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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Heathkit HR-10B Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit HR-10B
Heathkit HR-10B Reviews: 28 Average rating: 2.9/5 MSRP: $89.95
Description: The Heathkit Model HR-10B Basic Amateur Band Receiver is designed for use as a high-performance economical station receiver. Frequency coverage of the Receiver includes the amateur bands, 80 through 10 meters, only. Each band is separately calibrated on a large easy-to-read slide-rule dial. The dial is illuminated and provides approximately 6 inches of bandspread for each band.

The receiver features a signal strength "S" meter, a front panel dial calibration control that operates in conjunction with the 100 kc crystal calibrator provisions (optional), a tuned RF amplifier stage, a crystal filter (2 pole), and an automatic noise limiter circuit.
Product is not in production.
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K4YZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2010 04:35 Send this review to a friend
I Loved My HR-10B  Time owned: more than 12 months
My HR-10B was the second item I built, the first being a 6146-based 80/40M CW transmitter from the 1970 Handbook.

My dad had me mount several old TV sockets and terminal strips on a plank of wood and practice soldering first, and it was a wise move. Once I had those down pat, he let me open the box from Heath!

It took me about ten days to put it together, and when I first turned it on, it worked! Some assistance from some 'old timers' (no older than I am now, I dare say!), and it was aligned and in my 'shack'! (Actually the utility room of the mobile home we lived in!)

I had two 80 meter crystals and one 40M rock, but rarely strayed off of 80. The -10B wasn't anywhere as selective or sensitive as the RME-6900 receiver we had at the club station at school, but I spent many a cold Ohio night pulling Q's out of the static with that rig.

I sure do wish someone had bought up the rights to Heath's Amateur line and kept the tradition going...Maybe we'd be up to the HR-10Y by now...?!?!


Steve, K4YZ
K7FD Rating: 4/5 Jul 25, 2010 18:51 Send this review to a friend
It ain't no K3 but, hey...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Was WN7IHO when I had the HR10B teamed up with a DX-60. Worked a ton of stations albeit mostly on 40m cw. Even managed heart pounding qso's with rare Japan a few times on 15m novice band...

Today I have recreated the HR-10B 'sound' on my TS-480SAT. Settings are bandwidth WDH-2000 and dsp setting R
All in all, the HR-10B was a good looking radio that delivered enough performance to keep me glued to the hobby for the next 40 years...

I sorta miss those days!

73 John K7FD

K9MHZ Rating: 0/5 Jun 26, 2010 09:01 Send this review to a friend
What a hunk of junk  Time owned: more than 12 months
Built one back in the 70's.....terrible even back then. Later got on a nostalgia kick and bought one, thinking and hoping that I could restore and improve one to some degree of performance. What joke. This thing is way, way beyond help. 10 and 15 meters are completely unusable, and the the rest are marginal. The audio is terrible, selectivity and sensitivity are non-existent.

Is you want to match your DX-60, that would be the only reason to look at one of these. Even so, I'd still strongly recommend looking at another vintage receiver.
K7FEL Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2009 13:16 Send this review to a friend
Magic  Time owned: more than 12 months
To a 15 year old novice who delivered a whole bunch of newspapers to buy one of these, it was pure magic.
WB6TNB Rating: 1/5 Apr 8, 2009 20:43 Send this review to a friend
A loser  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first receiver as a Novice in 1969. It took me awhile to figure out how to use the BFO correctly. I wondered why everybody sounded like Donald Duck. I was only 13 years old. I finally got it working right. 40 meter CW at night. Nightmare. Sensitivity on 15 and 10 meters? Virtuallly non-existant.

