[AMRadio] "white Faced Johnson"

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Thu Apr 6 11:43:16 EDT 2006

On 4/6/06, VJB <wa3vjb at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Mike/XU mentioned the Johnson Messenger. Yes, they
> were a hot ticket when I was on 11m as a kid in the
> 1960s. On the air they were known as the "White Faced
> Johnson" for the brushed aluminum front panel and
> square, breadbox styling. Who has a breadbox anymore?

I do! It holds one loaf, fits under the top shelf in the fridge. Have
to admit, it's an antique, but it works as-designed.

Also have one of those old Johnson Messenger I rigs. An uncle gave it
to me years ago when they were tearing down some buildings at the
granite quarry where he worked. It included one of those really
strange looking rocketship desk mics.

Looks like I'm about 10 years behind you, Paul - I got into radio in
the mid 70s via the old Metrotek Colt 23 tunable receive set we used
in the Explorer Scout post for SAR work. We set it up one weekend at
one of the older Scout's homes while his parents were gone, also using
the good ol' A/S Super Magnum stuck on a section of mast, held in
place by the spare tire from the pickup truck. This got me to dig out
some old wooden Philco sets from my folks' attic and the rest is
history. Took a few years to get my ham ticket though, because the
local club OTs were pretty closed-minded about letting 'kids' into
their hobby.

11 Meters was okay back then up this way, but became a cesspool within
2-3 years. There were some very nice sets made that should be stellar
performers on 10 though, like the old Browning and Tram rigs made next
door in Laconia and Winnisquam, NH. Vacuum tube, point-to-point hand
wiring, the better models even used a Collins plug-in filter. Tweaking
the little antenna network screws usually yeilded a few extra watts
without even resorting to messing with the internal adjustments. But
as Pete pointed out, some of those rigs are quite pricey today, and
I'd be hesitant myself to do anything beyond retuning or maybe
swapping out a component or two. Hard to believe that some of these
'CBs' were selling for $600-$800 in the 70s.

BTW Paul, it was good working you on 40 the last two weekends. There
are still some zorching issues to deal with, but that's another post
in itself. Considering the transmitter has been inactive since 1990,
it shouldn't be a surprise. Bruce,  W1UJR is coming over sometime this
month and we're going to see if we can sort it out.

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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