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YOUR FIRST RIG

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Your First Rig
Page 3

Recommendation #2 - Stay away from Drake, Swan, Siltronix and others that employ tubed receivers.

During the same period in which the Kenwood and Yaesu lines took off, a number of other popular transceivers were also manufactured, primarily in the US. Companies such as Drake, Swan/Siltronix, and Collins produced transceivers that continued to rely heavily on the use of tubes in the receiver section. By employing tubes throughout, the Drakes and Swans became susceptible to heat related parts degeneration and failures. Additionally, the TV sweep tubes incorporated as finals were expensive, fragile and highly susceptible to instability. Although the exceptional engineering of Collins equipment avoided many of the problems that tended to develop in the Drake and Swan lines, its price curtailed demand which ultimately limited the number of units manufactured during that period. Despite their comparative problems, however, the Drake and Swan lines continued to sell well during the mid to late 70s, due in large part to the aesthetic appeal of tubes, and the fact that they were manufactured in the US.



Kenwood TS830

At the same time that Drake and Swan struggled to stay alive, a few upstarts made their appearance - namely, Atlas and TenTec. Atlas produced a solid state HF rig that was small, compact and for the options it provided, expensive. It was capable of 100 watts out, utilizing a massive heat sink to absorb heat from any mismatch. Do in part to a market not yet ready for a radio the size and shape of a cigar box, that required a separate power supply, and that drifted badly during long transmissions, Atlas disappeared after only a few years. TenTec, on the other hand, promoted themselves as the low power specialists. With their well build solid state rigs eking out a mere 5 or 10 watts, TenTec literally gave birth to the popularity of QRP. Even their earliest units remain competitive today. Nevertheless, QRP is a facet usually reserved for those that have already established and perfected their HF operating skills with a little more power. If you're interested in QRP, we suggest that you save it for the next step, rather than try to make it your first step.

Recommendation #3 - Spend as much of your budget on the rig - the antenna will take care of itself.

To many this may sound like a strange approach, but look at it this way - a rig lacking in sensitivity and selectivity, or that drifts, shifts, or distorts your signal on transmit will never improve, no matter how much you invest in antennas. On the other hand, a rig with good sensitivity and selectivity, with a good clean signal, will allow you to work the world on even the simplest wire antenna.



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RF OUTPUT (TANK} CIRCUIT

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