Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7UUU, Jun 4, 2020.
My xmtr was, too. I was lucky I never got a QSL from the FCC.
1994, a Radio Shack HTX-202 HT bought a month before taking and passing my tech test. I still have it. First HF rig came in 1998, my Kenwood 450S which I still have and love. Started as a tech, then got my tech plus, then got my general.
Got interested in 53 listening to hams on AM on my grandmothers old 37 Zenith.
In 1954 I built a 5 tube AC/DC regen using plug in coils and several octal tubes as in an AA-5. I remember it as 12SK7, 12SK7, 12SQ7, 35Z5, 50L6. A set of coils from BCB to 10M and tuning cap came from Radio Row in NYC and the rest from a couple of town dumps out on LI. Article was in a 53 Popular magazine, Mechanics, Science?
Chassis was bent from scrap aluminum and holes drilled using my dads brace and bit drill and reamer. He also built a nice bench in the basement right by a back window.
It worked first time and even heard strong ham AM on 10M. No ham ticket yet but I leaned enough CW to get the Novice in late 55 at age 14 at the same time I discovered girls.
TX was a 6AG7/6L6 from an old Handbook, not the wooden rig. 80 and 40 only. 6AG7 and 5U4 came from a scrapped TV and I had to buy the 6L6 along with the WW2 surplus transformer, using my paper route money. Dad bought me a 100W Weller gun and a 1 Lb roll of solder. That gun is on its 3rd case but still in use for light duty, I soon bought a 100/140W model 8200 which is still my most used gun.
Antenna was a 40M dipole up about 15' and fed with 72 Ohm twinlead. We lived on a 60 x 90' lot. Tuned up on 80 with the twin lead tied together at the rig. No ground except a water pipe in the basement. My first QSL's for 80 were from an OO and the FCC where my 80M third harmonic was interfering with a Canadian aviation frequency, the fundamental was a 539 2 miles away DUH! Added more C to the Tune cap with a clip lead and was soon making lots of real 80M Q's. 40 was strictly a daytime band since foreign BC was there after dark
The regen didnt last long and I bought a BC-454 and 455 from surplus stores in Radio Row, pulled plates on the variable cap to bandspread both per a CQ article. Much better for CW and the regen was used on SW AM broadcast.
My Dad bought me a Weller 8200 when I was about 10 years old. It's on its second case, as it has survived 18+ years of commercial service. The new plastic case is not as nice as the original Bakelite.
The threads in the tubes for the nuts that hold the tips are now partially stripped out after all these years. To make a good, tight electrical connection, I had to thread a couple of self-tapping machine screws into the side holes opposite the holes where the bent tails of the tip poke out.
But my go-to iron the last couple of decades has been a surplus temperature-controlled desktop pencil station "turned up to eleven."
And I finally got myself the bigger 240/200W Weller gun for faster soldering of PL connectors and heavy wire bundles.
My first shack included a Hallicrafters FPM-300 transceiver, 40 meter inverted L, and a Mosley Classic 33 beam at about 20ft in the air. The rotor was my muscles, the mast was heavy duty nested well pipe and I had a handle and locking bolt at the bottom. This was Jan 1990.
First and current.
Uniden 2510 Multi mode, 10m sloper. Heathkit HW2M Handheld. Kantronics KPC-3 Home made 2m collinear that absolutely destroyed my Ringo Ranger 2. Ten-Tec Century 21, 40m double extended zepp. Sunspot cycle was excellent around that time. I worked just about every county in Central and South America on 10m CW. Loved that 2510.. Worked South Africa on 15 watts CW with Ten-Tec and the double zepp. Man it was fun back then..
This photo is from around 1992. I was set up in the mudroom. It was a long narrow room, poorly insulated with a Kerosun heater that gave me headaches. It was freezing cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. It basically sat on a concrete slab with a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting over it. I was setup to run RTTY using a C64 and AEA PK-64 (Pakratt). I also used it to connect to K2EK (later K5NA) Packetcluster in Hopewell Jct, NY on 2M. I built a homebrew 3 el Yagi specifically for that purpose. The rig was a TS-850S/AT. There's an SP-940 in the picture because it accompanied a TS-940S/AT which was defective from the get-go and went back and forth to Kenwood in CA two times (at my expense). They could not fix it, and the dealer went up to bat for me and got me a refund. The speaker was not defective, so they wouldn't refund that. I ended up loving the 850 and kept it for about 15 years. I was logging using an old IBM PC XT running Hyperlog under MS/DOS. I had 40 Megs of storage space and actually had the callbook installed on it. It came on 15 floppy discs if I recall. I think it was called "SAM". . . my memory is sketchy on that. Hyperlog supported it and it did call sign look-ups in real time. Looking back I embraced computer technology in the shack very early on. I must have already been an Extra at the time of the photo because I see my straight key is relegated to the nether region of the desk. Once I got over 15 WPM my arm would go dead pumping a straight key! I still use the same Bencher paddle til this day. I deep sixed the Vibroplex in the late 90s. That VHF HT is an Icom 02AT. There are two light duty Archer rotor boxes. One went to a 10M monoband Yagi, the other to the 2M Yagi. 10 meters was still hopping with DX from the cycle that double-peaked. Cycle 21 I believe. I also had a 1/2 sized G5RV and a Hustler 5 band trapped vertical. As you can see by the photo on the lower left, I was just a little feller, lol. Actually that's my youngest son who liked to hang out with me in the shack. Wish I could have frozen time <sniff>. Anyway, that's about it.
circa 1988. Borrowed Clegg FM27B(?), Borrowed Hammerlund Receiver, I don't remember what that receiver was on the bottom, Borrowed Crystal 2 Meter rig in background.
This was my first HF setup. I really liked using the IC-725 paired with the LDG-IT100 Autotuner along with a W8AMZ Jr G5RV in an inverted V from my parents QTH. I also had a Icom ICV82 for 2m repeaters and a J-pole mounted to the mast if you see closely in the image.
Also, here is a photo of myself back in Field Day 2013 with KD2CPX using the IC-725 in a digital setup if you can see the Signalink USB in the background (And a pre-transition WZ9O who was N2ASD at the time)
I am still using Wire antennas at my current apartment with my current setup with the IC-746. instead of a G5RV it is now an EFHW. Nothing much changes in 10 years it seems!