January 2013
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Goodbye you piece of junk

We are scrapping several old transmitters these last few weeks as part of a site upgrade  A couple of Harris FM20 and 10H transmitters are out the door.

Harris FM20H transmitter, circa 1970

Harris FM20H transmitter, circa 1970

Some people like these transmitters. I am not one of those. I found that they were of dubious reliability, tended to drift out of tune and have AM noise problems, and had multiple catastrophic failure modes. If it was not tuned just right, it also had a tendency to have HF oscillations and internal arcing in the PA cabinet.

Harris FM20H3 PA cabinet modification

Harris FM20H3 PA cabinet modification

This transmitter had a non-factory authorized modification installed as a tuning aid.  Tune for best efficiency, minimum AM noise then check and see if it is arcing.  It is also advisable to wear hearing protection during the tuning process.

Harris FM20H3, circa 1972

Harris FM20H3, circa 1972

This particular transmitter was my nemesis for a couple of years. It is actually possible to hate an innanimate object, I can tell  you. Goodbye you piece of shit.

We tend to scrap these instead of dumpster them.  It saves the client a little bit of money on dumpster charges.  If all the metal is sorted out by category, e.g. all the copper windings are cut from the HV transformer and PS filter inductors, all the brass, aluminum, and wiring harness are separated, then it is almost worth the time and effort.  Personally, I’d rather see all that material reused than land filled.


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

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...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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