About the Messenger 1
The Messenger 1 was a radio transceiver, designed by the EF Johnson company, for two-way radio service in the 27Mhz Citizens band. This transceiver was manufactured beginning in 1958 until the early 1960s. In 1961 it went for around 140 dollars retail. The Messenger 1 consists of a crystal controlled Superhet receiver and a crystal controlled two-stage transmitter. The antenna, power supply, and some of the audio circuits are shared between receiver and transmitter functions.
There are five different models, each with different operating voltages. My Messenger 1 is a model 242-128 that can be powered by 12 Volts DC for mobile, or 117 Volts AC for base station use. For 12 Volt DC operation, the Messenger 1 uses a vibrator relay to pulse the current through a step up transformer in order to achieve the high B+ Voltage required for the electron tubes.
The Messenger 1 has a complement of ten electron tubes and 2 diodes. Its crystal controlled frequency range is between 26.965 to 27.555 Mhz incremented into five channels.
It dimensions are 5 5/8 Inches high, 7 Inches wide and 11 3/8 Inches deep which is quite bigger than the transistorized CB radios of the 1970s. In addition it weighs a fairly hefty 12 pounds!
About the EF Johnson Company
EF Johnson, started in 1923, is a Waseca Minnesota based two-way radio manufacturer founded by Edgar. F. Johnson. It started as a mail order business, selling radio transmitter parts to amateurs and early radio broadcasters.
Like many American companies, its production was devoted to the war time effort during World War II. After the war, the company introduced its Viking line of amateur transmitters, among them, the Viking, Valiant, Ranger, and Pacemaker. The now discontinued Viking line of amateur radio transmitter products are collected, restored, and operated by many vintage radio enthusiasts.
In 1961 the company transitioned to the development and manufacturing of land-mobile radio products such as CB, business radio, and associated technology such as the Logic Trunked Radio trunking format.
The EF Johnson Company, now rebranded EFJohnson Technologies, has completely left the consumer market and focuses mainly on radio equipment used law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, and military.
Below is a picture of the of the Messenger 1 microphone with push to talk button. The high impedance ceramic microphone element is housed in a Cycolac case.
Pictured below is the back of the Messenger 1, on the bottom left is the power connector. On the right hand side is the antenna connection. You can see the base of the vibrator relay, used in the high voltage power supply circuit when powered by 12 Volts DC, through the hole.
The EF Johnson Viking emblem, I plan on cleaning it up then applying red enamel paint to the "J" and black enamel to the background around the Viking.
The inside of this Messenger 1 is pretty nasty, several of the electron tubes were missing and one was cracked and unusable. I found a petrified hornets nest inside the underside of the chassis. Still there is promise. You can see towards the bottom where I wiped the chassis with a Windex moistened paper towel. Somewhere under all of this dirt is a working CB transceiver!
Stay tuned and visit radioboatanchor.com often to see updates of the Messenger 1 restore and many other projects!
Who Writes This Blog?
John is an IT professional from Cleveland, OH who enjoys amateur radio, ham radio, metal detecting,
Copyright © 2017
Radio Boat Anchor
This page and all the pages on Radio Boat Anchor generate income based on an affiliate relationship with our partners including Zazzle, Amazon, and Google. Prices listed are subject to change without notice.