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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Heath Apache TX-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Heath Apache TX-1
Heath Apache TX-1 Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $Unknown
Description: A.M.& C.W. Amateur transmitter. Single Sideband operation with optional SB-10 adapter. Power input= 150 watts phone A.M.,180 watts C.W., 500 watts P.E.P. on S.S.B.-- Sold as a kit in 1959.
Product is not in production.
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KJ7USA Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2014 23:40 Send this review to a friend
Great design.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my first boat anchor transmitter and I'm glad I chose the Apache. Changed out two capacitors and removed the clipper tube for broader audio and paired it with a Kenwood MC-90 microphone with 250 Ohm to 50k Ohm impedance transformer. I get many unsolicited great audio reports. No need for an amplifier with 100+ carrier and 400+ PEP. Weighing over 100 pounds with potted transformers, it's still easy enough to slide out of the case to make adjustments. Nice big toggle switch to make that "clank" when you flip the switch and a fan built into the final compartment keeps the two 6146's cool.
KG8LB Rating: 4/5 Apr 8, 2013 08:55 Send this review to a friend
A solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 6 Apache transmitters over the last 25 years and enjoyed every one of them . Always sought out non working units for "something to do" . For the most part the Apache is straightforward and simple to work on . The audio is fine. Many less than informed "operators" are not aware of the locations of the audio gain and clipper controls . They wind up with extreme clipping that sounds awful . No wonder they come away whining about poor audio ! When set up correctly , the Apache does fine .
Another common operator glitch is failing to properly load the final . The final should be fully loaded when operating in AM phone . You are not making life for the rig any easier by loading to less than factory suggested numbers . In fact improper loading is a common cause for arcing at the base of the EL-34 modulator tubes as well as the HV rectifiers . I have seen tube pins fused to the socket connectors after flashovers induced by light loaded finals .
Mechanically there are a few issues but nothing we cannot work around . The cooling fan has minimal clearance below the cabinet flange , use caution when sliding the TX out of the case . In fact , the fan often shows damage from previous servicing . The front panel is loded with design compromises , brought on by the goal of using the same faceplate on both the Apache TX and the Mohawk RX . My hat is off to the engineers who were saddled with this task ! Plenty of linkages and odd drives . Not pretty and a bit fussy but once set up , works fairly well . Take care when handling the VFO drum scale . This is a plastic part that has only become more fragile over the years . Don'r over tighten attachments don't squeeze or pry against it in any way .

All of this aside , the Apache is still a very viable , capable vintage transmitter that can offer many more years of stellar service .
W9MT Rating: 4/5 Jul 14, 2012 22:25 Send this review to a friend
Good HEAVY-duty transmitter...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned an Apache for a little over a year in the 1971-72 timeframe. Got it for about $80. Bought an SB-10 from a friend of a friend for $50 more and had a real nice sounding SSB transmitter. That and my Trio JR-500S receiver made me many contacts on 20 and 15m during that period's sunspot cycle. I worked my first cross-ocean dx with that pair.

I usually left the equipment configured for ssb voice, because a change over to cw or AM required about a half hour of cable changing, and then another half hour back.

I moved on to better equipment after that, and stuff which didn't weigh in at about 105 lbs. But I was a lot younger and stronger then. I always wonder if it was lugging that Apache around that caused the need for my back surgeries a few decades later. Hmmmm...

But if you like something built like a tank, you cannot beat this transmitter. It's bulletproof!!!
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2007 11:25 Send this review to a friend
a great CW transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
have owned and used my Apache
for over 18 years

in this class of am/cw transmitter
the Heathkit Apache
is the best bang for your buck

the Apache
has first rate communication quality audio

the kind of audio you want
when the band is not so hot

never been much intrested
in running or listening to east coast audio

most of all
it is one of the best tube cw transmitters
in its pwr and price class ive ever used

if i was to own only one am/cw tube transmitter
in the 75 to 175 watt range it would be
a Heathkit Apache

dit dit Mac

W5RKL Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2006 09:21 Send this review to a friend
Great AM Boatanchor Transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my Apache TX-1 for 2 years. Although it's very heavy, I find that to be a small price to pay for an excellent and reliable 1959 AM/CW transmitter. A stock Apache will not have the nice low and mid range audio. I have modified a few Apaches to improve the transmit audio. The modification were not the simple change out of the interstage capacitors. Although that will improve the audio somewhat, the entire audio section has to be changed. The 12AX7, 6AL5 and the small round filter is removed and the remaining 12AU7, 12BY7 and secondary of the modulation transformer has to be changed. Doing so will greatly improve the transmit audio and eliminate the stock "Scratchy Apache" audio.

