LOC: JM75gu - CQ WAZ Zone 15 - ITU Zone 28
At late sixties things were different as regards this great hobby. I do not remember transceivers at that time. Transmitters and receivers were used separate. Transmitters were homemade and surplus military receivers were used here in Malta, which were easily obtainable.
I designed and constructed a CW transmitter to operate from Topband, which is the 1.8MHz band to 28MHz band. SSB at that time, was in it's early stages and nearly all my contacts were made either in CW (Carrier Wave) or AM (Amplitude Modulation). Equipment design was made of valves (tubes). I remember my PA valve which was the rigid 807 glowing blue during my DXing late at night.
Frequency stability was not compatible with now-a-days ready-made transceivers. Our homemade sets needed at least ten minutes as a warm-up period to get stable.
Homemade construction was very popular, and in my opinion this is the real spirit in the hobby of Amateur Radio. Real satisfaction is achieved when equipment is constructed, finished and tested. I constructed a lot of necessary equipment, such as Antenna Tuning Unit, Standing Wave Ratio indicator, Grid Dip Meter and others. These necessities were a must for homemade construction. For those who can afford to buy these necessities was not a problem for sure I guess, but for me, it was. We were a poor family of five (My father passed away when I was eleven years old), and I had to do everything by myself.
Another aspect related to this fantastic hobby is antennas. Antenna construction, set-up and tuning are my number one favorite. I enjoy DXing in CW. Nearly all my QSOs are in this mode. But when digital modes were getting popular, I decided to go digital, SSTV RTTY and later PSK31, sending pictures with EasyPal and WSJT software.
My antennas are all homemade. Presently I have two on the roof. A 7MHz dipole which I use also on 21MHz as a three half waves, and a 14MHz Off Centre Fed Vertical. In my opinion the vertical is very good for DX and apart from it's low angle of radiation it is not a directional antenna. It covers 360 degrees. I find it a little bit noisy on receive. A two S points of noise is quite a lot when receiving a DX station.