Sputnik St. Joe's High School
Radio Club

Member News, Memories, and More
This version is "sequential" in order of Class Year.

For an indexed version, go to Members Directory page, select a name, and click on "more info" where available.

(Click here if you would rather go back to the Main Page of SJHRC.ORG.)


Norm Beeman


St Joe's Class of 1956

Norm Beeman was originally licensed W8UYM, and still has those call letters.  He currently lives in Twinsburg, OH

--From the Roster Information Form he sent 2007 July 29:

Tell us what you most remember about your experiences with the SJHRC:

"Because of the SJHRC, having all that electrical knowledge got me my first and only job at GE Lighting.  The guys in the class I was in were good friends, and I still hear from a few of them.  –Stuff like that stays with you forever."

Fill us in on your life since the SJHRC days:

--Married, 9 Children
--Capital University, B.A. in Sociology
--Retired 2002 after 45 years, GE Lighting, Fleet Manager.
--Retired after 22 years, Lieutenant, Maple Heights Police Dept.
--Notary Public, State of OH, Active
--Upgraded to General Class License 2005
--Presently on hold with Homeland Security for airport position, security agent.
--Hold an active Real Estate License with Century 21 Paramount Realty.



Darrell Bregar


St Joe's Class of 1956

As a member of the Radio Club, Darrell Bregar was originally licensed W8WIA, but is no longer licensed.  He currently lives in Conneaut, OH

Darrel had brought his friend George Koepplinger (Euclid H.S. 1953) who is not a ham, to the reunions in 2007 and 2008. George used to fly an open-cockpit biplane in the late '40's with his buddies.  Mike Stimac remembered George and Darrell.  (George is the son of "Koepplinger's Bakery") that was still on Dille Road in the 1950s.

It turns out that back in 1957, it was George who helped Mike Stimac to learn to fly, --fostering the beginning of the SJH Flying Program!  Darrell would go back down to SJ and to Lost Nation Airport with George and Mike because he also wanted to learn to fly.

Earlier at St Joe's he had belonged to the Model Airplane Club and remembered winning an event that got him a trophy presented by famed test pilot Chuck Yeager, who also took him aside and gave him some words of encouragement.

Darrell and George were delighted to be able to see Mike again and recall those good old times!

Darrell's older brother David is a retired airline pilot.







William J. Anzick

St Joe's Class of 1957


E-mails, between Bob Leskovec and Bill Anzick . . .

From Anzick 2007 Jul 25:


I just got your letter today about the Radio Club and plans for a reunion.  What is really interesting is that I also realized that it was the 50th year since Sputnik and I was involved in the recording project and was interested in getting copies of old archive news reports, so I wrote to the librarian listed for the Cleveland Plain Dealer to see how to get at the archives, since their web site had no access.  However, I got no response.  Now I get your letter!

Briefly, I no longer have a license or call sign (W8SUI) for the same reason W8KTZ was lost.  During college and graduate school I lost track of when to renew and lost both my amateur license, and also my First Class Radiotelephone certificate.

I will have to go up into the attic to see what other memorabilia I may have.  I was into photography back then and will have to look through my negatives to see what I have.  I just recently found all the pictures I took of Ohio State's Van De Graaff accelerator lab's conversion from a home brew 2MV accelerator to a commercial 5MV (?) accelerator.  I got my MS in nuclear physics from OSU.

I have attached a copy of an article from the General Electric News about the SJ radio club which you might find interesting.

From Leskovec 2007 Jul 25:

It's so good to hear from you!  The Sept 29th, 2007 re-union idea is to celebrate our 50 years of tracking Sputnik back on October 4th, 1957, and to get some coverage on the local media, --mostly to try and find more people in the old SJHRC, so we should be better able to get our act together for a bigger re-union in 2008.  Your old buddy Van Blargan is working with us and we are trying to find (William) Tom Hipp.

I can't recall particulars, but I remember I somehow found you once before years ago, and talked with you. I think your were working for IBM.

If you recall, I got the pieces of your 80m vertical tower that fell, and later made a 40m vertical in Willowick.  My first job while still at SJ with the Commercial Radiotelephone License was working at Lost Nation airport, and some years later, I sold the tower to my boss there, Ed Vilagi W8BBA.


From Anzick 2007 Jul 26:

I found a box of old photos and clippings in the attic this morning and wanted to pass along ones I think you might be interested in.  One is another GE newspaper with reference to Sputnik, and the other is a newspaper clipping about trip to Buffalo.  The ones I have attached are the low resolution version so they will not take so long to send.

