The basement clean-out continues, and today I bid farewell to a Viking Valiant, a 160M – 10M AM transmitter good for 200ish Watts. It’s big, heavy, and full of tubes. I picked it up at a ham-fest over 20 years ago. It was a fixer-upper then, and nothing has changed. The face-panels is a little rough around the edges, but the logo, meter, knobs, and most of the markings are intact. The coils, tubes, and variable-capacitors are in good shape, and there aren’t any signs of oozing goo from any of the transformers. This baby is ripe for a restoration, and it’s about to get it’s chance.
These were available from the mid 50’s through the early 60’s and could be purchased as a kit, or fully assembled. A very nice gentleman in Texas won this auction, and I do hope he posts some pics & notes of his restoration process. I can say in my limited dealings with people on eBay that folks who are technically knowledgeable and really understand what they’re buying are generally a joy to deal with. I stipulated that anyone contact me before bidding so we could discuss the shipping logistics, which I think helps ensure a smoother sale for items like this. Someone contacted me and asked if the transmitter supported SSB; I’m glad he didn’t bid.
What follows are the pics I took for the eBay sale, as well as pics I took while packing, to give an idea of what’s involved in packing an 80 pound transmitter full of rare vacuum tubes.
High power RF is a beautiful, black art to me.
This mechanism is kind of cool: at certain points in the front panel knob’s rotation, the pins in attached plate mate with an angled groove in the block attached to perpendicularly mounted rotary switch.
First, take out all the tubes and individually wrap each one in bubble-wrap. I didn’t mark the location of individual tubes – he’s doing a full restoration, he can figure it out. I did however make sure to group the 6146 tubes as they were installed, just in case they were matched somehow.
The tubes get packed in a separate box, lined with bubble-wrap:
layers of bubble-wrap between each layer of tubes, keeping the tubes away from the edges of the box.
Then the transmitter gets wrapped:
I slipped another box over this (not shown). In the background:
– Tek Plugins, 1A1 & 1A4
– A Hickok rip-off of a Tek plug-in (subject of a future post) sitting on top of a…
– Supreme model 589 tube tester (my first tube tester)
– HP 606A .5 – 30MHz oscillator (Free to a good home)
– Eico tube-tester, hitting eBay tomorrow (my… 3rd tube tester?)
– HP Counter, which I’m totally keeping
– My very first ‘scope, the venerable Tektronix 545A
Then brought to the packing store where they put it in another box, with a rigid foam base, and surrounded by peanuts. The resulting box is gigantic, heavy, and unwieldily…but safe. There’s at least 2 layers of cardboard and 6″ of packing between the transmitter and the outside world.
I used about 200 feet in bubble-wrap when all was said and done, plus god knows how many gallons of peanuts in the double-boxing. It cost $190 to get both boxes from NY to TX, including the $25 he charged me for the double-box. This is a close approximation of what you may go through to ship an old Tek 500 series scope, although I don’t know if I’d feel the need to pull the tubes.. maybe just the bigger ones. In retrospect, I probably could have just left the 7 pin & 9-pin miniature tubes in place.
Fingers crossed for a safe voyage!