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Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved

Glenn C. Peck (KE5GK) on January 2, 2002
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1. Heath HW-16 (80,40,15M CW Xcvr)

2. Yaesu FTdx 560(HF Xcvr-redefined hvy duty)

3. Yaesu FT-101EE (HF Xcvr-minus 160M)

4. Swan 270 (HF Xcvr-yes,it drifted)

5. Ten Tec Century 21 (CW Xcvr)

6. Yaesu FT-101E (HF Xcvr)

7. Heath HW-101 (Classic HF Xcvr)

8. Kenwood 520S w/DG-5(THE Classic HF Xcvr)

9. Ten Tec CorsairII (HF Xcvr-my favorite)

10. Sony IC 2010(Portable SW Rcvr-the best)

Owned, but not loved: Kenwood 450SAT (HF Xcvr-poor receiver & marginal tuner). Alinco DR-130 (2M FM-very,very hard to program.)

Member Comments:
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Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by HB9DRD on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Like the first posting these aren't in any order.

My favourite radios:

1. Kenwood TS-700 (not G, not S, the original)

2. Kenwood TS-770 (not E, the original)

3. Eddystone EC10 (English HF RX, my first radio)

4. LMW Electronics 23cms Transverter Kit

5. Icom IC-202S

6. Kenwood TS-711E

7. Kenwood TS-811E

8. Kenwood TR-751E

9. Yaesu FT-290R Mk I

Radios that I have/had had no feelings about:

1. Kenwood TS-790E (with 23cms)

2. Icom IC-910H (with 23cms) (only had it a few weeks, too early to tell)

3. Yaesu FT-101ZD

4. Kenwood TS-670

5. Icom IC-706MkIIG

Radios I have diskliked:

1. Yaesu FT-290R Mk I

2. Icom IC-505

Note that the FT-290R appears in two lists. This is because I used an FT290R on 2m with a high power PA and it was wretched. The RX overloaded, I had RF feedback on TX, a disaster. BUT I have used one as a transverter driver (23, 6, 3 cms) and it was a real champ in that role. I still have it as a standby radio.

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by NB6Z on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Yaesu FT-101ZD...
The 101ZD was so good for so long that I never botherred to look for something better. Prior to that, I designed and built my own transceiver and radios. The FT-920 is my current favorite.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
Anonymous post on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
You have to be kidding,,,,,I have used a few of these radios and they were junk, and I mean junk!!!!
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KC9C on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting post (especially for us "old timers"...I'm 45).

My top ten, no particular order

1. Yaesu FT-817...only had it a week but it is very fun!
2. Heathkit HW-16...first radio in high school in 1974
3. Drake TR-22C...first 2m rig...$229 with two crystals in 1974 money!
4. Yaesu FT-101...DXCC...first mobile rig (as long as no one wanted to sit in the passenger seat!)
5. Yaesu FT-90...fantastic radio and love the remote head
6. Alinco DJ-580...longest I've ever owned/used a rig; bought in 1992
7. Kenwood TS-180S...with all the filters, tremendous contest of the first solid state PA
8. Kenwood TS-440S...maybe the best HF radio I've owned.
9. Heathkit HW-101...not a great radio, but at 17 it was great because I could afford it!
10. Amcomm model? first synthesized 2m rig...25w. Great radio in 1976.

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Best Feelings:
1) TEN TEC OMNI V- Nice receiver.
2) Kenwood TR-7400A- Best Audio & 800 instant channels!
3) Yaesu FT-625RD- Good receiver & layout.
4) Kenwood TR-751A- Inexpensive & Hot receiver.
5) Yaesu FT-401- Like a 1974 Buick 225- fun 'pig'.
6) Collins 'S' Twins- Sweet receive audio.

No Feelings:
1) Yaesu FT-920
2) Icom IC-729
3) Icom IC-2100H
4) TS-430S
5) Heathkit HW-12
6) Drake 'B' Line Twins
7) National NCX-5- 'Beefy' Power Supply is honorable!

Bad News:
1) Drake TR-4 CW RIT- 'Nasel' sounding, congested audio
2) Kenwood TS-450- Just awful- intermod drenched receiver- SSB like bad breath!

RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by HB9DRD on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
When I mentioned the FT101ZD I think I'd better mention a few details. At the time I got the radio (which was a present) I was already really getting into 2m and above DX work. I had been on HF for about two years with a borrowed radio and had great fun, but to me HF didn't feel like a challenge. So my '101 was a victim of circumstances, it worked well, but my mind was elsewhere.
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I forgot to mention this- The Yaesu FT-401 ('fun pig') on my list above left such an impression, I just bought a Kenwood TS-950SD. The TS-950SD is over 50 lbs, definately not a 'pig', but not an Icom IC-756 PRO either!
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K3AN on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
First licensed in '61, but only active about half the intervening 40 years (has it been that long?!!).

Here's what I have owned and what I thought of each.

RME-4350A and outboard sideband adapter: Great tuning dial arrangement, but that's about all.

Globe DSB-100: The final stage was a push-push pair of 6DQ6s arranged to supress the carrier and transmit a double sideband signal. It worked, and no one ever complained about me transmitting the other sideband.

Heath SB-102: Worked fine until the VFO got flaky. See remarks about the SB-401 below.

Heath SB-301: Fine, once I added a solid state (zener) regulator for the oscillator stages.

Heath SB-401: Remember how hard it used to be to change bands? Peak the drive, dip the plate, advance the loading, dip the plate again, etc. Fuhgeddaboudit!

Yaesu FT-707: I thought it was a great performer, with smooth receive audio and 16 poles of filtering. Dirty relay contacts were a recurring problem, however.

Ten Tec Argosy II: Sold it as soon as I could. Lotsa birdies, poor selectivity, VFO drift.

Kenwood TS-850: Still use it, still love it. I think it's the best HF bargain available today. Cryptic programming display means you gotta read the book. See my comments below on the IC-2100.

Kenwood TR-7950: Never a problem, and it was bullet proof in my local "intermod alley" at the time. Still use it as the fixed 2M rig, but it gets little use.

Yaesu FT-290 and FT-690. Bought for "hilltopping." The step tuning arrangement is annoying, and the receivers overloaded easily. Also, the '290 on FM at home messed up the TV, while the TR-7950 was clean when running to the same antenna. These are on my "yecch" list.

Icom IC-2100: Only reason I bought this is that the TR-7950 wouldn't fit in the new car. Works fine, but I can't program it without having the manual! When will the ham rig manufacturers go with the type of menu display and operation that the cell phone makers have used for some time now? I bought a new Kyocera phone and have never cracked the book. C'mon YaeComWood- get with the program!

Can anyone else with 35-40 years in the hobby claim as short a list as this?
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KD5QPF on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Admittedly I can't really participate since I haven't owned ten HF rigs, only 2. Well, 3 physically if you count the second FT-101ZD I recently acquired. The 3rd rig is an ICOM IC-751A (great for CW). Frankly while there indeed might be more 'state of the art' available these are such fine rigs I just haven't seen the need to "upgrade".
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W4JPL on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Here's my list from over 20 years of hamming:
1 Kenwood TS-850SAT This is truely the best radio that I have ever owned. I have had and have other rigs, but have never found a rig that competes with this one on a "global" scale.
2 Kenwood TS-830. Solid performer, and built like a brick.
3 Icom IC756. Another solid performer, and is almost as good as the 850.
4 Drake TR-7A. Well built rig, and has the best VLF receiver that I have ever worked with.
5 Collins Kwm2. I'm not a Collins fan, but this rig works well.
6 Heath HW101. This is the "poor man's" KWM2. The best thing about this rig is that (and this does
not happen often) there is nothing on this rig that I can't fix. Works well, too.
7 Kenwood TS520 series. Drop this thing down a flight of steps and it will still work well.
8 Icom IC910H. I have noticed a lot of reviews trashing this rig, but it works fine for me.
9 Icom 551. Probably still one of the best 6 meter rigs made
10 Icom IC706. Nice "all around" rig, and gets a lot of use on 6M.

I could mention a few others, like the Yaesu FT767, and the 736, the Drake "B" line, and don't forget the Johnson Valliant and National NC303 for am.

Rigs I didn't like over the years.
Yaesu FT920. Like a boat. It was a happy day when I bought it, and an even happier day when I sold it 4 months later.
Yaesu FT560DX. Blah.
Very early series FT767's. Poor vfo encoders
Yaesu VX1R. (I think that was the model) transmitted audio that would make the listener's ears bleed.

Finally, any rig that has been modified poorly, or has been "tinkered" with by someone that does not have the proper "skill set" to do the repair or modification properly.

73, John W4JPL
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by AC5E on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I was first licensed in 1953, built my own transmitters but used a variety of recievers. At one time my favorites were the ARC-5's, because that's what I had.
But over the years my favorite HF recievers/ trancievers were..

1.) Hallicrafters SX-96

2.) Hallicrafters SX-100

3.) Hammarlund Super Pro

4.) Ten-Tec Paragon (I)

5.) Ten-Tec Omni VI

6.) Ten-Tec Omni VI+

And over the last dozen years I have tried most of the "top-of-the-line" trancievers from IKenSu. I have given a couple of those away, traded most of them away, and a couple are still gathering dust.

But of course, everybody's bird dog, bird gun, and sipping whiskey are the best. Rig's, though, are more like mistresses. Mine suits me, yours needs a flea collar. So I won't cast aspersions on yours if you don't throw rocks at mine!

73 Pete Allen AC5E
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W5HTW on January 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Some radios were good for some reasons, others were for other reasons. Some of the ones hated here were some of my favorites, some of the ones liked here I disliked. In no particular order:

1. Collins S-Line (Had two of them, sold one a few months ago, other is not in good shape and is in storage, awaiting impulse to restore)

2. Heath Marauder TX/National NC303 RX

3. Drake Twins, B Model. Had one set back in 1971. Sold it, just got another set three weeks ago, realigned it, and it is on the air as my primary radio. Feels good to be back at the controls again, without the automation.

