Where do all the radios go?

Just one regret - selling the FT-736R (6/2/70/23) to purchase the FT-857D.

I too have never had an Icom rig.

Hi Gerald,

IMHO, If you’re prepared to forgive the weight and need for heavier batteries, an FT-857 is the finest SOTA rig available. Despite the fairly hefty 700 quid price tag these days, there’s nothing on the market that comes even close to this rigs performance.

73 Mike

List of HF rigs owned by M1BUU since licensed in 1997 -

FT817, bought new in April 2001 for £799 along with leatherette case, £19.95.

Along the way I was given a non working 1970s Yaesu FT101 in original box. The rig is still in.the box!

The FT817 is still providing good service and apart from very slight fading on the ‘F’ key and a shiny VFO knob, it looks like new. (Yes, it does get used, I lugged it up Fountains Fell for the NA-EU event)


All these radios come to me. :wink:
Just the other day I got a well-working TS-711. A real bargain. It’s from an inheritance. The same way I got my FT-847 and FT-7800 in 2012. Another bargain.
In 2012 I bought a second-hand FT-857D that I mounted in my campervan. Two years later Carolyn infected me with SOTA and it’s been my rucksack radio from then on. I had to fill the space in the van with another FT-857D which I also got second hand.
In July I found an ad in a radio forum and couldn’t resist, so I got the FT-290RII including the battery pack and amplifier/brackets. Needs a bit of a re-alignment, seems.


It’s 32 years, actually - and still going strong. I was using it this morning. I bought it second hand in 1985 when I was GW3NYY. The secret is that I have never used it in the SSB position. I keep it permanently switched to the CW position, which uses reduced plate voltage. It will still comfortably give 400 watts o/p in any mode in that position. I have replaced the tubes once … about 5 years ago. They are now 3-500ZG tubes with graphite anodes. For some unknown reason, RF-Parts in California have stopped exporting the 3-500ZG’s! They will sell them only inside the USA.

As for cars, I usually buy a car when it is about 1 year old and then keep it for a minimum of 5 years.

Walt (G3NYY)

I agree about the FT-857. That is my main SOTA rig. I also have an FT-817ND. They didn’t appear in my list of equipment because I only ever use them portable.

Walt (G3NYY)

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I tend to agree, although sometimes its tendency to cross modulation can be annoying. I use it as my main rig at home, and for the less strenuous SOTA outings.

My list Of rigs:

Homebrew 70 cms rig using QQV02-6s tripler and amplifier, AM, with homebrew double conversion valve receiver (well, it was 1964!) This was replaced by a homebrew tripler/amp using QQV03-20As (later revalved with QQV06-40As.)
When 2 metres was made available to G8s in 1968 I built a QQV06-40A rig for the band, and used a nuvistor converter on the receive side.
When the geographical band plan came to an end and FM was channelised I didn’t fancy that very much, or the repeaters that started to pop up all over the place, and got a Liner-2 for SSB. This was replaced a few years later by an FT-290R1 used with various linears, and a liner-430 was found at a reasonable price.
In 2002 I got an FT-817 to get back on the air after a gap of several years due to family distractions. This was used from home with a 25 watt linear. After a few years it was part exchanged for an FT-857D.
In 2006 I got a TS-520 because I liked the look of it, it was fun to operate!
A few years ago I got an FT-290R1 for £5 at a local club junk sale for old times sake.

Thinking about it, I have used and replaced far more antennas than rigs!

[quote=“dg7acf, post:23, topic:16374”]All these radios come to me. :wink:
And to me, too. :innocent:
Well, my only new rig was the first one - an… FT-857D (unexpected choice, no?)
All the others were bought second hand from FN or from eBay or directly from some contacts in DL. And there is a small list in my shack. But I look always for well maintained rigs, some of them still looks and works like new, even an FT-7 made in 1979. If I like the rig it will be part of my small collection. If not, I will sell it to other ham.
A lot of these rigs are sold as second-hand stuff to hams in countries where the price of a new rig is just too high. You cannot imagine how much joy a second hand but good rig can bring to a poor ham!

I ignored the homebrew rigs Brian. QQVO3/10’s initially, to a QQVO3/20A modulated by a pair of EL34’s Never quite got to a QQVO6/40A - I was given a brand new gold pinned one and my mother accidentally knocked it onto the floor…

Receivers were an HRO MX, then a Sommerkamp FR-100B. Converters to designs by G3PRX and DL6HA.

That’s what I use for the NA<>EU S2S events when it is worthwhile carrying the extra weight (primarily the batteries), but I should really have bought a secondhand one, waited to purchase a CW filter and kept the FT-736R. You live and learn. :frowning:

That can cause some non-linearity apparently if you drive it hard. But since it’s actually a 1kW amp we never do drive them hard in the UK do we :wink:

I’ve got an old one I brought about 2 years ago in very sad condition, I got it back to usability (the valves were okay) and I’m slowly bringing it back to A1 condition.

