Year: 1965, Place: Iselin, New Jersey
While attending Middlesex County Vocational
and Technical High School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, for Electronics, I
obtained my first Ham license. I earned my Novice license and
was assigned the call WN2TCL. About a year later I upgraded to Technician
and had my call changed to WB2TCL. Those who remember this time know that
you had to upgrade or lose your license. Novice licenses were good for only
My shack was in the basement of my mother's
house. I didn't have much money, so my equipment initially
consisted of a Heathkit Twoer, one crystal, and dipole that was taped up on the
wall. Over the years I expanded on that and added a Nuvistor converter and
a general coverage receiver. This was a great setup and, believe it or not,
I had hundreds of contacts. No big DX, but lots of contacts. VHF/AM,
what a wonderful mode. Well, I don't let loose of equipment easily so, yes,
I still have all of it. After a few years, between school and working,
I didn't have much time to get on the air and let Amateur Radio drop for a
few years. Going to college full time and working full time didn't leave
much time for anything else.
Year: 1980, Place: Phoenix, Arizona
I moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1975 but didn't get active in Amateur
Radio until 1980. I was doing some contract work in Germany when I
next re-upped my license. I acquired the call of WB2RQE. There I was
able to get a reciprocal license and operated as DA2EU. This was kind
of nice because a US Novice/Technician license translated to a German
Class A license. Full privelages on all bands.
While in Germany, I purchased a
Heathkit HR-1680 Receiver and HX-1681 Transmitter. Then I added a HD-1410
Electronic Keyer. This turned out to be a great setup and gave
me hundreds of contacts again.
Year: 1984, Place: Phoenix, Arizona
When I got back to Arizona I swapped my "2" area call sign for a "7" area
call sign, KB7EQS. Mostly I ran the Heathkit 1680/1681 combo into a simple
dipole. I decided to finally go for the gold, my Extra Class license.
Throughout the upgrade process I didn't bothered changing my call and
finally passed all the necessary tests. But then, the FCC started to
mess around with the licensing requirements again. It was in the works
to lower some of the code requirements. Well, they lowered the code
requirements and changed the licensing structure. So, figuring that
there were going to be a bunch of new Extra Class operators around, I
thought that it was time to go for a vanity call, while there were still
some good choices available. As you see I chose K7MEM. The MEM are my
initials and this call turns out to be real nice on SSB and CW.
Year: Present, Place: Peoria, Arizona
Well, I have some newer equipment but I still have, and use, all the old
equipment mentioned above. As I go along I will try to add some pictures.
(Nice picture here when I get the chance)
- Heathkit HR-1680 Receiver, 80 - 10 Meters, Ham bands only.
- Heathkit HX-1681 Transmitter, 80 - 10 Meters, CW Only,
100 Watts Output (80 Watts on 10 Meters)
- Heathkit PS-23 Power Supply for the HX-1681
- Heathkit HD-1661 Matching Speaker
- Heathkit HD-1410 Electronic Keyer
- Heathkit HM-102 SWR/Power Meter
This is the setup I use the most.
Except for the HM-102, the setup is in mint condition, physically and electrically,
even though it's now over 20 years old. The 1680/1681 combination runs
full-breakin which makes CW opeation a pleasure. Even though I did pass
the 20 WPM Extra CW test, I don't run much faster then that. So I made a
simple modification to change the speed range of the HD-1410. I will
include this in my project section, when I get the chance.
Next to that is my HTX-100 and HM-2102. This is a 10 Meter
SSB/CW Transceiver that runs 35/5 Watts. The HM-2102 is a lower power version
of the HM-102 SWR/Power Meter. I'm not to crazy about the CW operation of the HTX-100,
but it works greate on SSB. I have the original PTT microphone but I usually
use my D-104. I have used it mobile with a little 3 foot mag mount from
Radio Shack and it worked great. But, after a while you realize that this
is right up there with using a cell phone when you drive. Very distracting.
So,I took the HTX-100 and put it in a cabinet along with a home brew power
supply. I'll place a few pics and a drawing of the power supply in the project
section, when I get the chance.
For CW QRP operation I have a Heathkit HW-8 and HW-7
They both run 3-5 watts output, CW only. The HW-8 works on 80, 40, 20, & 15 Meters.
The HW-7 is modified to run on the 30, 17, and 12 Meter WARC bands. Neither
of these rigs are in great physical shape. Not collector quality, by any streach
of the imagination, and electrically, both of them have modifications.
I will include this in my project section, when I get the chance. Along with
these units I have a separate MFJ audio filter and MFJ QRP Antenna Tuner.
An then below is a list of some of the other
equipment that I have.
- Heathkit SB-101 Transceiver, 80 - 10 Meters, SSB/CW,
100 Watts Output (80 Watts on 10 Meters). I inherited this from a friend
for doing a bunch of radio related work for him. He doesn't really have
the knowledge to keep these old boatanchors working properly. I also have
the HP-23 High Voltage Power Supply and the matching speaker.
- Heathkit HO-10 Signal Monitor. This needs some work. I can
get a trace on the screen, and it does operate, but everything is a little
distorted. Probably it needs to have some of it's power supply capacitors
- Heathkit DX-40 Transmitter, 80 - 10 Meters, AM/CW. This is
intended to be used with the SB-10 and VF-1 listed below. The DX-40 will
need a bia supply added to change the output from Class C to Class AB2
for SSB operation.
- Heathkit SB-10 SSB Modulator to be used with the
DX-40 listed above.
- Heathkit VF-1 VFO to be used with the
DX-40 listed above.
- Lafayette HE-30, 0.5 - 30 MHz General Coverage Receiver.
I actually have two of these, one for spare parts. My original one had
a cracked glass so I bought a junker at a swap meet for parts. I used this
for a long time with the Amplidyne 2 Meter converter listed below. It
wasn't the best setup in town but it did the job.
- Amplidyne 2 Meter Nuvistor Converter. This is a rather
interesting unit. For those who are unfamilair with Nuvistors, they are
little tiny, metal encased, tubes. From the outside they look like big
transistors with a bunch of flimsy connection wires.
- Heathkit AM-2, 2 Meter Converter. I bought this at
a swap meet but haven't had the chance to see if it works yet. It's in
great condition and I only paid $5.00 for it. All I need is a small
- Heathkit HW-29, Sixer, 6 Meter AM Transceiver, 5 Watts.
I got this from one of my old high school teachers, Mr. Tucker. 6 Meters
is kind of fickeled and so I didn't do a lot of operating. There were two
models for the HW-29. When the HW-29 was first designed, it used 50 MHz
crystals. But these turned out to be pretty expensive so Heath redisigned
it to run with cheaper 8 MHz crystals. Mine is the kind that uses 50 MHz
- Heathkit HW-30, Twoer, 2 Meter AM Transceiver, 5 Watts.
This was my first real rig. Initially I used the build in regenerative
receiver but, after I got a converter and general coverage receiver, I disabled
it. This setup worked very well for many years. I only have one crystal for
it so I may try to modify the VF-1 to cover the 8 MHz frequency range.