There are two photos of an NMR detector which I built.  When I was a senior at JCU, everyone was taking comprehensive exams rather then doing any theses, but I had a professor who had plans for an NMR detector which he wanted built.  Seems he had assigned it to others in previous years, but they could not get it to work.  Since I was in Ham Radio, he gave me the chance.  It took me a while to find a transistor that would work at a high enough frequency, but I finally got it to work.

From Leskovec 2007 Jul 27:

Who was doing NMR at JCU before I got there?  As a senior, I built a 1,000-volt microsecond pulser to key WWII radio transmitters we used for ultrasonics work.  It was the beginning of a system I finished building over the next two years, measuring the "Ultrasonic Attenuation of Molten Sulphur" from 30-430 MHz for my MS in Physics there.

That looks like Van Blargan pointing the metal shears at someone in the basement "lab" pictures!


From Anzick 2007 Jul 27:

Yes, I also recognized Van Blargan in the picture.  For some reason, he is the only one I can distinctly remember from back then.

You know, I cannot even remember who at JCU I did my thesis for.  I have a copy of it and there is no faculty name on it.  The title is "A Transistorized Detector for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance".
The object was to build a small two-transistor detector which would detect proton resonance in water. In those days, transistors were only in discrete packages and highly unreliable.  The circuit diagram I was given did not function at all and I had to not only change the transistors, but also the circuitry, but eventually got an absorption signal of well over 100 millivolts.  I don't remember why the professor wanted it, but it sure beat taking comprehensive exams!







Bill Anzick at W8KTZ in 1953 Then-freshman Bill Anzick sits at the
1953 W8KTZ station.


Anzick's Bedroom Ham Station Bill soon had a license and a home station
stuffed into his bedroom that
would make any mom proud, Hi, Hi!


Anzick playing records Bill looks like he's playing LP records in the gym.

Anzick working in lab Bill works on a project in the SJ Radio Lab


(After Bill's first Aluminum tower went down he got a steel one.) "I had a 70-foot tower in back of my house next to the garage.  On top of the tower was a 10 meter, 3-element array on top of a 20 meter array. At the very top was a 10 meter vertical whip to work mobiles.   Since I had (built) a kilowatt transmitter, I was using the the thick coax and could not afford 3 or 4 runs of cable, so I placed a coax switch on the tower and a single run of coax back to the house.   I used servo motors at the two ends to operate the switch."



Looking up at the antenna stack
"Here's a picture looking up at the antennas."



View looking down at ground
Here's a photo looking down.
You can see Bill's foot at left!


Anzick's QSLs with NMR detector head (center) he built as part of JCU Thesis
In the center is the NMR head Anzick built
as part of his JCU Master's thesis in Physics.



Anzick's NMR unit on top of some of his ham gear.
There's the NMR unit on top.
"This is part of my final ham rig that I built in my basement. The unit on the right is part of my antenna switch"


"The next box was a home-brew transmitter preamp which fed my push-pull kilowatt amp (813s). You can just barely see my NC303 receiver on the lower shelf.  Unseen in the corner of the room was my kilowatt power supply (2300V @ 500mA with 866 mercury-vapor rectifier) and my 500W audio amplifier which modulated the RF.  The amp had plug-in coils for band changing and a variable capacitor with over 1/4" spacing.  It was quite a light show when the load was not right and then an arc would develop across the capacitor!  I went through a lot of fuses and eventually used fuses with replaceable links.  You will notice that I have a lot of aluminum boxes for my equipment.   --It helped to have a pop who was a sheet metal worker at GE!  He could punch out and form anything."



Bill reports that the three "basement" photos below are really part of getting ready for ham radio field day at someone's house, and he was the one taking the pictures.   "I do remember we used my '49 Ford to transport the batteries."   (Those were the "Edison Cells" that were borrowed from the shack at the SJHRC).   "I do remember I had a horsehair mat in the trunk of my car.  On the way back, at least one of the batteries tipped over and some of the solution spilled out and literally dissolved a part of the mat!"   That's John Van Blargan with the light wavy hair. (For field day, you get more points if you run off batteries.  It looks like the batteries are running a large dynamotor to get the high voltage to run the radios.--K8DTS)



VanBlargan helps prep for Field Day in someone's basement


John Van Blargan and the tin snips

The Edison cells borrowed for Field Day.
Clearly, no wiring code violations here!



