Microphone candidates

“Anyone can talk, even a parrot”. That is what hardcore CW operators have said. I enjoy the challenge and exhilaration of working CW, but I know how to talk too.

To operate on AM the DX-60 needs a microphone. The previous user (LA4FK) apparently used a hand held mike, but that one is not available. The microphone input socket is of an unknown type without provision for Push-to-talk (PTT). At the time of writing this I have not yet put much thought into Transmit/Receive switching so I don’t even know if I am going to use conventional PTT.

Microphone socket

None of my candidate microphones has a plug that fits. Potential workarounds:

  • Make a short adapter cable. Seems like a PL-259 can be made to fit.
  • Replace the microphone socket on the transmitter
  • Add an extra microphone socket on the rear of the transmitter.

Primary candidate

This beauty was a gift from my friend Per Kristian. I can assure you he is much more of an expert on microphones than I am. I just like the way it looks. I think the nostalgic look is a perfect match for a nostalgic transmitter.

Old looking Shure 55SH microphone
Shure 55SH

There are a few challenges to get this one on the air.

  • Impedance is low. The tube type transmitter prefers a higher impedance. I may have to make a transformer. Potentially built into the transmitter, perhaps with its own input socket
  • I need a cable with an XLR plug for the microphone end. That’s not a plug type I have in my junk box
  • There is no provision for PTT, but there is an on/off switch that could be rewired. That one locks in either position.
  • It needs a stand, either for desktop placement or supported off the rig or wall (saving desk space). The threads for the stand are inconveniently non-metric and placed in front of the XLR socket.

None of those should be show-stoppers. Just hassles. Even if this beauty never gets on the air it serves well as decoration.

Runner up

I have a Yaesu YD-844 microphone, currently fitted with the two-pin+screen plug (Amphenol CDM 80-MC2M) that fits most newer Heathkits. It needs no work, other than matching plug and socket. Impedance is right (actually switchable), PTT is there, and the stand is part of the assembly.

Outsiders

If for any reasons the favorites fail I have a Turner 754 and a Drake 7075 which happens to look suspiciously similar. Those both have the 4-pin plug used by several rigs. According to Turner catalog from 1970 the Turner has a frequency response of 300-3000 Hz. Taylor made for common communication standards.

Before the parrot can get on the air however, we need to work on the DX-60.