- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Classic CW Transmitters

James Benedict (JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ) on August 30, 2001
View comments about this article!

About 40-50 years ago, many young SWLs were viewing the catalogs for 'dream' transmitters. Once beyond the novice ticket- often only $40, a WWII surplus straight key & crystals and perhaps a knife switch for antenna changeover seperated them from a real communications station. Transmitting CW using simple gear on a cold winter night is fun beyond words.

Fortunately, hams do not throw out anything of value. For about $50 on up the 3-4 tube transmitters are available today on the internet or at ham swaps. The transmitters listed below have 35 watts input or greater, bandswitching and built-in 120 vac power supplies. The manufacture, model number, ham bands, watts input, final tube(s) and mode is shown. Some have factory standard, not optional, built-in low level AM and the units with a built-in VFO are marked with (*).

Drake 2-NT. 80-10m, 100w, (2x)6JB6- CW.

Eico 720. 80-10m, 90w, 6146- CW.

Eico 723. 80-10m, 60w, 6DQ6- CW.

Globe Scout 40. 160-10m, 50w, 6146- CW/AM.

Globe Scout 65. 160-10m, 65w, 6146- CW/AM.

Globe Chief 90. 160-10m, 90w, (2x)807- CW.

Globe Scout 680. 80-6m, 65w, 6146- CW/AM.

Globe Scout 66. 160-10m, 65w, 6146- CW/AM.

Globe Scout Deluxe. 80-6m, 90w, 6146- CW/AM.

Globe Chief Deluxe. 80-10m, 90w, (2x)807- CW.

Hallicrafters HT-40. 80-6m, 75w, 6DQ5- CW/AM.

Heathkit AT-1. 80-10m, 35w, 6L6- CW.

Heathkit DX-20. 80-10m, 50w, 6DQ6A- CW.

Heathkit HX-11. 80-10m, 50w, 6DQ6A- CW.

Heathkit DX-35. 80-10m, 65w, 6146- CW/AM.

Heathkit DX-40. 80-10m, 75w, 6146- CW/AM.

Heathkit DX-60. 80-10m, 90w, 6146- CW/AM.

Johnson Adventurer 80-10m, 50w, 807- CW.

Johnson Navigator* 160-10m, 40w, 6146- CW.

Johnson Challenger 80-6m, 120w, 2x6DQ6-CW/AM

Knightkit T-50. 80-10m, 50w, 807- CW.

Knightkit T-60. 80-6m, 60w, 6DQ6- CW/AM.

Lafayette HE-25. 80-6m, 120w, 2x 6DQ6- CW/AM.

Lafayette KT-390. 80-10m, 90w, 6146- CW/AM.

Lysco 600S*. 160-10m, 35w, 807- CW/AM.

Lysco 600*. 160-10m, 35w, 807- CW.

Lysco 650. 160-10m, 40w, 807- CW.

RME HG-303. 80-10m, 75w, 6146- CW.

