[AMRadio] ARC5's and Surplus stores

charles free mjcal77 at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 3 12:19:47 EST 2005


Thought I would drop a note concerning surplus in the
Southeast, since Calif. and others seem well
represented.  Down in Jacksonville Fla, for who knows
how long, ACME Electronics on Main Street was the
local mecca of electronic surplus.  As a fledgling ham
in the '60's, it was one of my favorite haunts because
I could actually afford some of the things he had.  I
think the owner had a little bit of everything in his
store, except that spine shaft to remote tune the ARC5
and similar items.  He lived above the store.
  I remember getting a couple ARN 1 Radio Altimeters
for $1 each, with the owner telling me that the
"wobulator" in there will be worth something one day. 
This was a mechanical modulator to FM the TX.  The
acorn tubes and UHF circuitry were a playground for
a tinkerer.  Put filament and B+ to it just to get it
going for fun.  Still have one complete and untouched,
the other, well, the chassis was turned into a 12VDC
supply. Still waiting for the wobulator to cash in.
  I had to pass up a Collins BC TX crystaled for the
high end of the BC band that he had for $100.  I
recall that it had all the tubes, was in a standard
width approx 6ft rack.  I didn't have the 100 bucks,
and who back then would ever think of putting one of
those on the ham bands.  Besides, it had no VFO and
this ex-rockbound Novice, now General, didn't want to
  I did pick up the AC power supply for my NAVY TCS
series TX and RX for a whopping $10.  He had all the
correct connectors too!  I actually took this thing
home on a city bus, it weighing in at about 100lbs and
me about 150 at the time.  After making up cable, and
removing the homebrew power supplies I had for the
TCS, it actually worked!  Used it for a time on 160
meter AM, in the days of freq and power restrictions
due to LORAN. Ed Edwards, WA4SGF was the local 160
meter king back then in North Florida.  He didn't mind
the AM rig, he was just happy to have more folks on
the band.
   Once, the store owner just gave me an ARN6 RDF. I
messed with this for a time,tracing wiring and drawing
pictures and wondering why the 24V filament seemed to
be wired to B+.  Well it was and the thing was a great
VLF and BC set with beautiful audio, all off of 24
volts.  I applied this idea to my ARC 5 Rcvrs and sure
enough, if you use headphones, they work fine with 24V
to the tubes, with a jumper across the terminals on
the dynamotor chassis connector, sans the dynamotor,
to put 24V to the plates.  A few years later, I would
actually be working on the ARN-6 control panel that
could operate two of them simulataneously, which was
still in USN use at the time of the early '70's. 
Don't know what aircraft, perhaps the S2F's which were
still around.
  I have forgotten the owners name now, and after he
passed away, his son emptied the store and sold it.  I
think it was finally demolished, but have not been
back to JAX in 13 years, just can't remember.
  I'll save the tales of my run ins with "GOVT.
SURPLUS SALES", out US Highway 1 for another time.
Charlie, W4MEC in NC

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