Fortunately a friend nearby suffers from the same problem. He holds a German class "E" license which restricts him to a limited selection of ham bands, while I have an "A" license, permitting full access to all ham bands. So the wonderful Pixie I assembled a little while ago is not an option here.
We both have shortwave rigs, but neither of us has a proper antenna out there, nor does the bulky equipment have a very good WAF in our families.
So 2m sounded like a great option to get back into CW, with the added benefit of not exposing half the continent to our noobish morse code.
I do own a used, mid 80s (that's 1980s, for you young whippersnappers) Sommerkamp branded Yaesu FT-290R VHF multi-mode rig. I hadn't used that for over ten years.
The NiCad batteries (from around 2000), are still undergoing the "alive" procedure in my old Conrad Charge Manager 2000 which will take about a week for the 8 cells.
An other problem caused more pain: The foam padding in the battery compartment had turned into a black, gooey substance that was about to work it's way into the NiCad's plastic tubing.
I had to sctatch that off with a spudger and wipe everything clean.
|Half liquified foam
|Foam residue everywhere
Apart from that, this thing is built like a tank and deserves a "they don't make 'em like that any more" rating.