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Gates BC1-G available

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by K4KYV, Apr 4, 2016.

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  1. KA4KOE

    KA4KOE Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey that's great Don. Would like to hear you on the air with it sometime.

    Didn't see you at the Hamfest today. Maybe tomorrow? :)

    I decided to get a table to peddle some of my old junk there. You know, $5 for this, $10 for that sort of thing. Not there to make any money that's for sure. :)

    Didn't see much in terms of plate modulated rigs there today. Seen only one Johnson Valiant but couldn't find anyone to ask anything about more about it. Then I seen a couple of old Heathkit rigs but they only had SSB/CW and didn't have AM in them?! ...Wassup with that? :eek:

    Then I ran across a 390A there for only 200 bucks but it had no top or bottom covers or meters in it, and the guy said it doesn't power up. Probably the rectifier or maybe the caps are shot. I could fix it but still thinking about that one. Those darn covers are going for more than I would be paying for the rig. lol

    Well enough of my off topic blathering I guess. :)
  3. WB5HAK

    WB5HAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went to the fest last evening, and won't be there today. You are right, not much AM or good, old stuff there. Some later SSB, but the R-390 looked like a BIG project, and the others scared me off too.

    I have a Valiant if you want one. Contact me when I get home late Sunday or Monday. I have a receiver or two as well if you need one. Available ones are "projects", but not serious ones, I think. Mostly cleaning, recapping, etc. You know I'll be coming back through here soon to fetch the Gates, so delivery wouldn't be a problem o_O.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  4. WB5HAK

    WB5HAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, Phillip.
    Now to get it picked up and have a nice project for later.
    Don, WB5HAK
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the kind offer Don.

    I decided I am just going to use the rice box for a while. I would need another desk for a Valiant and what I really need to do is get the Mancave back, but I am not sure when that's going to occur at this point in time.

    Keep us all posted on the Gates. :)
    KD2ACO likes this.
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well it seems I have a confession to make to make to you Don.

    I actually purchased that R-390A you seen at the hamfest.

    And here's the kicker... I offered the guy a $100 bucks for it as a non working "parts rig" and he took it too! ...I mean, come on could I possibly pass up that low price for it as a "parts rig" right?

    Well the guy who sold it to me he said it wouldn't power up at all. He said it was completely dead and didn't work at all.

    Well guess what? ... I now have it working only after a few hours when I got it home from the hamfest.

    It turns out when you put these rigs into standby mode, it sometimes messes up the relay that powers up the rig. This relay sometimes "sticks" and gives one the impression the rig has no power at all. I sprayed the "stuck" relay with a shot of Deoxit and it now powers up every time just perfectly with no problem at all.

    So after that simple fix, I hooked it up to an antenna and threw a pair of headpones on and started tuning around the bands and I can hear WWV, some 40m SSB operators (using the BFO), a few SWL stations and even some AM guys on 3.885 !

    Yeah sure, it needs replacement meters, a couple of covers and probably some new power supply caps and a few other things too, but I have to admit this was the cheapest R-390A I have ever purchased that is actually in working condition.

    So here's what a "working" $100 R390-A looks like... :)

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    KD2ACO likes this.
  7. WB5HAK

    WB5HAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    No need for a "confession", I'm just glad to see that it went to someone that knew what it was and would take care of it. Now I'm sorta wishing I would have more seriously considered his SP-600!! If you are going to rack mount that R-390A, I wouldn't put the covers on it. It will run much cooler without the covers, however, if you need some of them, I may have a set I bought many years ago that are reproductions. I plan to just rack mount mine "in the open". Good job getting it going so quickly!!
    Don, WB5HAK
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. I am going to order some reproduction panels.

    Yeah he offered me the SP600 and the R390a together for $200 but the SP-600 looked like it spent some time outdoors and I found evidence of mud daubers making nests living inside there. Seriously considered it but the the tuning capacitors inside were showing evidence of pitting and aluminum corrosion.That was the deal breaker for me.

    I was working on the R390A today and found it was unusually clean inside. Too clean like it was never used in service.

    I get the feeling this was a depot spare unit that never seen much service. It does however have evidence of a paitned yellow stripe of death painted on the face I am trying to remove. I got most of it removed but it's iffy if it's good enough to avoid a repainting.

    They did this "stripe of death" to all the R390a units they decommissioned. Here's what's funny. The IF section is an EAC, the RF tuning section is a Stewart Warner and the PTO is a Cosmos and not a Collins. The power supply rectifier was converted into solid state and it looks like the military did it. The solid state rectifier attached to the chassis has a "military" part number stamped on it.

    It appears this is a military refurbished 390A. It had "OK" written on and I removed that but it has also has no identification plate attached to it. Guess it was purposely removed when it was decommissioned?

    It was really, really clean inside. Like it was never used. I had another 390 in the past that needed a garden hose to clean out the accumulated dirty grunge and gunk. This one is not like that at all. Just some light dust in it from sitting around but nothing else.The string used to tie the wiring harnesses together and nice and bright and not dirty at all. This is the cleanest R390A I have seen. I think it was put into storage after it was decommissioned and never used

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  9. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Easy job, I'd say.

    By comparison, at least.

    I drove from Phoenix to Murphy, NC for two..A WECo and a Gates, both 5kW and 12K lbs total. Only took 6 days, and a lot of Diesel.

    Go for it.

  10. WZ5Q

    WZ5Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup, I agree. It's just a matter of gettin-er-done.

    I drove from southern Louisiana to the middle of Connecticut for a 4-1000A homebrew rig built by Big Al, K1JCL. It only took 3 days round trip, but I had a co-driver and we only stopped for eats and fuel. Fuel cost wasn't that bad as I had rented a Mini Van for the trip and it got pretty good fuel mileage. And yes, it was squatting pretty low on the way back!

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