The 1BCG Replica Transmitter in use in 1996.
Check out the nice blue glow from the 866 rectifiers!

For the December1996 special event, a replica 1BCG transmitter was built by Antique Wireless Association members Bob Raide, W2ZM (SK), and Mike, W2ZE (now W2ZM), Raide. In a nod to modernity, a line powered plate supply was used, rather than the original motor-generator supply, but the cheerful blue glow from a pair of Taylor 866 mercury vapor rectifiers added a real holiday feel to the shack. Type UV-204 triode tubes, like those that would have been used in 1921 transmitter were unavailable, so 204-A tubes were substituted. The main differences between the UV-204 and the 204-A are a lower power requirement for the filament of the 204A, 3.85 amperes @ 11 volts, compared to 14.75 amps @ 11 volts for the UV-204, and a cylindrical, stepped glass envelope on the 204-A compared to the spherical glass bulb on the UV-204. With this configuration the station could put out approximately 300 to 400 watts.

The1BCG Gamma Matched Vertical Antenna in 1996

For the antenna in the 1996 special event, Tim Walker, N2GIG, constructed a 75 foot long gamma matching element on George Wells’, KA1JUV, 80 foot tower, then Tim, and Rich Roznoy, K1OF, laid down over a mile of #16 wire in 40 ground radials around the tower base. The transmitter was connected to this system through 75 ohm coax, with a transmatch at the base of the tower, and the usual gamma matching capacitor.

The Shoreline Amateur Radio Club loaned its club call, W1BCG, to the special event station, and the station was operated by the Norwalk Amateur Radio Club with many guest operators from other clubs. Transmitting around 1812 KHz from Greenwich Connecticut, W1BCG logged over 800 contacts including stations in Europe, Canada and the Caribbean.