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

Reviews Summary for Heathkit HR-10B
Heathkit HR-10B Reviews: 23 Average rating: 2.7/5 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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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).
KG9HV Rating: 2/5 Feb 11, 2007 00:29 Send this review to a friend
Find something else  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought a HR-10B a couple years ago. It had a
couple caps blown out and I repaired it. It's
true about being "deaf as a post" on 15m and 10M.
It was a nice piece of nostalgia and a nice
conversation piece, but as a receiver I would
find something else. I sold it and didn't look
N6KYS Rating: 0/5 Feb 10, 2007 19:52 Send this review to a friend
DO NOT buy this receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I LOVE Heathkits, plain and simple. I've restored several DX-100's and DX-60's, have had several SB Single Banders, linears, etc. I would never trade my DX-60B for anything. That said, the HR-10B receiver is a real frustration to own. It was so poorly designed, particularly in the bandswitching area, that it rendered the receiver virtually deaf, especially on 10 and 15 meters. Spending hours to find capacitors out of spec and even doing a tedious alignment of those front end circuits will yield only marginal improvements. If you have a DX-60, and want a companion receiver.....find a Collins or Hammerlund, etc. This radio is so bad, it's not worth the grief you'll experience in using it.
ZL3AG Rating: 3/5 Dec 5, 2006 14:18 Send this review to a friend
"Nostalgia"  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought one of these new in 1969 whilst still at high school. A great experience to build up the kit and it worked well first time. It saw most of its active life in my shack on 80 and 40 and did the job OK. At that time in ZL the AM to SSB ratio was about 1:1. It was a good AM/SSB receiver on those lower bands. Quite deaf on 15 and 10.
As for performance, well quite basic but reasonable value for money and a great deal of fun to build.
Sold it at the end of the school year to another in-school beginner and saved my dollars during the first year of working to buy a FT200.
Have often wodered where it finally ended up.
AH6FC Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2006 06:33 Send this review to a friend
Good novice receiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Never owned but used (borrowed) many times as a novice. I loved this receiver. It was so much better than the Heath GR-64 general coverage piece of junk receiver that I was using initially. I used to lust after the HR-10. Sure you needed to use the BFO to copy cw or ssb, but who cares. Back then a lot of the the lower end rigs had BFO's.

Sure not sensitive (1 uV!) and marginally selective, but it was a blast.

N6SFC Rating: 2/5 Jun 3, 2006 10:25 Send this review to a friend
decent RX for the $, needs help for CW  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having struggled with one of these radios as a novice a zillion years ago, I felt compelled to add my opinion to the forum here. This is a very simple receiver and one should not expect too much in terms of performance especially on 15 and 10. For what it is, it works pretty well and it's easy to work on for the inexperienced wanna-be radio expert. One nice feature of the HR-10 is the front-panel "cal reset" control. This allows you to electrically adjust the dial calibration to a marker. Virtually all other receivers of the era had a hokey mechanical adjustment to shift the dial index back and forth, and the "cal reset" control actually trims the oscillator frequency in the HR-10. That's nice. If you're planning to buy and use an HR-10, by all means get a calibrator accessory for it. Heath made an optional accessory 100 kHz crystal calibrator for the HR-10 that they called the HRA-10-1. This was a neat little sub-chassis that plugged in to an octal socket inside the receiver, switchable from the front panel. My radio did not have one, and I sure could have used it. The biggest problem I had with the HR-10 however was poor CW selectivity. This receiver would have benefited greatly from a switchable 500 Hz IF filter like the HW-16 had. Since this receiver was used mostly by voiceless novices of the era, it's a shame that Heath did not think of this shortfall when they designed it. The 3 kHz crystal lattice filter works great for SSB, but QRM was a constant problem on 40M CW. The HR-10 uses an oddball IF of 1680 kHz, so readily available Q-multipiers set up for the more common 455 kHz IF are not compatible. If you're planning to use an HR-10 and are more clever than I am, do yourself a favor and build a "Select-O-Ject" and modify it for 1680 kHz. Better yet, save your money and buy a Drake 2B or a Hallicrafters SX-111. These are vastly superior radios. You definitely get what you pay for. HR-10s are cheap and common as dirt. I've seen many of them at flea markets for $25. A working 2B will probably set you back $200 or so. SX-111s are usually a little cheaper than that, but they are huge... almost twice the size of a 2B or an HR-10. If you get yourself an HR-10, tune it up and you'll be surprised at how well it works for such a modest investment. Don't expect too much, though. It is what it is.
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