The transmitters are listed with watts input. The CW output should be about 50-60% of input watts on 80 meters. Using higher frequencies such as 10 meters, efficiency is less- sometimes much less. A 6L6 final on 10 meters is 'a real push'. The AM output can be 15 to 30 percent less of CW output depending upon the modulation method. Most transmitters look like a square or rectangular box. The EICO 720, Globe Chief & Scout Deluxe , Hallicrafters HT-40, Heathkit DX-60, Knight T-60, Lafayette KT-390 and RME HG-303 have the low profile 1960s 'modern' appearance. Many of the above transmitters had either an optional AM module, remote modulator (EICO series) or provisions for a remote modulator. Matching VFOs were available for most transmitters. I believe a common Heathkit VFO would drive any of the transmitters. Some operators may use a modern receiver such as a Drake R-8 with the old transmitters. If you wish to find an old receiver, look for a matching unit. E.F. Johnson did not offer a receiver, thus any receiver is considered a match. Picking a good receiver can be difficult. Mabby 8 tubes or more, double conversion and ham bands only is the way to go. Good luck and have fun.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
Classic CW Transmitters  
by NB6Z on August 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Ahhh... the "good old days". My first Novice transmitter is on that list above. Even if I could get a brand new DX-40 today, I would have no use for it. The state of the operating art has advanced way beyond what we use to do 35-40 years ago. Those were sure simpler times...
Classic CW Transmitters  
by W4FOA on August 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
A good thread! I think we all have fond memories of those years...well maybe not all fond...I remember TVI, do you? Also, one of the classics unfortunately omitted was the Ameco AC-1...I stillhave one and I probably will just keep it alongside my Heath AT-1. Thanks for the memories!
Classic CW Transmitters  
by WA8VBX on August 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I used a Hallicrafter HT-40 as a Novice and then as a General on CW/AM in 1966/67. Thought I had moved up in the world when I got a Knight Kit T-150 for CW/AM, and a HeathKit single band transceiver for 20 meter SSB.
Sometimes wish I was still using them, just sometimes.
Some of them still sound great on the air.
RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by K8AC on August 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
People who owned Heathkits remember TVI - Johnson owners do not! The Johnson cabinets were, for all practical purposes, completely sealed as far as RF escaping. And, all connectors on the rear panel were filtered at the connector. Harmonic TVI was something that Johnson worked hard and long in preventing. The Johnson Navigator and Lysco 600 were my choices for CW. Built-in, relatively stable VFO, top notch keying. The Heath VF-1 VFOs were paragons of instability. The EICO VFO (sorry, forgot the model number) was extremely stable, had a nice tuning rate, and the keying was superb.
RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
Anonymous post on August 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I love it!

I had a Globe Chief 90A. My first "real" transmitter, I got it with the "matching" 755 VFO. I got them in the late 1970s, so they must have been 15 years old already. One great thing about the transmitters that were kits - the manual is comprehensive. My 90A developed some bad habits - intermittent tuning and so forth. I poked and probed and did troubleshooting and finally decided to rebuild it. I removed all the wires and components, de-oxidized everything, opened up the manual and rebuilt it! It worked fine after that. I had almost no test equipment in those days.

I had the old knife switch for T/R switching. I already had a Drake 2C receiver, and the 2-NT transmitter caught my eye. So I traded the Globe Chief for the 2-NT, keeping the 755 VFO. The 2-NT had great appeal because it had built-in T/R switching, which sounded far more convenient than the knife switch. A real nice feature, I thought. And automatic - just push the key, and you're transmitting.

But the 2-NT has one annoying feature. It has only a tune control, no load control. So your antenna has to be very close to 50 ohms or you don't develop full power into it. There is a drive control, but no grid current meter. I wonder how much I was pushing the grids on those sweep tubes? Oh, well, I ended up swapping both the 2C and the 2-NT for a Kenwood transceiver. That early Kenwood solid state transceiver was never as fun as the two Drakes were, though.

Thanks for the fun romp through my ancient past!
Classic CW Transmitters  
by N5LF on August 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Good article. Thanks!

I started in 1975 with a Heath DX-60B, and the matching HR-10 receiver. First using crystals, then a Johnson Viking VFO. It was cathode keyed, whereas the DX-60 was grid keyed, but the instruction manual had info on converting the VFO for grid keyed transmitters. After about 6 months, I found the matching Heathkit HG-10 VFO. The VFO's dial was a cylinder, and when you switched bands, it rolled to show that band-very clever.

I'd recommend getting a rig using 6146 tubes in the final amp - they are the easiest to find and very rugged. Also, grid keying may be preferable to cathode keying, but if getting a VFO you'll need to know which method is used for your transmitter.

