KY6R “Playground” Shack

The New KY6R Shack – all set up for the “vintage” on the top shelf (National SW-3, Collins 75A4, 270-G3 Speaker, KWS-1), and the “new” ICOM IC-7300 on the bottom (far left). With the Geochron 4K and the new workbench area, I’ll be set when the KWS-1 comes back from being restored. N3ZN paddle, Begali Intrepid Bug and Astatic D-104 microphone. Missing from the picture are the NorCal40A and Red Hot 40 QRP rigs.

Its a ton of fun to have ended my DXCC chapter and now moving on to what I call a “playground” ham radio shack. I can experience several different genre’s now – and have a lot more variety than I did as a DXer:

  1. Vintage tube rigs – listening to the SW-3 regenerative receiver is pure joy – the marvel of a 1930’s 3 tube rig, and its “quirky” operation is like having a time machine. The engineering was so great all those years ago – its an amazingly sensitive rig. The Collins Gold dust Twins are the epitome of “hollow state” vintage rigs – and I am blown away by their performance and just how much fun they are. They have a “cool factor” that is off the scale. The KWS-1 transmitter, with 1 KW input using two beautiful little 3CX250B tubes is the best
  2. Begali Intrepid Bug – brings back my teenage years using CW as a “social network” with other teenaged hams up and down the East Coast. Brings back some of the very best ham radio memories for me
  3. QRP – the NorCal40A and Red Hot 40 rigs are “modern day vintage”
  4. ICOM IC-7300 – modern day fun – this rig by far – has more value than any other ham radio rig ever made. Its a wonderful piece of gear – and if you don’t need all the extra bells and whistles that higher end rigs offer – the IC-7610 in particular – then this sub $1000 rig is the cats meow

When 3Y0I comes on the air – I will use a borrowed AL-80B and set it up where my laptop is – and plug the 7300 into it and work another ATNO. DX-ing is now the farthest thing on my mind – but its nice to know I can DX when I want. Compared to the QRP rigs – the 100 watts from the 7300 is like QRO . . .

Oddly enough – I have been tuning around a lot lately and stumble on all kinds of interesting nets. Its a casual affair – but so soothing as compared to 17 years of manic DXing and DXCC. I’m going to love checking into vintage nets with the KWS-1 – that’s for sure. I’ve found that the vintage crowd is a lot like the QRP-ers – they are less appliance operators and more technical. They like to restore, build, etc and share their knowledge with a fun “show and tell” attitude.

Fun is the new drive here at KY6R.


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