4. Drake TR4C. Was not stereo or hi-fi, but it was certainly equipped for communications punch, and that's kinda the idea of the game. I had it only a month when I got the B Twins, almost new, from a friend who was divorcing.

5. Johnson Ranger/S-85 (transmitter great, receiver was Old Shaky, but OK on AM) Original Ranger, not great on CW due to keying characteristics, but excellent on AM.

6. DX100B/National NC109 - Pretty good AM station.

7. Icom 706. Original model. Love it because it rolls several 6-foot relay racks of equipment into something less than a cigar box. Does what it used to take a whole basement to do.

8. Johnson Viking II/SX71 - Great AM rig!

9. First SSB rig - Central Electronics 20A, homemade 807 amplifier/ Mosley CM-1 receiver. That's the one that got me started in SSB.

10. Heath HW100, back when they were new and I built one. Served me well, but it was a scaled down version of the SB101, with less features.

Like others, I started with ARC5s, and homebrew, or modified ARC5s. (As a teen, I could find a 40 meter ARC 5 TX for 4 bucks in the surplus store, complete with tubes.) Many, many used rigs, some worth honorable mention were the Johnson Navigator, (great little rig, actually) Johnson Adventurer, Hallicrafters HT37, Elmac AF67/Gonset (forgot the model) mobile rig. Hammarlund set - HX50/HQ170, stored now with the S-Line, and may one day be sold. Heath Mobile AM TX/RX - Cheyenne? Had the pair and they were a fair mobile AM rig, but not as good as the Gonset.

For number 11, I have to include my current FT101EE, not because it is deluxe in any way, but because it is quick and easy and has good receive audio, good transmit audio, and works pretty darned good on CW.

Let's see -- in all of the above, only one digital radio. The 706, which most often serves as a police scanner.

It's been fun
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by AB7RG on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!

In no particular order or preference...

Azden PCS-7500H 6 Meter FM Mobile -- Past radio. Great for FM, but I found 6 meter SSB far more fun.

Drake TR-4 -- Past radio. Not the best receiver in the world, but not bad for a near 40 year old radio. I wouldn't mind having another one just to play with.

Icom IC-275A 2 Meter All-Mode -- Past radio. Nice receiver for an older 2 meter all-mode radio. Had to install a tone (PL) board for repeater work. Needed more power output.

Icom IC-706 -- Past radio. Very innovative. Great HF mobile rig, but lacking badly on VHF.

Icom IC-706MK -- Past radio. Huge improvement over the original 706. Nearly perfect mobile.

Icom IC-706MKIIG -- Current radio! I didn't think that the 706MKII could have been made any better. I was proven wrong when I purchased the MKIIG. Two filter slots, DSP standard, backlit keys, and 440 to boot, wow!

Icom IC-756 -- Current radio! Probably the best HF radio ever made. A little wide filtering on AM, but otherwise it couldn't be any better. Well, maybe with four filter slots instead of two. Both of mine are filled. Use the Icom SM-20 desk mic and get broadcast sounding audio with incredible punch. The Pro and ProII can't touch this original modern day classic. I can't say enough about it!

Icom IC-910H -- Past radio. A very good receiver, very powerful output, but the receiver wasn't stable, and mine came off-frequency by 200 hz from the factory. Great features however, and dual receive in all modes.

Icom T2H 2 Meter HT -- Past radio. Hated programming this HT. Very difficult to nearly impossible. A little large for an HT today. Cheap price, but look elsewhere for a better HT.

Icom ICQ7A -- Current radio! A great little HT for operating cross-band repeat. Also works as an excellent handheld scanner. Could have better audio though. Quick reference sheet comes in really handy too...

Kenwood TS-120S -- Past radio. A nice performer, but lacking in features, and no WARC bands. Go for the TS-130S if you're looking for a radio in this price class. No general coverage receive.

Kenwood TS-130S -- Past radio. Much better than the Kenwood TS-120S. WARC bands and a better receiver. No general coverage receive.

Kenwood TS-430S -- Past & present radio! (Loved the first one, and missed it so much after I sold it that I had to buy another one.) Probably the best buy in a used HF radio. Very easy to use. Mine has the optional Narrow CW and SSB filters plus the wide AM filter and the FM board. The AM filter is a must for SW listening.

Kenwood TS-440SAT -- Past radio. Very good all around HF radio, especially with the auto-tuner. Receiver much like the 430S, but with good sounding AM from the factory.

Kenwood TS-450SAT -- Past radio. Possibly a step down from the Kenwood TS-440SAT... Mine ran hot all the time, even without transmitting, and the receiver wasn't nearly as good as my 440 was or my 430. The antenna tuner wasn't nearly as good as the 440's was either.

Kenwood TS-530S -- Past radio. No WARC bands and a marginal receiver.

Kenwood TS-570D(G) -- Current radio! Great HF performance. Far superior to the Kenwood 450SAT. This radio's tuner works great. The receiver is exceptional for a $1200 radio. Wish it had one-touch band switching though. Needs two filter slots. Not sure what Kenwood was thinking. I have to switch the narrow CW and SSB filters back and forth. Nice display, easy to use, and excellent received audio.

Kenwood TS-830S -- Current radio! Excellent receiver, compares favorably with new HF radios on the market. Great CW rig, even with stock filtering. Great transmit audio. Only operates off of AC, lacks a Lock button, tuning knob is a bit touchy, and only one VFO from the factory however. No general coverage receive, but with a radio that is this much fun, who needs it?

Kenwood TS-950SD -- Past radio. Great primary receiver, but the sub-receiver is marginal and not easy to use compared to other radios. The auto-tuner is incredible. Just don't strain your back when you move this rig, it's heavy! Great transmit audio. Second only to the Kenwood TS-830 and Icom IC-756.

Kenwood THG71A -- Current radios! So good that I have two! Unsurpassed audio on transmit and receive for handhelds. Easy to use, reliable, rugged, and no intermod. What more could one ask for? Okay, so there is one weak point; you have to turn the radio off to charge the batteries. So the rapid charger is a must have. Best HT on the market, past or present.

Patcomm PC16000 -- Past radio. Had an unfinished feel to it, and was very rough around the edges. A fair receiver, a speaker that rattled badly, and was complex to work. Had potential, but not quality. I sent mine back after two weeks.

Radio Shack HTX202 -- Past radios. I have owned four. Quality control appeared to be an issue. Earlier radios were great, the ones that had "Realistic" on them. Ones that said "Radio Shack" appeared to be cursed. Bad battery rails, PL tones that didn't work, TX that would stick, etc. Early radios had no problems, and worked great. Very easy to use. They are very large chucky and very box-like though, and the PTT is a little heavy, not to mention hard to reach unless you have very large hands.

Standard C508A -- Past radios. I really liked both of these HT's that I owned, but once the Icom IC-Q7A came out, they were sold off.

Yaesu FT-650 -- Past radio. One of the best radios made for 6-meters. Also excellent on it's other two bands, 10 & 12 meters. Punchy output, easy to use, and extremely well built. Lots of features too.

Yaesu FT-817 -- Past radio. Great little portable radio. Really innovative. Current drain is too much for the AA power however. Receiver has a few too many birdies too. Lacking a Notch filter and a speech processor. Both sorely needed. Hope to buy an improved MK5 version when they come out with one...

Yaesu FT-840 -- Current radio! Great receiver for the price, very easy to use, and quite affordable. Needs a Notch filter badly, and AM audio is horrible, until you purchase the wide AM filter, then it sounds better than most SW receivers. FM optional and well worth it. Excellent transmit audio too. Very rugged little performer. Modern Yaesu version of the Kenwood 430. Definitely a keeper!

Yaesu FT-847 -- Current radio! Nice radio for the price. Great FM performance, and very good all around VHF/UHF all-mode radio. Pretty good on HF too, but not as good as it could be. Audio is too hot from the factory, and if turned down too far it drops out completely. Fairly easy to fix however. Needs a sub-receiver that works in all modes, like the Icom IC-910H. Power output is good enough, the radio is very easy to use, and the display is pleasing to the eye.

Yaesu FT-900CAT -- Past radio. Second only the 706MKII and MKIIG Icom mobile radios. If not for the 706, I would still have mine. Very good receiver, very good auto tuner, and more features than many "base" radios.

Yaesu FT-920 -- Current radio! A very impressive radio! The best buy on the market for the price. Large and not too light however. The second VFO tuning is a bit odd until you get used to it, then it grows on you. Great audio, transmit and receive. FM board now "free", but you still need the AM filter. It's worth it... The more I use this radio the more I love it. It keeps getting used more each week.

Yaesu FT-2200 -- Current radio! Rock solid 2 meter FM mobile. Mine is used daily on packet. 24/7 365 day a year, since '96. Never a problem. Easy to use, and very affordable. Wish Yaesu still made them...

Yaesu FT-2500M -- Current radio! The most rugged 2 meter mobile ever made. Owned for almost seven years and have only had to replace the light bulbs behind the display. Needs more memory channels. Great selectivity on power output, and no intermod problems. A little large, but it does dissipate the heat.

Yaesu FT-5100 -- Past radio. Not useable on 2 meters due to intermod problems. An outboard filter solved it. Heated up too quickly too.

Yaesu FT-8100 -- Current radio! Heats up a little quickly, but otherwise is a great radio. A small muffin fan fixes the heat problem. Needs a better speaker, then the audio is excellent. Fairly easy to use, and works like a dream. No intermod problems either!

Yaesu FT-290RII -- Past radio. Fair receiver at best. Mine came off-frequency by 100 hz from the factory. Not too many positive things to say. Low output radio. Made obsolete by the Yaesu FT 817.

Yaesu FT-736R -- Past radio. Great all-mode radio, but lacking in power output. Very good receiver, but a little complex to use at first.

Yaesu FT-33R -- Past radio. A little box like, but very rugged HT. Very basic, but a good all around HT for exploring 220.

