Heathkit SB-102
Manufactured from 1970 - 1975

The Heathkit SB-102 was a local hamfest find in September 2009 .   The SB-102 has full output and has been connected to the Heathkit SB-200 amp.   An Electrovoice 638 Microphone, Heathkit SB-200 Speaker, Heathkit PS-23-A Power Supply, Heathkit HM-102 SWR/Wattmeter and brass straight key complete the station.   The rig was getting hot and shutting down so I connected a  12v brushless fan  pulled from a computer power supply to aid in cooling of the tubes.  Runs cooler and works great.

Heathkit SB-200 Ham Radio Amplifier Project - Winter 2009
Manufactured from 1964 - 1978

I got this SB-200 on ebay in December '08 that was a candidate for a rebuilding project.  It came with a new power supply kit and soft start module.  I also ordered the soft key interface from Harbach Electronics so I can interface it with a modern rig.   The band switch was frozen and was replaced with a good band switch that came with the amp.  The band switch was cleaned in a solution of Brasso, hand cleaner pumice and dishwashing detergent then allowed to dry.  Contact cleaner was then sprayed on the moving parts.  This was my first band switch removal/replacement and although it was time consuming it wasn't much of a problem to replace.

The power supply was rebuilt and installed.  By the end of January '09 I was ready to start on the soft start and soft key modules.    In February I built and installed the soft start and soft key modules.   A couple of old paper capacitors were replaced with new modern electrolytics on the bottom of the chassis.    An initial test in early February showed the transformer was good with 2700 HV.  Then on February 22, 2009 the old amp was brought back to life again.  2600 HV with idling current at 50mA which is a little low.   On 80 meters the amp will do 700 watts at 450mA plate current.    So the tubes are good.

I hooked the amp up to a Yaesu FT-840 and the amp immediately keyed and distorted the receive audio on the FT-840.  The problem was traced to the soft key interface which either was bad or installed incorrectly.  Maybe the old amp just wanted to be connected to a rig of the same era!   I removed the interface and the amp works great.  So it is...this is now is part of my vintage Heathkit station I have been assembling over the past 5 years.  A Heathkit HW-100 is driving the SB-200.  Audio is heard through a Heathkit SB-600 speaker and a Heathkit HM-102 SWR/Wattmeter is inline for power measurements.

                                              BEFORE RESTORATION                                                                         AFTER RESTORATION


Heathkit HW 100 with HP-23A Power Supply
Manufactured from 1968 - 1970

Found this rig on ebay in '06 and just needed a little adjustment to the bias voltage & relays cleaned.   Tunes up nicely on all bands with 125 watts output.  5 band SSB/CW Transceiver.  Still working great 4 years later.

Heathkit DX-40
Manufactured 1958 - 1960

No longer have this rig, but it was fun to restore the DX-40!   This vintage AM/CW Ham Radio  appeared it had been in storage a number of years.  It was dirty and had a mud dauber nest inside.  I replaced 2 paper electrolytic caps with modern electrolytic cans (40MF-450V).   I know that is not original replacements, but I am more interested in functionality at this point.  Got some rubber feet for the bottom of the cabinet.    I have repaired the power light,  did some rewiring including coax for RF, a new PL-259 and rewired the meter.  All tubes test good.   Buffed the RF shields with a dremel tool attachment.   A better looking front panel has been installed and the knobs have been thoroughly washed.  I found a crystal door for the rear cabinet.  Repainted the cabinet using wrinkle paint from Auto Zone & Smoke Gray spray paint  from Wal-Mart.  Powers up with output of about 40 watts.   Operates CW & AM on 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters, 15 meter, 10 meters and 11 meters.

Heathkit HW-8
Manufactured 1976 - 1983

I found this one in 2005 at a local hamfest along with the original manual, power cord and a copy of The Hot Water Handbook  for $35 untested.  It did need some repair work.      It would receive, but had absolutely zero output.  Several incorrect transistors, a cracked Zener diode and a suspicious looking RF choke were discovered.  The RF choke resembled (on a smaller scale) a brillo pad with a stick stuck through it.

I replaced 3 transistors in accordance with original specifications along with a 2N4427 Final transistor and a new 36 volt Zener diode.  I couldn't find a 350uH choke so I substituted a 1000 uH choke.  Resistance on the new choke was 15 ohms whereas the 350 uH was 11.7 ohms...close enough.  Some low voltage readings on IC2 which is the audio filter & pre amp so a new LM3900N was also installed.  Alignment followed and output is approximately 1.5 watts on all bands.  Operates CW on 75/80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters and 15 meters.

Page updated December 9, 2014