Ultimate BA
My Ultimate BA Station

My goal for my personal "ultimate" BA station remains the same. One modest room containing several completely functioning operating positions. Recent purchases have caused me to change my configuration a bit. This latest version is the shack on November 21, 2000. At this point, there is very little I plan to change, although finding a Collins KWS-1 would be nice.

The shack consists of two main positions, individual receivers and transmitters on the left and transceivers on the right. In the middle are antenna tunners and an output monitoring scope as well as a Collins 30S-1 amplifier and hidden out of view, the power supply for the Johnson Viking Invader 2000.

The left hand boatanchor position is operationally divided as follows: Stacked on the far left is a series of general coverage receivers. At the very top is a 1930's National HRO Sr with an original National speaker on top. The HRO is fully functional with all coil sets from 50kc thru 30mc. Below the HRO is a Collins R-391, an 8 channel autotune version of the R-390 military receiver. Below the R-391 is a Hammarlund SP-600-JX6. This receiver is actually designated the R-274B. Finally, below the SP-600 is a TMC CV-591A single sideband adapter. This unit is hooked to the if of either the R-391 or the SP-600 thru a separate switch so I can receive SSB on either receiver. This stack gives me superb frequency accuracy, (the Collins R-391), outstanding frequency agility (the SP-600, a real band cruiser) and fantastic sounding audio (the HRO Sr AM sounds better than either the R-391 or the SP-600).

To the right of each of the general coverage receivers is a receiver/transmitter pair. To the right of the HRO on the top shelf is my WWII military station, a BC-348Q receiver and to the BC-348Q's right is a Collins ART-13 AM/CW transmitter. Actually, this transmitter is the Navy ATC version. Also, purists will note the BC-348Q has some modifications such as the meter. These are not my modifications, I received the radio this way. I would like to eventually locate an unmodified BC-348 to replace it, as the BC-348 and ART-13 were a common pair in service.

On the next shelf down, to the right of the R-391, is a National NC-303 along with a EF Johnson Viking Valiant II. This position is used primarily for AM phone operation. The NC-303 also contains the XCU-303 calibrator unit and I have converters for 50mc, 144mc and 220mc as , with the converters, the NC-303 has calibrated direct frequency readout for all ham bands from 160 meters up to 220mc including the old 11 meter band. The EF Johnson transmitter covers 160 thru 10 meters AM and CW. I have owned this transmitter since it was purchased new 40 years ago. I originally used it with the SX-110 that can be seen on top of the BC-348. I also purchased the SX-110 as a brand new receiver, 41 years ago.

On the next shelf down, to the right of the SP-600, is a Collins 75A-4 ham band receiver. It has filters for CW (500c), SSB (3.1kc) and AM (6.0kc). I use this primarily on SSB and CW along with the transmitter to its right, an EF Johnson Invader 2000. The Invader is capable of operation on SSB (2kw pep), CW (1kw) or AM (800 watts).

Moving on to the right is an area containing a Collins 30S-1 (used with the KWM-2A to the far right) along with two 2kw tuners, two TX2 rotor control heads, one for the VHF antenna stack (yagis for 50mc, 144mc (one is horizontal for weak signal, one is vertical for FM), 220mc and 432mc) and the second for a Force-12 C-4 antenna providing coverage from 40 meters (as a rotatable dipole) and 30 meters thru 10 meters as a directional yagi. Also there is a Kenwood monitor scope whose input/output is switch selectable so I can monitor the output signal of any transmitter in the shack.

Moving on the right bench, at the far left hidden behind the lower tuner is an SP-940 speaker for the Kenwood TS-940, a Heathkit SB-1000 amplifier, also used with the TS-940S, and the TS-940S itself. As I use my tube/BA gear for all ham activity, the TS-940S and attachments are dedicated to MARS and CAP communications. To the right of the TS-940S is a Collins KWM-2A with coverage for all ham bands from 80 thru 10 meters, including WARC, plus coverage for MARS frequencies as well. To the right of the KWM-2A is a Collins 312B-5 remote VFO. To the right of that is my CRT display for the computer terminal for logging and digital modes. I'm running the LOGic 5 version at this time, maintaining separate logs for my own station W2EC, also for my MARS activity, CAP, and, as trustee for our club station WA2TTX (USS Cabot CVL-28 Memorial), I keep the club logs on here as well.

On the middle shelf are a PK-232 used for MARS digital activity, then a Yaesu FT620B for 6 meters and a Kenwood TS-700A for 2 meters. Additionally there is a Heath QF-1 (Q multiplier) used with the KWM-2A, and to the right of that is a MMT-432 transverter and control head for us with the TS-940S.

Finally, on the upper shelf from left to right is a home brew power supply and 2 meter amplifier (4CX250B) used with the TS-700A, a Kenwood TM2550 2 meter FM rig with a VHF wattmeter on top for use with the homebrew amplifier. Next is an Astron 35 amp supply with two mirage RF amps in top of it, one for 6 meters and one for 70cm. Next to that is an Astron 20 amp supply and on top of it is a Kenwood FM rig dedicated to CAP use. Further to the right is the 516F-2 power supply for use with the KWM-2A, then an HP laser printer and finally the computer itself.

Other operational items not shown here are a TS-430S that I keep in a room upstairs along with my main family computer so I can keep in touch on HF when I have work to do. Then there is my mobile installation which features an Icom IC706-MKII with an SGC-230 autotuner and SGC-303 whip and a Kenwood TM-732A for FM. There is also an AT-1 that I bring out for special operating events like the Classic Exchange (CX) or other vintage activities. Finally I have a GRC-109 (R-1004/T-784/Power Supply) for portable and military type events.

That pretty much summarizes the state of the operations here at W2EC as of November, 2000.

Now that my "ulitmate" station has been established, I will be selling much of my collection that no longer has a place as I don't want it collecting dust and sitting unused. I'd rather pass it on to some other BA enthusiasts to use and enjoy. Check my excess radio list for what is currently available.

  • Radios for sale at W2EC

  • Return to the W2EC homepage