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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | HeathKit DX60B Help

Reviews Summary for HeathKit DX60B
HeathKit DX60B Reviews: 14 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $89.95
Description: hf cw / am transmitter
Product is not in production.
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W0XS Rating: 3/5 May 17, 2017 16:21 Send this review to a friend
Good beginner transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
After passing my Novice exam in 1965, while waiting for my license to arrive, I spent several happy evenings wiring and assembling this kit.

It was exciting to make cw contacts with it.

Seeing the DX-60 always brings back wonderful memories of my early days as a ham radio enthusiast!
KB9ENH Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2016 05:31 Send this review to a friend
good starter to get on AM  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my first DX-60 transmitter at Dayton back in 2000 just right after I got my General ticket and got it for $30.00 I re-caped it and changed some resistors and did a audio mod to it, I need to do a PTT mod to it to safe that mode switch, Its a nice little low end transmitter can get about 60-70 watts out of it, I run mine with a 6146W tube in it and have no problems. I have a nice station A DX-60 a HR-10B and HG-10B vfo.
WZ7E Rating: 4/5 Jun 8, 2014 18:04 Send this review to a friend
Fun old rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great rig for learning, upgrading, experimenting and just having fun. Available at modest price. The 50 watt performance is plenty for most work. Verify that the function switch is ok cuz replacement switches are hard to find. Note that some function switches are repairable but many are not. Also add a snubber across high voltage contacts to finals or some method of softening voltage slam on switch contacts. Plenty of internet info on this.
Works best with external vfo and 3rd party receiver like a Drake R4B. Nice cw scope trace. Easy to work on.
K9MHZ Rating: 3/5 Apr 15, 2014 15:50 Send this review to a friend
Good old transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a good old radio. The screen modulation of the 6146 is a good idea to keep the size of the rig down, but the AMers looking for the same fidelity realized from a plate modulated design (DX-100) will be disappointed. It is a lower end, simpler transmitter than some of the bigger, albeit older designs previous to it. The function switching is a very poor design, and will arc, pit, and ultimately fail. You MUST get the high inrush current of the B+ off of it, otherwise it will be just a matter of time before it fails.

Puts out about 60 watts on CW, and has good keying waveforms. You'll need an external antenna switching setup, as all you get from the transmitter is switched 120 VAC when you select transmit. To go to that trouble, one might look at a better transmitter.

BTW, the MSRP from back in the day was $119 toward the end of its run. The $89.95 shown above was much earlier in its lifecycle...FWIW.

K7KEY Rating: 3/5 Mar 23, 2013 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Satisfied Me!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I doubt that these reviews will ever cause anyone to choose to buy a DX60 that isn't already going to buy one . . . there just isn't that need anymore. But I can't resist the chance to comment on this bit of nostalgia.

A DX60B was my first transmitter, as a teenager with my new novice call WN7HXH in 1966. I didn't build the kit, but bought it used (along with an ugly Halliscratcher S40A SW receiver) used for $100 with my bean picking money left over after buying school clothes. The transmitter was nothing special, but it was cost effective, and produced reasonably clean RF in the days when there was a lot of poor quality RF being generated. As a kid enthralled with radio, it gave me many hours of enjoyment when coupled with my few random 40M crystals. Sitting next to the old S40A receiver, this Heath transmitter was quite modern looking.

My first phone contact as a General Class was on 40M AM with this transmitter using an old PA microphone that I bought at the Goodwill store for 25 cents. Boy was I nervous speaking into that microphone the first time. In those days, and for many years before, there was nobody on the bands using AM, what with SSB being such a quantum leap in efficiency. As a result, the first station I called gave me a good signal report, but made the comment that there was a strange and strong "heterodyne" on my signal.

It was fun, but I have no desire to own another one.
W9MT Rating: 3/5 Jan 9, 2013 06:18 Send this review to a friend
Good starter transmitter...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
There were 3 versions of the DX-60 series transmitter: plain, A, and B. The changes between the 3 were really only cosmetic, not specification differences.

Any of the 3 work great with the HG-10 series vfo's or crystals.

