Saturday, April 20, 2013


     Today was a Road Trip Day, up to the North Central Indiana Hamfest, a small but very nice event.  I bought up a few things there -- a 50 Mc/S transceiver (Seller: "What'll it take for me to sell you this rig?  It works!"  Me: [names utterly ridiculous price] Seller: "Sold!"  And so it goes), a coax feed-through and hardware for it, some switches and a meter.

     On the way back, we stopped at several large antique shops and at one, I picked up a funny-looking box.  Seemed heavy but not too heavy -- a deluxe sewing kit? poker chips?  Backgammon?

     Then I noticed the word on the lid: "PHILCO."
     I had to open it.

    It's a nice little nutdriver set, sort of a long and short, with multiple sockets!  All 5/16" hex drive, nonstandard but a reasonable tradeoff between size and strength for the long one.
     The very smallest socket (3/16") is broken and there's an empty, added-extra-lish hole, but it's got 1/4", 5/16", 3/8" and 7/16" sockets, which covers most of the common fastener sizes for radio work.  (I've got my doubts about the 3/16" driver being original, based on spacing and the look of the hole for it.  On the other hand, that is the right size for a lot of 4-40 and 4-36 hardware.)  Nice-looking drivers, though the box is a bit beat up, and priced to move at $14.00.  There was a little rust on the long driver, easily removed with light oil and a brass scraper (a/k/a a spent .45 ACP casing; think of it as beating a sword into a plowshare).

     I bought a few other things as well, some of which I'll write about in subsequent days.  The entire road trip was about 140 miles, including one hamfest, one military aviation museum, one flea market, two antique malls and one of the best barbeque places in central Indiana. 


  1. Nice find! I lived by my 1/4" (red handle) and 5/16" (yellow) nutdrivers when I worked TV repair. Especially the long ones for dropping the tuner assembly out of a console set. A GE tube chassis I worked on regularly had the high voltage cage between me and the tuner. I wasn't worried about the voltage. but I usually left blood on it if I tried to reach in and pull the tuner with a regular nutdriver.

  2. Yeah, I've had more nasty encounters with sharp edges and tight spaces than HV -- I guess I've always give the zappage more attention.

    I'm very happy with these little drivers. Not hollow-shaft but a nice supplement to my Spintite set. (and the modern Kleins!) They're nice-looking enough that I was fretting they'd be priced like collectable Stanley or Winchester screwdrivers. Nope!

  3. Hey a 6M rig! Welcome to the magic band, I hang there a lot.

    So what was the radio?