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Thursday, September 16, 2021

The HBR-13C Receiver and the Poetic License of Homebrewers

I've been hanging out on 17 meters with my homebrew VXO-controlled BITX transceiver.  The antenna is my 75 meter doublet fed with window line through a homebrew tuner made from dead ( I swear) DX-40s and DX-60s. I can tune it up just fine on 17 meters, but I realize I probably have lots of nulls and lobes in the radiation pattern.  Apparently one of the lobes is over my old stomping grounds in Panama.  Almost everyday I talk to either HP9SAM or HP3SS. 

Robby, HP3SS, is using SDR gear now, but he was a real homebrewer back in the day.  Years ago he built an HBR-13C receiver. That's quite an achievement. 

Robby -- formerly VY2SS -- told me that he sold his HBR-13C to none other than Joe Walsh, the rockstar from The Eagles.  FB. 

As I was talking to Robby yesterday, I came across this wonderful web page about the receiver: 


Robby told me that his receiver looked almost exactly like the one on the SPARC site, but he didn't recognize the small box with what looked like a speaker on the chassis.  I told him that my guess was that this was a crystal calibrator in an oven. 

I also told Robby that I feel an affinity with the HBR project, not just because I like homebrew superhets, but also because my call in the UK was M0HBR.  

There are some great quotes in the SPARC pdf: 

The SPARC page led me to the amazing website of Kees K5BCQ: 


Here is Kees's QRZ page: 



  1. While the HBR-xx was not the greatest receiver in the world, it most certainly was the greatest project ever published in QST. After 70 years, hams are still building it and having a great time doing it.
    Back in the 50's and 60's you could still get the Eddystone dial. It really made that receiver. Sure wish I had one now!

  2. That HBR-13C was built by my friend Jim Corbett, VE7BKX. He donated to the sparc museum many years ago.


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