Globe King 500 - Acquisition

newly acquired GK

The Bell County Hamfest in Belton is one of the best in Texas. There are fewer "junk" dealers and more serious traders than at most others. It happens twice a year, in April and October, and I try to make every one. I usually go with fellow hams. One of my good friends, Emile Imberman - W5EMI, usually goes and did this past April. Emile and I are kindred spirits; he loves the old tube gear as much as I. That old gear has personality and it reminds us old boomers of days gone forever when life was simple and ham radio was at its apogee.

At the 'fest was the usual mix of old and new radios, and I had not traded heavily this particular day. I wandered out of the pavilion to see what treasures might be hiding in the parking lot and came upon a truck loaded with fine old gear. But the piece that caught my attention was a big, old rusted, Globe King 500. I can't remember when I last saw one, but it had to have been over 30 years ago. When I saw that no one was taking an interest in the old boy, I began to examine him a little more thoroughly and wondered how much work it would take to bring him back to the shape of his youth.

He belonged to Gary Harmon, K5JWK, and Gary was asking an amount that made me really hesitate. So I walked away to do some more hunting. But that old Globe King was on my mind, and an hour later I wandered back to Gary's truck. He really didn't want to take the transmitter back home and did his best to talk me into taking it. After a little bantering, we struck a deal and now the Globe King was mine. I found out later from Gary that he rescued it from a metal salvage yard in Comfort, Texas. It must have set out in the weather for who knows how long. It was covered in rust, filled with mice and roach nests, neglected for years, but I was now a member of small group of Globe King owners. It was Leo's top-of-the-line transmitter in the 50s, a fine one that runs close to today's legal limit.

Emile and I loaded the beast into the bed of my pick up (you have to have a pick up in Texas) and headed back home. At 250-plus pounds, it was a chore loading and unloading it. I got him home and took a few pictures. Click on the button to see how far the Globe King had fallen off his throne or it's on the high-voltage power supply.

Globe King - Acquisition