eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Heathkit SB-1400 Help


Reviews Summary for Heathkit SB-1400
Heathkit SB-1400 Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $900 (new with power supply)
Description: Same as the Yaesu FT-747
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.heathkit.com
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Heathkit SB-1400.

WP4OEK Rating: 4/5 Dec 29, 2013 09:04 Send this review to a friend
Good  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
No fancy filters and no Speech Processor but works good with MD-1 mic.
 
N9KLK Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2013 09:10 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price that I paid 20+ years ago,   Time owned: more than 12 months
Problem: Heath SB-1400 (Yaesu FG-747)
First I have owned this radio since the late 1980’s without any problems. I bought it from Heath along with the SB-1400-4 matching power supply/speaker when they were closing out products. I did have fun with the radio I WAS and mixed DXCC before it became my backup radio. That was about two to three years after the initial purchase. Yet I did use it once in awhile. Never a problem with it.

My error…..I was rearranging my shack. Should have had the radio off. Modern radio's are not too forgiving like my old tube radio's.
I accidently touched the ext. 13.5v connection to ground. (Shorted)
Lost sound radio meter was pinned to the right, also right side of back light seemed to be out (dimmer than the left), powered unit off. I did slightly smell what I would say was a component that may have gotten burnt/shorted. I took the cover off and did not see any internal damage looking down into the unit or smoke residue. I did repower the unit with the cover off and had the same result, meter pinned. No smoke and no more smell. (only had it powered up for 10-15 seconds.)
I took it to my bench and with a lighted magnifying work lamp looked over the components to see it I could discover what shorted or over heated/burnt. I found nothing that I could see that was evident to me. Connected back to power supply. Powered on and now the meter was no longer pinned to the right, No sound (I did hear the normal click in the speaker) I was able to change bands,frequencies and modes etc... No sounds, No rf transmit to external meter with dummy load. And Ext13.5 v that started this mess was measuring a 1.25 v output. I looked at the schematic and looked for any fused type connections. Nothing that I found. I was really bummed out because I liked this radio. Anyway the general consensus was to sell for parts since a shop charges $60 to $75 dollars a hour and any parts needed would probsbly be unavailable so the radio was just not worth it. So I decided to keep looking for a fix. I took the radio apart. Looked at the copper/foil traces under each board. Under the main board. I found 3 foil traces that appeared to have taken some heat. Close examination and the use of a meter. I discovered one circuit was open, while the other two were just very dark. So I repaired the damaged foil with a jumper. I also repaired the other two since they were in the same circuit. Put the radio back together and made my connections. Powered it up and after checking everything I found the radio was working just fine.

After the fact I found that Yaesu/Heath didn’t use fuses and this was a common problem. Since no fuse for the 13.5v any shorts or over loads the smaller copper foil traces would burn or melt open. Just like a fuse should.

Hope this helps someone with this similar problem. Oh I have not performed any of the FT-747 / SB-1400 modifications.
Anyway I would still give the radio a great comment!
 
N9KLK Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2013 12:36 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price that I paid 20+ years ago,   Time owned: more than 12 months
Problem: Heath SB-1400 (Yaesu FG-747)
First I have owned this radio since the late 1980’s without any problems. Although it became my backup radio after about five years.
My error…..I was rearranging my shack. Should have had the radio off.
I accidently touched the ext. 13.5v connection to ground. (Shorted)
Lost sound radio meter was pinned to the right, also right side of back light seemed to be out (dimmer than the left), powered unit off. I did slightly smell what I would say was a component that may have gotten burnt/shorted. I took the cover off and did not see any internal smoke residue. I did repower the unit with the cover off and had the same result, meter pinned. No smoke and no more smell. (only had it powered up for 10-15 seconds.)
I took it to my bench and with a lighted magnifying work lamp looked over the components to see it I could discover what shorted or over heated/burnt. I found nothing that I could see that was evident to me. Connected back to power supply. Powered on and now the meter was no longer pinned to the right, No sound (I did hear the normal click in the speaker) I was able to change bands,frequencies and modes etc... No sounds, No rf transmit to external meter with dummy load. And Ext13.5 v that started this mess was measuring a 1.25 v output. I looked at the schematic and looked for any fused type connections. Nothing that I found. I was really bummed out because I liked this radio. Anyway the general consensus was to sell for parts since a shop charges $60 to $70 dollars a hour and any parts needed would probsbly be unavailable so the radio was just not worth it. So I decided to keep looking for a fix. I took the radio apart. Looked at the copper/foil traces under each board. Under the main board I found 3 foil traces that appeared to have taken some heat. Close examination and the use of a meter. I discovered one circuit was open, while the other two were just very dark. So I repaired the damaged foil with a jumper. I also repaired the other two since they were in the same circuit. Put the radio back together and made my connections. Powered it up and after checking everything I found the radio was working just fine.

