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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Heathkit HR-1680 Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit HR-1680
Heathkit HR-1680 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $224.95 (Kit)
Description: Dual conversion solid state ham bands receiver
Product is not in production.
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K6BRN Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2016 11:14 Send this review to a friend
Simple, excellent receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Heathkit HR-1680 is an all solid-state vintage Heathkit CW/SSB (no dedicated AM) receiver. It is a dual-conversion SuperHet design with a dual-gate MOSFET RF amplifier at the front end and dual gate MOSFET mixers at its 8.66 MHz and 3.395 IFs (which include multi-pole crystal filters). In a throwback moment to earlier tube receivers, the front end also includes a continuously variable preselector circuit, in addition to the switch selected bandpass filters before the RF amplifier. The SSB product detector is IC based and followed by op-amp active filters. An FET based Hartly oscillator forms the core of its VFO. This elegant and simple design was pretty advanced for its year of introduction - 1975, and a pleasure to assemble and align with most circuits contained on four plug-in boards. It is a very sensitive and mellow-sounding receiver, and while it will never make it to the top of Sherwood's receiver performance list, it is fun and easy to use.

Four quirks should be noted if you buy one: 1. The S-meter scale is notional, and Heathkit released a mod for it to improve performance (slightly), 2. Early power supplies ran hot and if you have this problem, search the net for mods to fix this, 3. The preselector wire must be routed away from the metal case and other circuitry on its way to the RX board, or RX sensitivity and selectivity will be reduced - if you open the case and the wire is "floating" in mid air on its way to the RX board, its fine, 4. The band switch and slider contacts can accumulate dust and oxidize over time. If you have problems with a "dead" band or switch, clean it with DeOxIt and it will likely come back to life after a few operations back and forth.

My HR-1680 is almost like new, runs as cool as a cucumber and is usually connected to my Yaesu FTDX-3000's external 2nd receiver jack. I use it for browsing second (in-band) frequencies while working a contact on the primary frequency. In this configuration, the HR-1680 can take advantage of FTDX-3000 pre-amps and attenuators, which are between the antenna and 2nd receiver output, further improving its performance.

Once calibrated using the internal crystal calibrator, the analog VFO dial of the HR-1680 is quite accurate and the VFO is very stable (for an analog 1975 design). A beautiful and elegant example of Heathkit design genius - not all Heathkits were well done, but the HR-1680 receiver is a gem, even 40+ years after introduction.
WB8ICU Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2007 17:22 Send this review to a friend
great cw rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the hr-1680 receiver and the companinon hx-1681 for many years. I assembled it, and it has always worked great. I bought the transmitter later at a swap and spent a week getting it to work, due to an inept builder's blunders. Once I got it working, the combination has been great. I have two ten tec solid state rigs, but I still prefer the heathkits, with the tube final transmitter. Its too bulky for field day, and too susceptible from overload from all the ssb rigs on site. But it works excellent at home, and I always get as good as I give on rst reports.
KI0KM Rating: 4/5 Oct 11, 2003 22:12 Send this review to a friend
stable, easy to use receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this receiver for 18 years, along with it's companion transmitter, the HX-1681.
It is very stable,and simple to operate, and has good sensitivity. The 250hz audio filter gives the best cw note I have heard on any receiver.
On the negative side, nearby strong signals will desensitize it somewhat.
For it's used price, it is an excellent value
VE3EFJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 26, 2000 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Decent price/performance...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a nice, basic 80 to 10 Meter receiver for SSB/CW. Since its a kit radio some obvious cautions apply. The VFO is thermally stable - amazingly so for its construction - and mechanically quite good too. This radio is light years ahead of the HR-10. It is a sensitive, stable receiver even on 10 Meters. My one complaint is that the audio derived AGC has a tendancy to pop. Heath did well on this radio, and even today it offers good value given its performance and what it can be purchased for. The radio had a companion transmitter that was a hybrid (transistor/vaccuum tube final). Its one of the better basic HF receivers around, and it is very possible to do a lot worse for more money.

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