Total posts : 45366
I did some net snooping and found that the “low power” transistor used in this transmitter is a 2N3053.
I also found that the collector goes to the light bulb. I can’t tell from your picture but you might check that the center pin (the collector) of the power transistor is connected to the light bulb and the beveled end pin (the base) goes to a resistor and capacitor. There is no guarantee that whoever wired this knew what they were doing (especially since the tab is soldered to the black wire…unusual to do this).
Apparently Chris just took the connection to the antenna directly from the collector and your unit has the additional coil and variable cap installed. Maybe you should disconnect this and connect your short wire antenna to the collector and find out what this does for range.