I was sitting in the living room Saturday morning, turned my Magnum-257 10 meter rig on, and spun the dial to see if there was any activity. To my surprise, there was. Now, this is the older version of the 257, which makes it basically a RS HTX-10. 25 Watts on USB, and minimal features. Connected to the Magnum is a very simple wire antenna, thrown into a tree close to the apartment, and a counterpoise out on the roof. I heard IK6CWQ calling from Italy. I picked up the mic, and responded, not expecting to be heard, and was surprised when he acknowledged. Not bad for this meatball setup I have. I tried another Italian station I heard calling, but at that point news of the opening caused a bit of a pileup, which I just couldn’t dig my way through with the Magnum. Still, I was pleased with the one contact. The opening dropped out pretty soon after that.
My first HF contact ever was on that radio. Back in January, when I first bought it, I drove to the South Shore here on Long Island and parked near the ocean. Using the Magnum with a modified 11 meter whip, my first contact was with France, followed by a 10 minute rag-chew with a ham in New Mexico. I wish every other new ham such good luck! Since that day, I have made 30 additional contacts on that rig. Usually from near the highest point on Long Island (a whopping 400 feet AMSL!), or near the ocean. I’m definitely keeping the Magnum. No matter what else I invest in, it has sentimental value now.