W5GST in 1940

In 1940 I, then W5GST, was working as a broadcast engineer at KTEM, my first job. This picture was taken in my room where I was rooming with a family in Temple, Texas. TVI was yet to be invented but I still managed to get into things. Once my land lady came in when I was on 10 meters and reported she could hear me on her water heater in the kitchen. I had a friend talk on the rig and, sure enough, I could be heard on a corroded/oxidized pipe joint.

The 40-20-10 meter RF section at the top of the rack was built around the Gross CW25 chassis. It consisted of a 6V6G tritet crystal oscillator, an 807 buffer/doubler and a Taylor T40 final. It ran 100 watts on CW and about 75 watts on phone. The top meter on the panel was to read the different currents of that deck.

Behind the panel, below this unit was the 160 and 80 meter RF unit, a 6L6G crystal oscillator driving a 203A. No knobs came through the panel. I still have the scars to show where I got shocked while neutralizing the 203A with the plate voltage on. The middle panel meter was for this deck.

Below that was the modulator which consisted of a 57 speech amp, 46 driver and push-pull 46s in class B. The modulator could be switched between the two RF units. The bottom meter was for the modulator.

The panel was made of 1/4" plywood. The rack was made from bedstead angle iron bolted together. The dolly the rack is sitting on was also made from bedstead angle iron and casters.

The final plate voltage power supply was a 2 1/5 kilowatt pole pig full wave rectified by 866s. The two 110 volt windings were in series so that it put out around 900 volts dc. The low voltage power supplies were conventional 300-400 volt supplies. I got the pole pig from W5FBC in Cuero, Texas who worked for Texas Power and Light.

My receiver was a Hallicrafters SX-16.

Later in 1940, while working as a Broadcast Engineer with KNOW, Austin, TX, I was married. We lived in a small apartment and I noticed that when I was on the air, my rig would become detuned at a cw rate?? Well, I had my antenna run out in a vacant lot next door and across the lot I noticed the flashing of mercury vapor rectifiers at cw rate. Well, this ham had an HF100 tube in the final and his antenna was in the same vacant lot. We soon moved to another apartment.

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