My all time favorite rig is the K3. I’ve owned my rig since 2008, so its by far the longest I’ve had one rig. Its what got me to Honor Roll and even after all these years its still seems like quite the performer. I also love my KX3 for portable work, and previously loved my Ten Tec Orion II, but I will keep the list to just one product in each category. I know a lot of people have moved to Flex gear, but I have no desire to.
SPE Expert 1.3K FA amplifier. The best amplifier deal out there and as many others have mentioned “a game changer”. I’ll be dedicating a full blog post to this shortly. I had no intention on buying another amplifier, and was seriously looking at the new Elecraft KPA-1500 (since I love my KPA-500 and won’t sell it any time soon). For a tube amplifier, the ACOM 1500 is by far my favorite tube amplifier and was sad to see it go, but the road to Top of Honor Roll and 160M DXCC is a long and winding one equipment wise. Selling my car funded this.
The N6BT DXU-32 and AB-577 Tower combo. Best high AND low band (TX-RX) antenna system ever – hard to believe I had the “audacity” to put it up – but glad I did. Twas great to experience being one of the first ones on the West Coast to get through several massive pileups to very rare entities. I have no regrets selling it and switching to a low band station, and love both my “Mod Bob” and phased vertical arrays, but I have to admit – I was a “semi-big-boy” for a couple of years.
Remote switches – DX Engineering. Their 8 position remote switch is one item that I was really impressed with – and this DVA-40-P is not only a fantastic 40M phased array – but turned out to be a great 160M RX array.
Wellbrook ALA1530LNP receive only antenna. I’m still blown away by its performance, and more than a little embarassed that its was the last RX only antenna that I tried.
Palstar antenna tuners – any of them. They are by far the best “analog” / manual tuners out there.
Best SWL receiver – Palstar R30CC – for SWL and BCB DXing. It “hears” everything my K3 does, and its audio quality is like a tube receiver – very warm. It is better for AM broadcast stations than the K3, but I’ll take the K3 for CW.
Astron RS-35M linear power supply.
K3ZN – for my “touch”, Tony’s keys are my all time favorites.
I love my Koss Pro4S headphones – they are so well built (aluminum), are light, very comfortable, and sound the best for CW, SSB and even AM broadcast. Very clear, non fatiguing.
My favorite microphone, even though I am on CW twice as much as I am on SSB, SSB is still important in my DXCC goals. There are several ATNO’s that I have that were SSB only.
I did not use a rotator on the N6BT DXU-32 but used the AB-577 “spanner wrench” Armstrong style. I was much more comfortable with this because unless you buy a very expensive rotator, I just don’t trust the lighter duty ones. Because I usually park the yagi in the direction of a DXpedition, I say the heck with them and that they are just a failure point ready to happen. I don’t have one on my KY6R two element 20M home brewed yagi.
I have gotten my money’s worth out of this antenna analyzer 100 times over – its a wonderful piece of gear, and is really great with the Ant software.
The Fluke 115 is used all the time at Chez KY6R