HF Radios

Heathkit HW-101

My father bought me this radio when I was 15. It was a kit of course, and I built it in about 2 weeks. Not unlike an exam you thought you aced only to find out you hadn't, I fully expected this radio to work the first time I applied power. Well it didn't, and my father spent another $300 (1977 dollars) to have HeathKit fix it for me. This radio had a pair of 6146 vacuum tubes in the final and easily produced the 180 watts it was supposed to. I used it mostly on the 40 meter CW band. It was so long ago, and three was so much turmoil in my family in my late teens, I don't remember what happened to this radio.

Kenwood TS-450S/AT

I've owned two of these radios. The first was an early serial number, the 2nd was much later. I found good deals on both and purchased a few missing hardware pieces. I consolidated the IF filters into the newer radio, used it for a few months and then sold both. This rig was all solid state with 100 watt final and came with a built in tuner. I might try to find one of these to keep as a backup rig.

Kenwood TS-480SAT/HX

I've owned two of these radios as well. The first was an SAT model (100 Watt and an internal tuner) which had an early serial number. It had the well known issue where the mic ground was swapped with the chassis ground. I then bought an HX (200 Watt - no tuner) which came bundled with an LDG ProII 200 automatic tuner. I consolidated the accessories I wanted to keep into the HX and sold the SAT. I decided on the 200 Watt radio because the internal tuner was a little limited in range and the external tuner could also be placed closer to the antenna (on battery power) which eliminated most of the feed-line from the system. I sold the HX in 2015 and became a FlexRadio enthusiast.

FlexRadio Systems Signature Series 6300

I was nearly ripped off by an Internet scammer posing as another ham for a Flex Signature Series 6300 radio. By the time I'd realized I was about to be ripped off for nearly $2,000 US (and recovered) I'd read so much about the Flex Signature Series radios that I was hooked. I bought a used one (from a real Ham this time) and then bought the Automatic Antenna Tuner module new from Flex Radio Systems. The flexibility and extra features are bar-none. This is the way of the present, and future.

Funny how the radios get more expensive as the names get longer. Hmmm.