GE XT-1-A PROJECT
From WEIM, Fitchburg, MA to KW1I, Bow, NH to my garage.
This transmitter was originally installed at WEIM in 1950. Many years later, Dale Gagnon purchased it and installed it in his garage to use on 160 meters. He owned it for about seven years before selling it to me.
The first versions of this model were manufactured in 1948, two years after I was born. This transmitter is part of the post WW II boom.
Old Military saying: "Works fine, Lasts a long time, Painted Green, Won't Rust, Bust or Collect Dust."
About 5 years ago, I bought a book called "The Complete Shortwave Listener's Handbook" Fourth edition by Hank Bennett, David T. Hardy, and Andrew Yoder, Pg 184. After browsing the amateur radio chapter I saw picture of a ham standing next to a magnificent, old broadcast transmitter that he had converted for ham radio use. There it stood with its numerous meters and 4 powerful looking 833 tubes beautifully displayed in a window. The ham is Dale Gagnon, KW1I. I looked him up on the web and found that he was president of an organization called AMI (AM International.) Since then, I dreamed of having an XT-1-A, but never took the dream too seriously. It wasn't till 1998, that I purchased an RCA BTA-500R transmitter from the darkened WERA and converted it for operation on 160 meters. Once on 160 M, I contacted many fine AMers. One day, I heard Dale on the air and thought I must meet him on the air and tell him about having seen his picture in the book. I found Dale to be a very fine amateur operator with good ham radio etiquette and eventually a very fine friend. As it turns out, he had the transmitter for sale. Before I undertook to move such a "beautiful beast" (non oxymoron), I would have to see it first. It weighs 2000 lb.! I arranged to drive 300 miles north to meet Dale on March 13, 1999. I was fortunate in that an impending snowstorm held off until just after I got home.
Dale demonstrated the XT-1-A and also showed me his wonderful shack full of vintage equipment, most in mint or near mint condition. After a fun visit and a chance to actually use the rig, I agreed to purchase it. Now the fun began when I contacted the riggers/movers on March 15. The original schedule was to pick up the transmitter on March 26 and deliver it on April 1. This wasn't to be as there were many unexpected problems in the coordination of the move. Without going into detail, the transmitter was finally picked up on April 14 and delivered on April 27th. I had the transmitter on the air tested in exactly one week (May 4). On May 5, Dale was my first contact. The audio was beautiful and my signal came in at S9+20db. Actually it was 0200 UTC on May 6, Dale's Birthday.
So, my fellow AMers, enjoy the page as I show you this machine and some other equipment I adorned my ham station with.
A relative of mine wrote this when he saw this page:
KW1I - Dale Gagnon, Bow, NH
|In the left photo, the XT-1-A is on the
right near the front of the garage and
the BTA-500 is on the left in the back.
Between them is the transmitter end
Moseley remote relay control unit
The right photo is a closup of the XT-1-A.
|The shack is on the second floor, next to the garage. In this picture
is a Gates Dualux II console and Electrovoice RE-27 microphone,
both of which I purchased from Pete Kanze, a broadcast instructor
of Westchester, NY Community College and co-author of the book,
"The Airwaves of NY". On the shelf over the console is my NRD-525
Receiver, Ten-Tec OMNI-D SSB/CW Transceiver and the other
end of the Moseley Remote control unit. Audio limiters are in the rack.
So now we have one transmitter originally from WEIM, Fitchburg, MA; another transmitter and other equipment from WERA, Plainfield, NJ and a console originally from WFAS, Westchester, NY.
Click for a simplified
|833A (2)||Final Amplifier|
|8005 (1)||RF IPA/Driver|
|807A (1)||RF Buffer|
|807A (1)||RF Oscillator/Amp|
|845 (2)||Modulator Drivers|
|807A (2)||2nd Audio Amp|
|6SN7 (1)||1st Audio Amp|
The audio is push-pull all the way from the first to the last stage. The 833s are driven by a pair of 845s in a cathode follower arrangement. The modulation transformer is a UTC. My guess is that it's 300 lb of iron!
|This inside view show the four 833 tubes. Above is the cooling fan which blows out the top of the cabinet. In the upper right, is the final tank coil which is motor controlled for frequency tuning from the front panel. The two 845 modulator drivers are visible at the lower left corner of the picture. The large Variac below the 833 shelf provides adjustment for the filament voltage.||This page wouldn't be complete without a picture of the iron. The XT-1-A modulation transformer is about 2' high by 1' plus square.|
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