Welcome

Welcome to Ham Radio House, the Australian boatanchor shop!

 

More than 40 years ago, my father took me to Radio House in George Street, Sydney to buy an OA90 diode for (as I remember it now) 45 cents. My Dad had his old crystal set with Stromberg Carlson headphones ,the variable condensor and a baseboard. He showed me how with a diode, a set of high impedance headphones an aerial and an earth you could listen to radio. I was hooked, My first shortwave set was a Trio 9R4J which I still have.

I am an amateur radio operator with the call sign VK2ASC. I love valve gear, and when I started this shop in 2014, it was my aim to make such gear more accessible and affordable. eBay was a good source of reasonably priced gear and at that stage postage was not unreasonable. Times have changed. While gear is reasonably plentiful in the USA and in Britain, the postage costs have increased significantly - you can buy equipment for as much as I can, so there is little point me buying it and putting it on a site when this costs me $50 a month just to have it here. I have equipment for sale, and can get parts (including valves) for a pretty good price even when postage is considered. The equipment is, naturally, used and often modified by previous owners. Despite the prevalence of bush lawyers who take issue with the warranty (and lack thereof) on such items, all equipment is sold on the condition that the purchaser understands that equipment is sold for experimentation purposes, whether or not it is working. If you buy a valve transmitter, transceiver or receiver, you are going to have to work on it - this is a fact of life. If you are uncomfortable working with high and lethal voltages, you are best to stick to solid state gear. But you will still have to work on that as a rule.

Valve equipment is not difficult to work on but where high and medium voltages are concerned mistakes can be expensive and fatal. You must be careful and vigilant - lethal voltages are present. You should have a safe working procedure you adopt in all cases. There is no small shock from 300v to 3000v. At 3000v any shock is likely to be fatal no matter how brief the contact. As the AWA brochure says "LIVE WIRES MEAN DEAD MEN". Nevertheless, if you adopt safe working procedures and do NOT work on equipment which is energised, and discharge all power capacitors, it is not generally very complex equipment, and you can watch Mr Carlson's Lab, or The Radio Shop or others on YouTube or Patreon  for hints and kinks on the equipment you need and the techniques for working on it. 

If you want a transmitter or transceiver, you will need an amateur license to buy it from me - this is the law.

I test valves where possible on a B&K 747 (solid state!) valve tester, or an ancient and dodgy Precision if needed. Substitution is always the best way to test a valve though - at working voltages and loads. Still, it is a reasonable indication as a rule.

American gear runs on 110v to 120v. Where there are multiple primaries you can set them up for 240v, but be prepared! There are very good step-down transformers on eBay - use an isolating type if you can, or an isolating transformer and an auto-transformer. If you are going to use an autotransformer by itself, make sure you have an RCD in the circuit.

Replace those old paper capacitors with 650v polyesters or orange dips - you can buy them direct from Justradios in Canada - or if you like I can order them in - but you will pay the local postage, and if you buy a kit direct, you only pay that postage (if you pay any at all subject to you buying enough). I can get black polyester axial caps and electrolytic caps locally, but why not give Carl's Capacitors a call. He has them and will send them to you direct.If you are buying something and need some caps, then I can of course supply them if I have them..

Have fun looking around!

73,

 

Stephen

VK2ASC