Well, we finally got one of the transmitters fired up today after last being powered on in 1990.
Here's a view looking into the Transmitter Room, located "On Broadway", directly across from Engine Room #2. The exciter/power amplifier units are to your right, while the Antenna Couplers are all in the racks to your left:
And this is one of the Exciter/Power Amplifier sets:
The exciter is at the top, the Power Amplifier is in the middle, and the bottom unit is the high voltage power supply for the amp.
One of the "Grey Radio Gang" team members had installed new drive chains in the exciter a couple of weeks ago, and after verifying that the RF output cables did indeed go to where we thought they did, and verifying that when patched to the dummy load it was indeed connected to the load, we had the ships Electrician check the power wiring (440V, 3 phase) for shorts and grounds, made sure all the switches and knobs were set per the start-up guide, and proceeded to power it up.
Nothing.......dead as door nail.
Some checking revealed that one of the interlocks where the exciter slides in to the rack was stuck, and freeing it up, we were able to power up the exciter and power amplifier.
Power amplifier voltages and currents checked as normal, but keying up the unit and speaking in the handset revealed NO RF power output, and NO drive from the exciter. We then inserted a power meter between the exciter and power amp and confirmed we had no RF drive to the amp.
The first thing I checked was the 5 MHz reference oscillator source, which was switched to "External", and since the 5 MHz Reference Oscillators were removed from the ship when she was in mothballs, I switched it to "Internal", and we tried again.
Still no RF drive to the amp.
Since this exciter/amplifier pair had been more or less picked at random to be the first to be powered up, and had the drive chains replaced so that all the frequency set knobs worked, we then looked for an exciter that had at least the tens, ones, and hundreds knobs in working condition so we'd pretty much know what frequency we were tuned to.
We found an exciter that had those digits working, and proceeded to swap the two exciters.
Powering up the set after swapping exciters revealed a missing fuse, and after we replaced that, everything powered up as expected.
And this time we had RF drive to the final power amplifier.
How's about 950 Watts output @ 14.250 MHz into the dummy load, as measured by the built-in metering!
We still have quite a ways to go before we attempt to put one On-The-Air, but the results were quite encouraging for a transmitter that was last powered up sometime in 1990.
I'll be bringing in my power meter and spectrum analyzer so we can get a calibrated power measurement, and check the signal for spurs and modulation level, but BB-61 should be On-The-Air later this year with a BIG voice!