Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: Sulako, lilfssister, North Shore, ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, I WAS Birddog

Post Reply
niss
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 6745
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: I'm a CPL trapped in a PPL's Body.
Contact:

Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by niss »

I just acquired a new toy that I have wanted for a very very long time, a Spilsbury SBX-11, a quintessential bush radio, formerly owned by Okanagan Helicopters.

I’m looking for some old stories of time in the bush, and what kind of role this radio played in your life then.

Image
Image
---------- ADS -----------
 
She’s built like a Steakhouse, but she handles like a Bistro.

Let's kick the tires, and light the fires.... SHIT! FIRE! EMERGENCY CHECKLIST!
CruiserNU
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:50 am

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by CruiserNU »

That's an oldie but goodie!

The first one I used was a Spilsbury-Tindall. That was in the late 60's. It belonged to the RC Mission in Coppermine (Kugluktuk) and I would borrow it from time-to-time. It was AM modulated and 5 watts.

(I'm from an era when all HF aircraft communications was AM modulated. Not good.)

The one you have is a later version, single-sideband. Better.

A few people up north still use the newer Spilsbury "bush radio" (orange). 10-watts, crystal-controlled, five channel.

But those have been largely superseded by the Paracomm PCX-250, made in Kelowna. Those are 10-watts, five channels SSB but programmable instead of crystal controlled. I currently own one of their 20-watt versions.

All these radios were used, at various times, at exploration camps throughout the north. Later, they caught on with the native people and are still used by them today, although satellite and cell 'phones have reduce their popularity and, consequently, the sales of these radios. I'm not even sure if Paracomm is still in business.

I still use HF today. In fact, I probably have the only Cub with HF, an SG-2020 radio with an SG-211 antenna tuner.

I'm one of those unusual people who think that HF radio is "fun". Most would not agree with me!

VY0AW
---------- ADS -----------
 
New Antique Pilot
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:13 am

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by New Antique Pilot »

I used these radios many years ago and found them to be quite reliable.

I became a pen pal with Jim Spillsbury about 35 years ago when I was doing some old airplane research. What a nice guy. He sent me some original photos that were used in his very interesting book “The Accidental Airline”. He and his partner Jim Hepburn had a business on the west coast building and servicing radio telephones for fishing boats and logging camps. This was in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. Jack Tindall joined the business a few years later. They decided that servicing these camps by boat was just too inefficient and they bought a Standard Waco CF-AWK and flew all up and down the BC coast. About 1944 they formed Queen Charlotte Airlines which at one time was the third largest airline in Canada. QCA was absorbed into Russ Baker’s Pacific Western Airlines in the mid 1950’s.

NAP
---------- ADS -----------
 
goldeneagle
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 787
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:28 pm

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by goldeneagle »

CruiserNU wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:53 am I still use HF today. In fact, I probably have the only Cub with HF, an SG-2020 radio with an SG-211 antenna tuner.

I'm one of those unusual people who think that HF radio is "fun". Most would not agree with me!

VY0AW
Ahh, but can you do CW while plodding along in the Cub ?

...- .- --... -. --
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
all_ramped_up
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:32 pm
Location: YQY
Contact:

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by all_ramped_up »

goldeneagle wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:49 pm
CruiserNU wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:53 am I still use HF today. In fact, I probably have the only Cub with HF, an SG-2020 radio with an SG-211 antenna tuner.

I'm one of those unusual people who think that HF radio is "fun". Most would not agree with me!

VY0AW
Ahh, but can you do CW while plodding along in the Cub ?

...- .- --... -. --
-.-- . ...

...- . .---- ..-. . :mrgreen:
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
valleyboy
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 699
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 4:05 am
Contact:

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by valleyboy »

Where is the dipole wrapped around a piece of plywood or just a messy coil of wire :mrgreen:

I started flying in the HF days and AM only SSB wasn't even around in my area then and to the novice RF burns from someone daring you to touch the antenna wire on the front of the old base station was a quick lesson in radio/telephony

Image
---------- ADS -----------
 
fleetcanuck
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:36 pm

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by fleetcanuck »

"Accidental Airline" does not paint Russ Baker in a very good light. It is a very interesting read.

I remember taking pictures of BXO when she was moored in the Fraser River.
---------- ADS -----------
 
niss
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 6745
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: I'm a CPL trapped in a PPL's Body.
Contact:

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by niss »

Thanks for the info guys!

I've wanted one of these for a very long time, and I've read of the importance these have played in day to day life like The Trapper Sched https://www.yukon-news.com/life/don-tay ... ers-sched/

I'm looking forward to getting it on the air! It works but it's USB and the current frequencies are not in the amateur bands.
---------- ADS -----------
 
She’s built like a Steakhouse, but she handles like a Bistro.

Let's kick the tires, and light the fires.... SHIT! FIRE! EMERGENCY CHECKLIST!
niss
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 6745
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: I'm a CPL trapped in a PPL's Body.
Contact:

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by niss »

valleyboy wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:56 am Where is the dipole wrapped around a piece of plywood or just a messy coil of wire :mrgreen:

I started flying in the HF days and AM only SSB wasn't even around in my area then and to the novice RF burns from someone daring you to touch the antenna wire on the front of the old base station was a quick lesson in radio/telephony

Image
How many Watts was that from?
---------- ADS -----------
 
She’s built like a Steakhouse, but she handles like a Bistro.

Let's kick the tires, and light the fires.... SHIT! FIRE! EMERGENCY CHECKLIST!
User avatar
valleyboy
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 699
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 4:05 am
Contact:

Re: Show & Tell - Bush Radio.

Post by valleyboy »

That was an old radio - no coaxial connector just the 2 wires on terminals and I think about 10W - not the pic of my burn but similar but on the side of my hand. The radio didn't have a mike but a telephone handset plus a speaker in the base station. Just a small box about 1 foot cubed.

I had an amateur buddy knocked off his roof when he was fixing a home made multi-band array. he left his radio on and the cat came up and started playing with the paddles at about 100W PEP., Lucky it was a low roof but he still broke his wrist and a good RF burn as well. Strange brew indeed.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”