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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Lafayette HE30 / KT320 Help

Reviews Summary for Lafayette HE30 / KT320
Lafayette HE30 / KT320 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $87.95
Description: Single conversation receiver with 455 kHz IF, dating from
the early/mid 1960's, covering from AM Broadcast up thru
30 MHz. Believe was made for Lafayette by Trio Kenwood.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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WIRELESS Rating: 1/5 Jul 20, 2004 20:23 Send this review to a friend
Poor  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used one of these fine '60's receivers in the '60's and it was pretty bad. It had no selectivity. For AM listening, you could cope, but cw or ssb with a bfo to adjust, I couldn't get rid of mine fast enough after I used some of the other Heath, Hallicrafters, Drake stuff. I guess it was made for kids with little money to have fun with. But for any kind of serious listening, yuk.
WA2MGB Rating: 4/5 Mar 31, 2004 01:33 Send this review to a friend
Nice Solid Receiver!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently aquired a very nice KT-320 off Ebay for a mere 77.00 shipped. The receiver has a good feel, and very good sound, esp when tuning in on the on the 75m "AM Window". Sounds very good when using the "Sounds Sweet" speaker reviewed elsewhere on A fine, vintage receiver, stable, available at a steal...built like a tank. Oh yes, it glows in the dark very nicely!
K4TB Rating: 2/5 Sep 26, 2003 23:14 Send this review to a friend
Nostalgic radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first receiver which I used with my first transmitter, an EICO-723 cw-only, crystal controlled, 3-tube, 60 watt unit.

The HE-30 was tough; I used a separate receive antenna but no muting, so it just took the RF straight in over the antenna from the EICO-723 when I transmitted, with no problem. Tuning the HE-30 was a trip; it drifted a lot and was susceptible to extraneous capacitance. I remember waving my left hand over it trying to keep it on frequency with my body capacitance while I copied code with my right hand! I'd sure like to see a working one today, just for grins.
W2XS Rating: 3/5 Apr 5, 2003 08:48 Send this review to a friend
Great Bandspread  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my second receiver in the mid 60's. (The first was an S38). It was unusual in that it had 5kHz bandspread markings on 80m and 40m. Most other receivers had 10kHz markings. I had a crystal for one frequency on each range to set the main tuning knob.

I used an external Q-Multiplier as the BFO since the internal BFO was weak. It was used for traffic nets with no selectivity other than the IF transformers. Today, I need all the help I can get (dual xtal filters, audio notches etc).

This was one of the fine Trio radios imported by Lafayette. As WB5AGF said, they still work well for shortwave and AM broadcast listening. From what I see, they have held up fairly well, and silk-screened replacement dials are available for them. I recently gave one to an aspiring ham-to-be, hoping that the well-lit slide-rule dial will get him interested in radio.

Original cost was $99. The cabinet is amazingly solid. Two external speakers were available - the HE48 and the HE14.
WB5AGF Rating: 3/5 Apr 4, 2003 23:47 Send this review to a friend
a typical 1960's single-conversion 455 kHz IF receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
(The KT320 was the kit version of the HE30)

For its time (the mid 1960's) the HE30 was an OK single-conversion receiver although by today's standards it would probably not be thought of too well. Even though the HE30 did have an RF amplifier with tuned input and output, the image problem was pretty severe above about 10 MHz due to the 455 kHz IF. Without a 100 kHz crystal calibrator the ability to estimate receive frequency any closer than a couple of hundred kHz was difficult at any frequency higher than a few MHz. Although the HE30 did have a BFO its lack of a product detector made SSB reception a hit-or-miss proposition as you had to know to turn-off the AGC, cut back on the RF gain and turn the audio up. Stability was shaky on the higher frequencies due at least partially to the HE30 using a combined local oscillator/mixer tube (possibly a 6BE6) and the LO would 'pull' on strong signals when the AGC was active.

The HE30 did OK for receiving the major shortwave broadcasters as long as you could get the right frequency and on the AM Broadcast Band it really sounded good with its 6AQ5 audio output stage.

I'm reporting on the HE30 because it was my first shortwave receiver when I was a kid growing up in the mid 1960's in a small town in central Texas. I regret that I swapped my HE30 for a partially-working ham transceiver in the early 1980s and would not mind having an HE30 now if only to listen to the AM Broadcast band (recollections come-to-mind of listening all night long as a kid during the summer to AM stations across-the-country).
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