[AMRadio] BC-610-E follow up

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Mon Oct 24 13:37:15 EDT 2005

Again, apologies to those who subscribe to multiple lists, but....WOW!

I can't believe how many responses I got to my request for information
and help with the BC-610-E. For years I'd had the impression that the
BC-610 wasn't the transmitter one would want, if they could choose. So
instead of being shunned for having "one of THOSE things", I was
instead suprised to find so much knowledge, experience, and generosity
from folks out there. Seems the 'Beastly 610' has quite a following!

A number of folks asked for more information with regard to paint,
price, and overall condition. Since the weekend had one day of snow
and rain up this way, I had some inside time to check it out more.

First, I purchased this transmitter from Ray, KC1BT who got it from a
friend of his who wanted it gone. What Ray paid I do not know, but I
paid $350 for the transmitter itself including the three installed
tuning units and 80m coil, kluged-in audio module, and low pass filter
w/antenna on side and relay hung on the back. The BC-939-A antenna
tuner has been with me since 1990 or so, in hopes that keeping it
would result in its sprouting a transmitter. I didn't even water it
regularly and it worked.

Overall condition to me seems like good to very good, all mods
considered. The paint has a few small chips, numerous scratches, and
the top cover appears to have been oversprayed at some point along
with the liberal application of DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE stickers inside
the two opening lids and on mod deck apron. The left front panel has
three added holes for a gain control and two 1/4" mic jacks. There are
a few small screw holes on the left side for the lowpass filter and
also on back for the antenna relay. The gaping hole on the side for
the coax was actually already there, but the original feedline
insulators are missing. Chassis themselves are dusty but overall
fairly clean and in decent shape. Paint looks good on them and no
additional holes blasted through anywhere.

Missing parts seem to be the antenna insulators, bottom back relay
cover, and rear cover or screen to cover the back of the transmitter.
Also the associated interlock switch is missing. The 20A fuse holder
on front is cracked but not yet broken badly enough to be a problem.
The two meters on the right side have both been swapped to round
meters and a small mA meter in a box with about 20' of cable has been
tacked under the mod deck with original harness wires left dangling.

Yesterday after replacing the 2A3 I broke with a weak but functional
replacement, I got brave and powered it up (after checking the rat's
nets of audio wires to be sure nothing would zorch). Oh - had to
replace the 5Z3 also since it pulled free of its base when I removed
it for transport.

Threw the filaments switch and on came the dial and tuning unit
lights, along with the big green filament power light. The mismatched
100th modulators (one with porcelain base and internal fins, one with
metal base and smooth) lit up brightly as did the 250TH and
eventually, the smaller octal tubes. Turning the filament voltage
control down made the meter indication go upwards, though, so
something seems hokey there. Tried the plate switch, no joy. Pushed
the reset button, tried a few more times, finally got the big, red
light to ignite. Had a little trouble with one 2A3 not wanting to
light, swapped them around and discovered the securing base was the
issue, keeping the tube from going all the way in for good contact.

That's as far as I got with it. There's life yet in the old girl! My
plan now is to remove the speech amp/audio mess but to leave enough
wire when I cut it out so that I can mount it remotely and hook it
back up if desired, until I located a BC-614-E speech amp. A good
cleaning throughout and testing of tubes along with removal and
replacement of the weird stuff hung on it is in order, too. My goal
isn't to make it a museum piece (I don't have enough money) but to
restore it to its proper working configuration as well as cosmetically
to a level it deserves.

Through the kindness of list members I have received everything from
suggestions on tuning it to prevent TVI, to 2A3s (should be all set
here now, thanks), to antenna configurations used with the tuner and
many stories of personal use and experiences. I hope I can repay this
generosity when others are in need.

73, and thanks again to all -

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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