Haven't really hated any of them but since nowadays I seem to be buying all the boatanchors I either had or wished to have as a kid, the one I won't be getting again is the Hammarlund SP-600 JX-17. I don't remember it drifting much (many did those days- we coped) but as a general coverage receiver there wasn't hardly any dial resolution for ham bands so you never really knew where you were. I had to count on the transmitter's VFO readout (Johnson Ranger) to keep away from the band edges- and that was "iffy" too. Even as a strapping young lad I dreaded moving the thing around. Now as an broken-down OF it'd kill me! Seems like it was decent enough sensitivity-wise that I worked 10M AM on it and heard a few 6 meter openings. Worked a lot of DX on 40 with it. If someone were to just give me one I might take it - only if it had wheels...
For me it would have to be the Marconi Apollo.
This was a general coverage receiver, with "high stability" on the marine bands only. The trouble was, in order to get that high stability you effectively had to tune the receiver twice, hence those two big knobs on the front panel. It also had a nixie tube digital readout which flashed at you 4 or 5 times a second, blanking while the counter was adding it all up, and an awful so called "plateau hold" agc profile for ssb.
People raved about it, but the cheaper Marconi Nebula, which was essentially an Eddystone EC958 was ergonomically a better receiver, and Redifon R408 too, even though that had an analogue "slide rule" type tuning dial.
Having said all that, it was the radio I trained on, I still have my set of circuit diagrams, complete with scrawled college notes, so when I opened the door and saw one of those in the console I kinda felt at ease, knowing it as intimately as I did, and which is just as well because in my time on the high seas an Apollo was the only receiver to fail on me.
Now if only I could get my hands on one !!
73 de Adrian / ZS1TTZ
I've owned a number of the rigs that have been previously mentioned.
First of all, I did own an Clegg FM-27B, and never had any indication of a problem. I probably bought mine around 1980 or so, and was quite pleased to get a "synthesized" rig at such a reasonable price.
I got into ham radio a bit late for the heyday of the Benton Harbor Lunch Box. I was first licensed in 1974, and probably bought my first one around 1975. At one time, I owned an example of each one made, the Twoer, the Sixer, the Tener, and the CB-1.
Unfortunately, by this time, two meter AM was completely dead in this area, and I don't think I ever made a single QSO. I probably fired up the Tener at one point, although I don't think I ever transmitted with the CB-1.
The one that I did get a fair amount of use from was the Sixer. There was still a local net every evening, and I did check into that all the time. The NCS happened to be the janitor at my high school.
A friend of mine who lived about a block away also had a sixer, and I could tell when he turned on his receiver. At the time, the going hamfest price for a Lunchbox was about $5, and I certainly got my money's worth out of the sixer. My best DX from Minnesota was Louisiana. I was sitting out on the porch running a dipole fed with audio cable. I was shocked when he came back to me. I never did get a QSL. When I mentioned this to the janitor/NCS, he reported that lack of QSL's was the bane of six meters, and I would probably never get one.
The Sixer was about 15 kHz off frequency from the net frequency. I managed to get it a bit closer by means of a gimmick capacitor. Of course, if working another Sixer, 15 kHz was nothing. But the NCS had a more modern rig, so he had to QSY when it came time to look for my checkin. I must have just been lucky to be on the same frequency as the guy in Louisiana.
I eventually replaced the Sixer with a Gonset Communicator, and continued checking into that net until the janitor's antenna blew down, and which time the net went defunct, and VHF-AM in the area came to an end.
I also own an Eico 7 Drifty 3, which I purchased just a few years ago. It's actually a very nice looking rig, and mine seemed to work pretty well. Of course, you need to stay away from the band edges. For short QSO's, the drift wasn't a big problem. For longer QSO's, I would just tell the other guy what I was running, and ask him to follow me with his VFO as I drifted. The drift is only a problem if the other guy is following with his RIT, in which case you soon get hopelessly separated.
I actually bought the 753 to take it with me on a trip to South America. I figured I wanted something cheap, so I wouldn't care if it got lost or broken. The 753 fit the bill well, and I actually did grow accustomed to its face. I did learn a few new Spanish words from cab drivers who picked up the suitcase that I was carrying it around in.
I sold it on e-Bay, but had seller's remorse. I honestly told the buyer what a crappy rig it really was, and he was quite happy that I let him out of the deal. It's still nicely boxed up, but one of these days, I'll fire it up.
I never heard of it, but I have to admit, that's a fine looking radio:
It was a Howard 435 that was already very old in 1958.
From looking at that picture, I can just sense that smell you're talking about.
You were VERY lucky with your Clegg FM-27B as not to having reports of spurious transmitter frequencies. My FM-27B was sent to me by Clegg to do a review when I was the first FM Editor of CQ. Therefore, you know that the rig was very carefully "checked out". Unfortunately, my FM-27B definitely has spurious frequencies that are within the 2-meter band. Since the spurious frequencies seem to be within the amateur radio band there were not many, if any, complaints from other services and therefore the FCC never got involved with the unit.
Also, the FM-27B is VERY intermod prone. I could never get within 10 miles of downtown Dallas, Texas, until the receiver was completely overtaken by paging and other commercial two-way transmissions. I did get this under control by taking the loaded cavity "front end" from a Motorola Motrac receiver and using that to "narrow down" the front end of the Clegg. When the Motrac front end was in the receive antenna line the intermod dropped to almost zero.
I've subsequently heard that about the rig. It could very well be that I was blissfully ignorant, and my spurious signals all landed on unused frequencies.
IIRC, I did mostly use it in rural parts of the state. If a spur is radiated in the woods and nobody hears it, is it still a spurious emission?