You Can Build a Transmitter

for the Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party ​

Venture back in time, to the 1920’s, when hams built their own gear with odds and ends found around the house.  This page is not a “how-to” but is a series of links to “how-to” information to help you get up and running with a 1929-style transmitter in time for AWA’s Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party in November.

1.  Transmitter Design Video

​2.  The Cavalry

AWA Builders Group at

Great group of builders and operators that are more than willing to help any and all get on the air with vintage rigs. Please join the group at your earliest convenience.

​3.  How-To Build the Transmitter

Building a 1929 Style Hartley Transmitter, by Scott WA9WFA, click on button to the right to view/print the plans.

How-to on whipping together a Hartley self-excited oscillator on a tiny budget.  This one is for 80m but can be scaled easily to 160m and/or 40m.

​4.  A Source of High Voltage for Your Tube

Building a Variable Regulated High Voltage Power Supply, by Cam N6GA 

How-to on a modern high voltage supply for a BK transmitter.  All of the parts are available at Mouser and Cam N6GA gives you all of the part numbers in addition to the schematic.  Cost is about $30.  You can power the filament using a small DC power supply, which you likely already have.

5.  Pieces and Parts ​

Tubes, sockets, insulators, air variable caps, period-correct gear, all are just a few clicks away.  For example, #27 tubes are $3-$5 each and brand new ceramic 5-pin 807/27 type sockets are $2 each or so.

6.  Great Collection of BK Images and Words ​

Steve VE7SL has a great website full of important and useful information on BK and 1929-style building.  Start at the link here and explore Steve’s vast resources.

Also, on Steve’s website is a photo collection of Homebrew rigs.

​In sum, it’s straightforward to participate in the Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.  You can do it and it’s extremely worthwhile.  Join in!