The tube stuff is GREAT! Sure it takes 20 minutes to warm up & stop drifting, but some of the tube stuff runs rings around the modern rigs. You learn real fast which bells & whistles you really need.

dit dit
Alan N5LF
Classic CW Transmitters  
by W8OB on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
aw, the good old days, how well i remember the smell of tubes and the warm glow they
gave off on a cold winter night in the shack. i have several old rigs here and take turns using
them all during the winter months. this year i am going to fire up the heath gear the
hr10b,hg10, and dx60 and have somemore fun. sure state of the art gear is nice but the
old boatanchor setups really test your skill especially if you are using manual tx/rx switchover
devices, keeps a guy on his toes. as far as the old ameco ac1 i would love to get my hands on
one of these but seeing them go for up to $400 bucks on ebay think i will homebrew one
instead. will look for you guys on sk night
Classic CW Transmitters  
by W3GEO on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
My first was a Heath DX-40 and a Hallicrafters SX-110. Many times I have thought of putting this station back together and have bid on several DX-40s and SX-110s on eBay only to see the bid prices go beyond what I was prepared to pay.

The DX-40 was a decent CW transmitter and worked pretty well on phone. It's controlled carrier modulation could be tuned in pretty well by hams using the SSB only type transceivers that were common in the mid 60s. The only problem with phone that way was that the Heath VF-1 VFO tended to drift a lot.

Effeciency as a phone transmitter was pretty low. I remember putting a friends Bird wattmeter on it and I think we measured about 5 watts carrier out on 10 meter AM. As with many rigs of the day, one had to be cautious as to how it was tuned up.

Sometimes when you thought you were on 80 meters you were actually slightly above the 40 meter band and sometimes in the 20 meter band. I remember an article in 73 mentioning the unofficial 20 meter Novice band. Harmonics and TVI were a bit of a problem with the DX-40

The SX-110 was a pretty good receiver on CW with the crystal filter providing surprising amounts of selectivity.

While I still toy with the idea of putting my 1964 Novice station back together, I know that it would not be a practical station today and it would most likely be frustrating to use. It would also never measure up to the fond memories I have of it. As someone else has posted, times change.

Classic CW Transmitters  
by WB9OFG on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I still have a Knight T-60 in the closet, along with a Hammarlund HQ-110. This is the combo that got me to upgrade back in '84, and also got me back on the air just 2 years ago after losing interest for several years. My Novice rig was a HW-16 that I built in '71. I sold it, but finally beat out the "collectors" (oh, OK, I just closed my eyes and spent too much. You can do that when you're single, y'know) and bought another 16 last year...The current boatanchor station is a Hallicrafters SX-73 and a Viking Valiant, which got used last night for my traffic nets because the Pegasus' AGC holds on to the lighting crashes too long.
Classic CW Transmitters  
by W1QWT on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
My first station consisted of an ARC5, 3 to 6 Mcs, receiver and a 6L6 homebrew CW transmitter.
Then I got some money from a paper route and got a
Hammarlund HQ110 receiver and a Hallicrafters HT40 for a transmitter.
Over the years I have owned a lot of differents radios. Presently my SSB station consists of a TS690 but I still enjoy using some of my old rigs on AM and CW. I still have and use a NC300 receiver, a Heath DX60 transmiter, and a Heath DX35 transmitter. I also have a Navy TCS12 receiver/transmitter set.
In the CW transmit mode there isn't alot of difference between the then and now. The resultant RF is the same.
The now is more appliance like as you don't have to tune any of the internal circuits.
The old receivers were and still are pretty decent in my opinion. They had good selectivity and sensitivity. IF passband selection, selectivity controls, and audio filtering were all done with analog designs. The newer rigs with DSP might beat them in that department.
Ofcourse one thing my older radios don't have are memory channels and a scan function. Oh Dear!
The biggest thing my new radios don't do is "glow in the dark"! My TS690 has no personality. Now that 6L6 sitting atop the Maxwell house coffee can had personality!