Yaesu FT-50R -- Past radio. Good audio on receive, and very well built. Very hard to use, and way too chunky for my hands. I sold mine within a month of having it.

Yaesu FT-530 -- Past radio. The dual-band HT "king", at least until the Kenwood TH-G71A came out. Dual receive is excellent. Yaesu should have kept making this radio. Very easy to use, just be sure to use the Lock button when it's on your waist... I would rate it as the second best handheld ever made. Second to the TH-G71A.

Yaesu (Vertex) VX-150 -- Past radio. Easy to use, built like a tank, incredible price, great receive audio, but taking the battery case on and off is like trying to pry off the lid of a soup can with tweezers. The PTT isn't easy to access at all angles. Accessories aren't very cheap either.

73 Clinton AB7RG

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N2MWE on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Been licensed since 1991, so I guess it's only right after ten years as a ham to talk about ten radios I've had that I loved.

1. Icom IC-746 My first REAL HF rig for the house, and probably my last. I will run that radio until it dies!

2. Yaesu FT-817 Another rig I will into the ground! QRP is fun!

3. Alinco DX70TH One of the best radios one could own for a mobile HF has transmit audio quality that makes the ICOM 706 look like a CB transmitter. Its receiver rivals my 746, and the built in filter is nice, too.

4. Icom ICV8 If for nothing else, I could probably use it to defend myself with. Great little 2 meter HT, excellent receive audio and it is LOUD.

5. Yaesu FT90R I have a relatively small car, so I have more radio space than I do people space. This thing fits on the side of the console under the glove compartment. God bless YAESU!

6. Kenwood TMV7A In my older car, I had one of these tough radio. I hit another car (accidentally) at 50 MPH, and this radio flew from under the passenger seat against the firewall. Took a licking, kept on ticking. Sold it to a friend who needed a dual bander. Far as I know, it's still ticking!

7. Kenwood TM733A Easiest radio I ever saw for the mobile.

8. Yaesu FT-470 HT My first radio in 1991. Served me well until it finally died.

9. Yaesu VX-1R Imagine a radio I could stick in my shirt pocket at work, and when I got some free time, I could play with! Unfortunately, since 9/11, very little free time at work. Sold it to a fellow officer.

10. Yaesu FT50RD Durable, great receive audio. Refer to VX1 for why I no longer have it.

Radios I've hated

Yaesu VX5 Nice and compact, but you were lucky to get three five watt transmission on the battery. Not good enough.

Uniden HR2600 Always off frequency. Maybe I got a bad one.

Happy New Year, Gang!
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KA5N on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Past greats: 75A2 wish I still had it. 20A my intro to SSB I really miss the green "magic eye" tuning. SX-28 always wanted one had one in 1958. HW-8 simple, but oh my what fun. Argonaut 509 even more fun and the joy of DX with less than five watts. Eldico TR-75 what fun to draw an RF arc off the final tank with a lead pencil.

Present greats: Elecraft K2 the ultimate QRP rig. HW-5400 the most complicated kit tranceiver I ever built and it worked when completed NO smoke (the K2 worked off the bat as well but it is not as complicated a build as the Heath). Collins S-Line amazing quality for a 45 year old rig. TS-830 a really fine piece of gear with great performance, mine is like new (even though it is 3rd or 4th hand!!)

Rigs I wish I had skipped: Philmore NT-200 what a gyp!! I understand they sell great to collectors I'll never know why. Globe Scout 65 gives me mixed feelings, but then my receiver then was an S-38C.

One thing I remember: if you haven't experienced the bad, you won't really appreciate the good.
Allen KA5N
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W9GE on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks. This brings back fond memories. My favorites:
Drake C line (still have one on line)
Johnson Navigator (best little cw machine ever made)
Johnson Valiant II (made first dxcc with one)
Kenwood TS830 probably the best xcvr ever!
Kenwood TS930 superb receiver in mine
Kewood TS850 great if you gotta have pc control
Drake B line
Ten Tec Corsair II/remote vfo a solid cw machine
Collins 75A4 I never owned one; sob
TenTec 425 amplifier sure wish I could get another one

Someday I'll make a list of everything I have owned, just for fun. Lots of radios since 1960, starting with a Allied Star Roamer receiver! 73 bob de W9GE

RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by NZ5L on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is an interesting idea, and a trip down memory lane, and I think I'll jump on. Here are mine, in no
particular order: 1: Hallicrafters HT-44 xmtr and SX-117 rcvr - very primitive by today's standards, but great fun to operate, 2: Hammurland HQ-180 Gen. coverage receiver - a great sounding radio for the SWL and a 1st class ham rcvr. 3: Heath SB-102 - my first transceiver, and a good overall performer, 4: Heath HW-9 QRP Xcvr - the most fun I ever had camping. 5: National NC-270 - classic, competent receiver with a velvety dial, 6: Drake 1A - my first REAL ham rcvr, and a great performer, 7: National NC-183D gen. coverage rcvr - beautiful and unsurpassed on AM, 8: Yaesu FT-757GX xcvr - a compact, wonderfol do-it-all rig with gen. coverage, 9: Hallicrafters SX-100 gen coverage rcvr - fun to use and good sound, 10: Atlas 210 mobile/portable xcvr, a marvel for its time.
The following gear, though competent, I retain no special feelings about (althogh I couldn't begin to say why) Drake TR-4C, Kenwood TS-520, TS-820, Ten-Tec Triton IV, Century 21. One thing for sure; no two lists will be exactly alike!
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WA2KWP on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I have been licensed since 1953 (as KN2HYZ)
First Rig:
Eldico TR75TV (CW Transmitter and Crystal Control) and Hallicrafters S40A. I still have the Hallicrafters and it works well.
Second Rig:
Heathkit SB100; Then Heathkit SB101(One of the best rigs ever made for Ham Radio, Still working somewhere in Israel)SB200 then SB220 Linear;Gonset Communicator for 2 meters.
Then Drake TR-4 (awful when compared to the SB101)
Then Kenwood TS520 (My mainstay rig for the next 15 years) built like a Battleship, still works. Very stable and extremely "fixable" even by a non-electronic genius like me.
Inactive...5 years; work, work, work...
Kenwood TS850S (Among the best rigs I have ever operated) TS922A Linear, Alinco DJ195 2 meter FM
I was the most satisfied with the SB101. It was simple to operate and simple to fix.

The TS520 was kept in a basement for 5 years. When I became active again for the second time, I hooked it to an antenna, turned it on and it was as if I hadn't been away. The rig performed beautifully. A Testimony to Kenwood quality!!!
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K6YE on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I really got a good chuckle (and I can certainly use one these days) at the articles. Well, here are my bona fides:
1. Hallicrafters S-120...Very poor receiver but allowed me to surf ten in the early sixties. It radiated RFI into our television which ticked off my mother.
2. Hallicrafters S-85...Fair receiver I obtained from the same pawn shop as the S-120.
3. Ameco AC-1...15 watt, rock-bound, CW transmitter that enabled me to almost nail WAS. It was my first and arrived in the mail with my novice license. In those days, the ticket was only good for a year and non-renewable.
4. Heathkit DX-40...Hey, with 50 watts from this transmitter, I nailed WAS and a few countries.
5. Eico 722..This VFO was used with the DX-40 and drifted so bad you had to leave it on continously. Even then, you had to keep your hand on the tuning knob. At least I could stop buying those expensive rocks.
6. Side Band Engineer SBE-33..My first transceiver and it had a great receiver. I had a great time with this rig. I had to buy two (one six volt and a twelve volt) inverters to run mobile. The SBE-34 eliminated this. Faust Gonset was ahead of his time with both rigs.
7. Gonset GSB-100...My first SSB rig. You needed a crane to lift this puppy.
8. National NC-300...One heck of a receiver. With the convertors, I had HF, VHF, and UHF at my command.
9. Kenwood TS-430S...A great little rig. It was a little light on receive but I worked 250 countries.
10. Drake TR4C...A great transciever. It had plenty of power so my linear was not needed on CW.
11. ICOM IC-761..My current rig. It has a great receiver and nice, big numbers.
12. Henry 2KD-5...A great desktop amp that could put out a full gallon. Nothing more to be said.

I would like to take a lash at the FT-1000MP and will if my health continues to stabilize. I have had a fair amount of VHF/UHF mobile transceivers and really do not have any preferences. I agree with one of the other replies in that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W5AH on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
My favorite rigs(in order)

1. Yaesu FT-107 w/ FV-107
(first because it has an IF width control)

2. Yaesu FT-990
(second because it has an IF shift control)

3. Heath HW-101 with 2 cw filters in cascade...
no ssb filter.

4. Heath SB301/ SB401 combo

5. Yaesu Ft-560 and or FT-401 (owned 1 of each)

@#^&#$@#!! Rigs I have owned


Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K0WA on January 3, 2002 Mail this to a friend!

I never was a Yaesu fan until I got the FT1000MP, but here is my two cents. Not in any particular order

Ranger II - Never tempt a Novice with a VFO that is stable
DX-40 - Great rig even with the VF1
HW100 - Cheap and fun - High maintenance. Main tuning was a gimmick. What was that? Plastic on plastic
SB102 - But you had to maintain it
TS140 - Nice rig for the dollars. General use.
TS520S - Great rig for times - better freq readout
TS820S - Again, a great radio for the times
TS830S - Best RX of the bunch for a contester
TS850S - One of the best all time radios
IC-765 - Again, one of the best all time radios
FT-1000MP - Great Radio
IC-756PROII - Great Radio
K2 - Great Radio

OK...some real clunkers....some I have owned, some I have just operated

Hallicrafters FPM 300 - Good attempt, but not very.
TS-440S - One of the worse rigs I have owned. Horrible
A real stinker. Poor RX and poor tuner
IC-746 - An OK rig, but disappointing in strong sigs
Omni-V - No RIT (What is that?)

