Ameco AC-1 Kit.

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by N8AFT, Aug 31, 2017.

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  1. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Ameco AC-1 kit should arrive in today's post.
    Looking fwd to getting one on the air. Likely will use a 6L6 in it. Should be a fun rig....
    Anyone built one of these recently or not recently?
    Helpful comments are welcome.
  2. WA2IUS

    WA2IUS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ahh, yes - waxing nostalgic now! The AC-1T was my very first transmitter when I was just a kid - 11 years old, I think. Somewhere, I still have FT-243 crystals for 40 and 80 meters from those days. As I was just a kid, my initial attempt to build this kit failed. Fortunately, my engineer uncle came to the rescue. I learned many things and it was a good bonding experience. It wasn't too long before I moved on to a used Johnson Viking Ranger I transmitter, but I did have a lot of fun with the Ameco back around 1968 or so. If you're too used to modern, solid state, low-voltage gadgets, please don't forget that there is high voltage inside. I had an "oops" like that back in my radio shop days that landed me on the floor, but at least, I didn't end up "pushing up daisies!"

    Enjoy - do let us know how it turns out. 73, Steve
  3. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK Steve! Good to hear about your CA-1.
    Hopefully it will arrive here soon via USPS today.
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    The AC-1 kit I eBay ordered on Sunday August 27 arrived Saturday September the 2nd via postman.
    I found all the parts to be in the pkg with the only exception being the listed rubber grommet for the AC line cord to pass through the chassis.
    A crystal for 7050 was included which was a nice gesture I thought. It was even marked with the Ameco logo.
    I promptly began the ritual scraping paint from the chassis in area requiring a sound ground to chassis connection.
    This would best be accomplished by the builder using a motorized device driven smal abraisive tip or stone.
    The bare spots were lubed with Vaseline so as to help ensure a corrosion free continuity later on.
    The lock nuts supplied were found to be a tad too large in diameter to fit the tube sockets bottom squarely.
    If one installed the screws from the bottom up then the tubes will not fit properly due to the excess screw threads now above the socket.
    All this is metric hardware so I made a trip to my local and very well supplied small-box hardware store for 4-40 screws, nuts and split washers.
    I found nice brass screws there which I think adds a classic touch to any rig.
    With my 61 year old eyesight and limited finger touch sense and dexterity, I now soldiered on in my quest for tube glow-rock bound-home made QRP.
    All went well and I made the effort to twist the wire pairs neatly and place components with as short as possible lead lengths.
    Finally the time came for power-up and shake down. Nothing. Not even tube glow.
    Out came the print and I found the fellow doing the building missed all the jumper wires in the fil string, B+ and tuned circuit.
    With that resolved, and the builder's pay scale adjusted accordingly, the key was pressed and the plate cap tuned to max indication on my watt meter.
    Hearing a respectable classic and non-ricebox perfect crytstal oscillated CW note on the shack receiver now.
    That soon came to an abrupt end when the kit supplied 7050 xtal decided it had enough and expired.
    Being glad I have a good rock collection, I replaced it with a well worn FT243 @ 7060kHz es the transmitter came back to life.
    I added a 2nd 47uf filter and a junque box choke to the power supply to remove some B+ sag and make for a bit cleaner keyed signal.
    Most builders will find this rig to provide an acceptable sounding signal however without immediately or even later-on adding these parts.
    It loads the full-wave Hertz here as well as the vert and a 40m doublet well. From 4.5 to nearly 6 watts of RF output as indicated on the Bird.
    I had a new GE 6V6GTA that I subbed for the kit's Soviet tube. It gives a better sound and a bit more output. Again not a requirement for use.
    All-in-all a good weekend project that will occupy considerable time and thought.
    The results are satisfying enough to recommend these kits to anyone with basic kit building skill and tools.
    The only exception being with the kit supplier's choice of mounting hardeware.
    Take the time needed to make neat wiring and soldering work.
    Take breaks when you need to.
    Afterwards enjoy a warm tube-glowing rig when you're finished.
    Listen to the other ops say oooh and ah when you tell them what you've done!
    VY 72 es 73 from Lane in Columbus Ohio. de n8aft
    KE0EFX and WD4IGX like this.
  5. AF4K

    AF4K Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bravo Lane - I hope to hear it again soon! 73 - AF4K

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