Wards Airline GEN-1451A
This $30 late-1970 device became the FM-DXing machine for me until it was
supplanted by the SX-62 in late 1973. The whip antenna and at times about
30' of indoor random wire clipped to it were all that were ever used.
There was a similar-sized stereo-multiplex adaptor that could be plugged
into it, but that was never gotten.
I have a PhotoFact schematic for this unit, but I'm not going to try to
reproduce it here and may settle for just a block diagram of the stages
with the transistor types indicated.
The tuning knob was replaced with a slightly larger diameter one to give
better ergonomics. The dial (88-108 c. 3" worth) was a "challenge" to
determine what frequency you were tuned to - hence the added callibration
marks (done with liquid paper). The sensitivity of the unit was good as I
was able to log several meteor scatter idents with it, along with 600-mile
tropo. The selectivity was also fairly good as Es loggings were made on
channels adjacent to locals. However, like most inexpensive solid-state
sets it could be ravaged by intermod from local overload - something that
became very apparent when I moved QTHs in Jun 1972 and got closer to the
downtown local 100-kw items.
Soon after that an Allied 426 Stereo tuner was tried - and found inferior
in several ways - notably the overcoupled i.f. stages tended to produce
the "double-hump" tuning maxima that had been noted on the Stewart-Warner.
The long-term solution (1973-1979) was with the SX-62 (and ICM bipolar
preamps with tuneable LC circuits ahead of them to minimize overload).
As a sidenote, this unit also did well with the then-few 162.55-MHz NOAA
weather stations that were starting up (it would be in the late 70s
before we had a local as priority was for the coastal areas due to the
Page Created: Jun 16, 2011