A big part of my enjoyment in life is Ham Radio. I really have fun building, restoring and converting these beautiful Art Deco transmitters and receivers from the tube era. The excellent transmitted audio that a well designed transmitter can produce is my goal upon completion along with a nice "Look" for those tubes with a dull orange glow.
During the building process, I set these transmitter up to be used on the amateur frequencies so you can hear them in the AM window on the ham bands. I have been blessed over the years to have the privilege of having Discerning hams all over the country to run these transmitters, mostly on 160/ 80 and 40 meters but you are liable to hear them on the higher frequencies too!
If you just enjoy SWLing, I would encourage you to get your ham ticket and join the fraternity of Ham radio operators and share your life experiences and knowledge with us.
The Custom 21V2
This 21V2 "Compact Kilowatt" transmitter started out as a Motorola VHF transmitter which was housed in a nice Art Deco cabinet and you can see the striking similarities of this cabinet with the much larger Collins 20V2. The small footprint of the 21V2 lends itself well to confine spaces but doesn't compromise the reliability of the standard Collins 20V2 BC Rig. This Minibeast uses the full complement of 1 KW BC iron from the full size BC transmitter plus the 21V2 transmitters incorporates the rugged 4-1000a final amp which allows for much better headroom than the stock pair of 4-400a's.
At this writing there are 12 of these rigs on the air with no (2) transmitters being the same and 1 of these units started out as a kit and was nicely built by Jerry (K9GAS) who did an excellent job of putting the 21V2 together plus adding his own personal touch to his project..
The speech amp and modulator follows the high BC standards of engineering of using a Dual Feedback Ladders looping around to a pair of 2E26's or a set of 6SJ7's and in some cases, a solid state speech amp to keep the AM tones represented well.
Master Match Tuner
22V2 Custom 160-10M Quad 4-1000A transmitter
This Quad 4-1000A transmitter was built into a highly modified Collins 20V2 Cabinet. The window opening was enlarged to see these beautiful bottles along with plenty of other cosmetic enhancements. The 160-10 Meter Rf Deck was setup for easy tuning by incorporating electronic switching for both the input network and tank circuit. I also incorporated adjustable full grid leak bias to compensate for any variations in different tubes along with the grid bias voltage test point on the rear of the chassis. The pair of 4-1000A modulators were assembled in the same "matching" chassis as the Rf deck and includes a Dual Ladder FeedBack loop into a solid state speech amp. Lets just say there is plenty of headroom with this beast.
This tall slender transmitter is called the Power Block that I built this about 12 years ago.The tube's I used in the modulator are a pair of beautiful 304TL's in class AB1 and the finals can use a pair of 4-500A or 4-400a's with a filament wiring change. The Power Block has always been one of my favorite designs and this beast is still making good quality RF to this day!.
Custom Collins 20V3 transmitter
Here was a fun project that started out using a stock Collins 20V3 that I converted to 160-40M and along the way, it received a 4-1000A upgrade to the RF final and then I threw in a few extra meters and a little cosmetics for good measure. The 20V3 with the nice sharp corners is the contemporary version of the older 20V2 with its classic Art Deco rounded corners so this 20V3 was designed to bridge the gap between the (2) different styled transmitters. Included in the upgrade is the centrally located blower with dual output plenum which really moves the air but keeps the shack whisper quiet.