Dayton Ham Convention
Note the "Welcome Hams" in Morse Code.
Help identify these guys so we can post the names!
Compare this to the trip picture below.


A wider view of Anzick's QSL collection
A wider view of Anzick's beginning QSL collection



One of the two cars set up with Ham radio
One of the two cars set up with Ham radio
for the trip to the Dayton Hamvention.


trip group
Now that we finally posted this picture, help fill in the names of the guys!
We think this picture was a long weekend trip that included the Dayton Hamvention and a trip to a
Trappist Monastery in Kentucky.  In all three pictures, the guys are wearing the same coats.



buffalo trip

GE News Friday June 8, 1956

GE News Friday Oct 18, 1957
Bill was actually St Joe's Class of '57, so he had graduated in May;
but when Sputnik went up that October 4th he made time in his schedule
at John Carroll University to come back and help the gang with the tracking!





Dave Mazi

St Joe's Class of 1960


We are sad to report that Dave Mazi passed away on January 21, 2009, after a courageous fight with cancer.  We had barely begun to get caught up about the last 50 years.

In August of 2007, we also heard from Dave Mazi Jr (MAJ, Armor CDR, TF-San Diego, Operation Jump Start) who was working on his own little "secret project" regarding a surprise for his dad, and wrote the following:


My father, Dave Mazi, Sr., showed me your website just this past week.  The Sputnik story was one I was not aware of until a family reunion 4 years ago when my uncle Frank (whom I hadn't seen in 35 years) mentioned it which led to a discussion of what my dad did in High School and the historical significance of the entire radio club.

I understand my father sent you . . . a short biography of what he has been up to for the past 50 years.  I would love to get a copy of it. My father's computer took a dump and it is not currently available or my mother would forward it to me.  I would ask him directly to recreate it but I don't want him knowing I was asking.

He spent fifty years working in the defense industry on a variety of projects to include guidance systems of the Mark 48 torpedo, Stinger Air Defense System, Phalanx ship defense system, and MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, the army's laser tag).  I am currently researching several military branch / department of defense service awards which he may be eligible for based upon his years of work.

My father has never been one for awards or recognition for what he has taken part in or accomplished . . . I would appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide.


So here is what I was able to send to Dave-Jr., --some of Dave's remembrances about the SJHRC and the many interesting adventures that followed.  Dave clearly had a pivotal role in developing key systems for the security of the free world!:

1956-57: I [passed the 5 word per minute code test and] got my Novice license KN8DUD.  About all I really remember is the tape and ink code machine that sent code to practice on, - and then trying to get to 13 wpm for the general test!

1957-58: I got my General Classe license sometime during that school year and became K8DUD, but I don't really remember when.

The launching of the first Sputnik was the big excitement - enough for a lifetime, I guess.  I think it's what really got me hooked into the electronics.

It was sometime that year Dennis "Mike" Cegelski and I, --and I think also Joe Marsey, got the idea to try to read brain waves from a rabbit.  We named her Eloise.

We had to get the head bare of any hair so we could attach the electrodes.  The first time, we talked a barber into shaving her head!  Later, Cegelski bought "Nair" at the drug store to get the hair off the rabbit!  (I recall later, the hair then grew back with a vengeance -- and there was an extra long "tuft" right between the ears! --K8DTS.)

We really didn't understand much about those Very Low Frequency amplifiers, or a how to make a good ground system for that matter - but I did have interesting times at the Cleveland Clinic getting info and some schematics of their system.  It could have worked!

1958-59: Early in the school year I got the First Class Radiotelephone commercial license, and did some more work with Eloise I think.  I do remember snaking wires through the internal tunnels under the school, learning how to arc-weld, doing a valve job on my father's car, and working on fixing the Link Trainer.

1959: I did a summer internship at Cleveland Police Dept (KQA550 endorsement).  I remember flying with Bro. Mike more than once -- what a thrill -- I really wanted to get a license -- but it was just not do-able at the time.

1959-60: I remember we started doing things with the Teletype machines and planning Moonbounce, but soon it was May.  I was 1-A in the draft, not enough money for college, and no good job prospects, - therefore, upon graduation. . .

1960: I enlisted in the Navy.

1961: I spent some time at the NSA, then got attached to the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.

