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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Heathkit SB-401 Help

Reviews Summary for Heathkit SB-401
Heathkit SB-401 Reviews: 2 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $285.00
Description: 80 - 10 meter SSB/AM/CW transmitter mate for Heath SB-300/301 receiver of the late 60's and early 70's. Used 2 - 6146 B finals and was entirely tube type.
Product is not in production.
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K2OWK Rating: 4/5 May 5, 2010 21:02 Send this review to a friend
Excellent old transmitter  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This fine old transmitter. I have been using it for a few months now, on the air about two weeks. It has worked perfectly. I have had excellent reports in both signal and audio. Just for the record this transmitter is SSB and CW only it does not have AM capability. I am using it as a stand alone with a Yasue FRG 7000 for a receiver. To do this you need the crystal pack installed. I have not experienced any problems with it to date. I use an inverted "V" 40 meter antenna and my Heathkit HM-102 SWR Wattmeter indicates a 1.22 to one VSWR and an out put of about 100 watts PEP on Sidband. I am very happy with this transmitter and the only reason I do not give it a 5, is the warm-up time to no drift operatin and the tuning which I enjoy but is a proceedure to deal with. For less then $300.00 it is a fine transmitter for those of us who used to operate in the 1960s and want to relive the era of old tube radios.
AH6FC Rating: 3/5 Aug 10, 2006 06:07 Send this review to a friend
One of the best...when it worked  Time owned: more than 12 months
There are many of us who "cut our teeth" in ham radio in the late 60's and were faced with a much more limited choice of rigs to chose from. The Heath SB series was certainly the poor-man's Collins - S line. The price of the SB-series was at least half or a third of the Collins; much less than Drake and Swan as well. The receiver, SB-301 was a great performer and relatively straight forward to build. The SB-401, on the other hand, was significantly more complex and prone to builder error. The interface to allow for ALC control, relay coordination, vfo control with the receiver required about a dozen cables between the two rigs. I used the SB-401 for about 5 years and loved it, when it worked(emphasize). The audio quality was supurb, though there was always a tendency for carrier null to fail with a clean ssb signal suddenly become a partial AM signal. The VFO (pre-built by TRW) was rock solid. Relay problems were frequent. It was a great didn't need an SWR meter with this rig. Why? All you needed to do was to look at the cherry red plates of the 6146B finals and know your SWR was too high!

Overall a great rig, particularly if one was an expert kit builder...which I wasn't! hi hi.

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