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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Heathkit SB-200 Help


Reviews Summary for Heathkit SB-200
Heathkit SB-200 Reviews: 82 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $Original Price $400
Description: HF Amp using two 572B's, 80 - 10 meters
Product is not in production.
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W5PD Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2013 07:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first Amplifier. Purchased, built, and put in service in July 1973. Used for 14 years until I purchased an LK-550 in 1987. Stored the SB-200 until July 2013 when I put it back in service. Because of the age of the unit and since it had been stored for over 25yr, I did the Harbach power supply board, soft start kit, soft key kit and a new relay. Unit works great. Still gets about 700w PEP output (alpha 4510 wattmeter) on 20m and is still using the original tubes. Very easy to tune. Looks like it is time to put the LK-550 up for sale.
 
NM5M Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2013 16:11 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Amp  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my SB200 on Craigslist for $200. I would not recommend paying much more if the PS board has not been replaced.

The amp was very dirty, probably had been sitting in a barn for a few years as it was covered in red dirt/dust. I cleaned the amp thoroughly and installed the Harbach power supply board. Got very lucky as the tubes and power transformer were both good. Turned on the amp, and 40 to 50 w drive yielded 400 watts output. First qso was with JT5DX on 20m.
 
W3SQE Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2013 15:35 Send this review to a friend
Great 'ol gal!  Time owned: more than 12 months
You know I'd love to have a $10K Alpha but when all is said and done legal limit isn't even going to give me 10dB over the SB-200. Probably closer to 6dB. Band conditions and antennas make much larger differences.

Plus tuning this is fun as I'm a hands on type of guy. I have no trouble using it on 12 and 17 either. I bought mine with soft start and the Harbach PS installed. Mine also has a bypass switch incorporated into the gain control (lower right)

A good working example is around $300 give or take these days. I'm sure many people got them years ago for much less.
 
G4VVQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2012 13:46 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful old AMP  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hi Guys, Fred in UK, i was given this Heathkit SB 200, so i could afford to spend a bit of money on it, So i got on to Harbach electronics USA Limited, and ordered a New modified Fan and Motor, a soft start kit, power supply board, new modified tx relay, a soft key kit, to be able to key it from modern day rigs without a relay, and i got 2 new tubes/valves, 572B's in England, prob Chinese, i gave it a good clean up, done a few adjustments, and it works fine, legal limit in England at moment is 400w ssb output, and i can get that on all bands, it will work on the warc bands to certain degree, cost about 200 for parts..73 Fred.
 
AH6OY Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2012 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
Instant on, tuning doesn't have sharp swings and if you live in a winter wonderland it helps heat the shack.

The newer (during late 90's) Svetlana 572 tubes need the warning for the SB-200 to be heeded. My experience was tuning for max power I thought I had a problem when the power read around 800+. I checked to see amps being pulled then it blew a flame proof resistor like a gunshot. Best to not hit it with 100 watts using the newer tubes.

All in all fantastic amp for instant on get the dx.
In the 90's at least one man was making great drop in HV power supplies for the amp.
 
4S7NS Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2012 21:07 Send this review to a friend
A GRAN OLD LADY  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using a SB 200 AMPLIFIER WITH THE HARBACH MODIFICATIONS REVAMPED AND IT IS A GEM.20M IS SO EASY ON THE LONG PATH TO THE EAST COAST FROM SRILANKA BEAMING OVER VK ZL ANTARTICA AND UP ALONG THE GREY LINE OFTEN, 57 REPORTS FROM THE EASTERN STATES USING 400 WATTS INTO A CUSHCRAFT, REPORTS SAY CRYSTAL CLEAR AUDIO. ITS SO EASY TO TUNE THE SB200 IS AMONG THE FINEST I ITS CLASS
 
K3IT Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2012 13:55 Send this review to a friend
worth three times its price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm very happy to add a few more dBs after making about 6k QSOs on a bare rig. There is a lot of information about this amp and replacement parts are easy to find. Mine had a few "worn-out" (lower capacitance) silver mica caps. This is a common issue, easily fixed.

here are some skimmer reports with sb-200 (17) and a bare rig (15). Notice the change in "perceived" dBs (the true gain is less than 10dB, probably 7 or so)

V51YJ K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 8 dB 28 wpm 0336z 11 Mar
V51YJ K3IT 7017.0 CQ [LoTW] 15 dB 30 wpm 0328z 11 Mar

S50ARX K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 9 dB 31 wpm 0336z 11 Mar
S50ARX K3IT 7017.0 CQ [LoTW] 20 dB 30 wpm 0327z 11 Mar
S50ARX K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 9 dB 30 wpm 0326z 11 Mar

EI6IZ K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 3 dB 27 wpm 0336z 11 Mar
EI6IZ K3IT 7017.0 CQ [LoTW] 11 dB 30 wpm 0328z 11 Mar

EA4TX K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 10 dB 30 wpm 0336z 11 Mar
EA4TX K3IT 7017.0 CQ [LoTW] 18 dB 30 wpm 0327z 11 Mar
EA4TX K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 13 dB 30 wpm 0326z 11 Mar

N7TR K3IT 7015.4 CQ [LoTW] 8 dB 28 wpm 0334z 11 Mar
N7TR K3IT 7017.0 CQ [LoTW] 18 dB 30 wpm 0327z 11 Mar
 
ZS6DJD Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2012 04:58 Send this review to a friend
Fine old lady works well.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

A fine old Lady. The best they ever made. A linear amplifier is just supposed to increase your signal and dose not really affect your modulation.But after working lots of stations on the H.F. bands I came to the conclusion that those using a S.B.200 had the sweetest modulation I ever heard with any linear, so after my S.B. 230 had problems with the valve I bought a S.B. 200 which became available.Amp works great very well tunes quit easy. So now I have my 400 watts again. what more can I say. dose not really do Warc bands.
 
VA3OL Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2011 10:54 Send this review to a friend
great bargain  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought an SB-200 about 5 months ago and I provide one warning to new comers to Ham Radio and a solid endorsement for an updated SB-200. This amp is easy to tune up and will give near full output with 50 watts input and is still happy with 100 watts input with slightly higher output. I run it with 50 watts in and about 500 watts out.

The warning is: make sure it has the Harbach mod's. Modern rigs will not be happy keying it in stock form. My unit came with all of the Harbach mods so I did pay more then I see them going for on Ebay. But I have an updated unit and the price was still half the cost of a new 600 watt amplifier. I see many people have added a standby switch to the front panel. I am not sure why they would do that since it is 'instant' on and ready to go without listening to the fan when it is not on line.
 
W4WEA Rating: 5/5 Sep 20, 2011 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Rugged amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The SB-200 ... the amp I cut my teeth on learning on what NOT to do with an amp. Took that abuse and still going strong. Around 600W out with one original and one RF parts tube. If this is the range your looking for, and its in good shape you just about can not go wrong with this amp.
 
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