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TheGimp 3rd September 2010 02:48 AM

Shelby NC Ham Fest
This weekend!

1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas, NC 28034

Anyone Going?

I'm hoping to go Saturday to try to sell some HF gear (Kenwood TS-430S, PS430, Heathkit SB220).

If I sell it, I'll be looking for tubes and such.

winslow 3rd September 2010 04:38 AM

<- lives in Shelby.

Wonder why it isn't at the Fairgrounds?

TheGimp 3rd September 2010 01:01 PM

I don't know. It use to be there (many) years ago, but got moved for some reason. It's been 15-20 years since I went so I'm looking forward to it.

Our local Hamfest is prety small compared to the Shelby Hamfest.

Westley 3rd September 2010 03:18 PM

It was moved to Dallas a couple of years ago. Better access from I-85 probably.

TheGimp 5th September 2010 05:37 AM

Smaller than I remember.

I got a few sockets, and picked up a Monarch STA-400x for $40 which I couldn't pass by.

Fair condition. Broken tuning string, all tubes look good as in have good getter flash, except it is missing the 5AR4.

As it uses a rather rare output tube, the 6GW8/ECL86 (pentode/Triode combination) which may be why I got it so cheap.

I need to get a paper tube manual and take it with me. RC-30?

Mr_Zenith 7th September 2010 02:29 AM


Wonder why it isn't at the Fairgrounds?
It was moved 2 or 3 years ago because there was a conflict with some of the officials in Cleveland County, where Shelby is actually located. Seems the county didn't want to deal with the hassle of providing all of the services necessary for such an event (i.e. law enforcement, traffic control, EMS, etc.) so the organizers moved it to the Gaston County fairgrounds to keep it going. Frankly, I think it's a nicer venue even if there's less indoor space.

It did seem smaller to me this year than in years past, but I was able to pick up a few things like ceramic sockets, grid caps and a bunch of 807's for cheap. The BIG find was a couple of JAN 2A3's for $3 each. They tested good; strong emission, non-microphonic, not gassy - Woo Hoo!!! :D

Gimp: good luck on the Monarch. The 6GW8 is a weird little tube that also finds use as the audio driver/output section in the Heathkit SB-series and the HW-101. I finally sold an SB-101 parts chassis after several folks complained about the lack of tubes. Most didn't care if the finals were present, they were looking for the 6GW8 and the 6HS6's!

TheGimp 7th September 2010 02:37 PM

Good snag on the 2A3s. I saw a lot of tubes that I was not familiar with and realized a paper tube manual would be nice to have with me.

One possibility would be to rewire the output sockets for 6BM8 in place of the 6GW8 since they are still available. Slightly less power out, lower transconductance so gain will be less, but the voltages look compatible, load impedance looks compatible and biasing is close.

Mr_Zenith 7th September 2010 03:45 PM

The 2A3's were definitely a good find. I've been wanting to build a small SE amp with those tubes for years, but that may be put on hold for a while longer as I'm having too much fun with the RH84 I just built. That's a nice little amp!

The thing I always forget to take to these swap meets is a small voltmeter. There's lots of transformers and chokes that I've left behind because I simply had no means of checking continuity.

After looking at the specs for the 6GW8, I'd say you're definitely on the right track with the 'BM8's - if you just want to do a restoration. Depending on the shape it was in, I myself would be tempted to part it out and build something else from the carcass! :D

TheGimp 7th September 2010 04:58 PM

I'm sure the transformers would work for an EL84 amp, but I'd like to try getting it back up an running. I'm hoping the FM section is still good, but need to get some nylon string to restring it. The 5AR4 is no problem as they are still made and go for $11-15 new. I'm surprised I don't have one in my rectifier box. I must have 30 tube rectifiers.

I have a few 6BM8s so I may try a switch once I re-cap it and see if it will play. No physical evidence of leaky (pio) caps but I understand from other threads that these old Japanese units are noted for cap failures. So, I may have my hands full with more than I barganed for.

By the way, If you saw an old guy at the hamfest with a gray ponytail, cane, and hat with sale lists on it, it was me.

Mr_Zenith 8th September 2010 12:08 AM

I recall seeing that hat quite a few times; the list made it look kinda like an "Uncle Sam" hat. It was actually a pretty cool idea. I'd have come over and said hey If I'd known you were a fellow forum member.

I was the guy in the orange DOT cap walking 'round with a good-looking brunette. :)

It's probably not going to be too hard to swap out the coupling and bypass caps in that old Monarch. I am interested in finding out how much you'll have to change the cathode resistors to get the best bias in those 6BM8's...

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