Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I guess there's SOMETHING, in every Ham's career, that he regrets parting with. In my case it was my venerable Heathkit HW-8. I sold that little rig probably about 15 years or so ago; and I still regret it to this day.
It was the mid 90s; and we were running another one of our Piscataway Amateur Radio Club annual auctions. We needed material and I had just recently figured out how to get my Icom IC-730 to go down as low as the 100 milliWatt level. So who needed that HW-8 at that point? I had a first class QRP rig for all intent and purpose; with a receiver section that literally blew the HW-8 out of the water. Foolishly, I brought it to the auction and got some ridiculously low price for it.
In my case, the regret wasn't immediate. It probably really started in earnest when the HW-8 started earning cult-like popularity. I had built it myself; and I still get nostalgic for it. I fondly remember regularly working Europe with its 2 Watts into a homebrew magnetic loop antenna that I had built from an article that I had read in 73 magazine. It was small, portable and light. I was able to keep it on the nightstand by my bed; and whenever I got a hankering to operate (or couldn't sleep) my HW-8 was turned on and I was working the world (back in the days when there WERE actually sunspots!).
Was it the best radio I have ever had? Not by a longshot. But I had built it; and didn't realize the connection I had with it until after it was gone. Maybe that's the "kitbuilder's / homebrewer's bane", in that we tend to consider our efforts more like kids than radios. They do become hard to part with; or maybe it's just that I'm an old sentimental sap. Probably that's it!
It's nice to see that these little gems still garner a nice price on eBay. Around $150.00 (plus or minus) will get you one. I would never bid on one, though; but I sure would like to have MINE back!
73 de Larry W2LJ