Well It’s been busy, or I have.
Last time I was here I was heading to our local hamfest the next day. We went, my friend and I and we made our way around the tables. Plenty of old boat anchors holding the tables down, cardboard boxes of cables and odd devices. I like thrift stores and yard sales for finding that hidden gem and here it is a concentration of used goodies but you dont have to wade through paintings of tigers, baby clothes and other fashion violations to find the gem.
Most of the stuff even at a hamfest In reality and even though glazed over geek-electronic eyes is still mostly junk. Or, maybe not. I get a certain type of marketing anxiety when I look at used goods, piles, boxes and items that are not self explanatory. I see the guy with the box of odd items and I can identify a few, theres a balun, a matching network but what is that other item? Is it a vhf linear amp, a transverter of some sort? It is a big aluminum heatsinked box with a price tag of $35 on it. I can bet these guys would be loading up a lot less to take home at the end of the day if they organized their items. Few 3×5 cards to tell you what it is. Unpack the stuff and put those oil stained cardboard boxes you took from the shelves in your garage and put them under the table. Can you tell I have been a exhibitor/vendor at a few trade shows in my life? All I can say is why bring the stuff if you don’t actively sell it? Even the most introverted can get a sharpie and some 3×5 cards together the night before.
So back to what I found…
I was looking for a tuner and possibly an amp for my 2meter HT to use out of my house. I found this SST T-4 Ultra Tuner for $10, I took it thinking I found half of my solution.
In very good condition, no box or manual. I have not yet been able to find a manual online but the operation is pretty straight forward. I did find a couple other models on ebay made by SST and found another interesting bit of info on SST:
“SST tuners and SST records were basically the same company, Black Flag( the LA punk band) founder and guitarist Greg Ginn was a ham radio buff and electronics builder before he picked up a guitar and became a early 80′s punk rock icon. Solid State Tuners basically morphed into SST records when vinyl records of his band ended up out selling his radio electronics and he gave music a full time career run. Good luck finding old SST electronics cheap…..Black Flag fans have been snatching them up and even having Greg Ginn autograph them.” This was from KB6NU’s page HERE
I kept walking around the tables and spotted on top of its original box a MFJ-941D that the guy was asking $45 for. I hit my smartphone ebay app and found they were going for a bit more there I offered him $40 and he took it. I have read about this series of tuners and seems like guys are all pretty happy. My intention was to get one of MFJ’s newer models but this was a score in my opinion, complete with manual.
I figured I could always turn the SSST tuner I just picked up for more than $10 or keep as a backup since it was only $10. The tuner has been a big improvement even right off before I cleaned up my antenna feed(more on that later). I am currently waiting on a box of resistors to arrive so I can build a appropriate dummy load for my setup.
I walked around some more scouting a key and a vhf amp or mobile radio with a little more power. I found a few but pretty beat up and little proud of from the price they were asking. I came upon a guy with a TPL 70watt 2meter/vhf/FM/SSB linear amp for $25 and I walked away with it for $20
You can also see a Workman CX-3 antenna switch. If you ever get a chance to buy one of these, DONT. unless of course you like brittle cold solder joints, and a slightly bent rotary switch shaft. They cost about $12 and if you look at like you are just buying the hardware and it is a kit you must re-solder then it’s not a bad deal. For those that think just buying one and hooking it up should be aware to open it up and heat up some joints.
I came away with a couple adapters and small coax patch cables, all in all a good haul.