After the fact I found that Yaesu/Heath didn’t use fuses and this was a common problem. Since no fuse for the 13.5v any shorts or over loads the smaller copper foil traces would burn or melt open. Just like a fuse should.

Hope this helps someone with a similar problem. Oh I have not performed any of the FT-747 / SB-1400 modifications.
Anyway I would still give the radio a great comment!
 
N0RRS Rating: 4/5 Jan 14, 2013 16:22 Send this review to a friend
Good basic rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just acquired a Heath SB-1400 HF rig. This is basically the same as a Yaesu FT-747GX without the internal speaker. My particular rig had undergone an extensive upgrade in audio filtering having had the Yaesu audio mod performed and all the offending capacitors replaced. Also the display panel lights have been replaced by blue LED's which should never burn out. After running the rig for about 12 hours straight on 10m, 15m, 17m, and 40m. I found the RX audio to be outstanding, but the image rejection was a bit disappointing. With no IF shift, RF gain, or PBT the only way to combat "bleedover" was through the ATT which does work quite well. The transmit audio was sharp and crisp, but lacks a speech processor, which I think might be the reason it sounded so well. The case as stated in other reviews is plastic and cheap, and the VFO encoder is not robust like the more expensive rigs, but overall for what it is it is a good (not great) HF rig for the newcomer or a decent backup rig for the old pro. It covers 10m-160m, and will make a good SWL receiver. Also, with the FM board it will work on the 10m repeaters. Overall I rated it a 4. If you come across one at a swapfest it is worth a look.
 
WA4JEA Rating: 4/5 Aug 11, 2012 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Good First Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Heath SB-1400 is a good first rig for a ham entering the world of HF.

After an extended time away from the hobby, I needed an inexpensive HF transceiver to get back on the air. I purchased a used SB-1400 for $250 in 2011, and it has been a solid performer. Using a simple wire dipole, I have been able to work stateside stations and DX ranging from Northern Ireland to Greece. Signal reports have been very good in general, and several have commented on the clean audio being transmitted.

I didn't give it a 5 because the receiver didn't perform as well as expected and the audio output doesn't have much high-end response. The noise blanker wasn't particularly effective although the attenuator did a reasonably good job when applied.

There are two characteristics of this rig that potential purchasers should be aware of -- no internal speaker and fast/slow tuning. I was surprised that the unit didn't have an internal speaker, so a purchaser should be ready with a good pair of headphones or an external speaker.

With regard to the tuning, some reviewers have indicated they don't like the two-speed tuning rate because it is too fast or too slow. In my case, though, I actually like the approach used by the SB-1400. I like to do manual scans through the portions of the bands available to me in my license class. I would set the low end or high end with the fast tuning rate, then I would use the slow tuning rate as I settled in for a leisurely roll through the band.

Overall, I have had a good experience with the Heath SB-1400 and I would recommend it as an inexpensive first HF rig.

 
KB7ZNV Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2010 11:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent older transceiver.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
What can I say? I like my Heath SB-1400. It sits beside my Yaesu FT-450AT and it's an excellent 100 Watt rig.It's been around for decades and it works flawlessly. It looks great. It sounds great. It's easy to use, and just like my 1981 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup, It's extremely reliable and it's paid for. It's here to stay.
 
N8NKC Rating: 3/5 Sep 4, 2007 12:32 Send this review to a friend
Needs Speech Processor  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This rig will get you on the air for little money.I bought one on Ebay for $300 including the power supply.I don't think that you can get any used transciever for such a price. It is a good value.