Regards and happy Labor Day

Classic CW Transmitters  
by AD6W on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
There's nothing like a new rig when the message has to get through, but old rigs are fun and relaxing, like driving my '51 Ford pickup. Is there any sound like a dynamotor spinning up in an ARC5? Any smell like warm tube radio? Many of the rigs in my Shack once belonged to the Hams that elmered me. I remember them by using and maintaining their old gear. My oldest rig is a 1917 breadboard outfit with a crystal detector, loose coupler and Model-T spark coil. It makes me think what the world was like when it was state of the art. I've never had it on the air for obvious reasons, but it's displayed under glass with a sign that says: "Break Glass in Case of Emergency"
RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by W5HTW on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

A nostalgic list for many of us. My Novice transmitter, loaned to me by W4HTW, was a homebrew version of the Heath AT-1 - didn't look the same, and was 40 meters only. 6AG7/6L6, but it ran only 16 watts input, not 35. I had two crystals for the forty meter band.

My first General class transmitter, in 1957, was an ARC5 6-9 MHZ. Cost? $3.95. Including tubes, surplus and unused condition. Receiver was a Hallicrafters S-85 bought on time, with money earned from an after school job. I added a 3-6 MHZ unit (another 4 bucks, wow!) and could work 80 and 40 CW by unplugging the homebrew power supply from one and moving it to the other.

The next transmitter I owned was not on your list, but was actually fairly popular. An Eldico TR75TV. 75 watts input. From there I went on to many transmitters and receivers over the years.

Today Heath AT-1s command a goodly price, as do Drake 2NTs Almost anything by Johnson is now gold plated, and Drake B and C lines are getting there.

For those interested in serious AM work, with good, clean CW thrown in, in my opinion there is none finer, for what may or may not be reasonable cost, than the Johnson Ranger II (the version with improved keying.) The Ranger I was a good rig but did not have the same CW keying characteristics.

Another fine TX from the era, and still found occasionally at fair prices, is the Hammarlund HX-50.

I could not begin to remember all the various rigs I had, traded, bought, sold, gave away, had given to me. Traded them for cars, pistols, boats, televisions, tape recorders, and then traded those things for more radios. A few never went on the air, but most of them, including a WW-II Russian tank radio, made it to the ham bands (albeit briefly!)

For those hams who can not or will not put out $2,000 and up for a transceiver that operates itself while you go to the Golden Arches, these rigs, and others like them, beg to be touched, tuned, twiddled, tweaked. They both loved and required attention. No auto-tune, no "no-tune", no Plug and Play, but the real fun of do it yourself radio. Que bueno!


RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by WB2WIK on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Ah, nostalgia. I, too, had several of the transmitters on the list, at various times. Built a DX60A in 1966, and an Ameco AC-1 as a lark (it was only like $29.95 in kit form!) HG-303 had a "Globe" label on it and was an all-time piece of junque (ten lbs. of stuff in a 1 lb. container, ran hot as Hades)...T-60 made the 6DQ6 glow blue, no matter what...and I'm no so sure about those "well shielded" E.F. Johnson Viking I was held together by practically nothing beyond its own incredible weight and leaked like a sieve. I clearly recall the Rangers and Valiants being held together largely by two extremely long machine screws that went in the back, through the rig, and all the way up to the front...

But, anyway...

...while some fondly recall the smell of burning rosin, I not so fondly recall the smell of burning radios!

Glad I'm not doing any more radio burning...

