One thing about hams. They like to discuss their radio equipment in loving detail.


I have an ICOM 756 that I like a lot. 160 through 6 meters, all modes. Since I am mostly on AM using vintage gear, I use the 756 mostly as a monitor receiver, a frequency standard, and for the occasional SSB contact.

I use a Marshall MXL-2001 studio condenser mike on AM. What a terrific sound for the price.

I experimented with ESSB for a few weeks in 2000, and quickly decided that AM was more to my liking. So the Marshall and my other audio chain items are now used exclusively with my vintage boatanchor gear.

The Marshall requires a 48 VDC phantom power supply, so I use an ART TUBE-MP mic preamp that supplies this voltage and lends a nice tube warmth to the audio courtesy of its little 12AX7 tube.

On AM, I run a balanced to unbalanced line right into my Viking Ranger's mike input.

Of course, all that tube warmth needs to be EQ'd or it sounds like mud. That's why I got the ART TUBE EQ, a nice little tabletop parametric equalizer that patches nicely into the TUBE MP.

I needed a little more poop, so I addded this Ameritron AL-811H that features four 811A tubes. I use this exclusively on AM.

Yep. Here's the doobies. I have an antique set of these Number 67007 Pyrex Antenna Insulators at the ends of my 66 foot "Inverted V" wire antenna. Wouldn't operate without 'em.

And here's the MFJ 962-D antenna tuner I use to feed the 450 ohm ladder line of the inverted V.

I run a 6 foot length of coax to this 4:1 Ladder Line Balun. The Centaur Ladder Line Balun is designed to match 50 ohm coax to 200 or 450 ohm ladder line. Ladder Line is connected to the two (2) #10 binding posts with wing nuts at the side. There's lots of controversy regarding the use of baluns, but for my application this works really well. I have no complaints!

I have a Bencher paddle and a couple of Nye-Viking keys , but this is my favorite. It's a World War II J-38 straight key. Signal Corps guys pounded these from the battlefields of Europe. I hear they used to sell for a dollar in the surplus stores of the 1950's. I bought mine for $35 recently via a surplus store on the internet. How times change.

And...last but not least...the backup rig. Or, more accurately, the rig that's not working that I intend to get fixed one of these days. It's an Icom 745 transceiver, vintage 1987. Quite the radio in its day, and still very good on the airwaves.


Oops. Almost forgot. Here's some of my mike collection...


 BOATANCHORS!...are on a separate page. To see what I've here.