Rigs I am fond of and wish I could have operated them more

Kenwood Twins T599 and R599
Signal One
Drake Twins
Collins KWM2A
TS 940S
TS 950S

My 2 cents. I have not put any VHF gear on here because I hate 2 meters and what it has become.

Lee - K0WA
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N4HRA on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I still like my
Tempo 2020 (still in use)
CIR Astro 200A Moble HF
Yeasu FT209R
They are old but they do the job
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KK5IB on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
First rig: BC-454 80 Meters only c. 1959 with a Conditional ticket. Added a crystal filter and BFO, not much radio but the only game in town.
Yaesu FT-530, still have it, 7 years old, no problems except for poor Yaesu batteries, on 4th or 5th non-Yaesu battery.
FT-840 first modern HF radio, nice for SSB, but no QSK, built-in tuner, keyer, SWR meter, but did have dual band stacking registers. Sold it for
FT-990, my favorite and still a keeper, especially with Timewave DSP and all filters which work in all modes.
Five MFJ-90X0 QRP rigs, 2 20s, 2 15s, and a 40, all sold and replaced with:
Ten Tec Scout, great QRP radio with SSB and a little power, talks like a full power radio.
Yaesu FT-900CAT great for mobile, portable, Field Day, and not bad as a base rig. Have decided HF radios need to have digital readout, built in keyer and QSK for me to keep them. Still like Yaesu best with a little Ten Tec on the side.
Darryl, KK5IB
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K1ROD on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't owned 10 rigs but here are my favorites to date.

Ten Tec Omni VI+ (The best receiver I've had)

Collins KWM2A (sweet rig and keeps the shack warm!)

Kenwood TS-530S (First and most used rig. Probably one of the best rigs a new ham could start out with. Cheap, performs well, and will last darn near forever)

rod (k1rod)
Tough to keep it to ten  
by W3GEO on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
In no particular order:

1. Clegg Zeus and Interceptor B
2. Drake B line and later the Drake C line
3. Hallicrafters SX-88 (not owned, but used for extended period)
4. National NC-303
5. Yaesu FTdx 560
6. Kenwood TS 520 and later the 520s
8. Icom IC-735
9. Heath DX-40
10. Alinco DX-70T

Runners up:
B&W 5100B with the SB adaptor
Heath Twoer
Hallicrafters SX-110
Swan 250
Swan 500
Ameco TX-62
Clegg Venus
Clegg custom 2 meter converter
Johnson Ranger II

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KB3CDF on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I can't believe I almost reach the 10 minimum. My elmer always said," a dime on the antenna is worth 10 bucks on the radio", hense my missed quota of 10.

1.) TH-22AT: 2m HT. Simple. Reliable. BNC connector enables external ant configs easily. Good audio. All I "n-e-e-d" in an HT.

2.) FT-8100R: No problems. Used mobile and stationary. Easy to use. 'Completely seperate VFO's. 'has seperated external speaker outputs. I had fun integrating a seperate external speaker for each VFO on either side of the vehicle (70cm - passenger/ 2m - driver's side.). This freaked out the XYL with simultaneous, "STEREO NERDS"... her words, sorry to offend. XYL is perplexed by the entire HAM thing.

3.) (SOLD) Hallicrafters SX-100: HF Receiver with which I had my first experiences with listening to HAM bands. It drifted a little. As I am told, this was common. Sounded Great.

4.) FT-920: I learn something new with this radio everytime I use it. The auto-tuner is truly helpful. The audio (TX/RX) is tweakable to obtain desired accuracy. CW is an issue, IMHO. I can never seem to get an 599 RST.

5.) IC-706mkiig: Awsome mobile rig. Installed mobile with a DK3 (screwdriver), one would be hard pressed to do better for mobile HF. A terrific counter for any CC&R or Homeowner Assoc. Viva La Mobileering.

6.) TEN-TEC Corsair: (See FT-920) Recently aquired second hand for CW ops. Having a much better go of it. This is the newest "old rig".
Dreams in Waiting:
TEN-TEC OMNI IV+, the hard core CW rig, Ah'men
IC-746 with complete INRAD Filter set + HEIL HMI mic
IC-756PRO2 Fun w/ DSP
TS-870 Awesome TX monitor. Really helps tweak audio TX.
IC-R9000 (RX only... no limits. DC to Daylight)

Oh Lord 'ie: I have to admit the Cobra 19 Ltd.... hi hi hi.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WI0T on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Neat thread.

Okay here's my list since becoming a ham in 1975


1. Heath HW-101 (past): Okay radio, my first rig.
2. Yaesu FT-560DX (past): Great for 560 watts power, terrible with 60 volts on the key, relays that got dirty, 2 6KD6's in parallel. Glad to get rid of it.
3. Kenwood TS-530SP (past): Great radio. Wish I had never sold it.
4. Yaesu FT-757GXII (current): Okay general purpose HF rig. Filters need help (blowby, compared to the TS-530SP), but all modes and all frequencies is nice.

1. Clegg FM-2B (collecting dust): Good in it's day, has
sentimental value.
2. Icom 271 (past): Great 2mtr all mode. Wish I had never sold it.
3. Kenwood TM-231 (past): Okay, but hated the pigtail.
4. Yaesu FT-290R MkII (past): Okay limited memories, hated the click tuning.
5. Yaesu FT-2500 (current):Best 2 mtr FM radio. Built like a tank, plenty of power, intermod resistant.
6. Icom-207H (past): Poor due to intermod problems at my QTH.

Some were good and some were "challenged". I've never had a real "lemon".

73, Rod

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WA2E on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
1. TR-4C/R4C Nice combo
2. FT-101E Fun radio
3. FT-102 Sweet rig

Currently in the shack. The only one purchased
new was the 735. The others are restoration rigs
the needed some TLC. I'm working on the 751A
currently. Yeah I have trouble selling rigs. :-)

4. IC-735 Never a moment's trouble in 11 yrs.
5. TS-940S Cool rig. Needs lots of room.
6. TS-850S Probably the best I have.
7. IC-746 Another neat radio with 2 & 6
8. DX-70TH For mobiling
9. IC-751A Current project
10.TS-120 Not a great radio but I like it.

Radios I wasn't thrilled with or that had
constant problems.


Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WD8OKN on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
HW-16 By far No. 1

No. 2 -- Icom 718

No 3 -- NC-20

Top three only...
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KD2E on January 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Kinda Scarey, I've owned just about every rig mentioned in this string (only Ten Tec was a Century 21!!)
Here is what I think...
Drake 'C' line... Best ham twins ever
Kenwood 599D... Second best twins
Heath 301/401...Third best twins
Collins 75S3B/32S3....Does not do anything great.
Swan twins....Fun, but Heath has 'em beat.
Yaesu 1000D...BIG!
Icom IC756Pro...My current workhorse
Kenwood TS900...Nicest tuning ever!
Drake TR4CW/RIT...Best tube transceiver
Eico 753...Worst tube transceiver
Heath HW101, SB102...Man they were popular!
Kenwood TS520... A turning point from finicky rigs
of the past, to solid rigs of late.
Galaxy GT550... Most are dead..Must not have been made
well. Kind of like a commercial HW101.
Collins KWM2A... Good sound, good freq readout...
that is about it.
Kenwood TS511S... Close to the TR4CW/rit as an all
around perfect rig.
ICOM IC701... Lots of rig though!
Kenwood TS830S...Like the 520...hard to beat
Kenwood TS820S...Close to the 830!!
Kenwood TS850sat... The next great Kenwood after the
Icom IC-736.... A sleeper, does everything well.
Yaesu FT757GX...Small, poor filtering, bad rcvr
Kenwood TS440sat...A mini 850!!
Yaesu FTdx570...Nice, but too big for what it does.
Never had a HyGain or Hallicrafters Transceiver, would like to try a OMNI VI+, but afraid of quality problems.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WB6MYL on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Great article and comments; brings back a lot of memeories being licensed for 34 years; had dozens of different rigs and have tried/used even more; these are the ones that have stood out and the common theme of all of these is that newer is not necessarily better
(not sold on dsp) My list (in no order):

1.R-390A with an outboard SSB converter (I have and use the TMC CV-591A) which has argueably the best sound of any receiver I have ever heard/used; very sensitive. still have.

2. Icom R-9000; DC to light; wonderful toobey sound from such a rig; great sensitivity and easy to use.
still have

3. Collins 75A4: 40 year(+)old receiver that has incredible sound and sensitivity; I have four of these beauties and if only I could get them into my retirement accounts!!

4.Yaesu FT100D: not a big Yaesu fan but this is a nice easy rig to use with a vey good receiver; great work horse.

5. Drake B-line: I firmly beleive the R4B is the best receiver of the "R4" line and the pass band tuning is better than on the Collins; nice sound; still have and use as a back-up rig.

6. Collins S/Line: 75S3C/32S3 is latest addition and again just wonderful sound on both ends and a joy to use.

7. Hallicrafters SX-115: rare late entry by Bill Halligan's group to compete with the S/line; I have two of these; sound and construction is just incredible. Can't find them anymore.

8. TM-251: have to mention this; nothing fancy but this Kenwood has been a reliable 2M FM rig for six years of everyday use;well built.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by DL5OAQ on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Hello to everybody,

here are my favorites:

TS950sd ,best I ever had and have today
TS850 the one before, very good
TS830, a good one with tubes in the final
FT757 all frequencies but bad RX
IC730 wonderful little RIG ,I use from time to time
TS870 not as good as the TS950, I use it for PSK
TS790 very good for VHF and UHF
IC202 old one for 2m, here used for a 23cm Transverter
FT726 not bad for 6m
FT221 good old and nowadays used 2m RIG
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N2HBX on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Here's my personal list:

Heathkit HW-16 (with matching HG-10B VFO). My Novice rig (after they were allowed VFO TX instead of crystal)

Yaesu FL-DX/FR-DX 400 twins. Nice rigs, kept the shack warm in the winter. Owned this pair twice (same pair, actually...).

