What's your favorite boatanchor?

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by AI3V, Feb 25, 2010.

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  1. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Toss up. HQ-180 or 75A-4. I love them both but sadly own neither one.:( I have extensively played with both though and love them.
  2. KF7AYS

    KF7AYS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Favorite Boat Anchor? All of them...

    They have a visual style that the newer rigs just can't compete with. Currently I am restoring my S-20r and an enjoying every minute of the process. I think the next radio on my adgenda is a Garod TBX-8 Navy radio. After that, I have another Hallicrafters in the works.

    My main radio is a Kenwood TS-830s. Not really a boat anchor, but a good oldie none the less.

    The only modern radio I have is my HT which is a Yeasu VX-7R.
  3. WA7KKP

    WA7KKP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Best of the best . . . .

    I agree with the R-390 (plain). The 390A was a cheapened version, and didn't have the CW audio filter, or SQUELCH operation. I had one with the TMC MSR-4 SSB adapter, and it was amazing how well it worked, even in today's crowded bands. Mechanically they were Rube Goldberg's worst nightmare, but if it was working okay, you just didn't worry about it.

    My other fav boatanchors included the CE 100-V as well. Not many radios had its features, including DSB, SSB with carrier, PM (FM equivalent), and FSK. Not to mention the broadbanded finals, thanks to Joe Batchelor.

    And the Drake 2-B receiver, in the hands of a good CW operator is very hard to beat. I can take a CW sig in the noise and tweak it with the Q multiplier into a solid signal. Too bad they didn't make a general coverage version . . .

    I had a Johnson desk Kilowatt amplifier. Never used it on the air, but I wanted it since it was grid-driven -- 10 watts SSB would drive it to a KW or more, and you could operate it class C for CW/FM/plate modulated AM. Team it with the Ranger, and you were in business. What else would you want? Besides a stong back.

    IMHO these were the best non-Collins (except the 390) ham gear made in the boatanchor era. Even the new solid-state gear is second class to these.

    Gary WA7KKP
  4. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dunno that I have a favorite per-se, but I did just aquire a Hammarlund HQ-180C off of E-bay. It's in good working condition except the top two bands - I've tested tubes and such, it's just hard to get the tuning cap sections cleaned up enough to achieve resonance.

    I like it for listening to SW and MW broadcast, but actually to use for operation? Just listening to a net for any length of time gives me a whole new respect for the OT operators for whom that was top of the line equipment.

    But I love the glow and warmth for just casual listening.

    But I'm not a collector - my Elmer has a few interesting military and BA radios, but I'm more interested in operating than collecting equipment.
  5. IW5CI

    IW5CI Ham Member QRZ Page

    i have several BA and i cannot say one is definitely better that another.
    Hammarlund SP-600 in wonderful for AM BC and NET listening, while Hammarlund 180A is not as good due to the AM filter that is too narrow.
    But HQ-180a is excellent in SSB.
    As HAM bands only receiver Drake r4b is excellent and not very big. Also R2b offers incredible performance in a neat and little body, but i love also my National NC-303 that is great in AM and SSB.
    And what to say about the kenwood hybrids? they work great.
  6. KE0ZU

    KE0ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is what I use daily. National HRO-60, Gonset GSB-100, NCL-2000 Amp, MFJ-986 tuner. Antenna is a 160m dipole, with 450 Ohm window line and a DX eng 1:1 balun.


    This setup gives me all modes 80 thru 10, but no warc bands. I also use a HQ-180 and NC-300 from time to time. I prefer the 180 for sideband, and either of the nationals for AM.

    This pic was taken about two years ago and all the transceivers are gone now. Wish I had kept the NCX-5 though.

    Here is another shot with the 180 installed.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Within the past 24 hours I have posted some new photos of my "boat anchors" shacks. Arnie hasn't been sleeping at the AM position for a couple of days and I need a new photo of him. Therefore, no photo of Arnie at the present time.

    For those who don't know who Arnie is: He is a domesticus felinus Americanus (a.k.a. "alley cat") who is snow white and adopted us almost 8 years ago. He likes to sleep at the AM position and when the Vibroplex "Original" is connected to a code practice oscillator he likes to "send" CW! Unfortunately, his spelling is atrocious!

    The URL is


    Glen, K9STH
  8. KC9OWM

    KC9OWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have anything that extensive, but I use a 101ex that I use daily on hf, and a good E model for a backup. I have a heathkit Comanche and Cheyenne mobile set that I rebuilt a couple of years ago. My AM stuff I have a tram D201 and 201A and a good working set of mark 3 brownings. I have a Icom 775dsp and haven't had it on for 3 months because the tubes keep me nice and warm in the shack. LOL As far as the amps go, on the hf side I also have a ncl 2000 and love that amp. when I got it, some one had screwed up the keying relay in it. I changed that out and it worked like a champ. I did how ever change out the caps just so it wouldn't hit so hard when it kicked in after the warm up delay. I have a 2100B waiting in the wings.
  9. AA3CS

    AA3CS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Favorite RX would be the R390A configured as the R-725/URR which was an R-390A with the R-390 IF deck, it was a pleasure to use and to work on. Favorite ham rig would be the KWM-2 and KWM-2A although I would really consider the hybrid Yaesu FT-901DM something of a boat anchor as well, I certainly love mine.

    73 - Chuck, AA3CS
  10. PH5E

    PH5E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Favorite all time, that's a hard one... Probably the Racal RA-17L. I don't own one, and if I ever come across an affordable example I'm not even sure I'd buy it. The valves are just way out of my league.
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