I was thinking the other day how many receivers and transceivers have I owned over the years (well since 1996) and decided to do a quick list (see below). I was actually amazed to find that the total was 14 pieces of equipment.
Looking back I wish I had kept some of the older equipment particularly the Sommerkamp receiver and transmitter which were great heavy pieces of equipment but had oodles of power (200 watts) and treated correctly were a joy to use. The Murphy receiver was huge and heavy and I remember collecting it from a second hand shop and requiring the help of two others just to get it in to the back of the car! But once set up it proved to be one of the most sensitive receivers I ever owned.
The Howes was one of my very first kits and taught me so much about the intricacies of the receiver which was especially useful to me as at the time I was taking my amateur exams. Like many amateurs the FT 101ZD was my first transceiver, a wonderful rig, tough as they come and would happily take all the rough treatment a newbie could throw at it and still come out smiling.
The Kenwood 850 was given to me by an amateur friend. It had been damaged when his house had been flooded and he believed it to be in a pretty poor state. I took it apart and sure enough it was covered in a green gunge! I set to work thinking that I had nothing to lose and gave it a good clean and with a little patience it slowly came back to life. Unfortunately I never got the auto ATU to work, but for a freebie it was one great rig.
The TS 950SD was a nice rig, but unfortunately for me my Brother in Law had the SDX and we did a comparison, naturally the SDX won hands down and I promptly traded it in for the then fairly new 1000MP! Sadly for me I was the owner ot the 1000MP for a short period of time, it had to go fairly quickly as I had been made redundant from work. It was a real shame but money was tight and there was nothing I could do, I swore then that I would at some stage I would get hold of another one when I could afford it.
And when times did pick up about a year later I bought myself a Kenwood TS 570D, which was a great little rig, I say little because I’d been used to these larger radios and here I was with something half the size. But it packed a good punch and was a very good CW rig and really got me to follow CW in a serious way. Unfortunately though, through work and other family commitments I started to do less and less amateur radio, until I finally realised that there was lots of radio gear lying around not being used so I went QRT and sold off most of my equipment.
A few years later when I began to have some spare time again I started to get back in to the radio scene and bought myself a second hand FT 990. I can’t say enough about the FT 990, it’s wonderful rig built like a rock with an ATU that would tune a piece of wet string, but I always knew I’d end up with another FT1000MP and once I had heard that a friend was selling a MK V I knew I had to have it and sadly to finance the new rig the 990 had to go.
I’m pretty content now, although I would fancy a crack at building a K3 or maybe one day owning an FTdx 5000, well, I can dream can't I?
Howes DRX10 receiver kit
Yaesu FT 101 ZD
Sommerkamp FRdx-400 receiver
Sommerkamp FLdx-500 transmitter
Kenwood TS 850S
Yaesu FT 1000 MP
Kenwood TS 570D
Yaesu FT 990
Yaesu FT 1000 MP Mk V