W9ZT Amateur Radio Home Page

Subtitle

 Welcome to my webpage devoted to the Knight T-60. In the 1960's & 70's for many new novice amateur radio operators, it was their first transmitter. I spent many hours thumbing through Allied Radio catalogs but the page with the T-60 always became the most worn as I dreamed of owning one. Then on Christmas Eve 1968 Santa brought mine from the Allied Electronics store in Milwaukee, WI!   Earlier that year I assembled the Knight Ocean Hopper receiver and  LC-1 code practice oscillator kits.

  The Ocean Hopper was a simple three tube regenerative receiver that you plugged coils in the top to change bands. I learned to copy my first amateur radio stations using the Ocean Hopper but it wasn't easy! With the lightest touch on the tuning dial and constantly tweaking the regen control they drifted along, its lack of stability being just one drawback! Still listening to my first "live" CW transmissions on the Ocean Hopper was a very thrilling experience! However it didn't take long for me to realize this receiver was not going to be adequate for my ham radio station!

My Dad was a radio operator on the USS Loggerhead submarine during WWII and he taught me the code during dish washing duties so that part of taking the FCC exam came easy unlike most new hams. I studied the ARRL Novice license manual and started making my way through "The Radio Amateur's Handbook" during 1969 and in the fall I passed the Novice exam. My ticket arrived in early 1970, callsign WN9FFO. Now all I needed was a better receiver and with my greater understanding of radio theory and equipment I set off to the Tri-County ARC hamfest in Jefferson, Wisconsin.

There I came across a beautiful National NC-270,  but it was a bit beyond my reach.  Dad was very proud of my accomplishments, having passed the FCC exam on the first try and he advanced my birthday gift so I could afford to take the NC-270 home!   I remember that being one of the happiest and most exciting times of my youth, aquiring all the pieces for my first amateur radio station and the incredible anticipation waiting to make my first contact! The National receiver was a dream compared to the Ocean Hopper and I don't think I slept much for weeks, up late each night marveling at all that I could hear including my first DX stations and yearning to be able to make contact with them. I still think this is one of the coolest looking receivers ever made with two tone cosmic blue finish, fin around the frequency display, awesome design and layout of controls, this radio shouts class and style of the late 50's early 60's.  I will never part with the NC-270 I have now. Sure my solid state radios are ions of technology ahead of this bygone era but I still relive those wonder years of my youth when I turn the dial of this beauty.
It was an intense weekend I devoted to assembling the T-60 kit but the instructions were well written with very helpful graphics. I will never forget the satisfaction and relief when I first powered it up, tuning with the one 40 meter crystal I also aquired at the hamfest and seeing the light bulb dummy load glow! The T-60 is a simple 2-tube, 3-stage transmitter with 6HF8 oscillator/multiplier and 6DQ6 power amplifier providing 60 watts input.  Cathode keying of the three stages is utilized for CW.  It requires 3 different crystal ranges; 80 and 40 meter operation being "straight through" using 3.5 and 7 mhz crystals.  7 mhz crystals are also used for tuning  harmonic output of the multiplier for 10-20 meter operation.  The T-60 could also provide 6 Meter operation with 8 mhz crystals.  Improper tuning of the plate circuit easily resulted in substantial output on unintended multiples of your desired operating frequency.  Fortunately I escaped the experience of many novices that received their first "pink slips" using T-60's! Knight was obviously trying to capture the Technician Class market by including 6 Meters and AM phone capabilities.    
The T-60 I currently have is unfortunately not my original which I sold to afford my general class gear. The one I have now was found on Ebay listed as in "tubes light up but untested condition."  Cosmetically it looked real nice and the chassis pictures looked very clean so I took a chance and got lucky.  After powering it up slowly with Variac, it tuned modestly on 40M with about 25 watts out but some serious hum! This radio had never been modified and even had the original Knight-Kit labeled tubes!!
You can see the familiar "K" emblem on the 6HF8 in back and 6DR7 in front middle. The 6DQ6B and 12AX7 also were originals!  So it was not surprising output was low with 40 year old tubes! I ordered replacements for them, all are still very easily obtainable and inexpensive.  Also I ordered new electrolytics and "recapped" it. Then replaced the power cord with a 3 conductor to ground the chassis. Here is a look at the changes:

Anxiously I set it back up and while tuning noticed the hum was entirely gone and on 40M I now was getting almost 50 watts output from the new RCA 6DQ6B!  If you have not listened to my video clip please click on the T-60 picture at the top of the page and it will take you to a Youtube video of my "new" T-60 calling CQ on 40 meters.  Not bad sounding CW with just a hint of "whoop" to give it that vintage charm!

You will find me "rockbound" most often on 7.028 & 3.530  CW.  I don't use the T-60 much on AM but show up on 3.885 or 7.290 mhz using a Turner +2 microphone when I do.  My favorite time to put the T-60 on the air is Straight Key Night.  Also I like to participate in the CW Classic Exchange.

If you have a T-60 I sure would like to hear from you. Please E-mail me [email protected]. Maybe we can schedule a T-60 to T-60 QSO!  Also if you have pictures either past or present of your T-60 I always adding pages of T-60 owners and their callsigns. 

73!

Brad,  W9ZT