Raytheon Boradcast transmitter for sale

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 22 10:37:05 EDT 2006

I was reluctant to do this because of all the time invested and my
love of this transmitter, but practicality needs to rule the day. The
house is on the market, I'm getting married next month, and I really
need to cull the herd a bit.

So I'm selling the RA-1000 I went to NC to save in September 2005.
Here is a link to one online, to give you some idea of size and


You can click on the pictures to enlarge for better detail. The one
I'm selling is at least as clean, certainly with fewer paint spatters.

A bit of info on the beast:

It runs a pair of 833s modulated by a pair of 833s. It was last on the
air in November of 2003 and was used for a special BCB test for the
National Radio club. The local station (WGAI) was bought out by a
larger company who moved operations out of Elizabeth City and used the
site mainly for its towers. The transmitter sat dormant inside,
protected but unused for over a year before I got it. It comes with
MANY spares including:

 - Sixteen (yep, 16) 833s, mix of brands, most likely all used/pulls
at this point (although the engineer said the set in the transmitter
was recent). That's 4 full sets. The majority look good, a few have
some color.

 - Sixteen 845s, again probably pulls but some are in original RCA
boxes and show no signs of use

 - Numerous other tubes (6- 813s, a number of 807s and many smaller tubes)

 - Solid state sticks to replace the 872s and 866s (2 of each)

 - 2 pcs custom Peter Dahl mod iron, somewhere around $700 or more,
put in shortly before the sale and the transmitter being taken
offline, plus the original iron marked as 'tested good' with date and
original spark gap balls, if you want to restore it to original and
sell the Dahl iron (can be used in Gates rigs also)

 - Spare metering panel w/all meters (the lower one, hides behind the
lower door/shelf)

 - Spare variometer, smaller than the one that was installed, probably
helpful for moving to 160 (in the transmitter, it's motorized)

 - Original manual, schematics, and other documentation, including a
copy of the later RA-1000A manual

 - Other spares that I've forgotten, in boxes with other 'stuff'

Overall, I'd conservatively rate the transmitter as good-very good
overall.  It weighs in somewhere around 2400 pounds, meaning it's not
for those of weak constitution. The good news is, it's disassembled
down to panel size and neatly stored in my garage with packing
blankets protecting the painted panels, so it's not a nightmare to
move (I've already done the hard part of the work). It basically has
two cabinets, an inner cabinet with the components mounted to the
walls, and the outer cabinet with the trim, meters, etc. When it's
assembled, you can stand inside the back and work on it. Along the
lines of the Gates BC-1, but larger. The 'expert' on these rigs is a
fellow named Dan Churchill, who resides in Cavendish VT and still
sells parts for them, as well as servicing them. He is mentioned in
the Feb 2004 edition of Radio magazine online, with respect to their
search for the oldest AM transmitter still in service:

"I was reading the December issue and saw the article on the oldest
transmitter in Sign Off. I have an older one for you: WFLO-AM 870 went
on the air August 1947 and we are still using the original transmitter
today. It is a Raytheon 1kW AM transmitter (model RA-1000). Dan
Churchill of Commercial Radio Company in Cavendish, VT, has referred
to this transmitter as the Rolls Royce of transmitters. Churchill is
an expert on Raytheon transmitters and helps us whenever we have
technical problems. Our Raytheon purrs like a kitten and it's pushing
57 years of fulltime service as our main AM transmitter."
Francis Wood
general manager
WFLO AM/FM, Farmville, VA, and and
WSVS AM, Crewe, VA

As far as price, I'm not even going to come close to getting my money
back for this adventure. It took 3 days of travel and work, VT to NC
and back, plus rooms, meals, and the labor of 3 people to save this
thing. It doesn't help that Hurricane Katrina wandered through shortly
before heading down to get it, driving gas over $3/gal. for the trip.
Just the verifiable expense are somewhere around $2.5K, which doesn't
include anyone's time. I'm asking $1500 which is probably the value of
the tubes and Dahl iron alone. It wouldn't break my heart if it didn't
sell, but I'm trying soooo hard to be 'practical' about my radio hobby
(which must be somewhere in the 5 ton category at this point).

Bob Carter, KC4QLP is the engineer who sold me the transmitter and
helped disassemble and load it. He knows every little detail of this
rig, having maintained it for a number of years. He had wanted to keep
it himself, but was in the process of a move from NC to NY and
couldn't swing it. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to answer any
questions. He did tell me that they bought another RA-1000 from
another station, which is where the spare meter panel, variometer, and
other goodies came from. He also told me that it had been successfully
adapted for AM Stereo, and that it sounds great.

If you're eager for a winter project and always wanted a BC
transmitter, this deal was made for you. I'll even help load it!

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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