While I was still a Novice I upgraded to a Drake 2B. What a difference! It came out in 1961 and gets great reviews here on

Don't waste your hard earned $$ on one of these.
W4MEC Rating: 4/5 Aug 28, 2008 13:26 Send this review to a friend
No problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
Gee, I must have gotten a one in a thousand HR10B. Of course my first receiver was a regen Lafayette Explor-Air, my second, a Conar, so it was a great improvement. It was 1969 and 10 meters was wide open, worked alot of DX with the HR10B, on 10 AM and 15 CW. TX was a matching DX60B, but didn't get a HG10 VFO, until several years later, found it used. I even used the DX60B/HG10B combo on RTTY with an FSK'd XTAL oscillator feeding the DX60 and a W2PAT circuit demod, thought it did quite well. So, my experience with the HG 10 was quite positive, but as I mentioned, I never really had much of a receiver before it, to compare it to.

Charlie, W4MEC in NC
WB0MZT Rating: 2/5 Aug 25, 2008 12:58 Send this review to a friend
Pretty poor  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was 14 when I got my novice in 74, and this was my first receiver. I had no idea how poor it was! I took it to a Heathkit store (remember those?) and had it aligned and tuned, and it still was pretty poor.
No selectivity to speak of, and 15 and 10 were always quiet. I made few contacts on 15, and none on 10, although I was unbelievably patient, and full of the wonder of Ham radio.
Perhaps its a good thing that I had to fight for every contact I made with this receiver, as it made me patient when copying code with 5 other signals coming through...
I have it a charitable "2", as it makes me smile to think back to my novice days...
W3UT Rating: 0/5 Jun 25, 2008 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Frustrating  Time owned: more than 12 months
At age 15 as a Novice my Dad and I (almost entirely my Dad, as I watched) built an HR-10B as my station receiver. In the Summer of 1965 the kit as I recall was $69.95, a fair sum of money at the time. I remember the frustrations of using this receiver. In those days, I thought it was ok but the receiver was as deaf as a fence post. Most of my contacts were on 40 meters with an occasional DX a State or two away. I remember listening and trying to copy a faint signal without success with the RF gain and volume turned up full blast without success. When I upgraded to General, I put up a tower and beam but the receiver performance didn't improve. I remember a friend telling me how 15 and 10 meters were open. (He had a Drake 2-B) Not with the HR-10B. I wanted to work 20 meter DX with this receiver. Forget it. You can't work them if you don't hear them. You won't hear them with this receiver. I even think the claimed 1uv sensitivity of the receiver is suspect. I considered buying an outboard pre-amp for the receiver but back then couldn't afford it.I really hated the 1960's and this receiver certainly contributed to that. If only eHam reviews would have existed back then Heathkit wouldn't have sold very many of these. A definite dog with fleas.
W4FID Rating: 1/5 Jun 25, 2008 05:49 Send this review to a friend
not the answer  Time owned: months
My first station in 1961 was a DX-60 (likely the first one ever sold) and early on I got a SX-99. Recently I had a chance to recreate my early years with a DX-60. SX-99s are pretty hard to find and the HR-10 is not realy a receiver. So I got a 2B -- the receiver I dreamed about (lusted for?) but had no chance of affording at the time. It's still a great CW ststion even by today's standards.

It's ironic that the DX-60 is one of the great classics. The matching VFO that came along a little later is OK -- was good by the standards of the day. But the HR-10 never was any good -- it balanced the scale with the DX-60 being so great and the "matching" receiver being so poor. How they sold any is a mystery when there were SX-99s, numerous Hammerland and National models, and others on the used market in that price range that were far better. Matching is nice to look at -- but didn't translate into being nice to work Qs with.
WB0SND Rating: 1/5 Jun 24, 2008 22:58 Send this review to a friend
Awful!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
When I was 14 I built an HR-10B along with the DX-60B and HG-10B. Well, I didn't know there was any better. Actually, I should have rated it higher. I attribute my CW skills to the HR-10B. That is because at any given dial setting you could hear 5 signals at once. I became very proficent at copying the signal I was working and ignoring the ones I wasn't. Who needs a CW filter!!! (I didn't know what they were then, either).
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