1961-1964: --Assignments in the Middle East.  Due to extensive time overseas, I never did renew either the General Class ham license or the First Phone Commercial license.

1965: --Returned to Cleveland, and attended night school at Fenn College (which changed to Cleveland State), while working as Jr. Engineer for Clevite Ordnance.

I worked on several torpedo programs: 21B12 submarine simulator, MK 46 torpedo, EX10 / MK 48 torpedo and an explosive mine program or two.  I got a little wet more than once working at the at the Keyport, Washington test range! Lots of good stories,  I left after Clevite Ordnance was bought out by Gould Ocean Systems, and by . . .

1973: I had gotten my BSEE degree.  I moved to King Electronics as chief engineer, where I designed and built automotive test equipment, engine analyzers, absorption spectrometers, etc.  The most successful project was an automotive scope that I designed and built for Snap-On Tools, marketed under their name.  A few thousand were sold, which was a big deal at the time.  But it was not a good place for me to work.

1976: --Moved to California, got a job with General Dynamics as Sr. Engineer, working several different missile programs - Standard Arm, Standard Arm D2, Sparrow, Standard Missile, Red Eye (very early Stinger), etc. --Worked on the Navajo reservation facility, as well as Camden, Arkansas facility. --Lots more good stories. --Fun at White Sands.

1979: --Moved to Xerox as Chief engineer and head of manufacturing for the MILES laser engagement system. Very interesting stuff. Ask about Sandia Corp. and Fort Irwin!

1982: --Moved to Aerojet General Ordnance Division as chief engineer and head of manufacturing for the FASCAM program (anti tank and anti personnel mines) primarily improving the flux gate magnetometers, and how they're tested.  Not a good job.  But interesting. --Strange company more ways than 1!

1982: --Worked on a Masters degree in Systems Engineering.

1984-1987: --Returned to General Dynamics to help complete development of the Stinger hybrid guidance system, Chief engineer for development of the NATO Stinger Hybrid facility (Guidance) in Ankara, Turkey.  Developed all training programs for foreign nationals, all required disciplines, and trained over 150 engineers in the U.S. over an 18 mo. period while the factory was being built.  The factory was completed on schedule, and the Stinger guidance systems were built under budget and ahead of schedule.  This was the first successful International program under NATO auspices.

1987-1989: --Worked as Scientist/Engineer for the Sr. Subsystems Engineering and Integration Depaertment. --Worked on advanced guidance concepts for Standard Missile 3, and the Sea Sparrow Missile using multi-mode target acquisition.

1990-1993: --Worked as Head of mechanical systems integration for the first exo-atmospheric kill vehicle (star wars) which is a kinetic kill vehicle.  The first unit was a proof of concept multimode target tracking system, which was a success, and did prove the concept.

1994-2005: --Worked as Sr. Principle Electrical Engr. Missile Systems.  Worked on the design, development and production integration of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile as part of NATO consortium involving 10 countries.  This was the first multi-national vertical launch missile accepted by NATO for all fleet deployment --also first NATO weapon system to be AEGIS and NATO radar compatible.  --Good test range stories from White Sands and Vandenberg.

2005: --Happily retired.
--Seven kids, 12 grandkids and another on the way.
--Guess you could say that I really did get into rocket science!
--What has taken place over the last 50 years has never ceased to amaze me!
--I know I still have my old log/log/deci-trig slide rule here somewhere!!!

Hobbies: --Woodworking, bass fishing, old cars.

Countries I worked with at one time or another: --Canada, England, Scotland, Norway, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Australia










Dave Mazi 1960 St Joe's Year Book Photo
David A. Mazi
St. Joseph High School Class of 1960
Radio Club 1,2,3,4
Sodality 3,4
Science Honor 4
(S.J. 1960 Yearbook Photo)

Dave Mazi Sep 29, 2007 photo Dave, addressing the group at the Sep 29, 2007 Sputnik Reunion, (Bob Kozar in lower right).

Inspecting Photos L-R: Miller, Skala, Cegelski, Mazi, Leskovec,
compare the photos for the 1958 CQ cover.


Dave with Mike Stimac in 1959
Stimac coaches Mazi preparing a flight plan.


Civil Defense Drill 1959 Mazi Net Control, Civil Defense Drill 1959,
Euclid Police Department


Lost nation Airport 1959 Dave Mazi and Dan Sweeney ('62), stopped in one day in 1959 to visit Bob Leskovec K8DTS working at Lost Nation Airport, after getting some "flying time" with Mike Stimac who took this picture.





