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Terrible radios that you loved

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KL7AJ, Oct 22, 2008.

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  1. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a variation on a theme posted recently. What truly abominable radios did you love anyway....perhaps because they were your first, or just because you worked something special with them?

    For me:

    Swan Cygnet. Pretty lame radio, but I worked it for HOURS as a novice because my elmer had one.

    Hammarlund SP 600J. This is probably the Edsel of radios. Ahead of its time, but behind the times....all at the same time. It SHOULD have worked a lot better than it did. Built like a battleship....seemed like everything was done RIGHT, but still drifted worse than....well, a SWAN!

    Gonset G-76. What can I say?

  2. N2RJ

    N2RJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Icom 751A - fried eggs anyone?
    Kenwood TM-V7A - cool blue display, when it worked right.
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    The radio I love the most is easily one of the worst radios every designed. The Heathkit Twoer! But it got the job done, and got thousands of Hams on the air for an affordable price.
    The main problem with the Twoer was the Receiver. Sensitive enough, it used a Superregen receiver, but tuning on it was dismal. You tuned the WHOLE 4 mhz band of 2M with a HALF turn of the dial!!! But in low activity areas, tuning in AM was not a problem. The transmitter was pretty gutless too. Though it boasted 5W input, it is lucky to put out 1 Watt. But the modulation was pretty good, and with a good antenna, it could be heard well. I love these radios so much I have acquired 25 of them! Maybe 26 I forget! Similar models were made for 6 meters, 10 meters and CB. Must have been just dreadful for CB! Another thing that sucked was you had to take the case off to change crystals! So most Hams drilled the front panel and put in a crystal socket. FOr some reason, Heathkit had this idea that an RCA jack makes a good RF Output connector. Most hams changed them to a SO-239. Finding a completely VIRGIN Twoer is hard, but I have several pairs of them. The mics are even harder to find.
  4. NN3W

    NN3W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Atlas 210x.
  5. K4JC

    K4JC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lafayette HA-146, mid-70s vintage crystal controlled 2-meter rig. Sensitivity was awful, selectivity just as bad. The squelch had to be just on the threshold, or you wouldn't hear anything. But it was my first ham radio, one that my brother had given me for Christmas in '77 as an incentive to get my ticket.

    Rose colored glasses can be very powerful...
  6. WA4BRL

    WA4BRL Ham Member QRZ Page

    What else but the Eico 753. It was my first transceiver after I upgraded to General fom Novice. I bought it used for $150. Believe it or not, that was a great deal. That particular 753 did not did not drift excessively. Yes, the drift was noticeable, but it was easy to deal with on CW or SSB. A friend took on the challenge to get rid of the drift altogether when I loaned the rig to him for a while. He installed a succession of temperature compensating diodes in the VFO and managed to improve the stability significantly. Some drift is still there, but no one in a QSO would ever guess that they're working one of the notorious 753's.

    Even without the horrible drift, the 753 was a mediocre rig at best. But it hung in there with me. I still have it too! Rig and power supply probably need re-capping as I haven't used them in 25 years. There's still a warm place in my heart for the old beast.
  7. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    Hammarlund HQ-110C. The "C" stood for "clock" which you were supposed to set about an hour before you intended to operate the rig so that the drift would be under control. The problem was that it never did settle down ! I always thought that I had a bad sample, but I have heard that they were ALL like that!

    I have a similar problem with a Lafayette general coverage receiver that is a lot newer design, and the designers should have learned how to control things by then. But they didn't ! Both very poor radios. But I still have the Lafayette ! Maybe I will get around to fixing it, some day!

    73, Jim

    p.s. Steve , I know EXACTLY what your avatar is, but I won't tell ! ! !
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Awww...shucks. EVERY olde pharte knows what that is!
  9. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good post.
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just for the RECORD, everyone who's more than 45 should know what that is.

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