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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Lafayette HA-800 Amateur Band Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for Lafayette HA-800 Amateur Band Receiver
Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $130-$150
Description: A solid state ham band only receiver from 1970-1971.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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You can write your own review of the Lafayette HA-800 Amateur Band Receiver.

N4UE Rating: 4/5 Jul 18, 2008 15:55 Send this review to a friend
Not too bad, don't sell the Icom 7800  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi. OK, I'll admit it, I LOVE Lafayette radios! I guess it's because back in 1962 that was all I could afford. I made MANY contacts on my ole' HE-80, and have several today....
Don't laugh, sometimes you can buy whole radios for what the cost of a couple of tubes would cost elseware. I have had dozens of tube-type Lafayettes and have YET to have a tube that won't pass my Weston transconductance tester! Most of the tubes are marked as Hitachi....

OK, so one day I spot this HA-800 on e-Pay, er, e-Bay for a decent price. It looked good (don't they all!!) and the seller stated it worked as it should. Taking that comment with a 'grain of salt', I bought the radio, Lafayette HE-48 speaker, and a nice set of Telex Headphones for a good price. Shipping was cheap, the radio was very well packed.

I get the radio on the test bench and it's as dead as a rock. Most of the controls were frozen. No, this radio has not been wet, rather stored in an attic!. But, it and the Lafayette speaker were truely in excellent condition.

Taking the cover off the radio revealed a spotless chassis and surprise, just 2 small pc boards. I felt the same way when I looked into my FRG-7 (an absolutely super radio!!, see my review of that baby).
Carefully, I start putting synthetic oil on the switch shafts, using de-oxit on the wafer switches, etc.

Anyway, after finding numerous bad connections, the radio came alive. That's the GOOD news.

The BAD news, has to do with doing a re-alignment!

Having rebuilt hundreds of vintage (tube type) radios of the Collins, Hallicrafters, Hammarlund quality, I was VERY surprised at the difficulty encountered trying to align the radio. Alhough it had few components on the 2 PC boards, it has a LOT of coils and trimmers underneath..... VERY well made, though.

The IFs (2) were very close and easy to do. But when it came to doing the Osc adjustment for each band...... OMG!!
I would be embarassed to admit how long it took to get it right... It was NOT fun. Just putting a PLASTIC wand near some of the IF coils and caps was enough to shift the freq. WAAAAY off. You had to learn 'where the signal would go', when you moved either an inductor or trimmer, a thousands of a turn!!!

Bottom line, I have the radio in my receiver collection rack and it plays well. SSB sounds good. The antenna trimmer doesn't do much, and the 'Calibration" control.... instead of shifting the frequency SLIGHTLY, (like I'm used to), a SMALL move will move the receive point several (!!!) kHz....

It is sensitive, but could use more audio output. This is easily fixed with an external audio amp, just like my R-390A/CV-591 combo....

Fred Osterman rates it as rare, but don't pay more than $80 and you'll have a fun old radio.....



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