Russian Antenna current meter

Russian Antenna current meter

I found this piece at a European hamfest, the "Radio Onderdelen Markt", ("radio parts market") held near Meppel in the Netherlands.

RusAntMt.jpg (31k)

"Equivalent Antenna"
This piece can be used to measure AC amperes at power-line frequency or RF as an antenna current meter or dummy load for tuning up a transmitter. The porcelain-insulated terminal marked in Cyrillic "BXOA" (INPUT) is used for RF current measurement. The back of the device has a grid of holes for ventilation. The top has a leather carrying handle and a stencil-painted number.

Ru_AnMt2.jpg (20k)

What's inside?
The unit is very well constructed with a case made of heavy phenolic. It contains five 50 ohm carbon resistors in parallel resulting in a net resistance of 10 ohms. Each of the five resistors can probably handle about 10-15 watts. The 10 ohm net resistance is in series with a small "black box" device which I believe contains a thermocouple and rectifier. Its resistance is negligible relative to the 10 ohms. The meter is hooked to this "black box" device. A high quality fixed capacitor is hooked between the porcelain "BXOA" (INPUT) terminal and the "B.4." (HF) terminal. Used as a 10 ohm dummy load or "equivalent antenna", terminal "3" would be grounded and power fed to the INPUT or to the HF terminal.

Fun at airport security
I carried this in my carry-on luggage. You can imagine the interest it generated when airport security saw the five carbon resistors and other internal parts glowing on the airport X-Ray monitor! When I explained what it was and where it was purchased, the efficient but cheerful Dutch security folks tested it with a chemical-residue wipe and found it to be clean, to our mutual relief.

Identifying the radio system of which it was a part
The meter face indicates its origin as "CDELANO B CCCP" (Made in USSR) with its "GOCT" (state certification standard) number. The heavy-duty snap-on mount hinted at its use with a mobile transmitter. I had wondered what radio system it had been a part of.

Russian sources have informed me that the dummy load is part of an R-142 Mobile Staff Vehicle or an R-145 Command Vehicle. The R-142 is a large truck carrying a "KUNG", a standardized truck body, that is packed with radio equipment.

The following radios would be inside a R-142 "KUNG", the R-130-M HF Radio (1 set), the R-111 VHF Radio (2 sets) and the R-123 VHF Radio (1 set).

The dummy load was used mainly with the R-130-M HF Radio.

The same radio components installed in a Command Vehicle would be called an R-145 instead of R-142, but would consist of the same HF and VHF radios. The Command Vehicles were based on the BTR-60 Armored Infantry Vehicle.

This relatively simple meter and its circuit components were in good working condition as found.

The Aireon JukeBox Amp was the previous item on the bench.

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