Operators that use vintage tube gear vs SS- List your radio

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by N8FVJ, Nov 22, 2019.

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  1. KE0ZU

    KE0ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    TAKE YOUR PICK I have a few hybrids, and a single all SS FT990, but most all get rotated across the ops bench such that everything gets a few hours a year.
  2. KD8UYQ

    KD8UYQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have 5 radios that I rotate every time that I am on the air.

    A Heathkit SB-100 paired with a Heathkit SB-200
    An Icom IC-7600
    A Yaesu FT-990
    A Collins S-Line system complete with the control console and a 30L-1 amplifer
    A Icom IC-7300 paired with a home brewed solid state amplifier

    Then it is back to the top of the list again.

    The easiest on my ear and the one that gets the most unsolicited transmit audio quality comments is the Collins followed closely by the IC-7600 and FT-990. I contribute that to good microphones and external speakers.

    N2IIE and W1BR like this.
  3. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A few of my favorites:

    000_0445.JPG 000_0865.JPG

    AB2YC, W1BR, K9ASE and 2 others like this.
  4. WD0GOF

    WD0GOF Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    On my operating desk:

    Hallicrafters SX-100 which is currently paired up with a Drake TR-4 as the transmitter. (Ranger which needs repairs will replace it if it can be revived) I use this combo on AM.

    Drake R-4B paired up with a T-4XC, also used on AM and also SSB.

    Kenwood TS-830S.

    I have the R-4C rcvr and T-4XB sitting on the shelf right now. But may pair them up together. However I would not likely use them often so I keep them in reserve.

    My two SS rigs, FTdx-1200 and TS-590S get used daily on most days. The TS-590S is my digital mode rig. The FTdx-1200 is connected to my AL-80A for those times I need extra power.

    BTW my TS-590S does a good job on AM. I use the ARCP software to adjust the RX/TX audio chain for better performance on AM. The 1200 also does ok on AM but not as well as the TS-590S does.

    For those who do not have boat anchor AM gear, do not be afraid to operate AM with your SS rigs. I hear Anan's, Flex radios etc on AM these days.
  6. W8TMT

    W8TMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Heathkit SB-102, HW-16/HG10B, HX-1681/HR1680, all repaired/restored by me. Never owned a solid state HF rig but I have had a few multiband HT's. CW only on HF. Never had an amplifier. Never had an automatic tuner. Never had a decent performing antenna. Licensed in 1974. 20 WPM Extra since 1980.

    Holy crap am I a dinosaur. Maybe I should get another hobby.

    Terry, W8TMT
  7. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Older rigs with tubes currently on the operating desk:

    - Collins 32s-3, 75s-3 combo
    - Kenwood TS-830S

    Older rigs with tubes currently on the shelf that I struggle to part with but probably should sell at least some of:

    - Kenwood TS-520SE
    - Yaesu FT-902DM
    - Drake B line
    - Drake TR4CW
    - Heathkit SB-102

    I still love the sound quality and overall design of my older gear and will probably always have some of it in the shack as it's just fun to operate. Every one of my older tube rigs was purchased with known problems and half the fun is getting them on the repair bench, troubleshooting, restoring and getting them back on the air.

    That said I've run a lot of newer rigs, some that I've really liked and some not so much. Currently my daily driver is a Ten Tec Orion II that is rapidly becoming my favorite rig for it's blend of performance audio quality and control layout. It's really hard for the older rigs to compete with continuously variable DSP filters stacked behind good crystal roofing filters but my TS-830s outfitted with Kenwood and Inrad filters comes pretty close, sounds fantastic and is fun to use with no menus. The Collins with its narrow CW filter is no slouch either but not the rig I jump to during contest conditions.
  8. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    My favorite and most-used tube rig is the Heathkit HW-101 seen in my avatar. But I have a pretty good selection of other tube transceivers and separates.

    I have no all SS rigs. I prefer the tube gear for the following reasons:
    • I can fix them.
    • I like working on things that can severely burn or shock me. :eek:
    • I am eccentric.
    K9ASE, VE2GCE, N2ZD and 1 other person like this.
  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My hot-rodded FT901 DM is my main voice rig. (A semi-famous ham reworked the front end for super dynamic range). For my SKCC operation, I use my HW-16 and matching VFO. For AM, I use my Viking Ranger and SX-117. For network and digital stuff, I use my Ten Tec Jupiter.
  10. W8CF

    W8CF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sold a Kenwood TS-820S because it was too modern. I don't get on the air much. I prefer to work on them. But when I do, this what I use.

    Johnson Viking I
    Hallicrafters SX-42

    Drake R4C - T4XC
    Drake TR3
    W1BR, WD4ELG and K7TRF like this.

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