harris gates one retune

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zilverado
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Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:34 am

harris gates one retune

Post by zilverado » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:32 pm

hello can some one give me some advice if it is a lot work/cost to retune a 1995 harris gates one from 1120khz to 1000khz, or does some one have a manual for retuning it (for me who has no expierience in retuning a gates one)

RodeoJack
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Re: harris gates one retune

Post by RodeoJack » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:24 pm

If you have no technical experience, this is not the place to start. If you do, then you need a list of parts that would be required, plus the frequency change procedure for the Gates series of transmitters. Gates Air likely has this material available, though the transmitter's documents no longer show up in their support library.

After you get the documentation and assemble the required parts, you'll need some test gear and a lot of patience. The required test gear is listed on the frequency change doc. I've done transmitters like those with a scope and a Power Aim, though I'm sure others here have their favorite combinations. If you don't do this kind of work, you aren't likely to have much of this stuff in your shop.

You'll also need to change the crystal, and the company that likely made the one that's now in your transmitter is no longer in business. Deep Thought said he was working on an alternative... you might check with him on this if you get that far.

You might also want to consider a dummy load, so you can run the transmitter (and tune it).

Personally... having done a (very) few of these, I wouldn't touch this as a DIY project. However, if you can find someone who has some experience and the required test gear, you can learn a lot.

BTW... from recent experience with Gates Air, I would expect them to be of marginal help here. The last time I waged battle with a reluctant Gates Five, they suggested the model was obsolete, that they only had about 30% of the parts that the rig was made of... and that I should talk my client into buying a new one. I eventually figured the problem out and the transmitter has been running the past year or so with no problems, but my attitude about the company and their commitment to support has drastically soured, to put it mildly.

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: harris gates one retune

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:25 am

RodeoJack wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:24 pm
but my attitude about the company and their commitment to support has drastically soured, to put it mildly.
And when Ralph Wegman retires, there will be basically zero knowledge of these transmitters left at GatesAir.
--
Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
WD4RAT
AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
http://www.kkbc.com

RodeoJack
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Re: harris gates one retune

Post by RodeoJack » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:15 pm

kkiddkkidd wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:25 am
RodeoJack wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:24 pm
but my attitude about the company and their commitment to support has drastically soured, to put it mildly.
And when Ralph Wegman retires, there will be basically zero knowledge of these transmitters left at GatesAir.
Agreed. His support made me much more comfortable, taking on the re-freq of a DX-10. From what he told me, they just about had to pull teeth, getting what they said was one of the last crystals to come out of National. At that, it was about a 3-month ordeal, including quite a few phone calls.

radio_guru
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Re: harris gates one retune

Post by radio_guru » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:07 pm

I will be retiring a 1985 SX5A shortly (barely working) and a dead 1980 SX1 next year. I also retired a 1991 Gates5 (working well) 4 years ago. All for the same reason---support is largely gone. It is unfortunate that Harris, then Gates, now GatesAir has dropped the ball on AM TX's. Even if they come out with a TX that beats the pants off Nautel, it would be a high hurdle for me to buy one.

Having babysat the SX and Gates series my whole career (and never changed channels, but did look into it), I agree. Retuning is a PIA and complicated. And frankly, it's not worth the money for a SX1 these days.

The TX was not designed to change channels. It was designed to be build once from a common chassis.

By the time you get done with all the frequency dependent parts (a bunch), capacitors big and small, and bringing in the vector voltmeter and impedance meter along with the technical expertise, you'll be 1/2 if not more towards a J-1000. This presumes the frequency dependent parts can be fabricated or are in stock. Which most are no longer since Quincy Tin Works has sh!t canned many lesser value mechanical drawings made before 1980.

My suggestion is simply to retire this TX and replace with a J1000. You will be a bottle of Excedrin ahead and the station will likely sound better. You can really tell the difference between a SX1 and a J1000 with a contemporary processor. And guess what....you'll have support.

RG

TPT
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Re: harris gates one retune

Post by TPT » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:55 am

Have a Gates One, which gives me little trouble. Unlike it's big brother in the same enclosure, a Gates Five. Haven't worked with either the Nautel kilowatt or the BE kilowatt (there are a couple around here, though).

However, it makes little sense to invest either time or money into a 25 year old transmitter. Especially when a new transmitter is only around $12K.

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