Nice article, and thread.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6

The Classics, just like old books!  
by WD8MGO on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
As a Novice my first station was a MULTI-ELMAC
AF-67 Transmitter and Reciever pair. A friend of
my Dad's built a power supply for me.I never really made any contact with this station but it was always an experience to tune up. Later a local ham club I used to belong to had a Johnson Ranger Transmitter fed into open wire feed line with a Drake-R4C receiver and what a combination. That classic Johnson transmitter
sound but the Drake was a dream to use with its passband tuning and smooth dial. Todays operators do not understand or are never taught that one simply can
not be a top operator buy owning a thousand dollar rig.
It's the operator and I will always believe that taking steps from simple tube equipment to more sophisticated solid state is the proper way.
One must crawl before walking.
Classic CW Transmitters  
by KD2E on August 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
14.060 This is the QRP freq on 20. You will also find many of the classic CW transmitters there. Not used anymore?? Nonsense!! You'll hear 'em all!
I use my 2NT/2C setup regularly (by the way..has a single 6HF5, not a pair of 6dq6's as stated)
Sure is fun to use the old simple stuff. Making contacts with a couple of tubes vs. rigs with multi-layer, wave soldered boards sure does add spice to the hobby. I have an Eico 723 that I was thinking of pairing up with my HQ180. I could probably fit 7 of the transmitters inside that receiver. Married with a Johnson TR switch, a speed X and a few 807's and I'll have a great time!!
By the way... The 2C is every bit as sensitive as the 756PRO!!!
Classic CW Transmitters  
by VE6XX on September 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Greetings Gang: I don't think I have ever read so many nostalgic reviews/comments/remarks!
I also was on the air in the 50ies with an ARC-5, & a BC-348. Hearing about all the tube transmitters prompts me to relate a sory, told to me by a long deceased ham friend of mine, the late Arn, VE2SD.
During the "dirty thirties" there was a ham who lived at Drummondville Quebec, Canada, & I believe his call was VE2AU. Not important, since he is dead close to 50 years!
This ham had a "killer" signal on 80 CW. When queried about his power level, he would reply that he was running 500 watts input, to a pair of 6L6's!
Most guys were running single tube, breadboard layouts, & the elite few had a "pair of 45's in push-pull.
Brother hams would make unkind comments regarding the veracity of this Drummondville ham, but he steadfastly maintained that he was running a pair of 6L6's at 500 watts DC input.
My friend Arn was having lunch with the local radio inspector one fine day, & he broached the subject of our ham friend with the 500 watts. The radio inspector smiled at Arn, & said " Yep!, he is running a pair of 6L6's , & I personally measured his DC input at 500 watts!" Arn says to the radio Inspector..." You can't run 500 watts to a pair of 6L6's! They would arc over, burn up, melt or whatever!". The radio inspector looks Arn straight in the eye & says...." You can, when they are METAL 6L6's....upside down, in a pail of oil !!" Hope you all got a chuckle same as I did when Arn told it to me. (A true story!)
Have a great weekend all!..Cheers, Brian, VE6XX
Classic CW Transmitters  
by W7ITC on September 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I am sort of have a different view point on the classic
CW rigs. I didn't become a Ham until 1991, but I was
being a pest in ham shacks from the time I was 9 years
of age back in the late 50's. I remember some of these
transmitters. I remember them like a person looking
at a book without reading it. Now I have some of
these old bombs, wow what a education. I'll comment
on the Lysco 600 Transmaster. I have no idea how well this transmitter functioned when new but mine is, how
shall we say it, in need of some re-engineering. It's single 807 does a fine job putting out about 25 watts
or so. I have always wondered how safe it is to
operate an 807 in a horizontal position. It's the
power supply on this rig that is a problem. I can
only do about 6 WPM any faster and I
drift right out of My contacts band pass. It's a power supply problem as the voltage drops the frequency raises. The scope tells me it's a problem with voltage
regulation. I'll fix it, these old things are to much
fun to operate. Now I am off to a cold 807.

Ken de W7ITC

RE: Hot 6L6 finals  
by W5HTW on September 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

500 watts with a pair of 6L6s?

