This image isn't very clear. I took it with a digital camera, but I don't think it was able to focus properly (possibly due to the very low light level). Even though it isn't very clear you can probably tell that the rig on the left is a Drake TR7A. Ever since I became a ham I had wanted Drake equipment (in high school I had used a TR4 which belonged to one of the Brothers). It doesn't have any bells and whistles but it performs beautifully. Actually when I bought it, I considered the digital display a 'modern' feature. Living in a townhouse I have to settle for 150 watts out that the TR7 provides.
I recently got excellent deal on a Ten-Tec Omni VI Plus, another long time dream of mine. Finally, I was able to get my Ten-Tec Titan shipped from New York. It had a rather rough ride to Chicagoland. Both the 3CX800A7 tubes were pulled from their sockets and bounced around a lot. I straightened the pins carefully (these tubes cost over $425 each), re-wound a damaged coil, and fired it up (holding my breath). It worked as good as the first day I got it - thanks Ten-Tec!
I hadn't done very much operating for several years since I wasn't able to erect outdoor antennas. However, my townhome association is very generous and gave me permission to erect one. Their guidelines were very stringent, but a Cushcraft R7000 met all the requirements. It's mounted on 30 feet of heavy duty galvanized pipe buried 3 feet in the ground, and attached to the house just below the roof line. So far it's survived 50mph gusts when it was loaded with ice and snow.
I've been dividing my operating time between CW and SSB (with some RTTY and PACTOR thrown in), but my CW has deteriorated seriously! So I'll need to polish that up quite a bit if I'm ever going to get my Extra ticket. Much of my operating is on the WARC bands (when will we stop calling them that?)- they're a haven from the horror of contests. Actually, since the WARC bands are so narrow, I think output power should be limited to about 200 watts. Hey, when 12 or 17 meters are open you don't really need that much power. When they're not open, no (legal) amount of power will help!