The Replica 1BCG Transmitter in 1996

The transmitter replica that was used in the 1996 special event recognizing the 75th anniversary of the 1921 Transatlantic Tests, was brought to the Antique Wireless Association in Bloomfield, NY and put in storage at the end of the event.

The 1996 Replica fresh from storage in 2021

In 2021, when the 1BCG transmitter replica was awakened from its 25 year sleep it was missing its tubes and a couple of capacitors, but it was in fine shape otherwise. The 1996 special event had been conducted with only two functioning tubes, one as the oscillator and one as a power amplifier, the other type 204-A tubes shown in the 1996 photo at the top of this page had their filaments lit, but were otherwise not functional.

Ed Gable, K2MP, examines a 204-A

The first order of business was to build a filament power supply, borrow a plate supply, and identify some working 204-A tubes. After sorting through a few duds and repairing a broken wire in a tube base, we identified two good tubes, the minimum number required, one oscillator tube and one power amplifier tube.

Joel Kosoff, W3ZT, builds a new-old plate supply

Bob Hobday, N2EVG, had an old plate supply that someone had started to build but never wired, so Joel Kosoff, W3ZT, completed the wiring. As nice as the 866 mercury vapor rectifiers looked in the 1996 power supply, we used high vacuum rectifiers to avoid the risk of spilled mercury if an 866 broke.

Joel, W3ZT, tunes up

With 2 good tubes in the transmitter, and a new, old plate supply, the 1BCG replica put out 200 watts. When the plate supply was rewired from a choke input filter to a capacitor input filter the power increased to 350 watts.

Joel, W3ZT, generates some RF