Well Dave I did it. I have a HF rig now. Sorta. You know I have a thing for the boat anchors and I finally picked up a tech special (in my price range!) 37+ pounds of late 1970's hybrid Kenwood fun. Repairs are going well so far. I have neither mic nor bug (or skills) so I won't be joining you guys this week, but maybe soon.
I've keyed up to a dummy load and I think it will actually transmit now. The valves were replaced in 1997 and I replaced the driver tube last weekend. The new tube fixed the falling drive after a few seconds of transmit problem.
The lack of a proper antenna is also a problem I'll have to overcome. With a 20/40 dipole strung up across the back yard on the fence I can hear the west coast quite well. I've heard some south America and some eastern Europe too. I don't have much to compare receive performance to since I've never done any of this before, but I'm learning from the ckt. board up. kinda like having to assemble my first car before I could learn to drive!