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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Heathkit HW-100 Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit HW-100
Heathkit HW-100 Reviews: 14 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Heath HF radio
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N5UV Rating: 4/5 Sep 7, 2002 23:44 Send this review to a friend
Started as hand-down, crafted into a gem!  Time owned: more than 12 months
As I said in my SB-102 review, a Heathkit is only as good as the ham who built it. I got an HW-100 for free from a gal in Denton,TX who's dad wanted to unload it. It came with a home-brew supply, which you had to be careful with because it had a fuse breaker, and not the button-release breaker as on the original power supply. In fact, I blew the finals up once because the supply fuse didn't blow fast enough. That being said, and knowing that the S-meter worked when it felt like it, this radio has been the most "honest" and reliable piece of equipment in my shack once I started taking care of it. It's been my CW radio forever, since it has a built in filter. Also, it will do a true 100w. of CW power no problem. However, don't dare peak it past 100w. You'll trip the breaker VERY easily. The receiver does drift a bit, but not any worse than any other radio from that time period. Finding the original 2-prong mic plug was a trip even Ulysses would have hated, but I did find one with a matching set power supply at Ross Ave. The SB-102 was "thrown" in, but I really just needed the PS and mic. Now, my masterpiece is complete, free for me to use for CW conversations. But then again, it was a free unit... I couldn't sell this for anything above $100. Antique collectors need not apply for this one.
K6SDW Rating: 2/5 May 8, 2001 19:05 Send this review to a friend
Medicore  Time owned: more than 12 months
Built mine from new kit in 1970. It was definitely a step up from a Layfette general coverage receiver and knight T60 transmitter. Receiver sensitivity was medicroe, selectivity poor (and I'm being kind) and drifted, but then so did my Swan 500. Transmitter never put out 100 watts as claimed by Heathkit and as another ham noted, audio output was always on the low side.

The one good thing I can say about the HW100/1 and Heathkit in general, their rigs were generally a bit cheaper than preassembled units and you could always count on getting a lot of experience doing electronics repair because sooner rather than later something was going to fail on the unit!

K8DXX Rating: 3/5 Jan 7, 2000 21:28 Send this review to a friend
HW 100 OK Much Better Cost Little More  Time owned: unknown months
I built an HW100 in 1968 and have been tempted to buy another, but not because my experience was totally positive. My HW100 required alignment every few months. Audio reports were "weak," whether using the Heath/Turner mobile mic or a Shure 444. The radio does have a filter (contrary to the previous review); a four pole job is used to remove the unwanted sideband. However, it, combined with a fairly bland receiver never left me feeling very satisfied with the radio.

In 1980, I purchased a Kenwood TS180 (with all the optional filters). The difference was amazing. Forty was usable during the evening. I didn't have to shout into the mic to be heard. I have seen TS180s with power supplies on the web for $350. Its little brother, the TS120 goes for as low as $250.

As a nostalgia piece, an HW100 is great. As a first radio, $100 is about all I'd pay when much better, more enjoyable/reliable radios are around for a few hundred more. I'd hate to see a new ham become disinterested because his rig couldn't meet minimum standards for performance or reliability.
W2GND Rating: 4/5 Nov 16, 1999 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent "beginer's" rig  Time owned: unknown months
I purchase my used HW100 in 1978 when I was a Novice. After correcting many "bugs" (caused by cold solder connections), the rig has performed flawlessly for the past twenty years (I have replaced three vaccum tubes). In November 1998, I purchased my first "new" rig and placed my HW100 into semi-retirement (Hi,Hi). Even though the rig is thirty years old, it still performs to specification according to manual. Power output is 100 watts or more even on 10 meters. Comments on the audio included "very crisp and clean"... The problems? There are no filters of any type for SSB or CW. (These were added later in the HW101)

If you find this rig (with power supply and microphone) at a hamfest for $200 to $250 and it appears to be in good condition, it might just be what you need to get your feet wet on the HF bands
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