The very sad day has come where my 96 year old grandfather's things are being passed along to family members who have interests in them as my grandfather no longer is.
My uncle emailed me and asked if I would be interested in taking stewardship of my grandpa's ham radio equipment. He has a great collection of radios old and new-ish. In our huge family I was the only other person beside my grandpa who got licensed so my uncles decided I was the guy to have them.
A year or two ago, I seem to recall a discussion here about early radio guys equipping their model Ts with radio equipment. Seems like there were also a few pics.
Has anyone ever played around with this? The first car my grandfather ever drove was his dad's 22 Model T when he was about 14. It would be fun to find a 22 T and outfit it with some of his early HAM equipment.
At one time I installed a 2 meter rig in the touring car but it didn't look very nice so I took it out. Iv always said if I go on a long tour with the car I might put in a low power mobile HF rig with a mag mount antenna that I can quick change antennas. What kind of gear was left to you?
KB2YGB Extra Class
The T ignition system raises hell with AM when the car is running. FM (2 meters etc) might work OK--I haven't tried it. I have seen pictures of some of the ham vehicle installations done in the 20's. The antenna system was like a multi wire
"clothesline" strung between 2 masts on the front and back of the car. Radios were usually wood box TRF receivers and home built transmitters, usually sat on the rear seat as the components were large. On the air operation was when the car was stopped (NO texting!). As far as installing modern equipment so it is not period intrusive--I haven't really thought that out. What type of vintage sets does your grandfather have? I've collected for years.
Danial, You might find these Shorpy photos of interest.
My guess is that, since "back in the day" when about all ham equipment was AM based, it was only used when the T was stopped and the ignition was off. Noise limiter circuitry was primitive and usually found only on commercial equipment in later years.
I've fought ignition noise all my life when operating mobile and I can't believe any T operating with the spark coil ignition system could communicate much further than you could with tin cans and a string!
On the other hand running your rig up a hill or mountain, turning the ignition off and running a QSO with your friends back home, might have been quite a thrill.
Lots of great information guys, thanks.
Dane, I think I remember those Shorpy pics from a previous discussion...neat pics. Those cars are just set up for reception right?
It's been a year or more since I was inside my grandpa's house so I don't recall what a lot of the real early stuff is. (I know he does have a great old Hammerlund general receiver that'll be fun to play around with.) His newer equipment and the stuff he used for the hobby up until a couple years ago is a beautiful Yaesu Transmitter and receiver pair. The transmitter if I recall, is the FL-101 and the receiver is an FR-101. I think.
But other than that, I couldn't say. He has shelves of radios, old mics, tubes, you name it.
My dad is active in Ham but he goes for new stuff. He had a old big Collins tube setup when I was kid that was the "big thing" of the mid 60s as I recall from the way folks acted when he showed it off. He always had a car rig until giving it up for home only about 20 years ago.
Ebay has a lot of stuff and you can search on "sold listings" under advanced search and see what things are worth. Dad might be interested if you wanted to leave a list here.
I built a car radio for FM broadcast reception in my Model T a few years back. As it uses a super regenerative receiver, it also responds AM, and thus ignition interference. I've found the interference not too bad on VHF, certainly not bad enough to try and suppress it.
A proper VHF FM receiver with limiting stages, etc., would no doubt suffer even less.
Somewhat ironically, when a certain distributor fitted Model T is near me in the traffic, I can hear more interference from it, than my own Ford coil equipped car.
I had my first mobile rig in the early 60's and it really didn't work very well. My 55 Ford had horrible panel bonding as did other Fords so it made it nearly impossible to get rid of the RFI that car generated and the 50W AM transmitter didn't transmit very far either. I gave up on it eventually and tried again many years and 2 cars later. That was a 68 Chevelle and it had a lot less RFI but also I was using a SSB transceiver and about 300 Watts of xmit power. That had a then state of the art transistor power supply while most of the transceiver was still tubes. I had a bit of success with that rig.
Car Radio 1927
Its amazing how far we've come in the last 90 years in two way communication. To think the first radio was so big you needed a truck to move, Now you can hid a portable in your back pocket. I guess the same thing with computers, The first one took up a whole room and now there small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. You have to wonder where we will in just 10 years from now.
I don't know where we'll be but I hope I'm here to see it! (Along with the rest of the forum !)