First Name Jerry
  QTH Three Rivers, MI
  Prior Call(s) ⇰ 
  Other interests ⇰  
  Email W8ZAP
  My External Web Sites  None


  • Besides development engineering, high performance engine development and my engine service, another passion is home brewing RF ham equipment and vintage broadcast transmitters. I have photo's above of two of my broadcast rigs, the BC-1J Gates transmitter and my Bauer broadcast rig.

    I have enjoyed rebuilding, repairing and modifying them for operation on the ham bands and in fact, when I first got the Gates up and running, I was in Long Island, NY on a 3 yr. project (I purchased it in 2005). I set it up in our industrial building and even though there were certain physical constraints in the antenna area I managed to use it there. I have since moved it to my shop in Three Rivers, Michigan, studio "B" and I operate primarily on 160m from that location.

    I also have considered multi banding one of the rig's, a Collins 20V-2 to 40m, 75m and 160m, but have to wait until I get it to my home QTH in Jones, Mi, which will require completing the construction of a room in my garage for that project to be properly used at home.

    I really enjoy the AM mode of operation and the glow of those big tubes still has a special interest that reminds me of where it all began. I have a few different "Boat anchors", a couple of Heathkit TX-1 Apache transmitters, DX-60 w/vfo, a couple of Viking Ranger's and numerous homebrew rig's, a Hammerlund 129x, Collins 51J-3, National NC-RAO-7 Military receiver, National 183D, Collins 75 A-2 as well as a few others for the receivers.

    There is also a wonderful 1948 Desk Kilowatt style home brew transmitter and receiver station built originally by W9TB, an engineer with CBS Chicago. I have begun the rebuilding process on that rig and have made considerable head way.

    I also have mobile gear that I run in my Ford PU, which consists of a Kenwood TS-50 and homebrew whip antenna. The exciter and frequency control for the Gates BC-1J was a Johnson Viking Ranger which one of my ham friends (L.P.D.C.) gave me years ago, but it went up in smoke New Years eve "2014." In that emergency I switched my TS-50 Kenwood from my truck for the exciter operation and that is how it is now. There is also a homebrew grid input coil system to match it to the transmitter.

    I spent the better part of a year completely rebuilding and converting the Bauer transmitter for 160m and had also built the station that it was operating from, which was in a 53' rail container. But with all of the temp and humidity issues from being so tightly sealed, I decided to move it before it was destroyed. I have since just moved the rig to the shop where the Gates and some of the other BC transmitters are housed and am preparing to get it back on the air.

    I've been interested in ham radio and especially Broadcast rigs since I was young, those late night SWL listening experiences that kept the interest peaked and the wanting to build and create and then enjoy the satisfaction of seeing what you built actually work. I've been in and out of the hobby a couple of different times due to lifes complications, but must say I very much enjoy where I am with the hobby now. I look forward to working you on down the log. 73's "ZAP" Jerry

  • February 26, 2017 From Harry N9CQX...
    "Our condolences to Jerry W8ZAP regarding the sudden loss of his 35 year old daughter."

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  Last update February 26, 2017