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Heathkit AT-1 Restoration Complete




 
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November 20, 2018, 07:27:13 PM *
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W9ZSL
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« on: October 31, 2018, 01:42:10 PM »

Got it done! I still need to tie and bundle some wires and refinish the cabinet. May have to put that off until the WX warms up a bit. I'm limited with re-painting. I'm going to add a ground lug in back. Construct was fairly easy, though at times I wished my fingers were half their size! Even though it only weighs around 13 pounds, hefting it around didn't do the arthritis much good. Yes, that's a pilot light. The front panel came with an unauthorized hole that needed filling. Instruction manual had a few minor errors and in the case of installing the coils, I changed the procedure by soldering the switch leads in place first and then slipped the coil terminals over the leads and snapped the coil in place. All it took was cutting the leads flush with the terminals and soldering. Had a couple snags. Evidently Heath used two types of tuning caps over time. My pair mounted with two screws to standoffs. Problem was, the front panel had only ONE hole drilled to mount the caps by the threaded bushing. I ended up having to drill the holes while the front panel was secured to the chassis. Nasty. Getting back to the coils, it was obvious that both terminals on one side of each coil were the cold ends of the coil and link because a ground bus was run from top to bottom on both ends. That wasn't covered very well in the manual, so I had to trace which side was the "cold" side. Unfortunately the 10 Meter coil was backwards so I had to remove it. Considering the age of the parts, it wasn't surprising that the cold link terminal of that coil broke off when I moved the ground bus into place. Fortunately there was enough solder at the end of the bus to secure the terminal and all I had to do was juggle the terminal against the root that went through the form and weld it back together. Meter said continuity was fine. Next step is bringing a receiver up from the basement so I can test the AT-1 AND a transmitter I built from scratch for 40/80. That will be used as an exciter for the 120 watt parallel 807 rig in the works. The AT-1 will make a great multi-band exciter and fun stand-alone rig. Soon as I can scrounge up a modulation XFMR, I'll build that and hook it up along with a VFO. Last big project may be a 300 watt+ amp built around an 813. I still haven't given up on those plans entirely as long as the heart keeps working! One last thought. Never ask me to restore a TX-1. The arthritis would kill me!


* AT1H.JPG (789.49 KB, 2048x1536 - viewed 116 times.)

* AT1I.JPG (777.98 KB, 2048x1536 - viewed 142 times.)
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WA2SQQ
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 11:34:09 AM »

The interior looks like a piece of art work. Very nice!
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W9ZSL
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 04:15:18 PM »

Thanks! A liberal amount of Wright's Copper Cream and a lot of elbow grease can do nifty things.
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KC2TAU
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2018, 05:00:36 PM »

Excellent work on the front panel, too! The paint and lettering look factory fresh!
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KL7OF
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2018, 09:47:57 AM »

Shiny.....Nice job!   Steve

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W9ZSL
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 11:33:00 AM »

I didn't do anything with the front panel except clean it with some "Mother's Cleaner / Wax." It has a few small blemishes but nothing severe. Anything more would have been a bit beyond my budget. I thought I might get the chassis re-plated but quotes I got were over $100! Thanks for the positive comments y'all. This will probably be my one and only complete restoration.
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WU2D
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 09:17:00 PM »

Really nice work! I just finished bringing an old AR-3 and an HR-10 back to life.

73's Mike WU2D
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W9ZSL
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 05:37:00 PM »

The only other kit I built was an AR-3 way back in the day. Must have screwed something up because we never were able to align it. I have an HR-10 now along with the complete DX-60B series matched. I'm slowly bringing everything up from the basement to a new home upstairs.  Too much extra work for the heart climbing the steps. Shop is still down there so my trips are exercise. Anything more would be a drag!


* Heath B-3.JPG (1288.55 KB, 2560x1920 - viewed 48 times.)
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W1AEX
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 04:58:20 PM »

Beautiful restoration Mike!

Rob W1AEX
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 11:55:08 PM »

Nothing beats a nice shiny copper chassis. Looks fantastic!

Jon
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W9ZSL
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 12:53:07 PM »

Love that Wright's Copper Cream!
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WA2TTP Steve
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 07:32:17 PM »

You did a great job. Congratulations!
When I was in my high school radio club, back in 61, they would lend out AT1s to new novices. I used it about 4 months mostly on 80 meters then returned it when I got my general. It came with the little antenna tuner Heathkit sold for the AT1.

Steve
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W9ZSL
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 01:06:14 PM »

Thanks! I'm going to watch for one of those tuners to come up for sale. Otherwise, I'm planning on using the AT-1 more as an exciter. I have a current project in the works; a 120 watt parallel 807 AM amp with the next one being an amp using a single 813 or 4-125A. Have most of the parts for either unit.
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