Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Should I restore a Heathkit SB-102?  (Read 9211 times)
W9GB
Member

Posts: 2600




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 03:51:58 PM »

Quote
The problem is, I've been doing some math, and restoring and using this 40 year old radio would take around $200-300, IF nothing big goes wrong.
Your MATH sound faulty, or you are making a number of incorrect assumptions.

Scrounger and patience appear to be missing ingredients.
Logged
QRP4U2
Member

Posts: 108




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 04:19:09 PM »

Put up one or more pieces of your equpment for sale, say on QTH classifieds, if you do not have the patience to learn electronics and or to restore these rigs.

There are quite a few people out there willing to buy a fixerupper.

Phil - AC0OB
Logged
AA4HA
Member

Posts: 1378




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 05:58:44 PM »

I would discuss what to do with the equipment with your Elmer. To turn around and sell something that your Elmer gave you as part of a learning experience so you can buy the latest appliance sort of works against their intention in giving it to you.

If I was your Elmer and gave you something to help you improve your skills (becoming an extra is just incidental to that) and you sold it without talking with me it might put a strain on our friendship. They may feel that they could of sold it too and done something else with the money. The gifts they gave you had some sort of meaning to that amateur and by you shucking them off to make cash sort of diminishes the meaning.

Then again, do what you like. There is this "convertible currency" mindset to gifts people receive at Christmas, on birthdays or with weddings. If I went through the thought process to pick something out for someone and they just returned it (and asked for the receipt so they can do that) then do not expect me to go out of my way the next time.

Explain to your Elmer that you just do not have the disposable income to overhaul a rig. You may find that they have access to boxes of pieces and parts and it can be a joint experience in restoring a piece of gear.
Logged

Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12688




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2013, 06:05:12 PM »

AA4HA gives some excellent advise. Maybe your elmer has the experience, test equipment, and tools to restore it and can be your teacher for the restoration project.
Logged
KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 341




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2013, 06:48:50 PM »

I don't intend to "sell" anything. If he won't take it back, I will look into restoring it. Here is my breakdown of costs:

$25 power cable and belts
$30 reprint of manual
$60-70 cabling and equipment to hook it into my current setup
$70 digital frequency counter (I really don't feel comfortable with the way the analog tuning on the 102 is set up)

Also, if my current dummy load won't support having 180w fed into it for long periods of time, and it's a dry dummy so it likely won't, I'd have to complete my wet dummy load project. I have everything except the resistors ($50) and the mineral oil ($20). So, an additional $70.

Also, any resistors that have to be unsoldered and replaced. Also, although it comes with the original power supply, many of the parts may be bad. The way the HP-23A power supply is wired, it would be easier to simply buy a power supply kit from oldheathkitparts.com and use that in place of the original electrolytics and resistors. So another $70. You see how this adds up quickly?

Like I said, I'm hoping he'll take it back. If he won't, we'll have to bring it up on a variac and see what happens. He admitted that the big can electrolytics in the power supply would likely need to be replaced. The problem is with the way it's wired, you can't just snip out the cans and solder in new ones.
Logged
K2OWK
Member

Posts: 1041




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2013, 10:03:21 PM »

When you restore an old radio, be it a Heathkit a Johnson transmitter or whatever, you do it for fun and for nostalgia of hearing an old radio go back into operation after many years of being idol. Why would you restore an old car or motorcycle usually putting more money into it then its worth, because you may have had one as a kid or maybe your dad had one and you want to see what it was like. i restored a Heathkit SB-401. I did it as it was my first single sideband transmitter, and bringing it back to life, was bringing back the old days to me. I am now in the process of helping a Vets Museum get an old World Ware 2 transmitter and receiver back to working condition. We just got the receiver working and it was a delight to hear an old receiver come back to life after so many years, and to listen to the CW on an ancient pair of headphones.
What I am trying to say is the site "Boat Anchors" is for Hams or technicians or antique collectors that love to restore and use old radios. If you are worried about the cost to restore an old radio then sell it to someone who can appreciate it for what it is. If I have a radio the is above my ability cost wise to restore. I give it to someone who can.

Just my opinion. If you like modern equipment then buy it and forget about Boat Anchors. They are for the people that love old radios.

73s

K2OWK 
Logged
G3RZP
Member

Posts: 4391




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2013, 03:03:42 AM »

How do you manage $25 for a power cable and belts? The expensive part is probably the connectors - maybe $5. $60 to cable it into an existing set up? Are you using platinum wire?
Why a digital counter? How do you think hams got on before counters? It is not necessary.
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12688




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2013, 05:19:58 AM »

$60-70 cabling and equipment to hook it into my current setup
$70 digital frequency counter (I really don't feel comfortable with the way the analog tuning on the 102 is set up)

I don't include the cost of external cabling and equipment as part of the restoration (although it is still certainly and expense) because that stuff wasn't originally supplied with the transceiver.

I also wouldn't attempt to add a digital frequency counter. The read out on the analog dial is plenty accurate for normal amateur work. You just don't try to work right up against the band edges so some error in frequency doesn't get you into trouble with the FCC. After all, hams all used analog dials for 80+ years before there was such a thing as a digitial readout.
Logged
KA5N
Member

Posts: 4380




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2013, 07:56:34 AM »

Your estimate of parts costs seems a bit high.  The belts are just O-rings and are
around a dollar each.  The power cable can be made for less than you expect.
I restored a basket case SB-102 and while it took quite a bit of time the cost was
not all that much.  I made a number of contacts with it  and then I sold it on eBay
for a nice price and made money. 
Cautions with this and other Heathkit transceivers is finding mods that other owners
have made (most don't work correctly or are just wrong!!)  Also the bandswitch is
likely to be iffy because the terminals are staked and there is no continuity from one
side of the wafers to the other.  This can usually corrected by scraping and soldering
the stakes.  The SB-102 is not a bad transceiver when in good working order.
A good rig to learn troubleshooting on.
Allen KA5N
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3675




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2013, 08:54:59 AM »

The beautiful thing about Heathkits is that with the manual you can 'rebuild' the thing from the git-go!  You can't do that with commercial gear.

