The "Best of Two" Transmitter

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Check out the video at the bottom of the page.


Evan's comments on this TX

Finally, here is the Best transmitter on my website! This TX brings together the best of the Goldberg and the best from the Tuning Eye TX.

This is a powerful little transmitter. It sounds sharp and beautiful. I chose to use the 6GY6 pentode as the oscillator. I chose this tube because of it's ability to modulate so well. It is connected using a variation of the Colpits oscillator. I also brought over the 6E2 tuning eye which I believe adds a little fun to the TX.

On this TX, I used a 6HM5 triode as an audio input tube. (A 6HQ5 will also work.) This tube has an amplification factor of 80 which is better than many other triodes. Using a triode is simpler than using the 12AT7 as configured in the Goldberg TX. Frankly, other than the secondary input found on the 12AT7, which allows you to decrease the modulation by applying a little feedback, the 6HM5 works just as well. (This Goldberg feature really went unused, though it worked as intended.) My coupling capacitors surrounding the 6HM5 are a bit tight, because I am listening to Old Time Radio dialog. If you plan on listening to music, increasing the value of C44 to .02 might be the best option.

On this TX, I've installed a variable inductor RF output coil (45uH - 100uH) which allows me to match the antenna impedance. Of course, you must have an oscilloscope to adjust this TX appropriately.

NOTE: If you cannot find such a variable inductor try using a fixed 100uh RF inductor, and add a 50pf variable capicitor on the antenna side for peaking the output. The results will be just fine at the design frequency of 1.63mhz. (The approximate antenna matching choke value is 90uH +/- )

You will notice that the Goldberg power supply has been used here, though it has been simplified. It's still a split bi-polar power supply, but I removed the various power supply stages you see on my previous prints. On this TX I use the negative voltage to provide negative bias to the grid of the RF Output tube.

The transformer used is the Hammond 269BX. The measured voltage at the plate of the EL84 = 160v.

I also moved the two transmission tubes to the same side of the box, and tightened up the tuning lineup. It's now down the right side, when looking at the TX from the bottom.

Comments regarding this transmitter:

This transmitter will be the one I'll now be using from sunup to sundown. It's not quite as linear as the "Linear Transmitters". (See the FAQ at the bottom of this page for more on this point.) However, this TX modulates significantly better, and this really makes for a more pleasant listening experience.

Please also see my "Lessons Learned" at the bottom of this page.

Final Comments regarding the transmitters found on my website:

Well as you step through my various TX pages you can see the evolution I've gone through to build the best quality, low power, AM, tube type transmitter. I think I've finally..... pretty nearly, achieved it. It's been fun and exciting to research this material and to build a number of different TX's. I've attempted to bring the value of my research to you so you do not have to burn as much time as I have in your attempt to build the same. My advice to you - HAVE FUN - and build your own TX, however do not omit the small stuff, thinking "well this won't make any real difference so I'll leave it out". In the end it all adds up, either for good or bad!


Click on the image below for a larger schematic.


For a closer look at the tuning eye circuit.

The schematic above always show the latest updates. Click on it for a full view.

The pictures below may not show every update.

Click on any image below for a larger picture.

The ribbon cable you see goes to the LED's installed in the tube sockets.

All on a single 6" X 8" top!




To answer your FAQ's

Probe set on x10


FAQ - Why have I not built a TX with a variable capacitor so it can be tuned to the frequency you desire? Well first, because those TX's are not as sharp as a crystal controlled TX. I own one that was professionally built and though it's a good one, there's really no comparison between the two from a tuning and audio quality perspective. Also, the variable capacitor tuned TX's cannot go much above 1450kc, give or take a bit. This TX uses the crystal suggested by Fred Nachbaur which is set for 1630kc. This gets the TX well above the noise found on the middle of the AM dial. There's a pretty dramatic difference moving from 1000kc to 1630kc.

NOTE: Some 1940 cheaper radio's only dialed up to 1500kc. The nicer ones went to 1700kc - 1800kc. Compare a Philco 42-321 vs. the Philco 42-322.


Lessons learned!

If you have a transformer that is not center tapped try the E section of the circuit below to obtain some negative bias voltage.

Point E is the negative bias supply .


Are Your Capacitors Installed Backwards?




This is what the TX sounds like while listening to a 1938 Air Castle radio - with a 12" speaker.