Pete Buehner

St Joe's Class of 1966

Pete Buehner belonged to the Radio Club back in his St Joe's days but didn't get a license. Long after graduation, he did get his ticket with the call KC8ER, and subsequently he upgraded to Extra Class.  He later changed his call to N8PB and lived in Mentor, OH.  Pete sent us this story and it related not only how the club affected him, but something he had been doing since.  Nice job!

Several years ago I wrote an article for one of the many monthly ham radio related email newsletters that anyone can sign up for.  I had referenced SJHRC in the article and thought I would send it for other's to read. 

Back in 1963, I had bought a non-working WW2 surplus BC-223-A transmitter from the radio club, and was wondering if anyone might have recalled the club owning such a rig back then. Here is my story about an identical rig that had I had subsequently purchased and restored forty years after my initial purchase.

Anyway, this might be a tiny bit of nostalgia that may (or may not) get a rise out of someone...



The Restoration of a an Old BC-223-A Transmitter



My story of the BC-223 begins in summer of 1963 when I became a sophomore at Saint Joe's High School.  I originally joined the school’s amateur radio club (W8KTZ) to get my ham ticket.  But unfortunately, being involved in so many other school activities, I never got around to getting my license.  Getting that license would have to wait for at least another twenty years!  However, I didn’t walk away from the club completely empty handed. For five dollars I acquired an old World War II surplus radio transmitter at one of the club’s many flea markets.  It was an old BC-223-A transmitter.

Unfortunately, only being 15 years old at the time, without a job, and very little money, I couldn’t afford a power supply.  And even if I could, I had minimal electronic skills to get that rig working.  Nonetheless, I bought the radio anyway.  It weighed over forty pounds.  I dragged that rig home on the bus (it took three different buses at that time), and it lived in my bedroom throughout my high school years.  Oh yeah, I occasionally twisted the dials and dreamed of the day when I would eventually get it fired it up.  But, the only thing I ever managed to do was to light the filaments.  As time went on, I eventually disassemble that old rig just to see how it was put together.  Before long it was in hundreds of pieces, with the bulk of it winding up in the trash.

Back in the sixties, World War II radio surplus goodies were available in abundance. I’ve learned that The Heathkit Company was a big buyer of war surplus equipment and was instrumental in getting many of those rigs into the hands of equipment-starved Amateur Radio operators. 

I had always felt a little perturbed for allowing myself to dismantle that old transmitter.  After the Internet arrived, I finally started doing a little research about it, and learned that the BC-223 was actually designed for use in various receiver/transmitter configurations.  It carried a variation of either the SCR-210 or SCR-245 designation, and was one of the communications workhorses prior to the outbreak of World War II.  It was commonly used in Light and Medium Tanks, Combat cars, Scout Cars, ½-ton trucks and 75mm gun motor carriages.  Its usage continued through to the early part of World War II until it was replaced with more sophisticated equipment.

Well, as luck would have it, a few years ago I was surfing the Internet and came across a BC-223-A that was being auctioned on eBay.  I jumped on it.  I put in my “high bid” of $50.00  --ten times what I paid for it nearly 40 years earlier!  I fully expected to be the top bidder at the end of auction.  Well, to my astonishment, "that" rig went for nearly $500.00!  I was stunned!  I couldn’t believe that it would fetch that much.  I decided to put the BC-223 into my Favorite Searches on eBay and waited for another one to come along.  Every once in a while one would appear, and each time it commanded a high price.  I was starting to feel as though I would never own a BC-223 again.

Then one day I received an email alert from eBay informing me that another BC-223-A was up for auction.  Well, this time it was on my day off.  I knew that I was one of the first to hit the web site that day.  The hit counter was still very low.  It was an estate sale and radio looked complete.  Interestingly, the seller also inserted a “BUY NOW” button with a purchase price of $400.00.  I quickly called my wife at work to get her permission, and after a short conversation, she agreed.  I immediately pushed the “BUY NOW” button, and the rig was mine!  Waves of nostalgia crept over me.  I finally owned a BC-223 again!  My second rig --nearly forty years to the day of my first acquisition!

It was a great day in Mentor, Ohio, when that UPS guy lugged that big crate it up the front steps. That rig sat on the living room carpet for well over two weeks before I even began to tinker with it.  All I did was stare at it. : It wasn’t, necessarily, a gorgeous radio; it did have some wear and tear, and a little corrosion here and there. But, it was complete!  Nothing on it was missing.

