Talk:Vintage amateur radio

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Good article Vintage amateur radio has been listed as one of the Engineering and technology good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
February 13, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Amateur radio (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
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I've created this Wikipedia article and linked it to the main entry for amateur radio. I used the bones of an article created by WA3VJB, Paul Courson, to construct this new version. I saw that Paul's original writeup (deleted Dec. 2005) was rejected from the main amateur radio article as being "too specialized". Hopefully, this time it will be accepted as a separate article. Suggestions for improving it are appreciated.- W1GFH LuckyLouie 20:03, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

This is an excellent article. Question though, when does the vintage era end and what is the criteria? For example, the KWM-2A was made in the 1970's but the FPM-200 was a 1950's radio.
The HRO-500 and Signal/One seem to be "boatanchors", although they both have new-ish features. - comment by
True, it is confusing and by no means definitive what "classic", "vintage" and "boatanchor" means. I chose 1930s - 1970s since that seems to best represent the era of commercial ham gear that most enthusiasts collect and operate. But any of these words, including "boatanchors" have very loose definitions, and can mean any older ham technology. LuckyLouie 23:18, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
To help clarify, I have added this sentence to the Classic Gear section: "Although 1930s through 1970s gear is considered "vintage", collectors may differ on the cutoff dates." LuckyLouie 20:05, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Good points, I've added a link to Signal/One, which at 35 years, should qualify as "vintage" even though it doesn't have quite the vintage look and circuitry as, say, the KWM-2.

Internationalizing the article[edit]

I agree, it reflects a USA-centric view. We need to source and include info of more international activity. LuckyLouie 18:52, 30 December 2006 (UTC)


Where did the term "Glowbugs" come from? I've been fooling with radio for over 50 years, and this is the first time I ever heard it.--W8IMP 02:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It's funny, I didn't hear the term until the mid 1990s. But it is now well known. (Check out By the way, I cleaned up the list of Manufacturers names you added. (If we add every single one in existence it's gonna be kind of hard to read.). The mil surplus and homebrew is mentioned in the next paragraph. Cheers. --- LuckyLouie 03:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, LuckyLouie, for cleaning up my post. I just left the Morse page where I found out somebody deleted ALL of my most recent post there. I can understand that fellow commenting on my post, but deleting something that I sweated over creating? I'm kinda new to Wiki, but I have a lot of trouble understanding who died and left THAT guy God.--W8IMP 07:39, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually I agree with both his and your points. So I tried to help out on the Morse page a bit. It takes a long time to really understand how Wikipedia works. Hang in there. PS: I removed Siltronix from the BA list since it was actually part of Swan Electronics. There are at least 100 manufacturers whose rigs BA enthusiasts are using on the air these days. I tried to include only the most notable in the short list. --- LuckyLouie 08:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, LL, for improving my posts. Yup, you're right about becoming more adept with Wiki. I despair of my many futile attempts to list Siltronix in the same brackets as Swan, until I look back at my posts over the past year. I know a bit about Swan since I have been on the air with my 500C for over 12 years. While we're on the subject about how Wiki works, please enlighten me about how and why someone would delete my entire post, based only upon his opinion as to its merit.--W8IMP 14:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Go here for chatting: --- 18:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

1 handed working[edit]

"keeping one hand in your pocket when working on powered-up gear are essential safety measures."

Is it? Its not very widely practiced today. Use of fully insulated / very long handled tools when working on live equipment pretty much takes care of the problem imho. I think it would be hard to describe this practice as essential today. Tabby 10:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps a bit of explanation is in order. The voltages commonly found in Amateur Radio transmitters using vacuum tubes will cause a current of between 100mA and 200mA to flow through the human body, given typical skin resistance. When electrical currents of that range flow through the human heart, the result is ventricular fibrillation, which will not revert on its own and leads to immediate cardiac arrest and ensuing death (by electrocution).

The objective of "keeping one hand in a pocket" is to prevent the accidental formation of a current path through the victim's chest and heart. Since many of the adjustments which may be made require the transmitter to be energized, and the manipulation of small knobs and screws, the suggestion of "fully insulated and very long handled tools" is completely impractical.

The designers of such equipment recognized the dangers of inadvertent contact with high voltage, and trained service technicians to avoid contact, practice safely discharging non-energized components, and many other techniques. The one-hand-in-pocket technique is a last line effort to prevent electrocution from inadvertent contact. It has saved many lives, mine included.

In my own memorable incident, I was using "well insulated" pliers to remove the plate cap connector from a tube which had unintentionally become energized with 850 volts. The resulting electrocution caused me to momentarily lose consciousness, and to pull a muscle in my leg. When I came to, I was very disappointed to find the "well-insulated" pliers clamped in my clenched hand which took several moments to respond to my attempts to let go of the pliers.

Ever since then, I have used a grounding stick to make sure that circuits are not energized. That practice saved my life when an assistant assured me he had properly shut down an FM broadcast transmitter completely. (He hadn't!) --- Joe Shupienis, W3BC 17:24, 16 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joe Shupienis (talkcontribs)

I once read that Nikola Tesla either used or invented the one-hand-in-the-pocket technique. If anyone knew electricity it was ol' Nikola! I always try to keep one hand away. I do remember trying to get a piece of toast out of a toaster with two metal knives when I was younger (by about 55 years!). It was working out OK until I hit the part that took the bread down and it turned itself on. I still remember feeling the current running across my chest, almost like a wave or a moving sensation. Luckily I was able to pull the knives out, and it obviously wasn't a small enough current to interrupt the heart. Never did tell my mother! "God protects children, idiots, and drunk. I know this to be true, for I have tested all three on more than one occasion."
Another advantage of vacuum tube gear is that it is relatively immune to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). I remember many years ago when someone defected with a Russian MIG people were surprised it had vacuum tubes, and some considered it low tech until others pointed out the effects of EMP on semiconductors. Stargzer (talk) 20:24, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Successful good article nomination[edit]

I am glad to report that this article nomination for good article status has been promoted. This is how the article, as of February 13, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: This article is well written and has little or no punctuation, usage, or mispellings.
2. Factually accurate?: Working in a radio station myself, I have found no inaccuracy's in reading ths article.
3. Broad in coverage?: This article is broad in coverage, and covers all important aspects of the subject.
4. Neutral point of view?: This article passes in this category.
5. Article stability? This article passes in this category.
6. Images?: This article has numerous images to support the subject.

If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it to Good article reassessment. Thank you to all of the editors who worked hard to bring it to this status, and congratulations. Happy Editing, Dustitalk 18:21, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Worldview tag[edit]

Agree. German and Japanese amateurs are active within this hobby. Perhaps someone can undertake to research their journals and translate relevant material for the article. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:18, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

This tag has stood on the article for 3 years. In that time, I've not been able to access any sources from non-English speaking countries regarding this subset of the ham radio hobby, nor has anyone else. However I believe the views of English-speaking countries other than the USA are presently well represented in the article. Thoughts? - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:25, 23 May 2013 (UTC)