It’s brings joy to rich hams too!

I noticed there is a serious bit of “shiny shiny” for sale on eBay UK. I’ve never seen one in the flesh or known anyone who had one. But a TM742E is on offer. That is a dual band 2/70cms FM radio with options for 6m/23cms/10m modules. This has 6m and 23cms fitted. It will command a silly price for what it is (20-25yr) old radio simply because it is so rare. So how many did Kenwood make and sell worldwide? 100? 1000? 10000?

Yeap, I have one of these. A very rare combination of 11m/2m/70cm which is perfect for a ham’s car. Just a 2-way splitter and two antennas, and you are on-air. Great rig, wonder why Kenwood stops the production for this kind of rigs…

My list of rigs also does not have an Icom in it!

I started with an FR50B - Which still works, although when compared with a modern reciever it does leave a bit to be desired ( 1977 until present - and worked first time when turned on afrer a 10 year gap! )

Then it was matched with an FL100B ( 1979 - 1981 ). Now operating that combination on SOTA would be a challenge, not only in getting the supply current, but even managing to lift the 16Kg Transmitter onto a bench was a challenge let alone up the smallest hill.

That was then swopped for a TS520, which one day, carefully will be powered up after a twenty year break. ( 1981 until present - but unused between 1997 and now!)

I also have a battered looking TS 2200GX - ( 1980 until present - but not used since about 1990 )

Since rediscovering ham radio I have the 817ND, and having discovered that getting time on the hill was harder than anticipated I added at FT 450D which squeezes in the office for home use.

Hoping to aquire an FT270 and get up some lake district fells in the new year without the worry of trying to keep things dry-ish.

The biggest thing I have noticed after a 20 year break is how quiet the bands are. I don’t remember 160m being so empty on a winter evening. I cant speak for VHF ( The QTH here can’t even get Band II FM when the BBC have rather large masts and use 250Kw - so no chance of any reception unless there is someone in the garden…) .



In my SWL years I used to listen to daytime contacts on Top Band, there was a lot of mobile activity. At night it was rare to hear anything but Loran, it was a terrible racket, worse than the modern electronic smog! In those days I had Ex WD receivers, an R1155B and an R1155N (the model that covered Top Band) and a TCS3.

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Loran did not extend down to the CW part of Top Band. It was possible to use 1800 - 1850 kHz on CW completely free from non-amateur QRM. (Yes, the UK band did start at 1800 kHz in those days!)

Walt (G3NYY)

Neither did I!:wink:

Well, look what you were missing.

And still am!:grinning: In the mid to late 1950’s I was using a homebrew 1V1 Rx on top band as at that time I had an R1155B which didn’t cover the “trawler band” but later I got an R1155N which did. The TRF wasn’t good for CW and in any case I didn’t try to learn it until about 1962 after I passed the RAE.

Dear all,
A good lot of ham radio stuff owned by a ham colleague of mine, almost or totally unused is now for sale, so there’s a chance for some of these rigs to get back to life.
Should any of you be interested in some of these, send me a PM or an e-mail to mycall (at) hotmail (dot) com and I’ll let you now the price and other details.

12V - 25A Grelco Power supply

Yaesu FT-4700

Antenna tuner Viking MB-V-A 3KW

Antenna tuner MFJ-902h

Antenna Butternut HF-9

Daiwa active filter AF-306

Kenwwod low pass filter IF-30a

Kenwood MC-80 microphone

Heilsound Proset-5 hc5 element

Dual band V/UHF FM tranceiver Kenwood TM-733e

Power Supply Kenwood PS-430

Power Supply Kenwood PS-50

Transceiver Kenwood TS-440

Coax antenna switch Daiwa CS-401



Turner +3B hand mike

As Club secretary for 20 years I would say the first time many rigs see the light of day is at Silent Key Sales.

My kit is as follows:

19set (out of mil wrappings) Rx only sold for £3 10s 1972
R107 (out of mil wrappings) Rx only sold 1981
Eddistone 940 Rx only sold 1983
RA17 caught fire scrapped 1988
TS520 sold to needy cause 1990 (dreadful RX)
TH7 handie, scrapped 2002
Home brew 40m 100W cw qsk rig in service
FT480R used on many summits pre-SOTA given to needy cause 2007
TS 440 Retired after many IOTA trips, but working, used for Scouts to use as a RX on JOTA
Ten Tec Orion in service since 2009
IC 92D handie. still in service after 330 Wainwrights and several gravity incidents
IC 2820 In daily service on VHF
FT857 SOTA workhorse, in service

The Snowdrops in my garden are wilting with the cold! Brrr


The asking price for some rigs on eBay is just astounding. People are asking £350+ for average performance 30+ year old rigs. Absolute madness when you can get much better performance new with a 2 year warranty for not that much more.

I had to laugh when someone advertised an FT 290Mk1 as “Very rare Yaesu FT290”! Very rare indeed. Much like the very rare Toyota Corolla or very rare VW Beetle!