Antenna and filter books

Two new additions to the library arrived in the mail this week thanks to the 2018 ARRL auction.

In this year’s auction, I managed to score a copy of Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design 2nd ed by Constantine Balanis, and Rapid Practical Designs of Active Filters by DE Johnson and JL Hilburn.

Both books are in pretty good condition, especially the Filter book considering that it was published in 1975.  The Antenna Theory textbook still has the 3.5″ disk in the back unopened.

I was hoping to get at least one of the Vibroplex bugs that were also in the auction, but a flurry of last minute bidding drove the price higher than I wanted to pay for them.  Oh well.

Happy with the books I managed to get though.  They’ll be good additions to the library.

Heathkit IG-102 capacitor replacement

Replacing the DC blocking disc capacitor (C20, 0.01 μF)  just before the Fine Atten pot helped clean up the output signal quite a bit.  I didn’t get a picture of the wave form before, but it was pretty ugly looking and not very stable.

IG-102 wave form, about 500 kHz
IG-102 wave form, about 500 kHz

Much better looking now, and much more stable.

Heathkit IG-102 schematic from
Heathkit IG-102 schematic from

Heathkit IG-102 diagnostic

Fortunately, my IG-102 came with the assembly manual.   The IG-102 is roomy enough inside that it’s pretty easy to get in and probe around checking things.

Things I’ve found so far:

  • Audio frequency (AF) output, which the manual says should be 400 Hz, is around 260 Hz.  With the AF dial turned all the way up, the AF waveform measures about 20Vpp.
  • I can reliably get RF output when the Coarse Atten switch is at the Hi position and the Fine Atten dial is all the way clockwise.
  • Setting the Coarse Atten switch from Hi to the middle position drops the frequency by about a factor of 10 (according to my M3 frequency counter).
  • Setting the Coarse Atten switch to the Lo position makes the RF output drop out.
  • Turning the Fine Atten dial counter-clockwise ends up changing the frequency (unexpected) instead of changing the signal level.
  • The band select dial is kind of fiddly.  Sometimes when I switch to a different band, RF output drops out.  Switching back and forth will usually bring the RF output back.
  • Band A (100 – 300 kHz) is the most accurate.
  • Bands B (310 – 1100 kHz) and C (1 MHz – 3.2 MHz) are about 50 kHz low.
  • Band D (3.1 – 11 MHz) is low by 0.5 – 0.7 MHz.
  • Band E doesn’t work.
  • Band F (32 – 110 MHz) is reasonably accurate up to 50 MHz, but maxes out around 75 MHz.

V1 12AT7 pin voltages

46.3 VAC7 VAC
56.3 VAC7VAC

V2 6AN8 pin voltages

46.3 VAC7 VAC

IG-102 AF signal
IG-102 AF signal around 260 Hz

The RF signal sampled at pin 2 of the 12AT7 tube looks decent enough.

IG-102 RF signal
IG-102 RF signal around 370-ish kHz

Need to do some more poking around with the oscilloscope to check the RF waveform at other places along the output path to see what’s happening before I try to figure out what bits I might need to replace.

Back on the bench: Heathkit IG-102

Back on the workbench is the Heathkit IG-102 signal generator I acquired a few years ago.

Heathkit IG-102 signal generator
Heathkit IG-102 signal generator

The last time the signal generator was on the bench was to have a new power cord and BNC connectors installed.

This time, I’ll replace that big orange capacitor with something newer (along with any other components that look like they need replacing).  The signal generator doesn’t seem to be putting anything out at the BNC connectors anymore, so that will be another thing I’ll check.

Heathkit IG-102 20 uF capacitor
Heathkit IG-102 20 uF capacitor

So much for the oscilloscope

My dead oscilloscope is still dead.  After spending some time poking around the innards, I’m starting to think the issue is on the high voltage side that provides power to the CRT.  I’ve checked the voltages at connectors where the PCB is labeled with voltages, and those match up.  It seems like the rest of the scope is probably working except for the CRT side of things.

I think at the moment, the scope is beyond my ability to fix.  Guess I’ll shelve it for now and maybe go back to it when I’ve gained a few more skill levels and higher level items.

Off to the next project!