This is the Telsat SSB 50, a 23 channel SSB/AM radio, which was Lafayette's top-of-the-line mobile before 40 channel radios became legal in January of 1977.  Selling for $279 in the 1973 catalog, it was a heck of a chunk of change for the time period, but relatively cheap compared to other SSB-capable radios of the time.  Compared to the radios of today, the SSB 50 was a big, heavy, metal chassis radio, which felt rugged enough to survive even the most devastating terrorist attack.  Feature-wise, this radio was somewhat lean, with only the bare minimum in standard controls; Volume, Squelch, Fine Tuning (Clarifier), and mode selector, plus PA and NB buttons.  Conspicuously absent was an R.F. Gain control, which was a popular feature with the SSB aficionados.  On the plus side, the SSB 50 included a "base station sized" "S"/RF meter which was large and easy to read.  Despite its apparent shortcomings in the feature area, this radio was fairly popular with a few of the locals, including Albert, Streamer, Cougar, and few others.  Most of these people picked their radios up when Lafayette closed them out for $49 in early 1978, after 23 channel radios could not be made anymore, and they had to clear their inventory.  Most of the guys who ran them added extra crystals so that they could work on the expansion channels above 23.  The clarifier was easy to modify for expanded range, by the addition of an inductor in series with the tuning capacitor.  This radio also had one of those huge 10 watt rheostats to control AM carrier power.  It was a simple matter of turning the screw to make it put out nearly 10 watts of carrier power.  But modulation suffered if the power was turned up over about 5 watts.  SSB power was hard pressed to produce much over 15 watts.  Otherwise, the radio was a good talker, especially when mated to a D-104 mic.  Receiver performance was average, as was adjacent channel rejection. The noise blanker was also fairly effective at suppressing ignition noise.

 

This pictured radio, came into my possession as a trade for services rendered.  I've added it to my collection of popular radios from the time period.  It's missing one of its crystals, with the corresponding loss of LSB on 6 channels, but otherwise it's still working.

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