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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Heathkit HA-10 Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit HA-10
Heathkit HA-10 Reviews: 6 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $229.95
Description: Desktop KW input, uses 4 811a tubes.
Product is not in production.
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WB0SNF Rating: 4/5 Feb 16, 2016 15:51 Send this review to a friend
tranny   Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi. Still have mine with Mohawk and Marauder which I still use. xfmr went about 15 years ago and have run outboard power supply since. Here's a tidbit I read about 15 years ago---The Warrior xfmr has an internal fuse and can be found by taking the bell off and carefully removing the paper until you find it---. I dug around in the storage shed looking for it, hoping I hadn't throw it away but no luck. Since then I have forgotten where I read that Pre internet article. I don't know if that info is correct but MAYBE this will do someone some good. Moral, don't throw any junk away prematurely.
WB5AGF Rating: 4/5 Aug 15, 2009 15:18 Send this review to a friend
Early 1960s SSB Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Heathkit HA-10 'Warrior' HF amplifier was designed at the time when single-sideband radios were beginning to replace AM gear. It is a good, solid, amplifier from that era and, as long as you understand what that means, there shouldn't be any surprises if you can find one in decent shape.

The HA-10 shares characteristics common to other equipment of that era : (compared to what we have become used to in the decades since then) heavy, a lot of metal cabinetry and lots of screws keeping everything tightly closed.

(TVI had been a big problem when television started to become popular in the 1950s and there was a lot of effort put into designing ham gear that wouldn't get everyone in-the-neighborhood up-in-arms when the local hams fired-up their equipment.)

A non-modified HA-10 has some design issues that any potential buyer needs to be aware of : no built-in T/R switching (it must be provided for
externally), only 110 VAC power (the HV transformer doesn't have split primary windings), mercury vapor HV rectifiers, and a rudimentary air cooling system.

The issue that concerned me the most was the relatively crude cooling method for the four 811A triode tubes. The unmodified HA-10 doesn't have a fan driven intake or exhaust from the cabinet for the cooling air. There is a phonograph motor (does everyone remember those ?) with a fan blade on it and that serves to 'stir' the air around in the RF compartment. The case does have perforations in it but there isn't any attempt to pull cool external air into the case or to exhaust the warm air. The only thing that I could figure was that the Heath Engineers must have assumed that most people would be running SSB with their HA-10s and that the mass of all the metal (transformer, choke and shielding) would act as a heat sink. (The four 811As have a combined plate dissipation of 260 Watts.)

For my HA-10 I built an air-duct to route external air into the RF compartment, increased the size of some of the existing perforations in the cabinet, and added a fan to pull air in from the outside.

The other changes that I made were : added a T/R relay inside the case (including a cut-off bias circuit for the 811As) and replaced the mercury vapor rectifiers with solid state replacements (that meant no more worrying about flash-backs and no more heat-up delay concerns).

I would have liked to have been able to run the HA-10 off 220 VAC but didn't have a suitable replacement transformer and so had to continue running it from 110 VAC (the HV choke hummed a bit as the current changed).
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2008 13:02 Send this review to a friend
can be had for a song  Time owned: more than 12 months
its a good old amp
one of the many four 811A
ssb amps made in the 60s

had mine for over ten years
without one single prob
not bad for an amp thats over 40 years old

treat it right it will serve you well

K9AUB Rating: 2/5 May 22, 2007 08:41 Send this review to a friend
An average amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
An aesthetically attractive amp, Spartan but stylish. HEAVY! The Warrior should be reviewed as an RF section combined with a power supply. The RF section is competent. Nothing heavy duty here, no innovations then or now, but it will give decent performance on all bands 80-10. No tuned input, but that shouldn't be an issue with a modern transceiver with built-in antenna tuner. With about 75 watts drive, good for 1 KW DC input on CW, and about 1200w pep on SSB. No real surprises; it chugs along well. Power supply: here's the problem area. Heath didn't use very good iron in this amplifier. The plate transformer is marginal, and will not stand for you "pushing it to the limit." This is an amp you want to run conservatively, even derate it a little bit. Replacement transformers are available from Peter Dahl, but you may balk at paying so much for such an old amplifier. Still, with a decent Dahl Hypersil transformer, this amp should be greatly enhanced! The filter chokes are also troublesome items, and I don't believe there's much you can do to conserve them. The internal insulation seems to be a problem, combined with overall marginal construction. Replacement chokes are difficult to find, and expensive! Although most amps benefit from replacing mercury vapor rectifiers with solid state, I think this might give a little too much extra voltage that might push the iron over the edge. A better plan might be to replace the problematic 866A's with 3B28 vacuum rectifiers. Voltages are held down a little bit compared to solid state, and that seems to extend the life of the marginal plate transformer and filter choke. No built-in T/R switching; adding an internal relay so it can be used with a modern transceiver would be a very worthwhile mod. This amplifier is fine for the casual user, but it definitely is NOT a "contester's amp." Baby it, and it will give you decent service. Just don't try to suck every last watt out of it, and it will serve you well.
K0JPJ Rating: 4/5 May 13, 2003 13:17 Send this review to a friend
One weak link I discovered....  Time owned: more than 12 months
First let me say I used an HA-10 heavily on RTTY for several years in the early 60s. The only serious failure I experienced was the powoer supply choke. At the time a replacement was about $15.00 or so with lots of shipping due to weight. Later after when I had a ham store and even later when working for another store I saw several HA-10s cross the bench with the same choke having failed. I had thought perhaps the long keydown use in RTTY had brought about the failure in my original HA-10....but these others were used in fairly light duty on SSB or CW. By the time the last one came in Heath no longer had any chokes to sell and could not direct me towards a suitable source. I finally scrounged up one for the customer from a now defunct surplus store that advertised in the magazines. It was not as rugged as the original but did work.

My experience otherwise was good....great in fact
considering initial cost. I had ordered one before even seeing a picture of the amp and was not disappointed. The mods mentioned by others are all good ones...have put similar in the amps I use today. By the way my original HA-10 is still used daily by an avid DXer. It is only on it's third set of finals after 40 years of hard use!
K8DGL Rating: 3/5 Jan 18, 2003 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Big and Heavy  Time owned: more than 12 months
Built like a tank and almost as heavy. I used mine with matching HX-10 and RX-1 and enjoyed operating it. A little noisey fan and it probably would be worthwhile replacing tubes with 572B's.

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