A few months later, I eventually bought an old Fluke 407D power supply, and six months after that, the first CW signal emanated from that rig.  Each little bit of progress swept me with pride.  I soon purchased a matching T-17 microphone from a radio surplus house in London, England . . .

http://www.armyradio.com/arsc/customer/home.php

     . . . and I even found a crystal supplier . . .

http://www.af4k.com/FT171_crystals.htm

     . . . that would “rock up” pretty much any frequency in any empty crystal container.  He installed it into the appropriate crystal holder that I acquired for the BC-223.  I bought four crystals from him to fill the transmitter’s four empty crystal slots.

Next, I needed to find an original power connector and my search led me to another company that sells war surplus radio goods and parts: The William Perry Company, Inc of Louisville, Kentucky.  They had the appropriate PL-160 power plug for my rig. And finally, I located the most appropriate eight-conductor power cable that works perfectly with the PL-160 power plug.  Ironically, I found that length of cable only a mile from of my home in Mentor, Ohio; from one of the oldest Electronics Surplus suppliers in the country, Electronics Surplus Inc. (previously Western Salvage of Cleveland, Ohio) .  They have everything you could ever hope to purchase for any project.  Finally, with the addition of my new plug, I could dispense with that rats-nest of alligator clips and single strand wires that were delivering juice to the various power supply pins.

Next, I decided that I should do something about the sorry state of the cabinet appearance, and decided it was time for a little bodywork. Little did I realize that this part of the restoration would be even more formidable than any of the electrical work that I had completed!

Basically, I completely refinished the chassis with black wrinkle paint.  I replaced every 6-32 slotted pan head screw with exact sized replacements on the chassis. I purchased new “rub-on” lettering that exactly matches the font and almost exactly matches the font size.  I did some nickel electroplating where the metal was particularly worn, and even found new "toilet seat” lids for the key and microphone sockets at FAIR RADIO SALES .

Some parts of the mounting clamps, locking clips, clip buttons, switch stops and hand locking screws on the transmitter's chassis were in pretty bad shape, with the brass actually showing through.  After some searching, I found a handheld nickel electroplating kit from Caswell .  With their product, I was able to electroplate the old brassy looking metal with new nickel-plating.  The restored surfaces increased the luster considerably.

The beauty of Caswell's product was that it didn't require any immersion, or removal of any parts.  Their kit included a little 4.5 volt DC wall supply module.  I connected the negative pole the transmitter chassis ground with an alligator clip, and the positive pole connected to a handheld cloth wand, saturated with nickel sulfate, which was included in the kit.  All that was required was to slowly stroke the selected surface areas of the transmitter with the wand and the nickel-plating slowly built up.  Of course, it was imperative that the surfaces were thoroughly cleaned first.  Caswell has solutions for anything - including gold, copper, silver, chrome and nickel plating.  The complete nickel-plating kit, with power supply, wand, 8oz of nickel sulfate, wand and instructions only cost about $30.00.  They have a plating system for just about anything. You have to check out their website.

Next, I drilled out seven frozen screws on the chassis, and tapped in new threads.  I went to Lowe's and found a “tap and drill” combo for about $4.00 each (Vermont American #21681).  I bought four of them but wound up only using two.  It took the longest time to find the appropriate sized pan-head slotted screws to replace the existing ones on the transmitter.  I finally found a boat-building supplier in Jamestown, Rhode Island that carried the exact type of screw that I was looking for.  I also put a lot of thought into whether I should replace the screws with the original "black heads" or "stainless steel".  I finally decided on stainless steel because the new shiny screws would match so nicely with the newly nickel-plated surfaces and contrasted beautifully against the new black wrinkle paint.  I figure if I ever changed my mind, it would be a simple matter to replace the screws with the black heads.  I bought the 6-32 threads in two different lengths: one-quarter inch and one half inch.  Priced pretty reasonably - about at $5.00/100 pieces.

I then purchased four cans of VHT High Temperature Black Wrinkle Paint from ANTIQUE ELECTRONIC SUPPLY ($9.00/each).  However, before I started painting, I took numerous photos of the placement and wording of the original lettering on the transmitter.  The photos would be my only guide when it came time to apply new lettering.  I even made templates out of cardboard for some of the more complex letter/number positions on the tuner section.

