[AMRadio] Stock or modify? BC rig "value"

VJB wa3vjb at yahoo.com
Mon May 29 05:10:14 EDT 2006

In the discussion about RCA transmitters I picked up
on the comment of Neal/CAF --

>I  feel the Rig has
>more Value if kept close to Factory origonal.

Value to whom? Branching off Rick's situation for a
moment to try to get your thoughts on a dilemma.

Several people have asked me, over the past 10-15
years, whether it is "better" to preserve an old
broadcast transmitter as-is or modify it to make it
more useful in a second life on the ham bands.

I wholeheartedly say modify it !

Radio stations are throwing out transmitters like
this, and replacing them with little rackmount MOSFET
jobs that plug into a standard AC outlet. Change the
filters on the muffin fans, and settle in for years of
no-maintenance service.

Occasionally a station will decide to get rid of a
Gates, an RCA, or other fairly common transmitter of
the late 1940s and 1950s, and they will start high
with their asking price. There's one just like Rick's
asking $3000 right now in an industry newspaper.

But far more common is the scenario I've mentioned --
word will go out a station is freeing up space,
getting rid of an old transmitter that the "new"
engineer can't fix. Out the back door, "come get it,
yours for the taking."

Modifications performed in keeping with spirit of the
original quality of design seem warranted to the
prospective ham as a way to continue to obtain the
most useful service out of the transmitter, to provide
greatest enjoyment to those of us on the other end
receiving a classic signal like that, and perhaps best
of all, settling the question of what to do with a
1000 lb beast if it is to be saved from the landfill
or the scrap metal yard.

THAT's why converting a BC rig to 160-75-40 is a
valuable upgrade, in my opinion.


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