Johnston Viking Ranger Amateur Radio Transmitter.|
When I received my ham radio licence in 1959 my dream was to own a Viking Ranger. I had to settle for a Heathkit DX-40 transmitter because of limited dollars available as a youth. In the spring of 2013 a friend asked if I wanted a restoration project. I laughed and said if it is a Viking Ranger. Several weeks later he showed up on my door step with a Viking Ranger that needed a new home..
A closer look at the grim and accumulated dirt of the inside of the Ranger.
The front panel after removal. It was coated with many years of collected grim.
A thorough scrubbing, cleaning and replacement of all the old paper and electrolytic capacitors and removal of parts that were not original followed. Then the cabinet was repainted followed by front panel cleaning and waxing.
After replacing a few dud tubes I fired it up and was pleased to have RF output on all bands. A check with my scope indicated that the AM position was working too. Here is what it looks like now after many hours of labour.
It is now in use along with my Collins 51j-4 receiver. I built a relay operated TR Switch in a separate box. I found a old Vibroplex bug which I have had to relearn how to use after over 40 years of using an electronic keyer and padlle. Over the last several months I have worked many DX stations on CW. This Ranger was the first version sold by Johnson and it does not have timed sequence keying of the VFO and Buffer circuit so keying is a little hard. Also it has a little chirp which attractes many old timers when calling CQ who wonder what I am using for my transmitter. Very interesting conversations have followed. Amazing how many old timers had a Ranger as their first transmitter.
I have found 15 meters (21.400 to 21.440 KHz) to have the most activity on AM. With only 30 Watts output power and using a D104 microphone that my friend gave me, I have worked many east Coast stations on AM.
A Happy VE7CA