Yaesu VX-6R tri-band HT. Bought one for myself and my wife when we got our tickets together 9 years ago. Picked that model because of its size, features (900 alpha memories, scanning,etc), build quality, good reviews and wide receiver coverage (500kHz - 999 MHz).
Still have them and still use them at least once a week.
At the time, it was -the- portable radio to have.
Being new to amateur radio, I didn't know much, and felt I "needed" to have the best.
Good radio, and at the time it did a lot of neat stuff.
I sold it after several years when my activity level dropped off.
Those green headphones were a real pain to use. I don't have the receiver, but have fond memories of building it, being fascinated, and led me to the library full of decade old ARRL books, code tapes etc.
Passing that test, the next year I received a Heathkit HW-101 HF transceiver kit - I suppose THAT was my first amateur radio. Spent a year hinting my folks about it and it paid off!
I built this Heathkit SB-102 station seen here in early 1974 before I had my Novice license so that I could copy Morse Code off of the airwaves to learn the new language (to me anyway :lol: ). I would practice sending with a straight key by transmitting into a dummy load at virtually no drive on the finals (a matched pair of 6146Bs). In June 1974, I received my Novice license with the callsign of WN4JQX.
I still have the setup and it is still on the air for events like Novice Rig Roundup (NRR) and Straight Key Night (SKN). Hope to catch some of the other folks with nostalgic rigs on one of those events.
My interest in ham radio was kindled by listening to NTS nets on 2 meters. My first rig was the Icom IC-22S, given to me by the then Net Manager of the Western District Net. It sat on my shelf with the microphone in a drawer until I passed my first exam.
A Baofeng got me into the TX side of the hobby. I used it for FRS and decided I might as well get licensed in case I wanted or needed to use it on the amateur bands. I still have it, but it is relegated to transmitter hunt duty. My first QSO was on SO-50 using that Baofeng and the stock antenna.
I upgraded to General within the month and my first HF simultaneous radio purchase was a Kenwood 480-SAT and Yaesu 817ND, both which I still use day-to-day. Like a tool in the tool box, each has it's specific use.
Ham Radio? Well, no, I wasn't old enough! My first radio was a crystal set - I was about eight years old and I got it for Christmas present. Dad was not happy with me leaving his downstairs big radio tuned to some weird station in mid Europe and so he got his friend Fred Turner G3VI to modify this crystal set to get the 49m band which in the early 50's was jumping with propaganda and clandestine broadcasts in the height of the cold war. A long wire down the length of the back garden bought in all sorts of signals.....