As a very young ham (16 almost 17, and still a Novice) a neighbor, who was both a ham and an engineer at KOA AM in Denver, took me to the KOA transmitter site, (long ago moved from east of the city to on top of the mountain.) A 50KW AM radio station, from "the old days" of AM radio. The final tube (and possibly the drivers as well) were glass, but with HUGE plate caps, maybe 10 inches in diameter and 15 inches tall? (Shady memory here.) The tubes were operated inverted, in flowing distilled water as a coolant, using the plate caps as a heat radiator. l Despite high school physics, it had never occured to me you could operate high plate voltages in water. But Frank pointed out it is the impurities in water that make it conductive. Their beautiful little pond out by the brick building was actually the holding tank for the distilled, recirculated water. Watching the water flow past the plates of the finals was a lesson for me in a previously unconsidered area of electronics. (Being young, there were many such areas in my life!) . Took me a bit to understand the water was not actually charged with high voltage and that the pool would electrocute anyone who touched it.

I'm sure other AM transmitters of the day used water cooling, but KOA is the only one I ever saw.

Re comments on the Ranger and its two bolts holding it together. The edges of the cabinet were not painted, and if fitted into the slot in the front panel, and those bolts were tightened, it made a solid electrical seal. In the days of the Ranger and Viking II, many televisions were still in use which had 21 MHZ IFs. There was virtually no way to eliminate TVI to such TV sets at close range, and with poorly shielded transmitters, TVI could be a problem many blocks away from the transmitter. TV manufacturers had found new IF frequencies, but increased sensitivity in tuners merely changed the scope of the problem to front end overload. With today's plastic chassis and cabinet, floating grounds, etc., front end overload has not gone away with the smaller and cheaper TV sets.

RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by K0JPJ on September 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Mention of the Knight T-150/T-150A transmitter brought back a fond memory. In the mid sixties I took one in trade at my ham store and found it had a whole mess of problems. I went through it and cured them one by one and added a few slight mods to improve keying and stability.

Sweepstakes was coming up and I had contested so long I really wasn't too enthusiastic about it until a friend wandered in one day and was looking at the Knight. He was very critical of the rig and I told him it was far better than first glance might lead one to believe. He finally challenged me....he said if I would enter sweepstakes on CW and rack up a reasonable score he would buy me the best steak dinner in the city. I thought....another weekend shot....but agreed to take the bet. I took the little lightweight home and sat it on my operating console right above the 75A4 and KWS1 that I normally used.

It looked rather strange but plucky! I had a 51J3 beside it and hooked up a changeover relay and got things ready.

It was interesting.....and fun! Conditions were quite good and I soon fell into old habits and was knocking them off pretty fast. I slept a while...which was too long really and thought I would quit because I had a healthy number of points. But like a magnet that T-150 drew me back into the melee.

Well when it was all over I sent off the log forms etc and was sure I had earned my steak.....and when the final scoring was done I found I had won for Missouri against some venerable old competitors of many years.

QST had a picture of the shack in the SS issue and I had a lot of kidding about the tin transmitter. I sold it at the store and today I wish I had it back again! My first serious rig was a Viking II and I am putting the finishing touches on restoring a nice one.

Just because a rig didn't cost much doesn't mean it could not perform well. Some of the much more expensive rigs I sold as a dealer didn't sound half as good on CW as the Knight. In fact this Viking is having a face lift for the keying just as I did in 1957
when I found my brand new one had chirp and key clicks all over the place. At least they can be cured! There is one very popular modern transceiver whose strange chirp has gained users a dubious reputation and the manufacturer is baffled as to a cure.

73....happy boatanchoring....

Frank K0JPJ ex-W5PVX
Classic CW Transmitters  
by KA4LPH on September 2, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
One great classic is the Heathkit HW-16 with the HG-10B VFO.
That was my first ham radio and I still have one and use it!
Easy to repair, operate, and I love the smell of the fire bottles
inside once it gets warmed up. I get about 50-60 watts out of
her. 73 you folks. Peace and Goodwill. PS- My Swan 500c
still kicks too!
Heathkit HW-16 was my 'first girl' : )  
by W8KQE on September 3, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, indeed!

