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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Knight Kit T 60 Help


Reviews Summary for Knight Kit T 60
Knight Kit T 60 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $69.95 in 1966
Description: 80 - 6 meter xtal controlled Novice xmtr. 60 watts from 6DQ6B sweep tube. Has low level carrier controlled AM phone capabilities as well.
Product is not in production.
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WA7VTD Rating: 4/5 Sep 1, 2009 23:02 Send this review to a friend
Fun, Sturdy Parasitic Machine  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nostalgia tugs at my heartstrings to give this rig a "5," but the "4" I'm giving it is awfully generous as it is.

As with other reviewers, the T-60 was my first xmtr, although I got mine already built, from another ham who had used it with the SX-100 Mark II rcvr. I also got in the same deal for a total price of $140.00 in hard-earned newspaper delivery money. I still have the beautiful SX-100 but the T-60 was strangely stolen in 1978 from the house I shared with three college girls (um, yeah, I wish, but no, it wasn't like that, so let's get back to the review, shall we?), although the stereo, the TV and my HT-37 weren't lifted. I guess the T-60 was small, light and easy, as well as probably provoking curiosity -- especially with the Army MARS station license displayed behind it.

Anyhow, I made my first QSO -- with Don WA7VHW of Sprague, Washington -- as a Novice on 40M CW with the old T-60, at age 15. He was actually the second ham to answer my half-fast CQ; the first one who answered was lost when I forgot to change my manual T/R antenna switch back to the T-60 before replying to the other guy's call.

Upon upgrading to Advanced a year later, I longed to get on phone and I made a couple of AM QSOs on 20 meters with the T-60 using a tape recorder microphone wired through an audio matching transformer. I was told that my audio sounded as if I was trapped inside of a tin can at the bottom of a well.

I must agree with the comments that this was a fairly hearty rig. I was in Army MARS for a while and with a xtal, used the T-60 for a CW net that met on a freq. around 3260 kHz, without modifying the rig at all! I got two watts out of it at that freq and was able to QNI the Army MARS net FB.

The basic circuit of the T-60 is very similar to that of the Hallicrafters HT-40, the Heathkit DX-60 and many other low-priced, Novice-oriented xmtrs of the era.

One reviewer raised the issue of spurious emissions he characterized as 'partial subharmonics." I suspect they were not harmonics but rather parasitics. The T-60 was prone to producing prolific parasitic oscillations sufficient to aggravate every 40M CW op in town, afflicting his receiver with CLICK CLICK CLICK (but much louder than key clicks, another animal entirely) every so many kHz. but the cure was cheap and easy: install an RF choke on the final. One of my Elmers, who was about 70 at the time, came zooming up my folks' driveway on his motorcycle, and made his way down to my basement shack, whereupon he said "Our friend Ernie is getting horrible parasitics from you all up and down 40 meters." He then removed the cover from the T-60, handed me the little RF choke, pointed at the two points to be soldered and said "solder the ends of this RF choke here, and here." Good old Ernie (an 81-year-old ex riverboat radiotelegraph op who could play poker with several people, smoke a cigar and keep up conversation while simultaneously copying 60-wpm CW from his shack fifteen feet behind him) was never bothered by my sigs again and he even answered my first 40m CW CXQ every morning to say hello before he would QSY for his daily 40M CW roundtable he kept with his beloved Heathkit HW-16.

Using the buffer section of the T-60 as a tripler worked well for 15 meter operation, but I never had much luck with this rig on 10, and never tried it at all on 6.

I used to have not only the assembly/operation manual, but even an actual "service manual" for the thing.

I put together a Heathkit HG-10B VFO kit I got cheap from yet another Elmer, but never did get it working with the T-60 (probably due to my ugly, less than admirable point-to-point wiring on the HG-10B, which was my first attempt to build a Heathkit... Every so often, very rarely, though, the matching Knight VFO would turn up somewhere, but I never got one).

I just won a T-60 on e-Bay and can't wait to pair it up with the SX-100 like in the old days. If anyone knows where I can pick up a functional specimen of the Knight VFO, please let me know, via email to my callsign at arrl.net.

I also am looking for a bunch of 80M and 40M crystals.

If you have a hankering for a simple, hearty, 60-75 watt-output HF CW xmtr just for fun, you really can't go wrong with a well-built T-60.

Don't forget to add that RF choke!

73 de Kevin WA7VTD TU
 
W4GZV Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2009 14:44 Send this review to a friend
My 1st novice Transmitter!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Knight T-60 was my first Ham transmitter. I was supposed to have gotten it for Christmas but sneaked up into the attic and had most of it built long before Christmas day. My parents didn't know anything about this until I told them many years later.

The transmitter was a real work horse. I used it on 80 & 40 mtr CW with a very simple dipole antenna fed with old telephone service drop cable.

That was 49 years ago and a lot has changed in my ham shack. I was able to find another mint T-60 on QTH.com a few months ago though. I was also able to find my 1st ham receiver...a National NC-105. I have them working as good as new and treasure them as much as anything in my present day ham shack!
 
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2008 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Still a great Transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first built my T-60 back in 1963 as a novice. It was a workhorse then and still works today. I often built up and operate boat-anchor stations and one I have here is a T-60 with an R-55 recceiver. This was my novice setup for a large part of my 10 months as a novice. It still puts out a good solid 35 watts on HF and about 15 watts on 6 meters.