I thoroughly hand cleaned the non-removable covers with "409" and a toothbrush.  Any cover that could be removed went through the dishwasher.  Just prior to painting, I pre-heated the surfaces with a space heater to about 85 degrees.  I painted in deliberate baby-steps.  First, I tried my inexperienced technique on the little (removable) inspection plate on the left side of the transmitter.  Next, I worked on the (removed) right side pocket, followed by the top front cover.  As I got more courageous, I did the right panel, then the back lower cover, followed by the top/rear angled cover.  By this time I figured I'd had enough experience and decided to mask off all the exposed metal on the left cover (where the control and dynamotor sockets were located) – and went for it!  It came out great.  Finally, I masked off the face of the tuner and the transmitter and painted those surfaces.

I discovered that the trick to achieving a good result when applying wrinkle paint is to keep the surfaces flat, applying a heavy coat first, followed by about four or five additional lighter "irritant" coats (in four or five minute intervals).  Each new coat was applied to the previous while it was still wet.  It's important to not apply the paint too heavily, and you can’t allow it pool or run.  Doing some practice applications on other pieces of metal first is highly recommended.

Once the paint is applied, the wrinkles will begin to appear within a couple of hours, and continue to become more evident over the next eight to twelve hours.  The more coats that are applied, the larger the wrinkles will become.  To accelerate the process, I made a point of keeping a space heater directed towards the freshly painted surfaces to speed up the curing and drying process.  I think my results came out great -- nearly factory.  Those shiny new stainless steel screws really contrasted nicely with the wrinkle paint.  The transmitter looks as though it built as a classic special edition model.

ANTIQUE ELECTRONIC SUPPLY also sells the correct sized “rub-on” transfer lettering that suited the transmitter perfectly.  I bought six white "rub-on" lettering packets: Three ham radio lettering kits (S-M180), two audio lettering kits (S-M178) and one dial lettering kit (S-M176) (for the little printed "lock arrows" above the tuner's hand lock screws).  The cost was about $5.00/each per pack. However, getting the lettering on properly was a bit tricky.&nbasp; For the left cover (where there were multiple antenna connections in a row), I stretched a bright white sewing thread across the surface and secured it at into place with some tape at both ends.  That gave me a straight-line guide for lettering.  I then cut the specific letter wording from the sheets for each application, and slowly rolled a piece of clear Scotch Tape over it,  transferring it onto the sticky surface.  I then slowly and carefully placed the lettering into position using the tape as a transfer device and lightly pressed it into place.

Using a ballpoint pen, I then lightly scribbled all over the tape above the lettering until the lettering transferred onto the surface of the transmitter.  Lots of practice was necessary for this stage, but fortunately, each sheet of “rub-on” letters included more wording than I actually needed.  Of course mistakes did happen, and when they did, I "removed" them with another piece of tape placed directly over the error.  Scribbling on the tape again, raised the error off the panel and onto to the tape.

All in all, I spent nearly 9 hours applying the lettering to the transmitter.  The various word combinations on the lettering kits did not provide all of the original lettering/verbage that was on the transmitter.  So, I had to "cut and paste" various word combinations together first, line them up on my work table, roll the tape over it, then transfer them onto the face of the transmitter with the tape.  Many of the transfers went bad and/or became misaligned, which required a redo.  Compounding the problem was that the rub-on lettering kit that I bought only included two “RIGHT TURN” arrows (for the locks). Mental preparation was paramount.

Finally, to permanently secure the rub-on lettering to the chassis, I applied several very light coats of clear acrylic spray.  I found that MINWAX's water-based Polycrylic Clear Gloss worked best.  To verify that it suitable, I first applied some rub-on lettering to the back panel of the transmitter's chassis and sprayed the protective coating onto the lettering.  After letting it dry for a few days, I ran the panel through the dishwasher with dish soap on full cycle.  The lettering held fast, and the acrylic was virtually invisible.

The BC-223-A looks brand new; just as though it just came off The Rauland Corporation's assembly line.  It’s hard to believe that this transmitter was actually manufactured in 1942.  All it took was a little time and a bit of patience.  Now, it sits in my station as a nostalgic reminder of the past.

--73, de Pete, N8PB








BC223 Original Condition
BC223 Original, Before Restoration


BC223 Restored
BC223 Restored!


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored


BC223 Restored



---updated May 5, 2017---


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