I really enjoyed doing some minor restoration work on a National SW-3 Regenerative Receiver,
and the power supply for the Collins KWS-1 transmitter.
All of this gear is now sold and shipped – gone.
In our modern times, it’s quite a trip to take a jog through the past. Filament Voltage, High Voltage, etc. What was really cool was that these tube rigs and their schematics offered a basic electronics course that modern day circuitry cannot. Each of these pieces of vintage gear had room inside the chassis, so when I read the schematic diagrams and traced the parts and connections, it was so much easier than with modern day gear. The huge bonus was learning how to use both an oscilloscope and signal generator – especially with the KWS-1, which had superb test points on the chassis, and with voltage measurements documented that are normal for the rig – I as able to see that there was nothing electrically wrong with the rig (it wasn’t transmitting with output power). After a discussion with a nearby ham friend – he said “It can only be a mechanical problem at this point”). And that is exactly what was wrong. I fixed the problem and the rig transmitted per the W3HM specification.
I dove into this world for a year, but as far as operating and doing what I like to do – the modern gear is what I need – and the K3 with dual diversity and the Win4K3Suite fits me much better.
I pretty much broke even by buying and trading gear in conjunction with these old beauties, so I got an “expense paid education”. I don’t regret it one bit – but one thing I did learn – the number of collectors interested in this gear is dwindling as older hams go SK. I was lucky to even get something close in price for what I had in them, and the selling experience pretty much has me not wanting to try it again.
One and done – I’m happy I did it – but this gear is for serious “enthusiasts” and collectors.