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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Heathkit DX-40 Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit DX-40
Heathkit DX-40 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $65
Description: Heathkit transmitter, 75 watts CW/60 watts phone, crystal controlled, 80-10 meters, 6146 final, grid modulated, accessory - VF-1 VFO
Product is not in production.
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W5XJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2014 09:54 Send this review to a friend
Good starter boat anchor  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I picked one up recently in North Texas with the VF-1 VFO and it is fun to play with. It has more room underneath to work on the various parts so it is great for those new to boat anchors. Less jam packed than the DX-100 for sure. You will need a crystal for it.

So far so good. I hear the DX-60 to better in case you see one of them.

73 & good DX!
VE6JF Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2012 08:10 Send this review to a friend
My 1st "real" transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
Up to the time I bought a DX-40 in the late 60's I was using a homebrew xmtr I built on one of my mothers old baking pans. (times were tough and I was still in high school!) I picked it up 2nd hand with a VF1 VFO and was crystal-free!! It was a liberating feeling. The thing just worked until I finally upgraded several years later to a Swan 350. After using the 350 for a while, I realized the DX-40 - to me anyway - was a better radio. Or maybe I just had more fun with it. But I never had to do any maintenance at all with it in the time I had it.
N3AWS Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2009 22:11 Send this review to a friend
My first rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first transmitter as a novice in the early 70's. I got it second hand. Along with an Allied A-2515 and a homebrew 80 meter dipole, I used my DX-40 for hundreds--perhaps thousands--of CW QSO's on 80 and 15 meters and later on 10 meters when novices finally got privileges on that band. I had three crystals for each band. I had the VF-1 VFO after novices were granted VFO privileges, but it never worked right. Those were great times...
VK3GMO Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2009 00:16 Send this review to a friend
Great transmitter and experience  Time owned: more than 12 months
A DX-40 was my first kit built in the late 1950s. It went together well but the meter wouldn't work. Used a light bulb.....75 watts to tune it and made a local contact, Heinz, who told me to bring it over for a look. Defective shunt resistor easily replaced.

I subsequently put up a TA-33 jr, built a homebrew 500 watt linear, two 811As and I could work anywhere with my old DX-50 pushing the linear. It tended to over modulate so I installed a pot to throttle back and audio reports were one believed I was using a DX-40. Used it for many years with a Knight Kit VFO acquired from another ham at my school. Great value and great experience both building it and using it.
W1MCE Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2008 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Great restoration project  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked up a DX-40 for a 'song' on eBay 2 years ago. The case was in 8.5 to 9.0 condition and was not touched. I replaced the electrolytics and several aged out resistors [hygroscopic - absorbed water vapor and swelled up ... normal aging mode for A-B type carbon resistors]. After testing the tubes and replacing the 6146 I get a great 40 watts output on CW on all bands. I added a D-104 microphone and have used the rig on 75 phone and 40 CW successfully.
For someone who has an interest in 1950s gear it makes a great get it running project.
I've been continuously licensed and active for 55+ years and hold an EE degree (retired)
WA6IPD Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2006 03:50 Send this review to a friend
A fun transmitter  Time owned: more than 12 months
The DX-40 was a wonderful transmitter in the 1950s and still is. It will even keep up with some of the heavy weights. I bought mine in the late 50s up until then I built all my transmitters. This was a low cost transmitter and with the VF-1 VFO you could cover all the frequencies 80-10 meters. Some gripe about VFO drift but they obviously never operated a BC-610. Using a good mike the audio could be made to sound very nice. This rig uses controlled carrier modulation which is different from screen grid modulation and is well suited for linear amplifiers. Heath was not the only one to use controlled carrier modulation numerous other manufactures did including Drake in their T4XC. I still use my DX-40 on AM running it thru an AL-811 along with a Drake R-4 receiver which makes for a very nice small light weight station. I modified my DX-40 slightly in the area of controls. I replaced the mike connector with a four prong mike connector. Then mounted inside I have two small 6VDC relays each DPDT, my mike keys these relays. I get the 6VDC from the filament supply. These relays key the transmitter, mute the receiver, operate an antenna relay and key the AL-8ll. So for a very modest investment you can still join the AM groups with a very decent signal.
K2PJT Rating: 4/5 Jul 18, 2005 20:31 Send this review to a friend
good in 1960  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built my DX40 from a kit back in novice days and used it for several years before selling it for college money. Every ham kid in the high school had one. The kit went together easily and worked the first time. While I had lots of fun and my share of DX contacts my closest neighbor complained about TVI and I had trouble dealing with harmonic surpression. The power transformer went bad in the second year of operation. Nowadays I much prefer the little QRP transceiver kits for maximum fun for the dollar.
K5AVJ Rating: 3/5 Mar 18, 2004 22:49 Send this review to a friend
Good Novice Xmtr in 1960  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first xmitter as a Novice & it covered 80-10 mtrs with crystals & 75 watts input CW, 60 watts AM. I had a 7176 crystal for 40 mtrs & a 7040 crystal that tripled up to 21,120 for 15 mtr operation.

After I got my General, I added the VF-1 VFO. The rig was capable of AM modulation but it did not deliver the punch like the plate modulated rigs of that era. Seems that the DX-40 used grid modulation. Also had some complaints of frequency FM'ing when I added the VF-1.

In its day, it was an excellent starter xmitter for a Novice but a poor choice once I upgraded to General. In its era, I'd give it a 4/5 with shortcoming being that it was grid modulated. Today, Id downgrade it to a 3/5 compared to other rigs

Problems experienced: failure of meter shunt resistor & later failure of power transformer. Replaced this rig in '67 with an SB-100. Loaned the DX-40 out to a new Novice & never saw it again. Hopefully, it helped several Novices along.

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