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Reviews Categories | Receive Pre-amps | Lafayette HE-73 PreCon Help


Reviews Summary for Lafayette HE-73 PreCon
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $49.95
Description: A Preamp and Converter that covers 80 through 10 Meters.
Tube type from the early 60's.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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You can write your own review of the Lafayette HE-73 PreCon.

N4UE Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2012 20:17 Send this review to a friend
Here we go, AGAIN!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I gotta say that after adding # 7 into my collection, these old Trio / Kenwood preamps really deliver. See my other rweviews for a mod to make these MUCH more user friendly, which Kwood should have done from the start!


Even if you don't need a preamp (as most modern radios are noise limited on HF), and these guys do NOT switch, these are still the bargain of the century! 3 good tubes (just price a 6BL8) and wonderful Trio construction, equal a terrific bargain. If you are Lafayette collector (like I am) add a couple of those impossibe to find knobs and you have a fantastic bargain. Never had a bad tube in several dozen of these '73s. # 7 came to me cheap and the seller did a fantastic packing job. No, these are not an Angle/Linear preamp, but are way more than you will ever need on HF, (on older tube radios). As usual, I replaced the filter caps and the rectifer diode, all just for PM purposes. They were fine, just old, like me! ha ha

The under chassis parts are of great quality, using 'dog bone' caps, lots of LARGE L/C coils, etc. Never, ever (!!) had a problem there. I do thousands of cap replacements / yr. I have had a couple of ceramic discs go 'bad' (NOT Lafayette, BTW), but NEVER had a 'dog bone' go bad. Collins used a lot of them in their BA radios.
The ONLY problem I have ever had with waaaaay more than 7 of these guys, is when a local young 'hot shot' got so excited trying to work some rare DX with my loaner and his HW-100, he transmitted into my 'loaner'. Easy fix! Try that with a GaSaFET preamp!!!!!

Noise figure? Who cares??? Better than your boatanchor receiver, and that is all that counts. Add a quick re-spray with the correct color cover paint and it's great!!!

I've got enough in my collection, or not???

ron
N4UE
 
N4UE Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2003 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Old but excellent BA accessory  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK, I can let out one of the best-kept secrets of Boatanchordom. Yep, the Lafayette HE-73. I had one of these back in my Novice days. It is a companion to the HE-80 type of receivers. The reason I'm letting the secret out is because I now have a pretty good collection of them!
The PreCon is a 3 tube Preselector and Crystal controlled converter. The P/S is solid state. As you Lafayette fans out there know, this product was manufactured by Kenwood Trio and the workmanship is excellent.
Now don't go looking for one of these if you have a newer radio. It's primary duty was for older tube-type, single conversion, receivers. I won't be using it with my 756PRO...
But, if you have a BA that's a wee bit 'deaf', this little baby will perk it up, more than you might expect.
You can find them on the various Auction sites, for nearly nothing. I just received one yesterday that looked like it came out of a time capsule. Often, the HE-73s can be had for less than the price of the tubes!
Internally, there is a 6BA6 RF amp, and a 6BL8 that functions as either a RF amp or Converter, depending upon your selection of the Function switch. There is another 6BA6 in the Converter / output stage. No, they won't work with a transceiver. When in the Converter mode, it will convert 20, 15, and 10 Meters to output near the 80M band. Due to the width of 10 Meters, if you have a ham-only receiver, you will miss the upper portion of 10, but only when in Converter mode. I rarely use that, just the very ample Preamp function.
In fact, you can often get them for free from someone who transmitted into them. A simple fix.
When I get one, I replace the 2 P/S electrolytics with modern ones, although they are usually OK. The tubes are almost always good.
One modification I make is to place a small toggle switch on the rear panel to control the 'power on'. This way, you can switch the preamp in and out, without the tubes turning on and off.
One of these is absolutely necessary on the HA-350. Probably the most insensitive receiver I have ever used. And yes, I have a couple of those, just 'cuz I like the way they look. ha ha

Note, lots of BA receivers used 6BA6s in the RF stage, these can be swapped to a 6BZ6 for more gain. However, due to the difference in the tubes' cut off, the RF gain won't work quite the same.

The Lafayette color is easy to duplicate (sort of a strange blue-green),with over the counter materials, but that's a 'trade secret'.

Ron

N4UE
Boatanchor Lover Maximus
 


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