As for the ridiculous estimates quoted on this forum, they're just that, ridiculous.  If a SB-102 is in THAT bad shape, then trash it, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and need a project to keep you off the streets.

Heathkits are great fun to restore because of their simplicity.  The ONLY thing I can think of that might cause headaches is the LMO.  That was a sealed unit that "had no user serviceable parts inside."  You can but the calibrations of the LMO is a PITA.  That isn't to discourage anyone but simply to point out that 'getting into the LMO' is a minefield.

Keep the 102 and put it away until you're servicing ability improves or use it to build a relationship with your Elmer by working on it in your spare time.

FWIW, I build an SB-102, which was my first multiband transceiver.  I had great fun with it.



Logged
AD4U
Member

Posts: 2153




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2013, 11:31:24 AM »

I recently finished restoring a SB-102.  Why?  Because I used homebrew rigs from the 1960's up until I graduated from college in 1971 when the SB-102 became my first "real" rig.

As others have posted, if you want to restore something, a Heathkit is about as easy as it gets because of the great manual.  Don't even try without the manual.

Assuming the SB-102 was not abused and that it was wired correctly and properly and that it worked at some point in time and that nobody has been modifying it or messing with it, the electrical things to look for in a restoration are:

Resistors that have gone way high in value.  I had to replace 37 resistors in my SB-102.  Electrolytic caps.  Replace all of them.  There are just a few in the rig itself.  Clean all tube sockets, switches, and pots with a GOOD contact cleaner.

Some like to trash-talk the performance of a SB-102, but just last night I compared my restored SB-102 side by side with my rather "mint" Collins KWM2.  On the air and by using my service monitor, I could not detect ANY difference what-so-ever between the two rigs in sensitivity, selectivity, power output, frequency stability, dial accuracy, or performance.  

Of course there will always be the Collins mystique.  I guess that is why I finally bought a Collins S line and KWM2 station.  But as far as performance goes, there was no difference at all between the KWM2 and the SB-102.

Dick  AD4U
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 11:48:31 AM by AD4U » Logged
AC2EU
Member

Posts: 340


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2013, 01:09:27 PM »

WI find this thread amusing because everyone is speculating about the whats and whys about "ZOL"s stuff back and forth with very little input from the OP!
Yes the OP's estimates are high since he has not done his "homework" on what is available and how much it costs.
The people replying seems to be more interested in restoring the rig(s) than he he is!
Everyone but the OP knows that the manual can be had for free if you do a little digging, but one has to be interested enough to try.

At this point, I suggest that "ZOL" return the rigs to his very kind Elmer and thank him for the thoughtfulness, explaining that it would be better if he saves his pennies for a kit or manufactured rig ( better option).

Not everyone is into home brew and repair. It's not a prerequisite to pass the Extra. Judging form his reluctance, I would say just study, study, study, pass the extra and buy a rig.  Enjoy!  Grin

Logged

KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 341




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2013, 03:07:05 PM »

WI find this thread amusing because everyone is speculating about the whats and whys about "ZOL"s stuff back and forth with very little input from the OP!
Yes the OP's estimates are high since he has not done his "homework" on what is available and how much it costs.
The people replying seems to be more interested in restoring the rig(s) than he he is!
Everyone but the OP knows that the manual can be had for free if you do a little digging, but one has to be interested enough to try.

At this point, I suggest that "ZOL" return the rigs to his very kind Elmer and thank him for the thoughtfulness, explaining that it would be better if he saves his pennies for a kit or manufactured rig ( better option).

Not everyone is into home brew and repair. It's not a prerequisite to pass the Extra. Judging form his reluctance, I would say just study, study, study, pass the extra and buy a rig.  Enjoy!  Grin

I already have a Kenwood TS130S that needs a little work. I plan to fix it up and use it. It seems that people have a lot of emotion invested into Heathkits, it was their first rig, etc. I'm 38, too young to remember Heathkit's glory days. I look at the SB-102 and see an obsolete rig that will need a lot of work to get running again, and still not be as good as my Kenwood (another gift from my Elmer) which in itself is a 30 year old rig. I can build a Ramsey SW radio kit for $50. Prices for belts and power cord come from oldheathkitparts.com. I did a little digging on the manual, and found schematics for free but not the manual. I have to confess that part of my reluctance is that I'm disabled and part of that is poor fine motor coordination. I can solder but not well. I'm not sure if I can solder in tight spaces, which will be necessary for repairing this rig. I will likely simply return the Heathkit to my Elmer and explain the situation to him the best I can.
Logged
AD4U
Member

Posts: 2153




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2013, 03:44:00 PM »

ZOL - IMO returning the SB-102 as stated in your last post is probably your best option, now that we know your limitations, which we did not know in the beginning.

All that being said, the SB-102 is a really good rig(even by today's standards) if it was constructed properly and if it is working up to specs.  Of course it does not cover 160 or the WARC bands.  As far as it being a good rig, it is when one considers the best part of any rig still lies between the operator's ears.    Wink

For many of us restoring vintage rigs is a glimpse into our past when rigs could be repaired and maintained by the operator.  Not so anymore.  For me returning a boat anchor rig to operating condition is a labor of love.  Not everybody agrees.

Good luck in your hamming.

Dick  AD4U
Logged
KC8YHN
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2013, 05:12:30 PM »

KJ6ZOL, I'm curious how do you come to the conclusion that the 102 is an obsolete rig when there is really no such thing.
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!