ARNSW’s Last Trash and Treasure for 2014

Carmen VK2CAR chatting with the boys in the back room where the best of the goodies are on display.

Sunday, 30th November was a busy day at the ARNSW premises in Dural, New South Wales, when they were besieged by hordes of Amateur Radio Operators looking for bargains and hard-to-find spare parts.

Carmen VK2CAR (in the photo) was interested in a longwire ATU which was going for $20, then she changed her mind so I grabbed it instead. I really didn’t need it, but at just $20 is was, and is, a bargain. It was interesting to take apart as well, because there is a no capacitor inside the box. Just what looks like a rheostat. The ATU is on the extreme left of the middle shelf in the photo. And there is another ATU second from the left on the top shelf.

Both of these tuners come from old Australian-made “Land Mobile”HF radios, such as the obsolete transceivers once used to contact the Flying Doctor outposts. Years ago they were the only way to call for help if your vehicle broke down in the middle of the Australian bush or desert somewhere “Outback” and hundreds of miles from the nearest town. Even today, cellphones don’t work out there. Why pay $200 or even more for a fancy automatic antenna tuner if you really don’t need it? These units work fine with a lngth of wire thrown over a tree or rock, with a counterpoise at the other end.

There were several HF all-band radio transceivers on sale, including two FT-957 radios (one D model and the other an original) and various VHF/UHF transceivers as well, both mobile and hand-held models.

Some of the Hams fought to get hold of hard-to-get parts such as old roller inductors and old high-voltage tuning capacitors, good for home brewing antenna tuners.

There were pre-loved HF, VHF and UHF aluminium antennas from mobile whips to yagi beams, AC power supplies of all kinds and old non-Ham items such as an old VHF Marine Band transceiver off someone’s pleasure boat. A few old morse keys and other bits of old military radios were in evidence as well. There was even an ex British Army signalling lamp from at least as far back as WW2, possibly even from WW1.

Radio hams look for bargains
ARNSW’s back room full of pre-loved goodies