I remember how excited I was when I first got licensed in 1977 while in High School back in northern NJ. All I could afford at the time was a used HW-16 with an HG-10 VFO. I worked the world on it with an attic dipole for 15m (and an outdoor dipole on 40), and I have not had as much fun and excitement with amateur radio since, truth be told. Perhaps it was the magic of being newly licensed, having my very first ham radio, and knowing it was not a top of the line one at that (which meant I had to eke as much as I could out of it). I still managed to work over 70 countries on it, and often got 599 reports in Europe. Operating in the dark or with a dim light in the corner of my 'bedroom closet hamshack' during the cold winter months was awesome! I remember my mother yelling and pleading for me to come to the dinner table, while I was working DX for hours with my new Heath electronic keyer! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
Classic CW Transmitters  
by K4IQT on September 5, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
When my best friend and I were getting started in ham radio at age 15, I couldn't afford to buy even an AT-1, but old TV sets were free at the repair shops. A gift of a 1948-vintage FM xmtr from Ted, W8BPC, was the key to building a working CW novice station. My friend was a bit better funded than I, and we spent many happy hours building his DX-60 and making gazillions of CW contacts. This was just before the time that SSB was becoming popular, and together we did several FD's on AM and CW. Today it's a lot easier to operate using solid state computer-controlled DSP-equipped transceivers, with no worries about warmup drift, finals going soft, bizarre control setups for QSK, and perpetual pi-network tuning and hoping that most of that input power was being radiated rather than dissipated through red-hot plates (unless you ran a BC610, where plate color was the primary tuning indicator).

Thanks for the list - it brings old memories to the fore......
Classic CW Transmitters  
by N5LB on September 8, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I used the HT40 and Halli S108 as my novice station (Jan 66). As early general I upgraded the S108 to an NC303 which was a huge improvement and added the Eico 722 VFO. Worked a lot of DX on cw in those days using an inverted vee rotated with the armstrong rotor on 10m. I still have the original HT40 and S108. The NC303 on the desk was "re-acquired" a few years ago. I wish I had kept the Eico 722. Now I'm rock bound on the HT40.
RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by AG3Y on October 1, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Oh Wow, an HQ110 ! I remember my HQ110C (clock option) that I used during the first year of my Ham life. When you switched it into standby to transmit, and then back to receive, you had to tune the station you were working back in! I don't know if all of them did it as badly, but mine drifted around so much that I just about threw the whole station out the window! I had no idea how to stop the infernal thing from gliding up and down the band! And this was on 40 meters! I never did get it to use it on 15 because the higher you went, the more it drifted (darn multiplying local oscillator stage!) To this day, I will never forget how close to quitting the hobby I was before a dear ham friend and "Elmer" loaned me a Central Electronics 100V and a Collins 75A4. Now THAT was a Ham Station!

Jim Stanicek AG3Y
RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by KE8QA on January 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've had my Dx60 and HG10 since 87. I knocked the dust off them the other day and made about 5 contacts in short order. Today when I tried to get it on the air again the vfo seems to be in spot mode when switched to operate. Any ideas?

Thanks, Ed KE8QA
RE: Classic CW Transmitters  
by KE8QA on January 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've had my Dx60 and HG10 since 87. I knocked the dust off them the other day and made about 5 contacts in short order. Today when I tried to get it on the air again the vfo seems to be in spot mode when switched to operate. Any ideas?

Thanks, Ed KE8QA
Classic CW Transmitters  
by K1RC on August 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Brings back some good ole CW memories. Very shortly
I'll be back on 40 and 80 with an old Mosley CM-1 rx
and Eico 722 VFO and 723 TX. I'm gonna sit my son
down in front of that rig and let him experience some
old time fun... He's looking forward to it. Maybe the
old time bug will bite him...
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
William Paterson Students Visit Vieques, Forge Radio Partnership:
NCVEC Question Pool Committee Releases Errata to Technician Question Pool:
Past ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE (SK):
Fox-1D Amateur Radio CubeSat Launches Successfully, Now Designated as AO-92
Ham Radio Operators Display Emergency Capabilities During Winter Field Day: