If you haven't seen Steve's (NoTU) new web video....you owe it to yourself to take a gander at this one. The recent "ARRL Straight Key Night" was just for "communicating with character" and Steve (and his goats Peanut and Rooster) put together a shining example of how much fun can be had with old vintage CW gear.
You can see it by clicking here: Peanut & Rooster Adventures
I'm familiar with some of these rigs and the first I had on the air was a Viking Adventurer that was loaned to me by a friend. I've also used some Heathkit and Drake equipment with surprising results but I didn't have the technical knowledge to maintain them. I traded them in for "solid state" light weight gear that I can easily use in the field.
Steve's video shows a wide selection of "Straight Keys" used in the contest and he did an excellent job producing this film. I always look forward to reading about his hiking and camping adventures in the Colorado mountains. He's a great radioman with outstanding survival skills.
I've never worked Steve (N0TU) in the Colorado mountains but have worked several others in this area who were backpacking and camping with QRP gear. It just can't seem to catch him in the right place at the right time.
I've also worked two of the stations on his video... (VE3CGC and WA8REI) One was driving his Winnebago in Michigan and the other was at his home in Canada. Both were operating QRP and using straight keys when I talked to them.
One of these days I'll catch Steve while he is camping and hiking with the goats....until then I'll have to be content watching those great videos. I keep a permanent link on the right hand side of this page that makes it easy to keep up with his hiking trips.
You gotta keep a close eye on those goats...they're ornery!