I usually avoid 6 meters with it as it is a TVI generator with the final acting as a doubler. It is still a good HF CW transmitter.
 
K6SDW Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2008 07:46 Send this review to a friend
Me First  Time owned: more than 12 months
We always have a special place for "Our First" .... built mine in mid-60's and great CW transmitter and when I upgraded to General always got good audio reports....Unfortunately, SSB was making its way on phone so there weren't too many hams that would talk to me on phone........so.....upgraded to HW-100

Cheers All
 
W8ASA Rating: 4/5 May 25, 2008 07:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built a T60 from a kit I received for Christmas in 1963. I used the T60 first in Germany as DL4WU, and worked CW as well as AM, having tons of fun, and even working JY1 with it.

When I moved back to the States in early 1965 (to Denver), I was in time for some really outlandish skip work on 6 meters, managing to work all 50 states and a few foreign countries on 6 between January 65 and June 66, using a halo on top of my garage roof. We measured 1.25 Watts output on 6 -- amazing inefficiency due to the final acting as a doubler as well. I never had a VFO to use with it, but had a huge assortment of xtals. The CW signal was pure with no chirp or click at all. AM was a "little" weak, but on 6 people said I had good audio.

In short, I have many, many fond memories of my T60.
 
KG6AF Rating: 4/5 Jan 25, 2007 16:24 Send this review to a friend
Good Novice transmitter of old  Time owned: more than 12 months
This thoroughly decent rig served yeoman's duty in my mid-60's Novice shack. It was simple enough to be assembled by a 14-year-old, rugged enough to withstand mistuning by a radio newcomer, and it put out a decent signal.

I'm told that the screen-modulated AM was pretty weak, but having never used the AM myself, I can't say. Nor can I vouch for its ability to transmit on 6 meters. But as a crystal-controlled CW transmitter on 80 and 40, it was just fine.
 
N4QA Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2006 15:27 Send this review to a friend
Needs a little help on 10 & 6  Time owned: more than 12 months
More than you ever wanted to know about using a T-60, no doubt...

Haven't actually been inside the T-60 I now have but suspect that the tubes are a little soft.
On CW, I'm getting the following output power:
80-10m about 20 watts.
6m about 3 watts.

On 80 & 40m, fundamental xtals/vfo are used.

On 20m, 7 MHz xtals/vfo are doubled in the pentode section of the 6HF8.

On 15 meters 7 MHz xtals/vfo are tripled in the pentode section of the 6HF8.

On 10 meters, 7 MHz xtals/vfo are quadrupled in the pentode section of the 6HF8.

On 6 meters 8.333...MHz xtals/vfo are tripled in the pentode section of the 6HF8.

The 6DQ6B (tv sweep tube) final amplifier works 'straight through' on 80-10 meters, but doubles the output freq of the pentode section of the 6HF8 on 6 meters.

The triode section of the 6HF8 acts as either a xtal oscillator or vfo amplifier, as desired.

The help I mentioned in the summary has to do with subharmonic energy appearing at the T-60's SO-239 coaxial output socket.
It's not so bad on 80-15m, but, on 10 & 6 meters, it is quite noticeable, even on a conventional oscilloscope, although it would more easily be quantified using a spectrum analyzer.

*So*, on 10 meters, I place an ICE model 411 bandpass filter between the T-60's output socket and my antenna tuner (Icom AH-4). And, on 6 meters, I use the ICE model 412 bandpass filter.
These bpfs stop subharmonics and harmonics cold.

Also own ICE bpfs for 80, 40, 20 and 15 meters, but, use them mostly with the Meissner Signal Shifter, model EX.

An additional benefit of these bpfs is that they also work great with *receivers* of less than decent selectivity, especially when they are used with larger antennas, such as my 80m endfed wire.

I enjoy the Knight-kit T-60 even more these days than I did as a Novice in '65/66 !

72.
Bill, N4QA


 
K7UA Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2006 13:51 Send this review to a friend
Great value in 1962  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a T60 right after my novice year. That would have been 1962-1963. I was a new general class and finally got to go on 20m with a VFO! I had a lot of fun with that T60 and a Lafayette VFO. It did work on AM phone. At least sort of. The controled carrier modulation was kind of frowned on by serious AM stations. I even worked some e layer skip on 6 meters with it. On six the final amp was used as a doubler. Not really a great idea. If you didn't get it tuned correctly you had output on 25 MHZ instead of 50 MHZ. The SWR on a 6M antenna always warned you off of that situation! I sold my T60 to a new novice. I wish I still had it.
 
N4QA Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2006 06:48 Send this review to a friend
Still using a T-60 !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm still occasionally using the T-60 on 80 - 6 meters. Sometimes use a crystal from my box o' rocks. Increasingly, though, using the NorCal FCC-2 DDS VFO, with a homebrew isolating and impedance-matching toroidal rf transformer, for the T-60's freq control.
Built a T-60 in the latter part of my (one year) Novice term in 1966. Worked the world on 80, 40 and 15 meters with it back then.
The T-60 *never* sounded as good as it does today!
 
N1MG Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2006 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Novice Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
For those on a tight budget in the mid 60s through early 70s, the T60 put out a solid enough CW signal to bring in the QSOs even with poor antennas. It is a basic rig to be sure, but gave a good account of itself in spite of its modest size.
 
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