The Gates BC-1G Page


Nothing like a glowing quad of 833A's on a cold winters night

I have been the proud owner of this Gates BC-1G for a little over 3 years now - having brought it home in September 2001. This particular transmitter came from Tennessee and that amounted to nearly a 1100 mile round trip for my XYL and myself. Yes, it was just the 2 of us in my old Dodge pick-up. We made a 2 night event out of it, leaving on a Friday right after work and returning home late Sunday night. When we left to get it, we had no promise of any help on the other end except for the individual who was selling it and we ended up soliciting for help on main street in the little town it was located in. I had to remove the cap from the truck and then reinstall it after the beast was loaded. All of the iron was removed and placed in the bed of the truck to behind the cab. It was a memorable experience to say the least.

This particular "Big G" is a very early serial number and it has 5 meters across the top as opposed to the usual 4. It is serial no. 70301 and the manual says: "For serial no's. 70300 and 70301" Are the manuals usually dedicated to just 2 units? Anyway, the date on the manual is 9/15/1962 and that is the year that the G model was introduced.

When I got the transmitter the LV transformer was "toast" and it smelled strongly of that burnt transformer odor. The LV choke was also smoked but there was a new one with the transmitter. The HV bleeder resistor was broken off and a cursory inspection showed lots of burnt and overheated resistors as well as relays in very bad shape. The early 60's PC boards could not hide the effects of vacuum tube circuitry heat for many years. The entire unit was very dirty with a heavy caked coating of a light brown dirt. I striped as much of the unit down as I had time for and cleaned it up before a temporary re-assembly out in the garage. The transmitter had multiple problems which I took care of one at a time before bringing it up on it's original frequency of 1340 kc. I was able to obtain a LV transformer with a 240 vac primary from a 5kw FM transmitter that was being parted out locally. It was a little high in voltage but I found a nice 240v variac which I installed in the rig. The unit had low modulation from the very beginning and I essentially ended up rebuilding the AF driver board.

I finally got it working satisfactorily out in the garage then recruited the same co-workers who had helped with the Meissner 150B lifting and transfer to the basement. Getting the Gates in the front door of the house and then down 2 half-flights of stairs required turning it 3 times. It was a back breaker but we got it in place on it's 2 dedicated dollies (a total of 8 wheels) in about an hour.

I initially converted the transmitter to operation on 160 meters and then a year later for ops on either 160 or 75 (about a 10 minute change). The changes I made are described in the "MODS" section

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The trip home The evaluation stage Iron still removed - you can see where the  "smoked' LV xfmr sat Just starting the cleaning process The right side with the panel removed This is the 240 variac, step-start, & power level select assembly
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This is how the floor of the rig looks now The control assembly mounted in TX The SS time delay relays 160/75 meter driver coil band switch 5 meters on this early model In service on 160

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