Rider Chanalyst

Rider Chanalyst model 11

connected as TRF receiver

The Rider Chanalyst and its clones are some of the neatest pieces of old test gear. I love those four green eyes and the TRF tuner. This is an early version from 1938-39 by Service Instruments Co. A slightly modified version, the RCA-Rider Chanalyst model 162 was manufactured by RCA starting in 1940. It substitutes a 6SK7 in place of a 6K7 for the first RF tube. The wattmeter circuit was modified. It also moved all the phone jacks to the front panel and has a standby position added to the on-off power switch which cuts B+ to the eye tubes to extend their lives. Apparently RCA made a deal with Rider. The Chanalyst was also used by the U.S. Signal Corps as Test Set TS-303/AG. The manual is TM 11-2659. RCA also introduced a companion VHF converter that was also adopted by the Signal Corps as TS-350/U. It is labeled "Chanalyst UHF Converter" and covered 1.5 to 90 MHz in the version I have seen. RCA also introduced an Audio Chanalyst during WW II.

The Rider Chanalyst has 5 sections (channels) and 11 tubes including four 6G5 eye tubes. Later versions use the 6E5.The five sections include a 3 stage TRF tuner covering VLF through the broadcast band and intended for tracing RF and IF signals, a one stage audio amplifier, a wattmeter, and a single stage TRF for checking a receiver's local oscillator. Those four channels use the tuning eye indicators. The fifth section is an 11 MegOhms-per-volt vacuum tube voltmeter with a center-zeroing meter.

The unit pictured, Chanalyst model 11, Type A, Serial #1123, is playing an AM broadcast station via the TRF tuner. The phone plug on the left has a short piece of wire acting as an antenna. The RF output phone jack (on the back in Model 11) is connected via phone plug to the Audio Channel input jack. The audio output jack (also on the back) connects to an output transformer and speaker (or high impedance heaphones). There is also a pair of phone tip jacks on the front panel to which the built-in voltmeter may be connected. The earliest version of the Chanalyst did not include those tip jacks. I have been told that the added tip jacks resulted in the "Type A" designation for Model 11.

Marc Ellis wrote about "John Rider's Remarkable Chanalyst" in his July and August 1998 columns in Popular Electronics. Unfortunately, he had not restored one at the time. Had he done so, he would have enjoyed the test piece that is its own radio.

A copy of the manual for the Chanalyst model 162C can be downloaded from BAMA. BAMA also has a copy of a nice brochure advertising the Chanalyst. Both are excellent quality PDF's.

I have also repaired a pre-war Meissner Analyst that is almost a pure copy of the Rider except that the controls and channels are mounted in vertical fashion rather than horizontal. Like the Rider Chanalyst, it serves as a neat TRF radio.

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