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The Collins ART-13

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N6YW, Jul 26, 2016.

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  1. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    For those who aren't familiar with the Collins ART-13, it should become a focal point in your AM vocabulary.
    This marvel of late 1930's engineering is beyond compare for it's time and place in the annals of radio history.
    In fact, many firsts were accomplished with the design and it would likely have never happened in such a
    manner if it weren't for the war effort, which is alone worthy of this thread.

    In short, the ART-13 AM/CW transmitter is an autotune design that incorporates high level plate modulated
    AM with good quality audio (without using a carbon mic). A pair of 811-A's modulate a single 813 that produces
    anywhere from 100 to 200 watts of carrier depending on the power supply voltage used. It's mechanical design
    is breathtaking due to it use of clockworks for the autotune mechanisms and it's compactness for the period
    of manufacture is simply brilliant. It is likely the single most important piece of communications equipment
    designed for aircraft use for war time that resulted in helping to win the war. Coupled with the Hallicrafters
    BC-610 series transmitters on the ground, it gave the USA the dominant communications edge over the enemies of WWII. It also served well into the 60's and 70's!

    All of it's history, use, maintenance and the choice of power supplies is amply covered on the internet.
    For restoration and helpful hints and facts, there is only one first stop and that's my friend Henry Rogers
    "Radio Boulevard" here: http://www.radioblvd.com/art13.htm
    And of course the CCA website where there is an abundance of historical data.
    When I wrote an article published in the Collins Collectors "Signal" Magazine about the ART-13, I stated that
    it's a project that is earned, not granted, in that it was not intended for amateur use and requires a good deal
    of understanding in order to get one on the air.
    You simply don't plug and play unless it's complete and is air worthy (pun intended) and has been thoroughly
    vetted. Otherwise, you are going to be required to study it's design and operation completely, acquire or build
    the power supplies needed, and there's 3 of them: Plate HV, Low Voltage & 28 VDC Filaments.
    Then, putting it on the air and maintaining it's performance. You will find it to be a real gem to own and operate. If you're lucky enough to get one and successfully get it on the air, the experience of pride and ownership will be hard to compare with anything else in this hobby. When you put that signal on the air,
    you're transmitting an example of an amazing piece of radio history that deserves respect.

    I hope this thread is a good source of exploration and discussion about this wonderful transmitter, and if I
    may be so bold, likely to be one of Collins Radio's top 5 inventions of all time in scope of inventiveness
    and application. I have numerous photos of mine along with notes on building a compact rack mount supply.
    Enjoy and post away and I invite all owners of ART-13's to chime in and share.
    73 de Billy N6YW 20140613_142537_resized.jpg ART13PSF.jpg
     
  2. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice , maybe instead of calling it a boat anchor , we should call it an aircraft wing ;)
    Not enough room in my Airstream for an aircraft wing station , doggie dew
     
  3. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Doggie Dew?
     
  4. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    ? doggie dew - is my playing with cussing about , dang no room in the Airstream for boat anchors .
     
    N6YW likes this.
  5. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I got it, thanks for the clarification. I'll add that one to my book!
     
  6. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Billy missed it at first because in the recording studio, we're used to actual swearing...
     
    N6YW likes this.
  7. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    You got THAT RIGHT!
     
  8. KJ4YEV

    KJ4YEV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Edited
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  9. KJ4YEV

    KJ4YEV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Curious. how how it uses 28VDC to heat two 811's and an 813?
     
  10. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    The use of series wired filaments and how it's divided up among the tubes. Very straight forward.
    The depot repair manual is available free online. Download it and give it a read.
     
    N2EY and KJ4YEV like this.

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