What was your Novice dream rig ?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W5IEI, Oct 13, 2021.

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  1. KA4FOX

    KA4FOX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My dream was to be able to legally use a VFO.
    HS0ZPC, W4NNF and KC1NY like this.
  2. WT4W

    WT4W XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was thrilled with whatever I could get my hands on. I started out using a borrowed Drake 2-NT coupled with a Drake-2B receiver. At the time I was lusting over a friend's HW-101, but once I upgraded I found a Collins
    75-S1 / 32-S1 pair at a hamfest for cheap and that was my only HF rig for the next 20 years or so.
  3. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I was never a Novice Class, the Ameco AC-1 could have been my been my first rig if I got my license 20 years earlier...

    KP4SX and W0AZ like this.
  4. KG5UN

    KG5UN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started with an HW-8.
    "Upgraded" to a Tempo 2020
    Dreamed about the Icom 781
    N4FZ likes this.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wanted the DX-60B and HR-10B. The OM demurred and said he might help me buy and assemble an HW-16. I was disappointed and appealed to him that I could use the pair on AM when I got my General. He just laughed and opined that AM was well on its way to being dead as a duck in 1969. I also suspected that while he wanted me to get my ticket, he wasn't quite convinced radio would "take" with me and wanted to minimize any possible losses. I thought about the DX-60/HR-10 pair for quite a while...but the HW-16 was very, very good to me. :)

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
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  6. HS0ZPC

    HS0ZPC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Stir have mine... Drake 2-NT and a Hammarlund HQ-110
    N4FZ likes this.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice rig, but you should have popped for the '680...:p
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    He WAS partly right! :p AM WAS on it's way out; (but not quite" dead as a duck," even to this day) SSB was taking over!:rolleyes:
    W4NNF likes this.
  9. W0AZ

    W0AZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This was my first rig. :rolleyes:
    KP4SX and W4KYR like this.
  10. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    You're in luck! The new issue of QST in the mail today has an article on bringing back a HR-10B from the dead.

    It counsels, "Don't electrocute yourself."
    Kids these days, with their 13.8 volts.
    PU2OZT and W4NNF like this.
  11. AD7SK

    AD7SK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back when I was young, anything in the Heathkit catalog.

    Now, I just want ideal conditions and a large urn of Navy CPO-strength coffee so I can 'radio' in peace.
    KT4PH and W9JEF like this.
  12. KC1HWT

    KC1HWT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since I was a teen, the venerable Icom IC-751A… Still in working, mint condition.


    Attached Files:

    VK6APZ and W5IEI like this.
  13. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dream: A Ranger and NC-300/303.

    Reality after I got the General and wanted ALL the bands was a used Viking I with 122 VFO and HQ-129X. Couldnt kill that TX no matter what impossible antennas I used with just the amazing pi network Johnson used. A RME DB22A and VHF-152A. All used of course.

    I have replicated that station along with the QF-1, BC-453, PM-23 speaker. Dow Key relay replaced with a Johnson "electronic" T/R switch. Some no holes and reversible mods made to improve RX and TX.
    Made DXCC on CW, thanks to Cycle 19, before joining the USN in late 59 .

    I now have a Ranger and NC-300 and some other boatanchors for some AM fun and vintage SSB.

  14. HS0ZPC

    HS0ZPC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I see it, and this thread, as a reflection of a generational shift in ham radio (and all other things as well)... People who had a "Novice dream rig" represent my generation, we learned the ropes on cw, high voltage tube based analog circuits, HF bands, home-brew wire antennas, crystal controlled transmitters, etc.
    I spent many a night tearing down old broken TV chassis I got for free to build a parts inventory, and mowing lawns and shoveling snow for dough as did many others of my ilk. That's the broke teenage novice experience, and it was thrilling. We all learned to work cw because every ham had to learn it, and as novices, it's all we had.

    My "Elmers" (I never heard that term back then) were "old" WWII guys mostly, who taught me things like "keep one hand in your back pocket when you go poking around in there" and taught me how to make a chicken stick to discharge capacitors, and use a VTVM. Working with high voltage circuits was just part of ham radio. We were taught to respect it, but then get on with it.

    Things have changed with the times, and technology. I'm a dinosaur now, even though I don't feel like one... Everything is solid state, and that's fine. I am competent with basic transistor based circuitry... But we've gone way past that point as well. Now a lot of it is digital, and worse, SMD based, and we don't fix our stuff anymore because, well, the vast majority of us (myself included) can't. We can replace a board or a module, or a bad capacitor in a power supply, but that's about it.

    The new hams have a different experience, they are digital birds now. They know about firmware, and code plugs, and digital modes, and reflectors, and hotspots, and a little bit of, oh yeah, RF. They have a new term, "makers" for guys who actually build stuff from scratch like it's something that's old and quaint, and has only been recently "re-discovered" like alchemy.... It's ok, we all learn what we learn as we're coming up because it applies to the world we live in, and the world around us. I get it.

    I do wonder, however what the new "novices" (technicians now, and probably older than we were) picture as their "dream rig" and what they think it would do for them in their version of ham life... because I really don't know.

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  15. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had the Meissener equivalent, the 2-CW
    Amusing story behind it. Earlier, just before I got my Novice, I had built a 6AG7 transmitter on a wooden base made form an old orange crate. It looked pretty crude and would give a nice "tingle" if the wrong parts wre touched, so Dad figured I needed a better transmitter. For Christmas he bought the 2-CW on advice from my uncle, who had been in the Army Signal Corps during WW2 and thus knew everything there was to know about radio. The 2-CW chirped like a cricket on dope, so I rebuilt it using the 6AG7, which solved the chirp problem.

    Before I got my Novice, he had given me an S-38B for Christmas, again on the advice from my uncle. It was a great SWL receiver, but my regen receiver was more sensitive and selective. The 'ginny tended to drift a lot, so I got a BC-455 Command set, which was very stable but had an IF bandpass you could drive a team of Clydesdales through.

    After I passed the General, I bought a used NC-98, a Heathkit VFO, and built a transmitter from the Handbook with a 6146 in the final modulated by a pair of 807s. The power supply was made with salvaged parts and had a pair of 866 Mercury vapor rectifiers. I was in hog heaven.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
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