SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC. - OVERVIEW OF A COMPANY OF THE PAST


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Overview of a company of the past, leader in the field of

radio communications, the American

 

 SQUIRES - SANDERS, INC.
  INNOVATIONS IN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

  New JerseyUSA


  By Vincent Italia



 

         The SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC. (1) is known especially for having produced and marketed in 1963 (year of its birth) the first HF receiver (radio amateur bands) using for the two RF mixers a beam deflection tube, the tube was the famous 7360 and the initials of the receiver SS-1R (first version).
The design,
in particular of the mixer stage, was signed William K. Squires W2PUL (2). In March 1964(3) it was announced that soon it would be available the transmitter SS-1T to be paired to the SS-1R but unfortunately it was never marketed and remained at the level of prototype. From the preliminary data published it is known that the RF power, in SSB, had to be 130 Watt PEP and modes of operation LSB, USB, DSB, AM and CW. This transmitter was expected to work in “transceive” mode coupled to the receiver or with an external VFO
SS-1TF. I have heard of a VHF transverter but its traces have been lost, for sure is that it has never been put on the market. For the SS-1R receiver a highly effective Noise Silencer, model SS-1S (4) was designed, it was installed inside the cabinet of the loudspeaker
SS-1RS. Always at the receiver was flanked (towards mid’64) the Video Bandscanner SS-1V, a "panoramic" monitor, with a CRT tube, with new features such as a marker, a small vertical line in the “base line” facing down, which moves in step with the tuning of the receiver. In early 1964 began a series of modifications implemented to the SS-1R receiver to improve its performances (albeit very good), modifications which culminated, at the end of 1965, with the “701 series”. The sensitivity and the BFO stability were improved, the product detector was replaced by a wide dynamic one combined with a more efficient A.G.C. and finally mechanical and aesthetic improvements were made.
It seems that there was a third version incorporating a very efficient IF Notch Filter (5). Probably, more than another version, it was a Notch Filter that was provided and implemented, on request, as a
“retrofit”. Towards the end of ‘65 the
SS-IBS receiver was born, derived from the SS-1R but for the international broadcast bands, receiver that could be used also for the direct “rebroadcast” of radio stations. The SS-IBS was advertised on QST and CQ beginning from March 1967.

Maybe few people know that SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC. produced also military radio equipment and a special note goes to the AN/URR-58 (6) receiver for VLF/HF (10kHz-30MHz), it was on display at the American AFCEA (Armed Forces
Communications and Electronics Association) exhibition in the summer of 1967 and was described as an extraordinary receiver with a revolutionary front-end.
Recently I came to know that SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC. developed a receiver for the US COAST GUARD, receiver of great performances (6) for the difficult conditions of reception on ships because of the transmitters on board. The use of a mainframe with plug-ins for RF, gave versatility and wide frequency coverage, 10—540kHz and 2—30MHz, with the possibility of extending it to the VHF.

 



SS-1R/701 receiver and BSSG-1 spectrum generator in a Squires-Sanders laboratory

 

In this Manufacturer production there were also accessories and other equipment. Some of these equipment known to me are the following:       

BSSG-1 (1966): Spectrum generator - The "comb" is, as opposed to other generators of the same type, of uniform amplitude from 50kHz to 30MHz minimum (solid state).

 

FM Alert (1966): Receiver for 30MHz—50MHz range - model 30, or 152MHz—174MHz range -
model 152 (tubes).

 

SS-310 (1966): CCTV camera (solid state). 

 

??-??? Video Monitor 16”

 

23er (1965): CB Transceiver for AM, 23 channels with Noise Silencer (solid state).

 

S5S (1966): CB Transceiver for AM, 5 channels with Noise Silencer (solid state).

 

SS-23 (1967): CB Transceiver for AM, 23 channels (solid state).

 

The Admiral (1968): CB Transceiver for AM, 23 channels (frequency synthesis) with Pulse Eliminator and Speech Compressor (solid state).

 

The Skipper (1968): CB Transceiver for AM, 23 channels (frequency synthesis) with Noise Limiter and Speech Clipper (solid state).

 

The Flagship (1968/69): CB Transceiver for AM, 23 channels (frequency synthesis) with noise blanking and speech clipping (solid state).

 

The Commodore (1968/69): CB Transceiver for AM, 23 channels (frequency synthesis) with noise blanking (solid state).

 

The SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC. closed its doors (unfortunately) in 1970 probably just after the untimely death of W.K. Squires, but the myth of this so innovative Company continues to live among enthusiasts and collectors of its products.