Wilson Mk IV 2 meter HT. My first HT. 6 channels.

Sears 2573. Yaesu-built 2 meter mobile for Sears. I think it was 12 channels (maybe 24).

Icom IC2-AT (twice). Didn't everybody own one? Also had a VoComm drop in amplifier/charger for mobile use.

Icom IC4-AT. My first 440 rig. Didn't keep it long. Swapped it for...

Yaesu FT-7. QRP mobile HF! Screaming 20 watts PEP! Made several good contacts with this rig. Easy to work on.

Uniden HR-2510 (twice). Sold one, swapped the second for...

Emperor 5010. A 2510 0n steroids. Crappy rig. Kicked myself in the butt for this screw-up. Got rid of it and got...

Ranger 2950. Closer to what I wanted. Previous owner butchered it somewhat. I'm still tinkering with it.

My current assortment:

Icom IC2-AT. What can I say? Still my favorite 2M HT.

Kenwood TS-130S. An oldie but a goodie. Use it in my mobile.

Radio Shack HT-10. You either love it or hate it. So far, I'm in love.

Cherokee AT-50. Six meter FM. Finally found a decent amp for it. Has potential.

Johnson Challenger 7187. 110 Watt remote mount mobile I use on 2M. Yes, it's commercial, and the price was right (free). Wish I could find the UHF version.

A varied assortment of UHF handhelds (Relm, Motorola, Uniden).

Motorola Maxtrac 300. 35 Watt UHF mobile. Being a commercial radio tech helps.

73, Larry
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N5XM on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I've been licensed since '96, and have owned exactly 10 HF radios.
1. 520 first HF radio, and I got it before I had HF priveleges, and it served as motivation to stimulate me to upgrade for the HF bands. A battleship, and I still have it. A classic.
2. Knwd 530 SP...same forgiving 6146's, WARC bands, plenty of power, digital readoutm, a cool radio, and I still have it.
3. Knwd 830S...the ultimate of this series, great reciever, great looking, forgiving and dependable, with nice filtering. Gone but not forgotten.
4. Heathkit HW-101...a lot of these have gone down the pike, and the one on my desk is mint. It is great fun to use, certainly hollow state technology at its best. Nothing like Heath green.
5. Heathkit HW-8...great little QRP CW rig that is making a comeback. Really fun to use.
6. Yaesu 920...people either seem to love them or hate them, and I love mine. I love the front panel, very well thought out, intricate without being too busy. I wish it had a tad more power, but what's 15 or 20 watts in the real world? Nothing.
7. Ten Tec Omni "D" intro to Ten Tec, and I about fell out of my chair the first time I fired it up on CW. I don't care if you did have to wait for it to warm up so it wouldn't drift.
8. Ten Tec Century 21...great little mid-power CW only rig. Incredible fun to use, and I think it looks almost art deco. A cool radio.
9. Ten Tec Omni V...what a radio. Great reciever, great filtering, elegant design and perfect functionally. Some people think Ten Ten look almost industrial, like a tractor or something, but I love them, and I loved mine so much I bought another for backup in case I sent the other in for upgrade. I still have 8 of the 10 HF radios I've owned since becoming a Ham and I've enjoyed them ALL.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K8ZW on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
1. IC-765
2. IC-751A
3. IC-751
4. TS-830S
5. TS-530S
6. FT-900CAT
7. TS-820
8. ts-520
9. TR-4
10. ft-840

I have at least 2 of each of these rigs over the years and some of them 3. I just traded for an IC-737 so I'll see how it compares. The 765 was by far the best. Had two of them.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WB0UGO on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
In no particular order
1. Drake C-Line
2. Yaesu FT 1000MP
3. Ten Tec CORSAIR 2 with matching VFO/PS
4. Heath SS9000 HL2200 and SA 2060A
5. Yaesu FT 817
6. Heathkit SB 102
7. Heathkit Apache/Mohawk with SB10 SSB Adapter
8. Elecraft K1
9. Complete Heathkit SB 104A Line with SB 230 and all accessories
10. Collins 75A4 and KWS1 with matching console

Worst radio I ever owned - Kenwood TS 140s
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WR2I on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
1:My first HF rig which I built in 1975 heath HW-101

2:First 2M FM rig Kenwood TR-2200A I still have it!

3:My first Synthesized HF rig Icom IC-735 Still in use!

4:Yaesu FT-1000D

5:Cubic Communications ASTRO 103 I still have mine.

6:Kenwood TS-820S

7:Cubic ASTRO 150A Still in use! Awesome vintage synth!

8:Icom IC-765 Still have this all around best HF ever!

9:Icom IC-32AT Dual band portable still in use! Best ever!

10:Drake T4X-R4B Were awesome rigs. I miss them!

Just for the contrast, The WORST rigs I have ever owned are:

Yaesu FT-100 The ultimate piece of garbage!
Yaesu FT-40 lousy rx
Yaesu FT-5100 unreliable
Yaesu FT-8500 unreliable
Galaxy GT-550 just plain old junk
Heath SB-104A what a pile of junk that was!
Alinco DJ-500
I am sure I am forgetting some.....

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W3EEE on January 5, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
In order of pure subjective 'vibe':

(1) Hallicrafters Hurricane (SR-2000)
Best described as a kilowatt amplifier with a pretty decent rig built in. A Real Radio. Won contests. It's a giggle running like a maniac and racking up points with a radio older than my wife. Had 'dual-watch' decades before the '781/FTk.

(2) Icom 735
Feature packed little box with performance that needs no apologies; put real filters in it then stand back. Probably _the_ best radio-per-dollar value then and now, but never mind that; it's so cute.

(3) Icom 751a - a real performer.

(4) Eddystone EA-12 receiver
This thing Looks, Smells and, most importantly, Feels Like A *Radio*. HUGE slide-rule dial and a HUGE tuning knob with a HUGE flywheel that is simply the next best thing to sex. It even works quite well, too.

(5) Icom 756
90% of an IC-781 only a third of the size, weight and cost.

(6) KW Atlanta.
First rig I ever bought new, an English knock-off of the Swan 500(?). A fun little radio.

(7) Icom 781 - Still the Gold Standard.

(8) Radio Shack DX-398 (Sangean 909)
Had to get a bit of herecy in. Super little paperback-sized portable. Even used it as a receiver for 'real' QSOs on 30m, and more ridiculously, transatlantic on topband (though admittedly not using its built-in whip antenna). "Don't leave home without it."

(9) Hallicrafters SR-150
A basic transceiver, a 'poor man's KWM-2'. Re-crystalled for the WARC bands, and a lot of fun.

(10) Yaesu FT-1000D - The other Gold Standard.


Yaesu FT-757GX
The worst synthesiser I've ever heard, the Yaesu FT-980 being a close second. Between them they prejudiced me against Yaesu for decades.

An English KWM-2 clone. Defined 'drift'.

Honourable Mention: Ten-Tec RX-320 - what a great little box.

What a long, strange trip it's been . . .

73, Steve

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W4CNG on January 6, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Started in 1961 with DX40 (crystals and later VFO) and Hammerland HQ-100A moved to the Galaxy V fixed/mobile
Several Motorola VHF/UHF converted to Hambands
Kenwood TR7400
Yaesu FT207, 209
Alinco DJ Series (5 of them current is DJV-5)
Yaesu FT-100, traded for FT817
Ten-Tec Jupiter
More accessories for all to numerous to mention.
Never had a rig that was a problem, more of sometimes staying current with technology (need more than 1 PL tone on VHF means new programmable radio/HT/Mobile)
On HF getting the best bang for the buck with what is out there, and checking for good reviews.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by VE7BGP on January 6, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
1 Heathkit DX-40 with VF-1 Vfo My starter rig converted to Grid Block keying I had lots of neighbourhood hams that cleaned up the key klicks.
Rca AR77 receiver added Xtal calibrator and ARRL handbook preamp my first Communcations RX I bought it to practice Code and still used it for my first station.
2 KW 2000B British Rig transciever very poor cw rig No filter annoying 1500 hz sidetone chirpy TX reports. ok on SSB phone KWM2 clone Great British workmanship.
3 Icom IC-730 my first Icom great little rig
4 Icom IC-735 up grade after owning the 730 for 9 years Sold the 730 to a friend. Great little rig owned it 9 years really liked it a lot.
5 Icom IC-751A The first rig I bought used since the little DX-40 My present Hf rig bought it from a friend who wanted to buy a Motercycle Wow!!! what a great rig great cw rig a Classic nice size not a big and not a small rig. I love it on CW great filters PBT and nice RIT/XIT
6 Icom IC-706 MKIIG added cw filter my 730 and 735 also had cw filters. Great little rig at home mainly use it on VHF and 440 Great all mode V/Uhf rig with HF capabilities still want to try it mobile use it for contests I would like to try Grid Roving.
7 Radio Shack DX-398 another item I automatically pack into my suitcase when traveling A great receiver works very good on SSB ham and utility.
8 Kenwood TR-7400A going on to 25 years owning this one. Lacks sub audible tones and DMTF mike Great 2 meter rig very big by today's standards Great reliability.
9 Icom T7H dual band Handie nice little handie solidly made still has BNC antenna jack and real Metal belt clip into solid metal back case.
10 IC-24AT Handie Still works good after 10 years of use and went with me were I went. The battery rails are very weak and break if you are not careful with this radio Battery smaller than radio makes it very tippy, Function button and keypad hard to use keypad small and numbers wear off.
Other rigs previously owned Yeaeau FT-208R 2 meter HT a good little rig in its day. Motorola 41V tube type 2 meter converted commercial rig my first 2 meter mobile rig put it in my '62 Fairlane to get call letter plates. IC-230 early synthesized rig traded the KW-2000B for this rig and a power supply used for a base rig for a while then sold it. I also owned IC-3230H dual band mobile rig and a Uniden HR-2510 ten meter mobile rig I had a lot of fun in the '90 sunspot cycle with my old '66 Dodge pick-up mobile. I sold those 2 rigs to buy the 706G.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N0TONE on January 6, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
To W4CNG, you and I could be brothers. I've been licensed since '58 and I can't have a "top ten" list, either! I don't understand the rig-swapping that guys do so much. I haven't added to/subtracted from my "rig" in 15 years, although I do moderately frequent antenna changes & experiments, necessitating the construction of different tuners.

