Recovery and Restoration of a T1509 Transmitter part 1.  November 2005

The T1509 is an RAF ground station transmitter dating from around 1947.  AC Mains powered, remote controlled AM/CW/RTTY and offering up to around 350 watts output on frequencies between 1.5 and 20 Mc/s it is big.....and very heavy, 800lbs in all.  There is a description of a restoration here.

When my attention was drawn by Tony G8AQN to one residing in an about to be demolished ATC hut in Manchester I thought "I gotta have it", but where to put the beast?  So I offered it to the Radio group at Thorpe Camp , appropriate as TC is an ex-RAF site, well away from civilisation and the thought of being able to operate a big AM transmitter without it blasting through everyone's telephones etc appealed.

So, arrangements were made, a suitable van hired and myself and Rob G0OTH headed North West on a cold damp November Wednesday morning where we were met by Donna and her partner Mark, and sergeant "Phil" of the ATC.

<Left....The T1509 as we found it.

Suitably refreshed with tea and bacon butties courtesy of Donna we set about figuring out how to move the beast.  The tx proper is divided into two sections, the power unit and the transmitter proper, fitted into a steel cabinet.  Construction techniques of a  battleship came to mind.  I had previously discussed how to dismantle and move the set with Stuart G0TBI and others.  We reckoned that each part would weigh about a third of the total - something like 2 1/2 cwt each or about the weight of a car engine!

The units slide out of the case on well made runners far enough for servicing, but then have to be lifted over the endstops for complete removal after disconnecting the wiring looms.

This proved easy enough with the power unit, but the transmitter refused to budge, till I discovered that there are two swivel supports that carry the wiring looms that have to be released first.

< The tranmitter unit manhandled into the van by Rob, Mark and Phil.  The tail-lift proved indispensable! 

Unfortunately at this point we discovered that most of the valves had been removed.  however replacements have now been sourced thanks to the generosity of VMARS members and others.
< The cabinet heading along the pathway from the hut to the roadside.  This picture shows what was the most awkward part of the operation  - the path had a step down and two steps up.
< The cabinet being loaded  - the tail lift again proving essential.
Everything loaded we began the journey back to Lincolnshire, a phone call to Ant 2E0IFJ and Hugh with our ETA and we were met by these two and Neil at Thorpe Camp just as darkness fell and the roads were becoming icy.

The plan is to restore the T1509 to working condition and operate it on the VMARS Saturday morning AM nets, and on CW on the 10, 14 and 18 Mc/s Amateur bands.

< The cabinet in its new location at Thorpe Camp.  The wiring looms fan and cooling air ducts can be clearly seen.
< A view of the power unit as it was being unloaded from the van.
< The power supply being manhandled into the Thorpe Camp shack.
< Gloating over the spoils of war - Ant (foreground) can't keep his eyes off those big variable capacitors and inductors!

In background, Hugh Rob G0OTH and Colin G4DDI

Details of this transmitter to follow as restoration progresses:

Page 2 - Evaluation and initial refurbishment

Page 3 - Work begins

Page 4 - Sorting and cleaning

Page 5 - the Big Lift

Page 6 - Power Up

We are looking for a presentable R1475 receiver to go with the transmitter to make up a complete station.

G4DDI Home