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The first SSB TXC


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  • Administrator

🥸According to Wikipedia:


Herbert G. Johnson, W6QKI, founded Swan Engineering. Johnson built the first ten largely vacuum tube type design single sideband (SSB) transceivers in a garage in Benson, Arizona, in 1960-1961. The more expensive Collins KWM-2 was the only other competing transceiver at the time. The operation moved to Oceanside, California, where, at one point, more than 400 radios per month were being manufactured, and some estimates say that more than 80,000 transceivers were sold during the company's lifetime.[1][2]

Swan merged with Cubic Corporation in 1967, and Johnson managed Swan as its subsidiary until 1973. Johnson founded Atlas Radio in 1974. Atlas produced smaller solid state radios for mobile communications from vehicles of all types.

Does anyone remember Swan Engineering? For years I had one of their promotional brochures. I had found it in my dad’s stuff after he passed. Like an IDIOT, I threw it away when we downsized; that’s one item I wish I would have kept.

Even more amazing would be if someone on Ham Community had actually seen one of those very early SSB transceivers. Incredibly, you can find one like the one in this photo for a couple of hundred dollars 🥸 Wow.


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  • Elmer

I recognize the Swan SW-240. It was a nice rig. The later, Swan 500 was a very popular transceiver. It's little brother, the 350 was also good. I think they had a 6 meter transceiver, but I don't remember the model.

Swan Late Series 500CX Transceiver with Late Series 117XC Power Supply  in Excellent Cosmetic & Working Condition
Photo from Nationwide Radio web site.

Edited by WA3LTJ
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  • Administrator

1 hour ago, WA3LTJ said:

One other thought. Swan sold the special planetary dial drive, a 6:1 reduction drive that mounted on the tuning capacitor shaft. I used these to improve my Heathkit HW-100 transceiver.


What a weird deja vu... I remember those from my dad's spare parts box. Come to think of it, I may still have it somewhere...

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