A Knight To Remember

By Joe Hodgkins KI5O

With wonderful consideration from Doug KD5OUG and direction from Grant W5XJ, I was fortunate to take into
possession an incomplete Knight T-60 Transmitter. Upon receipt of the contents in an original Knight box, I found
the following correspondence provided by Doug with Michael Harllee.

My Dad, Wallace S. Harllee, Jr., was going to study & apply for his HAM operator's license, but never finished the licensing process for whatever combination of reasons. I can remember as a kid of 11-12 years old watching him spend hours on a shortwave radio receiver he bought, listening to operators across the world converse w/each other, on an old set of headphones. Too bad. After enlisting in the U.S. Army during WWII after graduating from high school, he ended up in the Army Band in Washington D.C., because he was a tuba player. He performed with a number of other soldiers who had been members of famous swing bands of that era, & remained lifelong friends with many of them, based on correspondence he saved. He received his BS at Texas A&M/College Station after WWII on the GI Bill, back when it was "out in the sticks". After that, he was an oilfield production forecast accountant for Mobil Oil, which translated to moving all over Texas, Duncan, OK, & Shreveport, LA, at a frequency of about once every three years. He was working on his Masters in Accounting @ Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX, with some of his work associates, when they announced another move on short notice, so he ended about 3 classes short of an MBA. He ended up retiring in the 1990's after Mobil moved him to Houston, & never did get that license. He took up skeet & trap shooting as a hobby after that. Not bad, I guess, for a skinny kid from the West Texas town of Coleman.
Completed Knight T-60 Transmitter
The completed Knight T-60 Transmitter – see gallery for more images of the kit

Upon opening the box, I discovered that Mr. Harllee had completed about 80% of the assembly, but it has never
had power applied to it. After printing schematics and diagrams, I carefully and meticulously went line by line to
confirm that each step was correct, as well as inspect solder joints. All construction and soldering was accurate
and done with great care.

After confirming that the assembly before storage was correct, I ordered electrolytic and paper capacitors to
replace the original caps from the 60’s. Hayseed Hamfest had a T-60 re-cap kit, including a tubular cap, electrolytic
caps, and some poly caps to replace the paper caps. After confirming that the 80% previously completed was up to
spec, I continued with the build. Mainly working on the final touches including the tank coil, bandswitch, meter,
lighting, microphone and antenna jacks, install of fuses and 3-prong power cord, etc…

After all was complete, it was time to warm up the filaments slowly on a variac. I pulled the lights down low and
enjoyed watching as the tubes came to life for the first time while slowly increasing voltage. After coming to 115v,
it was time to tune and load the transmitter. The tube compliment includes four tubes. 6HF8 Crystal Oscillator-
Multiplier, 6DQ6B Power Amplifier, 12AX7 Speech Amplifier, and 6DR7 Modulator. The CW section is cathode
keyed, and AM modulation is controlled carrier screen modulation.

Paired with a J-38 style key, crystal element D-104, and a fist full of rocks I was ready to get rolling. This kit has
been a joy to operate and starting to see more nights up front and center along with my Hallicrafters HA-5 VFO and
Drake 2B/ 2BQ receiver. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help get this transmitter on the air for Mr.
Harllee. It has been a great honor to complete this project.