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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Gonset GSB-100 Help

Reviews Summary for Gonset GSB-100
Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 80 thru 10 meter, AM-CW-SSB-PM transmitter.
Product is not in production.
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AC7X Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2018 19:20 Send this review to a friend
Grand oldie but Goody  Time owned: more than 12 months
1964, my elmer W7IMF (SK) was working phone patches with a drake 2b, GSB-100, and a Johnson Courier amp. Feed a TA-33 Jr. on his roof on a squatty 12 foot mini tower. I helped him (more coffee, Norb?) and that was IT. I knew at some point I'd have to get me this rig.
Now, age almost 70, I finally got around to it. Found a pristine GSB-100 with not a scratch on it and OMG, what memories - and what a fine rig!
Great carrier suppression if you adjust the balanced modulator every so-often. Main thing to note is that these should never be set until the rig has been on 45-min to an hour. Reason? The balanced modulator sort of "drifts in" to balance as components come up to temp. The VFO is faster to settle down. 200-300 cycles after 5-minutes and then rock-solid at 30 min mark.
Power output is nothing to write home about, but since this is a "nostalgia rig" for me (I've got several, truth be told) I picked up the Johnson Thunderbolt (pair of 4-400's) because I couldn't find a really great Courier.

Others have remarked on the amazing build quality - there's switched 110V on the back for the TR-switching for the Amp. One thing I did (odd sense of humor, and all) is I installed a bright red AC switch with a bright red cover to handle t/r switching. The vox will do it, but who uses vox? No, this is much cooler. "Time to throw the BIG SWITCH, OM..." And mean it.

If you don't mind a little less sideband suppression than a filter rig - in exchange for great audio - this is a keeper. Only other rig even close is the Johnson Pacemaker. I'd like to get one of them, but haven't snagged another. My last left home when I did...half a century ago.

I'm not too keen on the Gonset linears...something about Johnson gear always seemed to have a little more 'snap" to them. The GSB-100 and Pacemaker won't overdrive the Thunderbolt, but anything with two 6146's or sweeps will, so plan on shopping for a 6 db attenuator if you're driving a grid that's not grounded with other rigs.

K5SVC has tube kits, nothing exotic except 6AH6's don't grow on trees and a 9006 RF rectifier tube was a novelty. The tube converts RF Output (via a 10K 2W dropping resistor) to something the meter can handle, so tossing in a diode would be simple enough. Still, what's the point of having this classic boat anchor if you're not going to keep it 100% stock and aligned by the book?

This is a rig you'll love. One of the few that deserves the company of the 2B/2BQ.
Got ahead and buy one - you'll love it!
K5YDD Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2018 18:41 Send this review to a friend
Great transmitter, great reports.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My Elmer the original K5YDD, Burgin Dunn, had this very same transmitter paired with a Collins 75A-4. I wanted to recreate his early station. After a long search, I finally found a GSB-100.

This transmitter is a beast of a transmitter, heavy and well made. It is easy to work on and easy to align. The 6DQ5 final is easy and cheap to find.

There have been mentions, in previous reviews, about the transmitter's transformer. I a few weeks ago ordered from Hammond (via Digikey, Hammond would only sell me this transformer via Digikey) a made to order new transformer. For those interested, the part number is PWDP13106-ND. This is a Peter Dahl transformer made by Hammond. Four week wait.

Anyone using this transmitter will not win many contests with this rig, but it sure is fun to use.
W2JF Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2017 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Battleship!  Time owned: more than 12 months
No other word to describe it! This was my first SSB rig (picked up used at the late lamented Harrison Radio in NYC: I traded in my beloved Eico 720/730 AM combo, and never looked back). As the review title suggests, this is a nearly-indestructible behemoth (in weight, if nothing else), and a Master Class in no-corners-cut design and manufacture, with one surprising (and delightful) exception: upon lifting the lid, I was amazed to find what looked like the back half of an ARC-5 transmitter, mounted as a sub-chassis in the right rear corner, complete with VFO shield can, right out of the old Command set! Either Gonset bought all the remaining ARC-5s, or paid the ultimate homage by copying the design. In any event, the rig did me proud, with a really pretty signal (a phasing rig, no less, at the height of the filter craze!), if one was willing to occasionally re-balance the modulators (~ every 6 months) through the front-panel-accessible balance pot holes. It was (and likely still is) the most reliable, stable (after 30 min), fun-to-run rig I've owned. In fact, I've used its tuneup procedure ever since, on any linear output stage (including 40 kw MIL-spec transmitters). Coolest feature was its spotting mode -- I could tune in a signal, throw the GSB into spot mode, un-mute the receiver, and just tune the GSB until my voice "sounded" the same as the incoming sig, and I'd be absolutely zero-beat; same with CW. It's earned an honored (and temporary, I swear) retirement here!
KE0ZU Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2017 20:00 Send this review to a friend
Been daily driver for years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought it nine years ago and its been used almost every day since. Great old transmitter, and stable as a rock. I think it was the first all band, all mode HF transmitter.

It'll most likely be in my estate sale.
N8AUC Rating: 4/5 Dec 11, 2016 18:42 Send this review to a friend
Worked for me - way back when...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had one of these transmitters many years ago, probably around 1979 or so. It worked well for me. I ran it alongside a Heathkit Mohawk receiver. It was my first SSB transmitter when I upgraded to General. The VFO was pretty stable after a 30 min warmup. And it always made rated output power.

Never had to worry about anyone stealing it, since it weighed just a shade under 100 lbs all by itself. It made me think that GSB-100 meant it weighed 100 lbs.

73 de N8AUC
WA4NJY Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2016 11:50 Send this review to a friend
Nice transmitter.  Time owned: more than 12 months
For several years my main AM transmitter was a Johnson Valiant II. Very much hated to let it go, but the weight was a problem for me. I started looking for something lighter like a Ranger. Could not find anything nice. This Gonset was available locally. I had low expectations. The more I used it, the more I began to like it, more so than any Johnson Ranger I've had.
This one is in pristine condition so I can attest as to its performance as new. It is fairly stable even from a cold start, drifting about 150 cycles and returning to last operating frequency after 30 minutes. Has PTT, nice spotting feature, well made with good components throughout. The transformer has been replaced with a Dahl.

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