Fire it up bro! No LRF on it, it will be alright! It's going to be <100 Watt.

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Re: Old Rig

Post by thewoodstarr » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:37 am

mixfm wrote: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:43 pm keep the um coming,,, there must be a few more out there,
My friend its for thin bin!

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