<<What I meant was that listening to hams on voice will take time away from learning Morse Code.>>
Oh, you think that I would get sidetracked too much with voice transmissions? Hmmm, not really. As it is I do want to get a radio that will mostly be used for CW. But everyone needs a break once in a while and I do want to know what is going on on the voice channels.
As it is that part will be my full 'evaluation' of ham radio operation. If I DO get sucked into the whole thing, then yes I will persue it further with a license and transmitting.
<<How's this for style? http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX1.jpg
"Nice! Did you make that one yourself?"
Yes, back in the mid-1970s. Designed it around available parts. There was a matching transmitter and converter for 40 and 20 meters, too. >>
Nice job. No "fish finder" there.
<<"The top right of the panel looks like you could put a nice large meter there in that empty spot, but yeah, overall pretty cool."
Why would I want a meter in a receiver?>>
A tuning eye perhaps? I just LOVE those things.
<<There is an earlier model (TS-520, no 'S') that lacks some features.>>
<<I was told to go with the "s" version. That is the one I need, right?"
I think any of them would serve your purposes. Much more important are condition, price, manuals, and whether or not it has the sharp CW filter.>>
I DID find out that the TS-520S does have the ability to have a sharp filter, but it isn't always installed as it was an option. I saw a guy on YouTube operating a 520S with the cover off and I saw where the filter supposed to go. From the look of it, it seems to be a small black box about 1" by 2".
<<A tube radio restore isn't going to be too much of a problem, unless it is pretty complex."
"Complex" depends on the person, of course.>>
I am mostly an amplifier tech, I don't do RF day in/out. So I am not exactly and expert in that department. However, I am not a green-horn either, I have restored quite a few antique radios, but they are quite simpler than many of the tube based Ham rigs I seen.
<<For the price, yes. However, I would only recommend the HG-10 VFO for use with the HW-16. Leave the VF-1 for other uses.>>
Most are using the HG-10, but I saw a few hams using the VF-1 too.
<<The HW-16 isn't the last word in CW performance by any means; there are a lot of rigs that are much better, including the TS-520.>>
I didn't think so, but looking at the reviews right here on eHam.net, there are many people that rave about it for CW work.
But another fellow I am emailing back and forth too did mention that if I go with Heath I would be better off with the SB-301/401 receiver/transmitter combo over the HW-16
<<What makes the HW-16 a good rig is that it has all the essentials of a basic CW rig, is simple to use and fix, and can often be found for a decent price.
Others have mentioned QSK, aka "full break in". While it's a nice feature, it is not an absolute necessity like a sharp receiver filter.>>
Yes, I was told that unless I am going to do contest work, I wouldn't need the full break-in ability.
<<"Granted I still feel that is limited in that it is only 3 bands"
Well, yes and no.
IMHO, it is better to have a setup that is pretty good on a couple of bands than it is to have one that is fair-to-poor on many bands.>>
That I was made aware of early on. I was told to get an 'amateur band only' radio and not one of those all in one multi-band shortwave radios. A range from 80m to 10m would be good enough.
Besides I have also read that the 15m band on the HW-16 is also a bit iffy and that it is mostly useful on the 80/40 bands.
<<The various amateur bands have different characteristics, and it's important to understand them.
For example, if you're just getting started with Morse Code, the 80, 40, and 30 meter bands are probably your best bet, particularly if your available operating time is in the evenings. There's also the issue of antennas and how much space you have to put up an antenna for transmitting once you get licensed.>>
Transmitting is a different ball game and to be totally honest, I have not totally explored my antenna options. I don't have much room where I am right now. A tower is out of the question. I might have to do with something in the attic.
<<"But in regards to my research on Heath and CW, it would seem the HW-16 IS a better rig than the HW-101."
Hmmmm, would you also agree that the SB-301/401 combo is still better yet?
<<Couple of other things:
- None of the TS-520 versions has full break-in/QSK.>>
<<- Much of the ham-speak/jargonwords you see here are abbreviations developed for Morse Code. For example, "73" is from a list of number abbreviations devloped over 130 years ago for the landline telegraph. People today think the strange-looking verbiage used by texters is a new thing, but it was being done with Morse Code 150 years ago and is still being done by hams today. (look on youtube for the Jay Leno competition between text messaging and Morse Code, it's really funny).>>
Yes, I DID see that clip on You Tube. Another fellow here explained what the '73' means and linked me to a site that explained it in even more detail. I responded to him by saying "Ahhh, that is the CW'ers way of saying TTFN".
<<- There are lots of good websites about ham radio and Morse Code out there besides eham.net. Google is your friend!>>
Duly noted. I did go to other sites initially because I had a bit of trouble getting a login here. I have a bunch of sites saved as my favorites already.
Keep the questions coming!