I have worked stateside and some DX with it with some success, but the contacts would come alot quicker with a speech processor. Average power out is low, and the most I can get sideband is 70 watts peak.

It might need some reconditioning. A good place to send it for this is RTO Electronics in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Cost is $158 plus parts.

This radio will get you on the air for little cost, but for some more money you could get a more modern rig with speech processing, easier tuning, and built in keyer.

Overall it is not a bad radio, and it has general coverage receive, but there are others out there that have greater performance and features.
 
K7VO Rating: 2/5 Feb 18, 2005 19:21 Send this review to a friend
Muddy audio, no QRM fighting tools, high noise floor  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Heath SB-1400 ("kit" was not part of the name of this rig) was a slightly reworked version of the Yaesu FT-747GX. Both the Yaesu and Heath versions of this rig get rave reviews. I really fail to understand why.

Is it reliable? Sure. Lots of memories? Yep. General coverage receive? Yes. Is the receiver sensitive? Very. It also features a relatively high noise floor from a truly noisy synthesizer. Had I not had better radios to compare it to I might have thought it had a good receiver but in A/B tests it failed miserably. The slightly older Kenwood TS-670 could pull out stuff on 40 and 15 that the combination of high receiver noise floor and just plain muddy audio made impossible to copy on the Heath. If you like a very bassy sound with lots of presence the SB-1400 has it. The high end is just plain missing, and not just in AM mode. This was true both with the internal speaker and the lousy external speaker in the matching SB-1400-4 power supply (a Yaesu FP-757HD with a Heath nameplate). The external speaker sounded no better than the internal one. I'd take my relatively ancient, analog Shimizu Denshi SS-105S over this Yaesu/Heath toy any day.

The rig has two tuning rates: too fast and too slow. Thankfully I had the optional spinner knob so I could tune around a band at a reasonable rate. The fact that Heath found it necessary to offer this option makes it clear they were aware of the need for it.

IF Shift? PBT? Anything at all to get rid of QRN or QRM? Heck no! The Heath version at least allowed you to choose fast/slow ALC independently of mode, something the Yaesu version lacked.

I think the people who like this rig haven't tried a better one. That or what they value in a rig isn't what I value: receiver performance. I sold mine after five months.
 
W7JBJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2005 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Enjoyable!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used this rig for about two years without a single problem before selling it. It worked for me flawlessly and was a very easy rig to use. I operated both CW and SSB on all bands with great signal, and audio reports! I would not hesitate to acquire another one if the opportunity arose as a back-up rig!

73,
Gil Larson, W7JBJ
 
KU4QW Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2001 22:40 Send this review to a friend
This is a Yaesu FT-747  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
SB-1400 Huge pileups, big city QRN, no spare parts, and a long way to anywhere. You probably couldn't find a better test of the new SB-1400 All-Mode Transceiver than Heath's expedition to Taipei in the Republic of China. When working DX, you need sensitivity to dig for the weak ones, but still need dynamic range so the guy down the block doesn't clobber you in the middle of a QSO. Sure, the SB-1400 worked thc S9+ 30 signals, but out of the pile- ups it also worked a number of stateside stations running 5 watts or less! And that's not bad for a short path distance of 7600 miles!

SB-1400 A proven transceiver.

The technology that worked the world can work for you, too, in your own ham shack 1he SB-1400 is a fully assembled all-band, all-mode (FM optional), continuous duty, 100-watt transceiver. It incorporates an impressive general coverage receiver with dual VFOs for split operation and 20 memories to store your favorite frequencies. The unit includes standard SSB filter plus a n and 500 Hz CW filter and wideband AM filter. It also features clarifier (RIT), front panel AGC, noise blanker, all mode squelch, 20 dB attenuator, computer interface, and a clean, "operator preferred" front panel layout. The transmitter's PA is cooled by a quiet, thermostatically controlled internal fan and is enclosed in its own diecast aluminum heat-sink chamber, which allows for full power operation in CW, SSB, FM and RTlY, AMTOR, SSTV, and Packet.


 


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.