If you have the opportunity to pick up one of these fine transmitters, don't pass it up. With a little work by yourself or by someone who really knows what they are doing around an Apache, you will end up with an excellent, great sounding transmit audio and very reliable transmitter.

If you pick up an Apache and want it modified, just let me know, I can help you.


KQ6IG Rating: 3/5 Jul 27, 2005 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Big Heavy Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned a TX-1 that someone gave me for several years. Mine had an open audio driver transformer primary. I was lucky enough to find a replacement from a fellow on a boatanchor newsgroup. The tX is built tough, and heavy. Real battleship construction. It also uses real hi-fi 6CA7 tubes in the modulator.

What I did not like was the poor audio quality. Don't be fooled by "old radio folklore". This transmitter will never come close to "broadcast quality" unless you rip out, and rebuild the audio section.

However, it is a perfectly useable effective AM/CW rig. Costs less than many comporable non-Heathkit transmitter too. If you're considering a Valiant, but can't afford the rediculously ballooning prices, an Apache will do just fine, with close to comporable performance.

73 KQ6IG
K1LNL Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2005 11:33 Send this review to a friend
Still fun and heavier than ever  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Apache was my first HF transmitter, built at age 16 in 1961. Put it in the closet in 1970 when I went into the Army. Pulled it out of the closet about 4 years ago after 30 years of non-use, cleaned all the dust out, replaced all the big caps to get rid of a wicked buzz on the output cw note, and it worked.

Mine had a very stiff bandswitch in the VFO, the one that is turned by a complex linkage that I wonder how it ever worked. Removed it and tinkered with it to loosen it up, replaced and now switches fine, still wonder how.

I had a nasty difference in output Cw sound between Xtal and VFO. After tinkering a bit I finally tried the obvious and replaced the 6AU6 VFO tube, with a 6AU6A, completely solved it. I suspected voltage regulation, but was surprised it was just the tube.

I have been using it regularly on 20m cw with a Heath HD-1410 keyer and an SB-303, got both on ebay and also restored them quite a bit. I am getting a pretty stiff HV and 180 W input and 142 W output on CW.

Got sick of listening to the fan and since I've seen plenty of other rigs using two 6146's and no fan, I added a switch on a bracket I attached to the VFO cage. Trying it like that now - much quieter. I assume I'll need to switch the fan back on for AM.

I'll try it on AM with my D-104 soon.

The Apache is a big old heavy, unnecesarily complex mechanically boat anchor. But I love to use it just as much as in the 1960's. I hope somebody wants it when I'm gone. 73's Carl
AA1ZO Rating: 5/5 May 24, 2004 12:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Boat Anckor!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great transmitter. 100 Watts of plate modulation. Nothing like it. People tell me that it really sounds good on the air. I've had to do some work to it when I first got it. I enjoyed working on it and getting it on the air. It is heavy however. It weighs in at 107 pounds. If you match this up with a good Astatic D-104 microphonium, you too will come close to that broadcash sound! If you want a good plate modulated AM rig this is the one.
WB5OAU Rating: 4/5 Mar 18, 2004 21:41 Send this review to a friend
Great workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine from a Goodwill store, and fixed the fault which caused it to have never ever worked correctly. I can't imagine the feeling of having put together this complex piece of gear (mechanically, not electrically) and have it spit sparks and smoke. I felt good actually getting it on the air for the first time in its 40+ years.
Great rig, very dependable. The "scratchy" moniker comes more from the rhyme with "apache" than for its audio characteristics. Lots of modulator audio and nice Chicago/UTC iron. Great rig, and cheap to boot. Match it up with the Mohawk and it's a handsome station. Buy a truss, or some BenGay prior to lifting it. A classic, heavy, reliable rig. I've owned mine 10 yrs.

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