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Author Topic: Heathkit GR-64 Receiver  (Read 2511 times)

Posts: 28

« on: July 11, 2013, 07:11:54 PM »

   I would like to know if there is anyway to add SSB to this receiver?  Also, could this be used with a transmitter as the receiver? 73'S
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 07:14:36 PM by KC8EQF » Logged

Posts: 6

« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 09:48:27 PM »

The GR-64 has a BFO that when properly adjusted for USB or LSB works just fine. I used this receiver with an old Surplus ARC-5 transmitter back in the good old novice days. Not sure why you would want to go through the torture of using that receiver for communications, though! I just switched the antenna between the transmitter and the receiver and it worked fine.

73, KH6KM

Posts: 261

« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2013, 08:15:11 AM »

I hope you didn't buy this with the intention of using it as a primary receiver.
I built one of these almost 50 years ago.  I think it went for under 40 dollars.
It was my first project, but I quickly outgrew it.
As as a budget SWL receiver, the GR-64 is there to whet your appetite.  Fine on strong signals but marginal on anything else.  It has neither the sensitivity or selectivity to be effective as an amateur receiver. 
It lacks an RF Amplifier stage which means that it is only fair below 10 MHz and pretty much deaf above 10 MHz.
Which brings us to the universal truth in ham radio - "If you can't hear them, you can't work them"

Sorry to burst your bubble


Posts: 17483

« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 09:21:28 AM »

I used the similar Eico 711 in my novice station, though switched to the older Heathkit AR-3
for better performance.  (Those who remember the AR-3 will laugh...)

Some tips:

Don't expect very good performance above 40m.

While the BFO should permit SSB reception when properly set, frequency stability may be
inadequate for good operation.  With CW you can still copy a station if your receiver drifts
up to 1kHz or more, while on SSB it won't sound right if it drifts more than about 100Hz.
(I used the AR-3 for one contact with a local on 15m:  it was on a shelf above my desk,
and if I leaned my arm on the desktop the signal would drift out of the passband.)

I think the GR-64 has a bandspread dial - use that to tune around the band, and fit it with
as large of a knob as possible to make tuning easier.

Dial calibration is pretty much useless to find your way around the band.  My technique on
80m was to tune in an AM broadcast station on Band 1 with the Bandspread set to one end
of travel, then switch to Band 2 and it put me right on the edge of the 80m Novice band, then
using the Bandspread control to tune from there.

Selectivity will be poor - especially if it uses a regenerative IF stage for the BFO (as the Eico
receiver did.)  This was convenient for a crystal-controlled Novice because it was easy to
hear stations responding off my transmit frequency (I could hear about half the Novice band
in one setting of the tuning control) but it will be VERY difficult to put out individual stations
in a crowded phone band.

I got best results by turning the audio gain up to max and using the RF gain control to adjust
the signal level - this defeats the AGC, so you have to keep adjusting the gain as signals fade.
I don't know if the GR-64 has a useful RF gain control or not.

If the internal BFO doesn't work well enough, you can add an external one like this:

Actually I'd recommend using a 455kHz ceramic resonator or coil from a transistor radio instead
and coupling it into the IF stages, but the circuit isn't any more difficult to build than the
one show.
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