 

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NOTES and REFERENCES:

 

1- SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC.     Last address: Martinsville Road/Liberty Corner

               (1963—1970)                                   Millington-New Jersey 07946 - USA

 

     President: D.F. Sanders

     Vice President: William K. Squires, W2PUL

     Clegg Laboratories Division: Edward T. Clegg, W2LOY

 

2- W.K. Squires - A  New Approach to Receiver Front-End Design    
    - QST - September 1963 -
 
(Application ser. N°304,006, filed in 1963) 

 

3- QST - March 1964

     

4- W.K. Squires - A Pre-I.F. Noise Silencer - QST - October 1963 -
    (Application ser. N°320,034, filed in 1963 -
Patent N°3,339,144, issued in 1967)
 

5- T.Hoitenga, K8NGV - Squires-Sanders (SS-1R, SS-1V, SS-1S, SS-1RS) - Electric Radio -
    July 1994 - A very interesting article, particularly the section on the design of the SS-1R receiver.

 

6- The mixer with the 7360 was not the only developed by Squires, he developed at least two others
    very efficient. In the first he used a double triode (6DJ8) in a balanced circuit and in the next, two
    FETS as RF switches in a passive circuit.

    (Application Ser. N°639,231, filed in 1967 - Patent N° 3,383,601, issued in 1968).

    It is almost certain that these mixers were used in the two receivers mentioned above.
 

7- The Clegg Laboratories, famous for its VHF/UHF equipment, was associated with Squires-Sanders
    from 1963 to 1968. Very interesting was the
Clegg SS Booster
a frequency conversion SSB speech
    clipper. (A special version was incorporated into the SS-1T transmitter)   

    W.K.Squires and E.T.Clegg
- Speech Clipping for Single Sideband - QST - July 1964

 

    

** In 1974 I had the good fortune to find and to buy the SS-1R receiver (701 series) complete with
    loudspeaker, Noise Silencer and Video Bandscanner, this allowed me to appreciate
    their qualities and the originality of the various circuits.

 

 


Revision:
 1st Issue - September 2008

 

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UPDATES:

 

A-Early October 2008

From a recent inquiry I discovered that the closure of the SQUIRES-SANDERS, INC. happened, yes, in 1970, but for other reasons, perhaps for bankruptcy issues? Its place was taken by (it is right to say so because the address was practically identical!) COMPUTONE SYSTEMS, INC. with President William K. Squires. The name COMPUTONE suggests that it had to do with the computer world, perhaps with the hardware? or/also with the software maybe inherent to radio? Unfortunately this adventure was short-lived because W.K. Squires died in a plane crash at the age of 43. While in flight with a light airplane, a Cessna 150, as an instructor and with a student pilot on board, a collision occurred with a Boeing 707 who was landing. This happened over Edison in New Jersey. The Boeing 707 landed with little damage at the Newark (NJ) airport, but the Cessna crashed into the ground. Unfortunately the two occupants died on impact. It was on January 9, 1971. 

 

B-Mid October 2008

Back in 1963 when Squires presented his balanced mixer with the 7360 (2), terms like “Blocking Dynamic Range”, “Two Tone Dynamic Range”, “Intercept Point” and others, were not in common
use and some of them had not yet been coined, therefore comparing its performances, which were
(and are) certainly very interesting, with those of recent mixers is not easy.
This gap has been filled by Jay Rusgrove W1VD that with a very meticulous work has obtained the MDS, the Blocking and the Two-Tone D.R. of the SS-1R receiver. Compliments!

http://www.w1vd.com/SS-1R.html

 

F-July 2009

Recently I came across a site* where you can purchase very good copies of manuals for amateur radio equipment (and also for other type of equipment). On this site I found and bought a manual (rather rare) for a Squires-Sanders radio equipment of which I had never heard of before. It is a preliminary manual dated 1969 (unfortunately it has no schematic and no pictures) of a solid state VHF/FM receiver called ULTRA/MONITOR, with double conversion and six crystal controlled channels to be chosen in the two bands, from 25MHz to 50MHz and/or from 150MHz to 175MHz, probably it replaced the FM ALERT tube receiver. The owner of the site, Peter A. Markavage WA2CWA, kindly sent to me the following information; the ULTRA/MONITOR receiver never went into full production and only about fifty were built. Other interesting information (particularly those reported by Peter) which concern the Squires-Sanders and its equipment can be found by clicking on this link:

http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=17071.0

 

 

* www.manualman.com



 

MORE PICTURES:

BSSG-1

FM ALERT

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First Issue: December 2008
   Revision F: Updated
   July 2009