One thing I have found with all 3 of these transmitters, and with the HW-16 is that the voltages listed on the schematic are ALWAYS higher than what one actually will measure. This includes vacuum tube filament voltages. The plate voltage for the 6146 final typically is 75 or 80 volts low. The low B+ runs proportionally low, too.

I went around and around with this trying to find the reason why this is so. There was nothing wrong with my AC line voltage, either.

So, I put a variac on the AC line to the DX-60 and turned it up until my filament voltage was EXACTLY 6.3VAC. This was with about 135VAC into the rig from the wall socket. Interestingly enough, all other voltages were now nominally what the schematic called out.

My conclusion is that Heath got a large order of power transformers for these 4 rigs which had incorrect windings, likely on the input side of the transformer.

Since the rigs still "functioned" at the lower voltage levels, Heath "used this common power transformer, as-is"...for years and years. This is probably another case where the transformer vendor's prototypes did not match what they delivered in production quantities. (Never happens anywhere else, does it, you electrical engineers out there???)

I've never seen one of these 3 DX-60 types or an HW-16 that didn't have this phenomenon. You'll get a little lower RF power out at the lower voltage levels. On the HW-16, you'll also get a little more receiver sensitivity with the voltages "where they belong".

If you're curious, check it out the next time you have your unit open.
KA2AYR Rating: 4/5 Oct 28, 2011 20:59 Send this review to a friend
My first rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
My mother bought me a DX60B with the matching VFO and receiver for Christmas after I passed my novice exam. I had a longwire strung between the house and the clothesline pole and worked a great deal of DX on CW. After I upgraded, I made some new friends on 10 meter AM. The rig had a nice clean signal on CW. AM wasn't the broadcast quality like many people strived for back then, but was perfectly clear. Tuning was a joy, even if it was into a lightbulb. This thing took a beating from this novice and came back strong each time. It wasn't fancy, but I wish I still had my station (it seemed to work as good as the newer, more expensive no-tune stuff). I did keep the VFO which I tried to varactor modulate for a Gonset.
KJ6VX Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2011 17:22 Send this review to a friend
CW  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this kit when I was a teenager in the late 1960s. I had to do some troubleshooting after I built it to get it running. After that I used it for many years as both a Novice and Technician. About 10 years ago I sold both the DX-60B and the receiver I used, a Knight R-100A. The external VFO worked great on the DX-60B, rock solid. I used the DX-60B with a Hy-Gain 14AVQ vertical. It was a good combo and helped me work a lot of CW from Minnesota.

I wish Heathkit was still around. They made a lot of great kits and helped many generations of kids become technicians and engineers.
N6KYS Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2006 21:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig...Do this mod, though!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Loved the DX-60B for many years. I think I've owned four or five over the years, for various reasons. One mod that is (I think) vital, so that you can run your rig for many more years, is to take the high voltage wires (red) off of the function switch. Those function switches are impossible to replace, unless you find one in a basket case rig, so save your function from the arcing (from the current inrush to the HV electrolytics in the power supply) and the pitting and corrosion that will result. Steal some low voltage 6 VAC from the filament on the nearby speech amp tube. Run THAT to the place on the function switch that used to switch the HV on/off (red wires), and have the now switched 6 VAC control a relay. Place the red leads removed from the function switch onto the relay, so the on/off of the HV is controlled by the switched 6 VAC. Simple, but vital now that these are getting to be vintage rigs.

N4KH Rating: 4/5 Jul 4, 2006 15:26 Send this review to a friend
Good transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built one of these in 1974 as a teenager and used it for about 2 years on the novice band. Sadly, I no longer have it because I sold it when my dad bought me an SB-102 when I upgraded to General. I used crystals only since I didn't have a VFO. The transmitter worked great into a number of antennas once I got a few wiring errors and a faulty tube corrected. I didn't care for the mode switch layout that made you switch through the tune position before getting to the standby position, or having to switch though the AM position before gettting to CW. I also would have preferred a front panel crystal socket since I had quite a few crystals and spent alot of time blindly hunting for the correct socket on the back of the chassis. But overall a very reliable transmitter that served me well.
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