scored a swan fm-1210-a 2m tranciever for free, got a few Qs

ynnedibanez

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Dec 7, 2009
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hey everybody, I'm still really new to this, so I may be wrong, but it seems like this radio won't do ctcss?
I have to plug crystals to change frequency on receive and transmit. it has a dial with positions for 12 frequencies on receive and 12 frequencies on transmit.
I also have a wouxon kg-uv3d handheld, so I tested the swan with simplex and it works, but if it doesn't do ctcss, then simplex is all its good for isn't it?
so in that case, it would basically just be parts, or an antenna tester, or can it be modded to do anything really neat?

thanks for any help for a new ham :)
 

jayn_j

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Look at this post. http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/radios-galore.437810/
It looks like the unit has separate xmit and recv xtals. That means you can get xtals for repeater offset.
Manual available to purchase: http://www.vintagemanuals.com/manual/Swan/FM-1210-A
You can add ctss easily enough, but why?

IMO though, new 2M radios are so inexpensive that you would exceed the price of a new one just in crystals. And have a better unit with more power to boot.
This unit is only interesting from a historical standpoint.
 

ynnedibanez

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Dec 7, 2009
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thanks for the info!
it already has a ton of crystals in it.
there’s also some components that are not hooked to anything mounted to the back of the door for the cavity that the crystals are in.
any idea what is going on there?
 

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jayn_j

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definitely home-brew add on. I see large capacitors, some resistors, one transistor and what looks like a power diode. My guess without trying to fake a schematic is this was a power input noise filter.

Anybody else want to take a guess?
 

KE4EST

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I'd like to see a closer up photo of that back plate.
 

KE4EST

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IMO though, new 2M radios are so inexpensive that you would exceed the price of a new one just in crystals. And have a better unit with more power to boot.
This unit is only interesting from a historical standpoint.
Agree but...If you like vintage gear and enjoy restoring it, it is worth it. :)
 
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KE4EST

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Oh yes sir. :) I would just make that a show piece on the shelf in the shack.
 

ynnedibanez

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more pix of the back plate.
the 2 big things are not capacitors, they are some kind of socket that looks like they are for light bulbs.
the sockets look like they were factory installed. they are spot welded in place.
3 resistors, 2 transistors, and what looks like a plate capacitor, but maybe some kind of a thermistor?
a circuit for warming crystals maybe?
 

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ynnedibanez

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anyway, like you guys said, the radio isn't worth pouring too much effort into, unless its for some kind of experiment or serious mod.
it may just end up being a test radio for antennas and working on amplifiers for 2m so I don't toast a better radio while experimenting.
and its parts if I ever need them, I guess.
 

Radioguy41

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IMO though, new 2M radios are so inexpensive that you would exceed the price of a new one just in crystals. And have a better unit with more power to boot.
Agree. Right now HRO is selling Kenwood TM-281A mobile units for $139. I have one and it's just about bullet proof plus it can scan a group of frequencies that you define. There are two TX settings, 25W and 65W, That Swan is limited to 10W and 12 channels while the TM-281A can tune every 2M frequency and handles repeater offsets perfectly. I have one operating as a base on my desktop powered off a Jetstream JTPS28M power supply. Works flawlessly. Except for a couple of boat anchors sitting on the shelf I've sold off all the vintage stuff. They're too limited in capability and often just too heavy to put up with. I had a really nice Kenwood TS-700A which is very similar to the Swan except it's a bit larger. It too had crystals but it also had full functioning VFO. After playing with it a few weeks I sold it. I monitor 3 repeaters and having to switch back and forth all the time wore thin very quickly. Now my 281A scans them and I don't miss a call. Just sayin. ;)
 

mikelib

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I attend Dayton Ham-fest and the one in Orlando Florida and see all of the old vintage stuff in the flea markets. I have never been tempted to buy any of the equipment for nostalgic reasons as I know it will only accumulate dust in my house. The old stuff is nice to reminisce about but not for purchase by me.

I am now in to SDR transceivers and have a hard time going back to a knob radio, I am using a Flex 3000 into a G5RV inverted v and that set up is great for a casual ham operator like. Do a lot of PSK-31 when the mood strikes and SSB and occasional CW.

I do love ham radio and all things connected to radio and FTA.
 
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spongella

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Being that the radio is crystal controlled, it was probably made back in the day when there were not so many repeaters, and CTCSS codes were not that necessary. If you were on 2m in the 70's not many repeaters (at least in my area) had tones.

There used to be a company that sold outboard tone generators can't remember if they are still around.

You could use the radio for simplex channels like 146.52, .58, etc as tones are not used on those. There are some repeaters that still use no tones, but they are few and far between. Check radioreference.com and check your area.

Older radios still have an appeal to them. Sometimes you spend more money than you planned but if in the end you are happy, hey, more power to you. Buying from the heart and not the head has its advantages.

Here's one for the techies out there: what if you set an audio generator for a CTCSS tone and fed a low level of that into the microphone, would you be able to access a tone access repeater? I'd say yes in theory. You'd have to set the level just right though.
 
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