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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Knight 50 Watt Transmitter Help

Reviews Summary for Knight 50 Watt Transmitter
Knight 50 Watt Transmitter Reviews: 5 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 50 watt CW transmitter. Early 1960s
Product is not in production.
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K5UJ Rating: 4/5 Feb 15, 2016 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Classic 807 CW rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Knight Kit 807 CW rig, commonly referred to as the T-50 (which was never the official Knight model number) is a perfectly good 50 watt input class C CW rig, and is almost indestructible.

For any ham who has never run separates, or never operated a class C tube rig with a pi output network, the T-50 and Adventurer make great starter rigs (Johnson used a bigger filter choke in the power supply), and when paired with a vintage receiver, are a blast to operate. When run with a decent VFO or crystal, and TO keyer, no one will even know you are on an old tube rig--they'll assume you are operating a modern plastic transceiver.

But, a few faults have to be corrected. Firstly, the stock rig is VHF parasitic city. This is fixed by strapping the output tune and load air variables directly to the copper plated chassis. Don't rely on the path to ground through the front panel.

The second problem is clicks due to the fast rise time when the 807 cathode is grounded to bias the tube to conduction. There's about 90 volts there so don't use a modern keyer! You need a bug or the TO Keyer unless you want to insert a solid state switch you can key with low v. dc. To slow down the fast rise time, put about 4 mfd capacitance from the cathode to ground. I advise four paralleled 1 mfd polypropylene 630 v. caps. That should give you a nice rise time.

The rest of the fixes are the usual vintage power supply recap jobs. The moving vane meter is nothing but vintage fun! Get about 3 ma grid drive and dip and load the plate--you can expect around 25 watts out on 80 m.; about the same on 40 with roughly 110 ma plate current. B+ on the 807 unloaded is around 700 v. When keyed that drops to somewhere around 530 v.

These rigs are so simple, they practically repair themselves. Let the other ham say "QRT for now, the rig is out for repairs." You can't beat tubes on a winter night.

KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2016 14:29 Send this review to a friend
Essentially a Viking Adventurer on a steel chassis  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first Novice Class Transmitter that I assembled back in 1959.

It contained high quality internal parts that were IDENTICAL to those in the Viking Adventurer which is rated 4.8 (aderage) in these same E-Ham Reviews. The Adventurer has a nicer all-aluminum chassis versus the Knight T50's copper-plated all-steel chassis. The only technical differences that I can recall were: 1) The Adventurer had a cheap RCA "Phono" type Transmitter Output (to antenna) Connector while the Knight Transmitter had an improved Amphenol (PL259) Coax Connector ; 2) The Adventurer had a slightly nicer Grid/Plate Current Meter with an external "zero" adjustment screw while the Knight Transmitter had a cheaper meter with no external "zero" adjustment. I think the Knight Transmitter deserves a higher than 3.3 (as ov this) Review Average Rating. I.E. the Knight Transmitter has more or less comparable performance and quality relative to the Viking Adventurer. Therefore, read the Adventurer Reviews for more objective detail.

Cosmetically, the Adventurer's aluminum chassis is much less susceptible to rust spotting and corrosion--so it is harder to find a cosmetically nice Knight Transmitter after 50+ years of possible exposure to moisture.

As noted in numerous other reviews, these Transmitters often collected "Official Observer" (OO) notices because of reception of illegal out-of-band harmonics. This drove me crazy as a Novice until an Elmer pointed out to me that there were often two or more Plate Current "dips" on most ham bands. Only the first "dip" encountered when tuning from MAXIMUM CAPACITANCE toward Minimum Capacitance was the correct "Fundamental Frequency". The other "dips" were all harmonics that would possibly collect an OO Notice.

I would often load directly (I.E. no antenna tuner) a very high impedance (therefore high voltage at the transmitter output) long wire antenna. As a result, I would short out both the 1 KV rated Plate Voltage RF Blocking and Bypass (to Ground) Capacitors as well as the Fixed Plate Loading Shunt Capacitor (that is switchable from the slide-switch on the front panel). Going to higher voltage rated (=/>3 KV) capacitors permanently fixed the problem with no detrimental impact on the rest of the Plate "Tank" Circuit.

Upon getting my General--I added the companion Knight VFO and an EICO 730 Plate Modulator. The nominal 40 Watt CW Output on 80 thru 20 Meters would push a 75 Watt Lightbulb to maximum brightness on Voice Peaks.

In short--a simple, but great little transmitter.
W2NSF Rating: 4/5 Jan 15, 2014 09:11 Send this review to a friend
Built mine; earned an OO report  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Also my Novice rig (WV2REP). I built it myself in 1961. Got lots of QSOs on the novice bands. I also "earned" a pink post card from an OO in Ohio for my 2nd harmonic from 40M. Still remember the smell of the tubes/transformers/chassis during operation.
K3YD Rating: 3/5 Jan 14, 2014 11:00 Send this review to a friend
My first rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Knight T-50 was a classic design for the era, with (crystal) oscillator,Voltage Regulator and 807 amplifier tubes. (It was a budget version of the Johnson Adventurer.)
I used mine (purchased pre-owned) during my 1964-65 novice "career" and worked 37 states, some eastern VE and 1 DX (a G3)with it, mostly on 80 and 40. Also got a few OO reports for 2d harmonics of my 80 meter signal and one for key clicks.
If I had the space, I might re-create that Novice station for its nostalgia value, not its performance.
KE5ADB Rating: 3/5 Jan 13, 2014 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Own one, never plugged in.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had this on my desk for a few months now. Everything internally is intact. Still has the assembly manual with it. Other than that, I don't know much about it other than what I've read in some old articles. I didn't see it in the reviews. I was hoping if I created one, others can share knowledge. Does anyone still operate one of these? If they're not worth using, how about reusing some parts?

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