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Author Topic: What is your favorite older HF rig?  (Read 1655 times)
K9FON
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Posts: 1012




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« on: July 04, 2009, 01:00:16 PM »

In a timeframe from the late 1950s to the mid 1980s era specifically.
Mine?
Yaesu Ft 101 series B/E/EE/EX/F. I have had probably 6 or 7 101s over the years. It seems like i sell off one and end up buying another.

Kenwood Ts 830S. I just sold mine and now regret it.

Drake TR-4CW and the plain jane Drake TR-4. They are just plain FUN to operate! And plenty of hefty power to boot.  

Ten Tec Corsair. I have one now and it is a SUPER CW rig! I love it!

Swan 700 CX. Great RX and 500 watts PEP to get the job done! Another rig i wish i still had.

Icom IC 735. I had one that was about 18 years old and it worked great.

Kenwood TS 430s. It is just a nice small durable rig to use as a mobile. If you have the room! Fortunately, i drive an older Pontiac that has plenty of room on the tranny hump for a decent sized mobile.
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W3LK
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 05:10:19 PM »

Collins KWM-2A

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
WB5JEO
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Posts: 805




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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 06:38:20 PM »

Swan 500. Plenty power. Tolerable receiver. Lovely transmit audio. Cheap finals. A radio you could use and abuse for decades. It will cost likely far more than it's worth today, but I'm going to have my old 500 resurrected one of these days. Just because great old radios should live.
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 860




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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 09:29:28 PM »

Good topic!

First observed QSO was with my elmer, and his FT101E in 1976.

First QSO on my own was witha  Johnson Viking Ranger and a Mosley CM-1 receiver in April 1977.  I will never forget my first QSO, like I never forget my first kiss.

First experience with solid state was at the Smithsonian Institute (now offline), NN3SI, with a Ten Tec Triton IV back in 1978.  I was a newly licensed General-class ham back then, all full of myself at 13 and copying code.  The QSK on that rig was SWEET.

My first solid state rig that I owned (and I still have today, just packed it away in preparation for moving) is my trusty tank, the TS-520S.  Talk about a workhorse!  30 years later and the thing works perfectly.

And to think that I just picked up a Flexradio SDR F3000 last week.  How times have changed!

Mark Lunday
WD4ELG
http://wd4elg.net
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W5DC
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 10:08:20 PM »

I've had a KMM-2, Collins S-Line TX and RX, but my favorite is an FT-101E that I bought in 1975, made a few mods to improve dynamic range and speech processing on it and am still using it on ssb, cw, and digital modes for which it is stable enough if you never turn it off (I do have a dds vfo for it in process).
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4328




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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 04:05:33 AM »

FT102. A receiver far better than any of the FT101 series, and phase noise performance right up there with the best of them. 3 6146B in the PA - obtainable, unlike sweep tubes, AND rated for RF. Good CW filters. Old fashioned construction, so repairable. Good tx audio.

Downside: relays, receiver spur on 80CW, key clicks, display made of unobtainium.

All fixable. Some people change relays, but bleeding some DC through the contacts to 'wet' them is easier. Rx spur is a problem only if you're a CW DXer. It was harder to find the cause than to fix. Key clicks easily fixed, and a new display can be built up from 7 segment units if you have to.
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WX7G
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Posts: 5908




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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 07:32:07 AM »

Swan 500 for a cheap powerful beast of a radio.
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KG6YV
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Posts: 504




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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 03:19:53 PM »

Collins KWM2A
Kenwood 830S
Yaesu FT101E

All of these still play well and make Ham radio lots of fun....

KG6YV
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K9FON
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Posts: 1012




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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 11:03:27 AM »

Yes indeed they make hamming so much more fun. I use my FT 101EE every day as my main rig.
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W3TUA
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Posts: 66




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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 01:45:41 PM »

Kenwood TS-520S.
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WU8P
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2009, 09:36:04 AM »

Kenwood TS-520
As a Novice I had a ball working CW with my 520. I don't know how many times I tried to load up a dead short. The radio kept on going.
I have a 520, 830S, 870S, 480SAT now and go back to the 520 very often.

73
Phil WU8P
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1125




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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2009, 09:34:26 PM »

"Older HF rig"Huh

I think I now know that I am old because with the exception of the mention of a Collins radio here and there, every single radio mentioned is newer and more recent then the time I was on the air back in the mid-1960s during my Novice years -- and, the only time I operated an older HF rig.

My only older HF rig experience though was my HQ-170AC receiver and my Eico 720 transmitter.  You can have the Eico any day, but that receiver was great.  Liked it so much that I had to buy another one a few years ago when I got back into the hobby.  Sold my original HQ-170AC to help with college tuition back in 1967.
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WA2LUF
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 12:05:03 PM »

Drake B line and drake tr7a Had a few of the ft101's, and my least favorite was the Eico 753 (drifty 3). the older Icoms like the 735 and 751a were good also...and the early kenwoods....all are very usable today
73
Ron
WA2LUF
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W8IXY
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2009, 01:24:37 PM »

My Favorites:

From the 50's and 60's:  Viking Ranger, Viking II, Viking Valiant, Heathkit DX100B, Heathkit Apache.   Higher end Hammarlund receivers: HQ170 and HQ180.  National NC270, Hallicrafters SX101A.  Collins rigs I could never afford.

70' thru 90's:  The "greatest" Kenwoods...TS830S, TS940S, TS950S, R2000, R5000.

Today:  Elecraft K3.

73
Ted W8IXY
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4328




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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2009, 03:04:40 AM »

If we're really going back

National HRO (1939 model) home brew tx with 807PA
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