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Thursday, October 8, 2020

HA-600A Gets a New Coat of Paint -- After Almost 50 years!

 


The HA-600A that I picked up last week was looking kind of sorry.  There was a lot of rust on the cabinet.  Below is the before picture. 

I'm not really into cabinetry or radio aesthetics, but it is amazing what a 6 dollar can of spray paint can do. Formula 409 also helps. I moved the light bulbs forward a bit to get more light on that Juliano Blue dial. 

I am really enjoying this radio.  It has brought back many memories.  I think I got one for Christmas in 1972.  I was 14.  I got my Novice ticket on April 27, 1973 and made my first contact on July 19, 1973.  For that first contact I was using an HA-600A and a Heathkit DX-40.  Later I used the Lafayette with a Heathkit DX-100.   The HA-600A was replaced by the far superior Drake 2B on April 11, 1974.  So I used this receiver for more than two years.  

Looking around inside this receiver (and following up with Google) I learned some more about it: 
-- It was made in Japan. 
-- The manual says it has a "mechanical filter" but in fact it has a Toyo ceramic filter.  This may have been just an honest mistake by the folks who wrote the manual -- maybe they didn't understand the difference between the two types of filters. 
-- There is a big difference between the HA-600 and the HA-600A, mostly in the front end circuitry.  The HA-600 has fewer amplifier circuits at the front end.  This probably explains why the HA-600 I picked up did not seem to live up to my memories of my teen-year HA-600A.  

The fellow who gave it to me tells me that it had belonged to the short-wave listener father of a friend of his. 

I know we have a lot of tube-type receivers that are much older than this thing, but I still think it is pretty amazing that this is a receiver that I used almost half a century ago.  And it is still as good as new.

5 comments:

  1. It has an external speaker? Does it have its own speaker or did it require headphones?

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  2. It and its like were never intended as Mantel radios for lounge or kitchen, so were not designed as such. They were intended and designed for more serious *Listening*, and that meant better audio than any internal speaker would deliver - and gave the listener their preference of placement. Most did not even supply a speaker, leaving even that choice to the purchaser. Those that did had speakers tailored for *Listening*, not necessarily 'best' Fidelity. These were pre-Stereo Hi-Fi days, or if you wanted that you bought one. Headphones were another option, sometimes by provided jack.

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  3. Somehow I don't remember having the external speaker. I'm sure I must have had one. The HE-48C speaker seems to match the form of the HA-600A cabinet, but the color is different. Dex is right -- internal speakers were not the norm. There is no internal speaker on the Drake 2B. In my homebrew rigs I only use internal speakers with rigs intended for portable operation.

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  4. I only ask because I had an Hallicrafters S-53 when I was a kid, and it had a speaker in the top lid. Other than that, I don't remember ever building or having a SW receiver with a speaker.

    There was a Lafayette store a few miles from where I grew up. They weren't as appliance-oriented as a store like Radio Shack would become, but they did advertise for retail trade in regular magazines so I was surprised to see the external speaker with it.

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  5. I get the sense that Lafayette was trying to sell these more to hams than to SWLs. That may help explain it. 73 Bill

    ReplyDelete

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