There is a propensity among radio engineers to save old equipment. Sometimes I look at something and think, “Man, that cost a lot of money ten or twenty years ago.” Truth be told, much of what is saved will never be used again. This equipment should be scraped or donated to someone who might find it useful. One thing that is most appreciated by Amateur Radio (AKA Ham) operators are old 1 KW tube type AM transmitters. Ham operators love these things, and with good reason.
A fair amount of repair work, some cleaning and a bit of reworking will turn what might have been a useless dust collector into a 160 or 80 meter AM rig and with a good story to boot.
Personally, I’d rather see a Gates BC1T or RCA BTA1R off to a new home than off to the scrap yard. To that end, today we unloaded the BC1T at WLNA to a willing ham. This particular transmitter had last run in 2001 or so and was used as a spare parts supply for other BC1T transmitters owned by the same company. There was no way it would ever work again and truth be told, it really wasn’t needed any longer anyway. Since the Harris MW5B was replaced as the main transmitter by a BE AM6A, the backup transmitter was never used.
John Aegerter, a frequent commenter on this blog, drove all the way from Madison, Wisconsin to pick it up. Prior to pick up, I removed all of the tubes, transformers, crystals and glass envelope time delay relays. I packed up the glass objects in a box.
There were several spare tubes and parts which are no longer needed. These went with the rig, along with what ever manuals I could find.
The transmitter was then loaded into the back of a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck and tarped for it’s trip back to Wisconsin.