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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Soul in the Old Machine: HW-101 Saved From Workshop Cannabilism


Most of our correspondents did not like the idea of me trying to convert my Heath HW-101 into a BITX-101.  But, thinking that I still might to this,  I decided to take the old rig off the shelf and see what it looked like.  I liked the looks of it -- lots of space, simple circuitry,  nice belts and gears for turning the many variable capacitors, no black box ICs.  I could see traces of my earlier repair adventures -- electrolytic caps that had been replaced, the plastic dial clutch that I'd "fabricated" myself.  Then I decided to try to fire it up. Hey, the receiver sounded very good.  Next thing you know, I was getting the transmitter going.  Then I was working DX on 20.  By the end of the afternoon, I knew there was no way I would be tearing this old rig apart.  There is simply too much soul in this old machine. 

More on this in SolderSmoke 154....




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5 comments:

  1. I have some resources for parts if you're looking to get it ship-shape.

    Looks like Ralphs Electronics is now out of the Amphenol mic connectors (cord-mount and panel-mount), but part numbers are there.

    http://www.km5z.us/HW-101_refurb.php

    Mike Y, KM5Z
    Dallas, Texas

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  2. i have mine in storage somewhere in Deepest Texas (safer than Deepest Queens, I suppose). Anyway, the belts are all corroded. I would love to bring it down to GDL. NOT the "poor man's Collins": just a Heathkit. But, as you say, they have the personal imprint, or soul. BTW watsa about the CAnadian astronaut who played guitar on the ISS?

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  3. I've got a similar Heathkit trx tucked away. It doesn't work. You've convinced me to get it out and get it going. I was going to gut it and create a new trx using the box and the controls, but no more...

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  4. Thanks Mike, but I think I'll stick to the mic jack mod.

    gxg: That Canadian can sing! And guitar!

    Dominic: FB OM. Another Heathkit saved!

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  5. I built my HW-101 from the kit back in the late 1970s. I sold it when I went into the Navy. The guy I sold it to contacted me a few years ago and said I could have it back if I paid shipping. So I did. I have been restoring it ever since. Repainted, new tubes, new dial, new reduction drive. Also handmade a main tuning knob out of a solid block of aluminum that looks stock. I just kept green part of an old knob. The added weight makes it tune very smoothly. Also working on a HQ-120 receiver. Old rubber turns into concrete.

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