Hello, I'm a new(ish) ham looking to get on the air. I've got an electronics background and some radio gear that folks have given me over the years. I've not yet operated a ham radio. Used to play with CB's 30 years ago when I was about 15. Got an associates degree in electronics in 1998 and promptly got a good job writing computer programs for the phone company that same year so I only used the education for hobby stuff. I got a tech no code license in 2000, it expired before I ever used it. I recently got a new tech license as I was getting into RC toys and although all my gear has the fcc permit I thought it was prudent. As for gear that I've got, a Yaesu FT-101E (MID). I've not operated yet, but it seems to power up and the tubes heat up. I just got a dummy load today but it arrived damaged so I'll probably return it for a replacement. I also have a yaesu frg-7700 receiver. Both of these came from two different buddies that retired from the USAF. They brought them back from Japan but never used them I guess. The FT-101 was given to me about 18 years ago and has been in my garage collecting dust since then. The FRG-7700 about 10 years ago and it has been sitting next to the FT101 since then. Since I got the new license, I thought I'd actually give amateur radio a real try. I picked up a couple antennas, an autotuner, a dummy load, and I have an old swr-meter from my cb days that seems to still work with my old CB gear. I also lucked into a 1000' spool of LMR400 for a very low price so I snapped that up. I also have a bunch of electronics gear for workin' on stuff like a 100mhz oscilloscope, a nanoVNA and a tinySA. I believe I have the equipment I need to test and fix the FT-101 (except acutal parts for it, which I'll need to order). I think I need to make a decision on what to use for my first contact. Do I fix up the FT-101 and use that? The downside is that it will take some time to go through it all. I have no experience at all with vacuum tubes, so that may be interesting. The alternative is buying a modern radio, which I'd kind of like to do. Do I cheap out and get the $25 baofeng that people talk about on youtube? Should I pick up a more expensive 2m/70cm radio like a yaesu ft-3dr? Should I be looking at a completely different band for my first contact? Any input on where I should start would be welcome.