Started with some old Hallicrafters receiver - maybe an S-38? Don't recall the model number. In those days, you pretty much kept your receiver and had fun with the transmitters. Let's see, maybe I can make it to a 'ten' list after all...

In no particular order:

1) The single 1625 rig plus xtal osc I built on a meatloaf pan. Loved it 'cuz' I didn't know anything else.
2) The Globe Chief that was given to me half-built by a ham who left the hobby. I added a modulator. Loved it 'cuz' I didn't know anything else.
3) Central Electronics 10A(?) my first SSB transmitter. Disliked it (didn't hate it) because it seemed very fussy about tuning or you'd have poor SSB audio, and the construction wasn't very good. It was heavy, but not solid.
4) Drake twins. I dearly loved them. Stable, great audio, rock of Gibralter reliability.
5) Kenwood TS-120S. Hated it. Had a birdie every 100kHz in the receiver, drifted more than the Drakes, lots of bleed-through around the IF filters, hard to get good TX audio AND full power at the same time. The receiver overloaded so easily I couldn't even consider getting on the air if a contest was going on. Also knocked me off of 160, but that's my fault for not reading the specs better. It also suffered a LOT of failures. The RX input transformer failed four or five times, the audio output IC failed several times and a few internal wires broke loose. My first solid state rig. I had been afraid of burning out the finals, but they were one of the few reliable parts. I only kept this rig two years.
6) Drake twins. Got another pair of them. RX could use a little more sensitivity on the higher bands and I'd prefer having full QSK, but I love 'em.
7) Alpha 78. Love it. Don't use it much, but its construction quality beats even the Drakes. And it's so quiet! This is my most recent acquisition, having gotten it used about 15 years ago.

There've been other rigs through the household. I fix radios for "those in need", meaning new hams who don't know how, or handicapped hams. My policy is to keep the rig (owner willing) for at least a week, to make sure that things are really right. So, rigs I did not own but spent time with:
...Heath HW-101. Hated it. Might have been OK if you'd built it an had some pride in it, but it drifted, it chopped short the first CW character when you transmittted, and the RX audio seemed very restrictive.
...Heath HW-7. Had potential with full QSK, but the RX was microphonic and double-sided.
..Kenwood TS-520S. So-so. For what they sell for today, I think they're a fabulous beginner's rig. But no QSK, the RX overloads very easily and they have the same filter bleed-through as the TS-120S. None of those would be problems unless you're a contester or DXer.
..Collins S-line. Love/hate. Tune-up was very involved, but once tuned, they had sweet audio and a good receiver with fabulous filtering.
..Kenwood TS-870S. Hate. Tuning does a stupid frequency reversal on occasion. Filtering is flexible but LOTS of DSP artifacts. Front panel control layout is a bit goofy. RX fairly hot, but heard some overload. Kind of phase noisy.
..Icom IC-735. Love/hate. Small front panel makes controls hard to work. QSK is the best I ever used. Filtering is hard to figure out. Transmit SSB audio is easy to get right. RX seems very hot, doesn't overload as easily as the TS-120/520 did, but still not a preselected RX. A little phase noise noticeable. Easy to figure out the dual VFO arrangement.

That longer, second list should be considered "first impressions" - I didn't use any of those radios for more than a few weeks at the most, although I seriously considered the IC-735 for a mobile/field day rig.

Memory lane is fun, even if you have not lived a ham career with lots of memories.


RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K1OU on January 6, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
How about twelve? And a few amps. Nostalgia does this to me. As well as the need to feel important.

1.) Heathkit HW16/HG10B VFO...Being twelve years old, you really don't appreciate what you have.

2.) Swan 350...I needed this rig because it looked cool and put out a lot of power. After I was done with it, it ran cool and didn't put out any power.

3.) Drake TR4CW/RIT...This sucker rocked. You worked everything you heard and it was easy to understand.

(1980, Fade Out, author leaves hobby)

(1996, Fade In, author re-enters hobby)

4.) Kenwood TS140S...In a rat's nest apartment in New Hampshire. Considering the budget at the time, I was just damn glad to be on the air.

5.) Drake TR7...Solid as a rock, looks great, wouldn't mind having one now.

6.) Ten-Tec Omni C, Series whatever/Hercules 444 amp...Great fun on 40 CW in the DX part of the band, but that was about it. The AGC popped like crazy and the PTO was toast by that point.

7.) Yaesu FT1000MP...The mothership to this day. Not much can be said that already hasn't been said.

8.) Drake B Line...Fun.

9.) Yaesu FT101EX...This thing had been around the bend a few times when I acquired it, ambivalent.

10.) Yaesu FT890...Stellar little box, the quintessential Field Day radio.

11.) Yaesu FT990...Great radio for casual DX'ing and ragchewing.

12.) Kenwood TS850S...I love this radio!! The receive audio is very pleasing, and things really pop out of the noise.


1.) Ten-Tec Hercules 444...It was really nice to switch bands on the fly, but if you pop the finals, take out a mortgage. That is, if you can find any.

2.) Ameritron AL811...This amp was a workhorse. I did the 572B drop-in, and away she went.

3.) Alpha 374...Sexy, commanding, yeoman-like.

4.) Alpha 78...I'll know when I finally put it on the air.

5.) Heathkit SB220...IMHO, do the Harbach mods, and this amp is still a very viable piece of equipment, twenty some years out of production.

RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KL7IPV on January 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! So many rigs, so little time....
I started in 1965 with a homebrew 6L6 single tube CW Xmtr. Used a Lafayette receiver. Then I kept moving up......
Heath DX-60B/National NC-109. Have that receiver in my garage. Still love to hear the AM on it.
Gonset II for 2 meter mobile. Great rig! Polytronics 6 meter to watch neighbor's TVs go nuts. Tune up until all TV sets in area are receiving me. Fun!
TR-22 for portable use while traveling. (Have one now too).
Drake TR-4C/RV4 - Really liked that setup. Wilson 2 meter HT now for small size.
Kenwood TS-440S - nice and easy to op.
Swan 270C Cygnet - need an old one to remember our "roots".
Swan 100MXA - small size and very easy to use.
Ten-Tec OMNI-D - One great receiver. Easy to use. Now have the Azden 10 meter for use when the Sun starts to do it's thing.
Ten-Tec Delta II - Jones filter made noises disappear.
Icom IC-706 - so much in such a small package. I loved it. Sun not doing much - Azden sold. Darn.
ICOM IC-706MkII - Not even the same as the 706. They are worlds apart in performance. Great little rig. Now used for HF Packing too. Now also have Yaesu VX-5R - How much more complicated can they get. Need a cheat sheet to figure it out.
Now I am eyeing other rigs.... Kenwood TH-F6A, IC-706MkIIG (MAYBE)
I do wish Ten-Tec would make a nifty little rig to compete with the FT-100 or IC-706. They have to have the best receivers money can buy. So, after looking back, it is easy to see why we change. size, capabilities, power, ease of use....and they hardly cost more now than they did then. Talk about getting your bang for a buck. It just keeps getting better!!
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W6PMR on January 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I have been working on my O.A.R.(Owned All Radios), certificate for a long time now and love to swap and play with new/old rigs all the time. Here goes..

Most fun/best loved radios.

Kenwood TS 700a 2 meter all mode, great fun for it's day, a tank !
Kenwood TS 430s hf, great bargain today.
Icom IC 2AT/3AT/4AT, bricks that we all loved.
Kenwood TS 940sat Still one of the best hf radios...EVER !
Yaesu 727 u/v ht, first really cool dual bander.
Drake TR 4-4c Fun to use, still have one.
National NC300/303, Big and bad, great rx for their
Hallicrafters SX 101a/mk111 The way all old radios should look.
All Johnson am transmitters, GREAT audio and built like a tank.
Kenwood 7950, wonderful, bulletproof radios.
Hammarlund HQ 170 and 180,s Owned both..loved both.
Heathkit HW 101, Hey they were great for the money and fun to tinker with.
Sony 2001/2010, Fun shortwave portables.
Kenwood 130s, first good mobile.
Yaesu 2600 2 meter, well built, works great, very good rx.
Yaesu FT 900, wonderful hf mobile with built in ant. tuner, REAL easy to use, good rx.

The radios I love to hate.

Yaesu FT 100, the worst trash I ever had.
Yaesu 707 hf, bad rx, bad tx audio, everythig you can dislike in a small package.
Icom IC 211 2 meter all mode, constant problems with factory solder joints, intermittent everything.
Kenwood 440s, everthing good about the 430 was ruined by its successor.
Icom 720a hf, see IC 211.
Kenwood 140, bought new...hated the rx..sold it fast.
ALL SWANS....nuf said.
Most new HT's, Way to hard to use, overly complicated.
Hope you guys enjoyed the rant as much as I had fun ranting.

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by NE0P on January 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Just got a TS2000 last week, and love it so far. Surprised to see no one put it on their top 10 list. Haven't played with it enough to put it on my list, but here goes:

1. Icom 746-great receiver, built in tuner, needs cw filter to truely enjoy it

2. Kenwood 599 twins-no WARC, but the R599 was probably the best receiver I ever owned, came with built in 500 HZ filter, never heard it overload, even in contests, had a blast with this setup. Mine had been heavily moded, and did not work on 15 meters, so don't know what kind of DX I missed during Cycle 22.

3. Kenwood TS600-had a blast with this rig! 10 watts, only 1 VFO, but got me on 6, and worked great. Would have been outstanding if it had automatic TR switching on CW.

