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I've been an Amateur Radio operator since age 14.  It's a given that I would accumulate some old ham radio gear.  Each picture below is a link to a larger picture, plus more information and pictures in most cases.  Don't miss it.  Also, there's my ham radio Web site, W1JA.com.
 
Drake B Line (R-4B, T-4XB, L-4B, C-4, MN-2000)   1968
Click for B-line detailsClick for B-line details
In 1994 I was fortunate to find a virtually "new-in-the-box" complete Drake ham radio station, consisting of models R-4B, T-4XB, C-4, MS-4, L-4B and MN-2000.  The original owner stored the whole setup for decades after just a few hours of use.


Kenwood "Twins" S-599 / R-599 / T-599   1970
Click for more
As a younger ham, I lusted for the Kenwood twins, with their extruded brushed aluminum front panels and big weighted spinner tuning knobs.  Now, decades later, I can have them.  From left to right: the S-599 speaker, the R-599 receiver, and the T-599 transmitter.  As always, click on the picture to go to the detail page where, among other things, you can see a later version of these wonderful radios—the Kenwood D line.


Lafayette HA-230   1965
Click for moreMy Novice ham radio station consisted of the Knight-kit T-60 transmitter above, plus a Lafayette HA-63A receiver.  The HA-63A's performance was so incredibly poor as to be almost useless for making real ham radio QSOs (on-air conversations), so when I recreated my vintage Novice ham radio station, I substituted this similar HA-230.  The HA-230 is a slightly better performer, and together with the T-60 transmitter makes a barely functional station.  Back when I struggled with the HA-63A, I dreamt of owning a receiver like this one.
 
Drake transceivers TR-3 / TR-4CW-RIT   1963 / 1978
Click for more about Drake transceiversClick for more about Drake transceivers.
These two transceivers are very similar.  In fact, they're almost identical.  Only a few added "bells and whistles" on the TR-4 distinguish the two units, which bracket the time period during which this design was produced.  Fifteen years is a long time for a single design to remain in production.


Knight-kit T-60   early 1960s
When I was a Novice-class ham radio operator in 1968, my first transmitter was one of these.  So of course I had to have one in my vintage ham radio station.Click for more


Swan 500C   1968
Click for moreIn 1970, my ham radio friend Skip had a Swan 500C, and I was jealous.  Now I have one too.  Swan transceivers do one thing very well—SSB operation with potent power (500 watts).  They were very popular at the time because they were priced lower than most other SSB transceivers.  But to achieve this price point, features were left out:  Swans make poor CW transceivers, and they don't offer extras that were available in other radios at the time, such as receiver incremental tuning, variable selectivity, notch filter, and a noise blanker.


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