K4NYW's AN/FRT-17 Transmitter Project - Page 1
     Page 1 - Acquisition & Disassembly
     Page 2 - Frame & p/s reassembly
     Page 3 - Module Restoration
     Page 4 - Master Oscillator and FSK Keyer Restoration
     Page 5 - Back to Life - and On The Air!

The adventure begins - thanks to Chuck W3FJJ

AN/FRT-17 in situ at Chuck's house in Maryland - 1500 lbs.
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Step 1 - remove the drawers - Nick K4NYW & John K4OZY
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Step 2 - turn it over onto the dolly. The book says 1100 lbs. without the drawers.....
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Step 3 - roll it out to the truck and engine hoist
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Step 4 - Hoist away 
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Ready to go - this was nowhere near as smooth a procedure as it seems - we had to try several variations of lift/push/pry/pull before getting it all aboard.
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The next night - back in North Carolina

Unload the drawers
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Hoist it out - things went smoother this time! Experience helps - so does gravity
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John, Nick, Hoist
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Wrap it up for Christmas - well, for a few days until I have time to get the transformers out and do some serious cleaning
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Day 1 of nice weather - removing parts for cleaning and to lighten the load
If I take enough reference photos, maybe I'll remember how to put it back together......

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interlock goes here
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HV caps removed
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DSC01126.JPG (4479297 bytes) fil xfmr tray below HV caps
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leads unsoldered
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fil xfmr tray removed
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mod xfmr
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DSC01134.JPG (4137609 bytes) Mod xfmr - oof!
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plenty of critter debris
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blower removed
HV choke removed at rear
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AC mains terminal board
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600v choke & HV choke removed
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115/230 terminal board on standoffs
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DSC01143.JPG (4122706 bytes) MV xfmr removed
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end of day 1 - reference photos
plate xfmr, regulator xfmr, and autoxfmr still to go
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Day 2 - Half a day of kneeling over with my head stuck in the power supply compartment trying to figure out how to get access to the mounting screws for the remaining heavy iron - whew - at least I got the plate xfmr out. Still need to work on the autoxfmr and regulator - not only are they inaccessible but that portion of the deck plate is rusty so the screws are a pain. I'll let the liquid wrench soak in for a few days while my back recovers.

Work bench
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Mod xfmr
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Take a photo before starting
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Beginning to remove the rectifier deck
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More work on the rectifier deck
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the deck is removed and lookee here - a previous visitor to the power supply cabinet
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Do you think I am ever going to get this re-assembled???
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Getting access to the left front regulator mounting screw (hidden in that corner) is a real problem
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Maybe stripping the left door will help?
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DSC01164.JPG (4347738 bytes) End of the day - the plate xfmr is out
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Here's what's left
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Day 3 - I have a plan. I'll try to remove the fan mounting tray (below the modulator, above the power supply deck)  in order to get access to the remaining power supply components. I'll have to remove components and a wire harness, but it looks do-able. Only had 2 hours of daylight today but made some plans and progress.

Documentation shots of the fan tray
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DSC01168.JPG (4264930 bytes) DSC01169.JPG (4481937 bytes) --
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relays mounted on front wall of fan tray
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Odd little pieces at front corners - removable so that the harness can be taken out?
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DSC01179.JPG (3738878 bytes) unbolted the RHS xfmr mounting tray
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it got dark before I could unsolder and remove xfmrs.
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Day 4 - got in a few hours before dark/cold. Removed everything from the fan tray - left all the wires attached to the relay bank and to the controls and power resistors on top and bottom of the tray. Still need to remove the AM-CW HV relay mounted on the left side - got access to it by removing a xfmr above it - then maybe can try to remove the tray itself. Radical thought - I may be able to pull the entire wiring harness out - it runs up the corners of the frame but looks removable from there. We'll see!

relay bank hanging free - not as much a disaster as it appears....honest!
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DSC01183.JPG (4299714 bytes) DSC01184.JPG (4330849 bytes) spark gap for ?
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inside the tray
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HV interlock
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DSC01193.JPG (3772580 bytes) >>>> components from top of tray >>>> DSC01195.JPG (4524862 bytes)
what a mess of entrails!
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DSC01199.JPG (4409288 bytes) now the tray is filthy but free of wiring and components.
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ready to come out - I hope! Remaining components on bottom deck plate are visible through the fan hole.
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Day 5 - The rain quit and the sun came back out today. So I dealt with some really really rusty screws (had to chisel the heads off) and got the Fan Tray removed. Then I chiseled a few more screws, but finally got the rest of the heavy iron out. Next up is unsoldering the smaller stuff, removing the harness (I hope) and a good washing for the frame.