4. Kenwood TS430-This was also a great receiver. CW filter really helped, actually had transverter jack. Wish new radios included these

5. Kenwood TR9130-Great receiver for 2 meter mobile. Had to use the UP/Down keys on mic to get around in freq.

6. Kenwood TR851A-might have been the best 432 rig built. Wish I still had it.

7. Icom T8-this HT did it all, except the Battery did not last long enough. Now getting T81.

8. Yaesu FT101B-my first HF rig. DId what I needed it for perfectly.

9. Icom 04at-built like a tank. lasts forever, lots of batteries available. This one had the audio output mod done, which is greatly needed.

10. Icom 02AT-see above, but this one did not have the audio mod done.

Rigs that weren't so good for me

Alinco DX70TH-receiver got overloaded easy, filter blowby
SB102-audio output very low, could never find out why
Icom 560-Tuning was tough with the clicking VFO dial
Icom 490-did the job, but kind of deaf
Icom 471H-see the Icom 490
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K5AF on January 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
This is a no-brainer for me, I know what I've liked and disliked!

1. Ten-tec Corsair II with Remote VFO - absolutely silky radio in every respect. Great receive audio, easy to use.

2. Ten-Tec Omni VI Plus - great radio in every respect

3. Ten-Tec Omni A, Series B - This radio was my workhorse for 16 years! With all the contest activity I easily made 100,000 contacts on this radio with never a problem. I modified the audio notch filter so that it could be used as a notch or peak filter.

4. Ten-Tec Corsair I - bought this after owning the Omni, it was a very good radio, but the Omni seemed to have the hotter receiver

5. Drake B Line - very good, solid gear, loved the receiver

6. Drake R-4B and Johnson Ranger II - had the Ranger before getting the T-4XB, wish I had never parted with it.

7. 75A4 and Ranger II - The ultimate boatanchor CW rig. 75A4 was borrowed for a period of two years, but was a beauty.

8. Collins S-Line - Got to use these for four years in a club station environment
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K4ZA on January 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
OK, OK, it's too hard to resist... (aplogies for all-HF orientation)
In no particular order--just 39 years worth of memories. I, too, started playing with ARC-5s.
And a BC-348R. Learned something about "radio" from all that fooling around. Used an AT-1,
much modified, with 160 & a plate modulator when up-graded. Wow, doubling in the final on all
bands but 80M meant I put out about 17 watts. Had terrific time, though. Saved money from
first "real job" off the farm (don't laugh--50cents/hour candling eggs) to buy an NC-155, the lesser version of the NC-270. What a dial. And it was a BLUE radio--what a concept. Off to college & inactive until I got hold of an old HW-16 & got back into CD Parties. Saved up to buy my favorite two radios of the 60s--the Drake 2B & Johnson Navigator. BN, 8RN, EAN & full break-in, gosh.... Somewhere in there, discovered one could work DX, even on 80M. Uh-oh. Now ya gotta have bigger stuff. Ya gotta learn to talk, too, & try this SSB thing. EICO 753, bought for $40 @ Dayton. Spent two years trying to make
it stop drifting! It was the 10-cent transistors that did this rig in....finally up-graded to NCX-3 & a
813, wow... First "real" transceiver was ten-tec OMNI. Then first "new" radio ever was Corsair, purchased with $ earned shooting commercials on the side. What a swell rig. SB-220 was THE workhorse amp for nearly everyone, me included. Collins S-line remains the best looking radio
EVER! Stuff these days looks like stereo gear. And the S-line sounded good on SSB. Kind of annoying on CW. An R4C w/all mods & Sherwood filters remains a joy to operate to this day! Running couple of OMNI VIs these days, along w/Centurion & the venerable old SB-220 & Henry...
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KE4SHC on January 9, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
While I don't have 10 here's my favorite of what I've owned.

HTs (2 owned so far)

1. Radio shack HTX 202 (current but on the "blink")

2. Yaesu FT-727R Dualband 2/440. (sold)

2m Mobiles (2 owned so far)

1. Alinco DR-130 (owned still but collecting dust for now)

2. Yaesu FT-2500 (currently owned but needs display replaced, also collecting dust)

HF Rigs

1. FT-100D (recent purchase and replacing the Dr-130's duties as well currently)

2. Radio Shack DX-390 Receiver. (current owned.)

Honorable Mention

Yes I may get flamed for this I realize but they are rigs as well. ...

1. Uniden Washington (Current)
2. Uniden Pro-810E (Burned up and taken out with the garbage a few years back)
3. Radio Shack Hand-held CB (Forget the number.) (current)
4. GE 40 chan mobile CB. (current but collecting dust)

Other equipment.

Pyramid, ps-45 power supply.(collecting dust with FT-2500)
Astron RS-20 power supply (collecting dust with dr-130)
Yeasu Fp-1023A power supply (current using with FT-100D)
Radio shack 5 amp power supply. ( I think collecting dust but possibly sold)

2m Amp (purchased from MCM when they sold more ham stuff) (collecting dust)

Radio Shack Discone scanner/transmitting antenna. (collecting dust)

The Big Stick Antenna 10-12 meters (currently hooked to FT-100D alsu used on Uniden Washington)

Cushcraft ARX2b 2m antenna (currently in use)
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KU4QD on January 9, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
OK, I'll chime in with my favorites, not in any particular order, with one exception. The Tokyo Hy-Power HT-750 remains my favorite ham to y of all time. In case it isn't painfully obvious, I'm a die hard QRPer :) Here's my list:

1. Tokyo Hy-Power HT-750
2. Mizuho MX series HF SSB/CW handhelds
3. Kenwood TS-660
4. Tokyo Hy-Power/Kantronics monoband HF & 6M rigs
5. NCG 7/21/50
6. Yaesu FT-817
7. Ten Tec Argosy 525
8. Kenwood TS-130V
9. Icom bookshelf portables (IC-502A, IC-202S, and IC-402)
10. NCG 15M

As with anything else, I'm sure your mileage may vary.


RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by VE6XX on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the W8 about the "ZD" being a pile of junk. I think it could most charitably be described as less than one of Yaesu's better efforts!
Cheers! Brian, VE6XX
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by DK2GZ on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Rigs that I have used since 1980:

Kennwood TS820
was my first HF-Radio)

my first TenTec, loved the receiver and the qsk)

TenTec Centuy 21

Drake B-Line
need a lot of space on the table, but rx quiet good)

Icom IC735
used many years, and a very good performer also on the low bands)

Index qrp+
nice little qrp radio for all bands 160-10, receiver did sometimes overload)

Kennwood TS870
(used after the IC735 for many years,
since DSP-Radio, hot receiver,
did a lot of lowband dxing with this radio)

Kennwood TS850
used only a few months, need one to send it to the CN8WW-location,
afterwards did several A/B tests with the TS870,
TS850 RX is better when the band is crowded or strong stations nearby)

TenTec 1320-Kit
my first kit, nice experience to built the kit,
if I can built that kit, everyone else should be able to built the TenTec kits)

TenTec OMNI 6+
this is for my opinion the best RX for cw-operation)

TenTec Paragon I
RX comes close to the TS870, but sometimes filter blowby)

----> today still in use

TenTec OMNI 6+
TenTec Paragon I

73 de Harry, DK2GZ

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N8CDN on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a ham for 21 years. I have not had many rigs as I tend to keep them for a long time. Here is my list:

1. Kenwood TS-530S. This rig is a classic. It is rock solid and exellent transmit audio. The tube finals are very forgiving. Still own

2. Yaesu FT101B. My first hf rig. good performer and good on cw. No longer have it.

3. Icom 718. Just got it recently. Good reciever and good transmit audio with stock mike. Radio seems well built and rugged. Works great on general coverage recieve. Still own

4. Yaesu FRG-7. What can I say, Its a classic and it "looks" like a radio! velvety audio that almost sounds tube like. Still own.

5. Icom 2AT. This brick went through hell with me. It was dropped in a water puddle and continued to work. It is retired now ( worn out ) Still own.

6. Heathkit AR5 reciever. A hand me down that worked so so. My first general coverage reciever. No longer own

7. Realistic DX-160. My first brand new reciever. Listened to alot of stations on this one. I now have two since my Uncle passed away and I was given his.

8. Hammerlund HQ-140X. I rescued this one from the trash! It was in good shape but no audio output. Replaced the audio transformer and it works great. Currently not in use but on display in the shack.

Radios I also own:

Icom 27A. Two meter rig. Finals burned up once, works ok. Still own
Yaesu FT 227R. The memorizer. My first Two meter radio. Built like a tank. This radio is also retired.
Still own
Wilson Mark IV 6 Channel handheld. Rugged radio Built tough. My first ht. No longer owned.
Uniden 890 scanner. 200 channels, looks good, performance so so. Still Own.

That does it for me..


Terry N8CDN

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N5WX on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Has everyone forgotten the late 50's and early 60's. I owned a KWS-1/75A-4. I really hated to part with it but just too big and heavy to move. Now I have a IC-706MK2 and wonder where the knobs are! Sure it works great but where are all the knobs??? I really miss the hernia's.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KN3ZAN on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
1. Kenwood Twins, the "D" series Venus XIII - excellent receiver & transmitter. Still going strong today!
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WB2AZE on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I may not have 10 rigs but here's my favorites.

1. Tentec 555 scout...a real pleasure to user.

2. HTX-100 10 meter from radio shack, nice easy to
use 10 m only,

3. Atlas 210x 'the tumbleweed' drifts a bit, but like
the energizer bunny, keeps going and going

4. Alinco DJ-100 2m ht, small has a nice feel

5. Icom 3AT, thumbwheel operations, no memory, no
menu's, easy to use, and sturdy, can beat a tent
stake into the ground with it and still use it.

73 Dave WB2AZE
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by JIMBOB on January 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
my favourites that i have owned and used...not in order


2-kenwood 570dg

3-icom 765

4-icom 746

5-kenwood ts50

6-alinco dx70

7-yaesu ft107m

8-kenwood 940 (lots of problems dry joints)good when worked.

9-icom 706

10-icom 725
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by WH6LR on January 11, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Lets start from the beginning.

1. HTX-202 my first rig, built like a brick house...gave to my brother when got his ticket.

2. TM-251A a band an a half radio fun to use. never could figure out why 440 recv.

3. FT-5100 great radio, but was built like a little girl broke on the first gravel road.

4. MFJ-9406 6m SSB rig, HOT!! recv'er got my VUCC on 10 watts!

5. Icom IC-706MKIIG, well tough call, love the radio for it's moblie ops' but the 2m SSB recv'er was not very good. 432.1 was even worst. Had to get a external speaker for it. Just a love hate situation on this rig.

6. Alinco DJ-580T great handheld! hardcore! built tough and very easy to use..once drop it into pearl habor dove in and got it back out dried it off still working.

7. MFJ-8621X2 APRS data radio. great radio for what's designed to do.

8. ADI-147+ 60 watt moblie rig great power easy to program, got the power when you need it. although the internal speaker when out in 6 weeks and the customer support at ADI Sucks!!! the radio still works and and kick'in strong.

9. IC-W32A best hand held I ever owned, although the battery poorly designed. Dies to fast!

10. FT-847 super RIG!!! super audio! 2m, 440, 6m x-t's and re-cv'er are hot!
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by K5UJ on January 11, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
I've been off of HF for many years so I only have two rigs to comment on (I won't comment on what I'm running now because I have not had it long enough: Omni 6+):

Ten-Tec Triton I--it was great. Portable, easy to operate, great QSK, plenty of power and a terrific receiver. Plus, modular pc board construction. Now it's a collectable. I sold mine when I went to college. Wish I still had it.

Hallicrafters FPM-300 Mark III--a real dog. It must have not been designed by hams. For example, there was no cw offset. If you wanted to be on the other guy's frequency you had to zero beat him. Not knowing this I put mine on the air out of the box and wondered why my qsos frog-hopped up the band at first. They also elected not to put a fan on the final so if you didn't add one you had to be real quick about tuning it up if you didn't want to buy a new tube.
This was a hybrid rig that came out after Hallicrafters was bought by Northrop. It was sad that the last ham rig with the Hallicrafters name on it was so bad. There were other problems but those are the first two I can recall.
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by ZL2TCR on January 11, 2002 Mail this to a friend!


i am only 16 years old and have been a ham for 9 monthes.

ok from best to worst.



DRAGON SS-485+ 10m rig
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KR4GS on January 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
My Eleven Best.

1.Kenwood TS-50. Best Straight HF mobile I owned.

2.Yaesu FT-890. 1st HF rig I owned worked great as a mobile too.

3.Kenwood TS-850. 1st Deluxe HF rig I owned. Great receive and the slope tuning works almost as good as DSP.

4.Yaesu FT-2400. My first 2 meter mobile. Built like a brick.

5. Standard c5608d. Twin Bander mobile. Greatest quality Radio and Durable.

6.Standard C228A HT. What a hand held and with one of my favorite Bands 220mhz.

7.Yaesu FT.50rd. I owned alot of HT's and this one will always be a keeper.Great receive audio!

8.Kenwood Tm 742a Tribander 2/220/440 I love this rig so much I own Two.

9.Icom IC-706MK11G. This is the Cats Meow. Unbelivable!!

10.Icom Ic-746. My new HF rig Very impressive!! 100 watts all Bands. Big Bang for the buck.

11. I couldn't Leave out my Kenwood TH-f6a 2/220/440 and wide band receive all mode!! in a HT. I love this hand held. It's replaced all mine except the 50rd it's a keeper.

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by VE3TMT on January 18, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Only been ham for 12 years, heres my list:
1. Heathkit HW101
2. Yaesu FT101EE
3. Kenwood TS830S
4. Yaesu FT77 (remember these!)
5. Alinco DX70TH
6. Kenwood TS50
7. Kenwood TS450S
8. Icom 706
9. Kenwood TS440S
10 Yaesu FT900 (my current mobile)

I would buy another FT900 in a second. My ultimate? FT1000MP Mark V, just trying to figure out how to sneak it into the house??
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by G4VGO on January 18, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
The top ten are:
1. FT1000D (current rig and GREAT!)
2. TS850SAT (great value for money)
3. TS830 (wish I still had it)
4. Drake 4C line (still have them and will always)
5. FT840 (with the narrow filters, good second rig)
6. PatComm 16000A (not a world class receiver but a fun radio)
7. Atlas 210/Atlas 215 (drift but bomb proof for mobile)
8. IC 751A (Great for its time)
9. IC 706 MKII G (not a bad little package)
10. Collins 75A4 with all the filters, always wanted one and now I have it in the middle of the desk taking up space and still working after 50 years of service)

First licensed in 1962 and all the radios then were great but I didn't know how to appreciate them so will stick to the above as my favourites. Besides most were military surplus and not many would know what a BC610 or a BC 348 were, not to mention a QF-1!

Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by N4FO on February 19, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Ahh, Yes.....brings back memories of yesteryear and my favorite radios over the last 23 years:

1) Heathkit HW-16 with HG-10B VFO. My first radio- a nice little three band CW rig and my 40 meter dipole worked great!

2) Heathkit HW-101. The first ham radio kit that I put together. A nice radio, but only so-so in perfomance, but it was affordable!

3) Drake TR4-CW. My first really nice radio. I still can remember warming my self in the winter time over those lovely tubes. Worked alot of DX on 10 meters with this radio. Wish I still had it.

4) ICOM IC-735. Great little radio. Worked great for CW, SSB or RTTY and Packet. One of the best ever made by ICOM in my humble opinion.

5) ICOM IC-720A. This radio was a "clunker" as far as I am concerned. Nice loud noisy relays for bandswitching- maybe a notch above an IC-701.

6) ICOM IC-730. Another great radio. My current radio, I like it as much as the 735, not as many bells and whistles as the 735, but still a great radio!


Steve, N4FO
RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by KL7IPV on March 8, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Re-reading this thread brought back even more memories. I even remembered an Eico 723 three band CB radio. But, long before I was licensed (1959), I owned a Hammarlund Super Pro built for a chassis mounting sometime before WW2. I spent many hours leaning over that heater wearing the old bake-a-lite earphones. So many nights were spent listening to the hams on 80 AM and the tales they told. I still love the old Hammarlunds and lust after a really good HQ-170A/VHF. Why? Who knows? Who cares? It must have something to do with that venerable old Super Pro that really brought me into the ham ranks. The soft glow of the tubes behind the face but never was rack mounted. The wonderful assortment of knobs that would allow me to just try to get a little more out of that receiver, to pull out that station just off the side in the background so I wouldn't miss a word of the conversation. It was heavy and the power supply sat out at the end of it's long tail and quietly supplied all the power the receiver needed to warm the room early in those quiet mornings. Who ever said ham radio was not fun or was boring? Read the thread. Don't ya just love it?
Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by W8IJN on March 15, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting list of memories. I can go back deep to 1960 or before, but my ham radio time (1969 thru today) makes the list strange:
1. Heath SB310 + DX60B (used in Puerto Rico). Almost as good as the stuff I was using in the USN
2. Heath SB401 used with the '310. Traded for the next radio:
3. Eico 753 (They ain't called "seven-drifty-threes" for nothin'!) Can't believe I traded the SB310/SB401 for it! Ah youth!
4. Ten Tec Argonaut & PA. Very nice radio for meager times but I soon soured on the QRP thing.
5. Heath HW101: even more meager times. Blew it up passing blizzard traffic.
6. Drake TR7. First serious "competition grade" trx.
7. Argosy I analog: preceded by a Century 21. Ok but not all the great.
8. K2 -- the last radio I'm ever gonna build. Nice but QRP again . . .
9. SG2020. A medium level QRP radio. Not a contest rig, for sure.
10. Icom IC-718. Most recent radio. I'm sure to become deeply enamored . . . once I figure out how to use all the extra stuff it's got. Three days in the house & I ain't had a Q on it yet. And yes, I'm a slow reader.

This doesn't include the absolutely perfect USN radios I've used, which would make the list look more like a trip to the surplus radio museum. URC32, FRR1, R1051, T2, TDS sets, SP600s &c. Or the surplus stuff I still have, the best of which is a R-174 1.5V filament tuber that I use mostly for SWLing. Once I figure out the '718, I'm sure the '174 will get less use.


RE: Ten Rigs I Have Owned & Loved  
by DT593 on March 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Even Back in my old "HEAVY" HAM days from about 1963 to 1975 and still where the thrill has gone but I still dabble I have found the folowing my favorite radios..Not nescessarilly HAM gear but used Scanner type radio in conjunction with my various efforts at Moon Bounce, Satellites, Fax etc.
In No Particular Order They are:

1 Yaesu FT-101 EE for a downright "TOUGH" Radio That WORKED!

2. Bearcat BC-780 Trunk Scanner for scanning and pulling in UHF Satellites

3 Pro-2006 Scanner for general 10 meter as well as CB and 2 meter receive of reapeater traffic..Still a Favorite

4 Icom PCR-1000 for bandscoping and just plain doing NEAT tricks that no other radio is equiped to do (easilly)

5 Kenwood TS-940s A classic TANK that just keeps on going and going

6 Kenwood 820s Wth CW filters brough my interst in code back..most trouble free radio I ever owned

7 Icom 2100H 2 Meter mobile.. for the money the best value I have evr purchased.

8 Icom 2410-A dule band 2/440. Neat little rig that acted as a mini repeater as well as received 800 Mhz traffic which broke the bordome on occasion

9. Kenwood TH-79 HT Dual Band Does all the work of 5 radios I used to have to keep nearby while fishing,Using Repeaters, Checking Weather, Monitoring Game wardens etc.all done in a pocket sized package

10 Globe 100A 3 channel CB radio circa 1960...BAD BOY of the block when I was 12 years old....this rig started the "BALL ROLLING" and here I sit today with more rigs than NASA
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