DSC01200.JPG (4276355 bytes) DSC01201.JPG (4315708 bytes) Ta-da! - the fan tray is finally out
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LHS - HV relay support bracket loose
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DSC01208.JPG (4007020 bytes) DSC01210.JPG (4305100 bytes) 1200v choke removal enables access to autoxfmr and regulator xfmr
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They're out!
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DSC01215.JPG (3461353 bytes) DSC01216.JPG (3623818 bytes) Components in the garage awaiting cleaning
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Day 6 - a few more hours of daylight (did I mention all this is happening in mid-December?) and down on my knees for unsoldering some more of the wiring harness

RHS xfmr bracket
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RHS door
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DSC01224.JPG (4155602 bytes) HV relays
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DSC01226.JPG (4022146 bytes) DSC01227.JPG (4145568 bytes) MV rectifier fil xfmr
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Cable routing
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DSC01233.JPG (3763628 bytes) DSC01234.JPG (3690073 bytes) Control panel
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DSC01237.JPG (3971297 bytes) DSC01238.JPG (4076404 bytes) DSC01239.JPG (4134182 bytes) Resistors beneath antenna coupler drawer
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I'm getting close....maybe tomorrow I can get the harness out.
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Day 7 - OK, I've got it apart - the big question is how long will it take to get back together?????????

Document the wiring harness
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DSC01274.JPG (3731684 bytes) DSC01275.JPG (4216197 bytes) OMG! What Have I Done!!!
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JP says "That's It!
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DSC01279.JPG (3608845 bytes) DSC01280.JPG (4456153 bytes) Steel Bottom deck
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Now two of us can lift it easily
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Heading for the basement ham shack
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DSC01296.JPG (3177515 bytes) DSC01297.JPG (3213399 bytes) DSC01298.JPG (3304319 bytes) Ok, we're there - just outside the shack door - will leave it here a while to dry off
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Will I ever figure out where all those wires go???
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The Rack is in the Shack! -

Stay Tuned for Part II as our hero attempts to re-assemble the world's biggest Heathkit !!!!

A brief spell of warm weather after Christmas - so I did a first-level cleaning on the drawers and slides, removing mouse pee & poop, acorns, general grunge, etc. before moving them into the house.

DSC01380.JPG (3937301 bytes) DSC01381.JPG (3572637 bytes) MO/FSK power supply
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DSC01389.JPG (4421370 bytes) DSC01390.JPG (3929206 bytes) DSC01391.JPG (4171717 bytes) And temporary reassembly inside the shack 12/31/12 - the wiring harness and 800 lbs of xfmrs have yet to be re-installed!

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I pulled the transformers from the MO/FSK power supply so I could move the Modulator drawer. All the other transformers are still in the garage too. DSC01392.JPG (4102309 bytes) --DSC01394.JPG (3709808 bytes)

Warm weather in January - starting to untangle & clean the wiring harness

DSC01403.JPG (4442153 bytes) Fan tray items
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DSC01405.JPG (3864705 bytes) separating the rectifier sockets.
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DSC01420.JPG (4414099 bytes) DSC01419.JPG (4296913 bytes) Cut filament wires....
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Tucked in for the evening..
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The next day - more work removing components from the harness and documenting same

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relay "3"
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terminal strip for AN/FRT-18 connection
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A day of rain and then a nice warm day for working again - a sunny 70 degree Saturday in January!

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Let's get crazy - hit the wiring  with Windex, scrub with toothbrush, rinse with hose, repeat - then dry it out (I hope)

DSC01479.JPG (4468908 bytes) DSC01480.JPG (4391333 bytes) DSC01481.JPG (4257865 bytes) Result - it is now no longer incredible filthy, just kind of normally dirty...
Where'd it go?
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Spread out to dry for a while
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"central nervous system" of AN/FRT-17
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End of the one sunny day - time to haul it all inside
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Spread it out, turn up the room heat, turn on the fan....and cross my fingers!
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Another warm weekend day! time to wash some misc. metalwork...

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DSC01503.JPG (4388066 bytes) DSC01502.JPG (4338143 bytes) Before
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DSC01520.JPG (4084752 bytes) Basking in the late winter sun
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Photos of meters