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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Lowe HF-150 Help

Reviews Summary for Lowe HF-150
Lowe HF-150 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $750.00
Description: Solid, Simple Little Receiver with Excellent Audio Quality
Product is in production.
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VE4MM Rating: 0/5 Aug 31, 2018 21:59 Send this review to a friend
GARBAGE  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have a Lowe 150 and went to use it after a few years of non-use and it would not power up.

Installed the 8 batteries and nothing.

Ready for the garbage.
K1VCT Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2016 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Great little receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my HF-150 in the late 1990's. Also got a SP-150 and PR-150 (the "speaker" and "preselector".

A few things. First are two accessories the HF-150 really needs, and those are the backlight for lcd display, and the keypad. I have both. The backlight works well, is led illuminated and matches the leds in the PR-150 and SP-150.

The radio is a very simple, John Thorpe design, with great audio, and if not perfect, at least altogether usable filtration.

For shortwave listening, you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding radio, that's how good it is. The internal speaker is great. The SP-150 is pretty good too, giving you a notch, treble response, and bass cut filtration. If you get a decent signal, and run the SP-150 into a studio monitor of moderate size (say a 3 way 10" based monitor with a ported cabinet), get ready to be blown away, as the radio and SP-150 are capable units, limited only by the tiny speakers they have. Ditto when used with better quality headphones.... just amazing audio. The SP-150 also has an S meter.

The PR-150 is a nice and handy pre-selector, that makes a decent account of itself. Leds light the band ranges and a large knob select the actual pre-selected frequency, with good cut-off of nearby (in frequency) signals.

To that all, I added my own "BP-150" design, which has two gel-cell 6v batteries in series, a charger, on/off power switch and a pair of leds, and switch, which show battery charge. Both leds, great charge. One brighter than the other, waning charge, just one led, charge soon, and one dim led means only 10 or 15 minutes of power left. The batteries provide up to 10 hours of use! Great for stormy weather. I made it through three hurricanes with the HF-150 "kit".

This is one of those "keeper" radios, the one that is not great on paper, but just a special little unit that you don't dare to part with. ICOM R-75 aside, I enjoy LISTENING to the HF-150 more than the ICOM.
G4MJA Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2016 12:48 Send this review to a friend
One Of The Best!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
During my 36 years in amateur radio I have owned many receivers, some good, some not so good. It is only recently that I managed to purchase a near immaculate example of the Lowe HF-150 with the optional keypad. Regardless of the fact that this receiver is at least 19 years old the performance is outstanding. Simplicity to operate & the reception performance with only a whip antenna is exceptional. It has the best synchronous AM facility I have ever used & locks on to weak stations like a limpet & doesn't let go. It offers a range of filters in AM mode & SSB performance is just as good. The audio quality from the top firing inbuilt speaker makes for easy listening. If you are in the market for a receiver & have the opportunity to buy an HF-150, buy it, you will not be sorry.
DXTUNER Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2012 14:49 Send this review to a friend
It always works and it never acts up.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The HF-150 is the best behaved general coverage receiver that Iíve ever used. Good sensitivity across its entire range, no weak spots, drop-off points or cliffs, yet it has no annoying characteristics whatsoever. Most receivers have at least 1 or 2 irksome qualities. The HF-150 is quiet, it doesnít drift and the audio is good. Iíd like to mention that the HF-150 is in fact great for sideband utilities & Ham listening, mainly because it is so quiet. Distant aeronauticals, for example, barely discernible above the noise on other well-known receivers, come through real good on this radio. In fact I use mine primarily for utility Dxíing. So how anyone can say the HF-150 is only for broadcast listening is beyond me. Itís also top notch down on longwave, probably the best Iíve ever owned for that band. Finally, a large outdoor antenna isnít needed for this radio. Just a short piece of wire does the trick.

I recommend the HF-150 to those wanting good coverage and no heartache. Provided you donít think youíre too advanced to use such a simple, small radio.
W4OP Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2012 10:25 Send this review to a friend
Still one of the Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my Lowe HF-150 for perhaps 15 years now. In the meantime, I have had the Palstar, and several other receivers. The AM sync is only 2nd best to the Elecraft K3. Built like a tank. I cannot imagine what the previous reviewer meant when he said it needs a tough case.
Backlighting is very easy to add- I have done 6 of them now for friends. Battery operation and the built in whip preamp make this an ideal portable rig. As others have noted, audio is brilliant for such a small receiver. Maybe it lacks the features of my K3, but for overall listening enjoyment, and ease of use I'll take the 150 any day.

Dale W4OP
KG8LB Rating: 3/5 Oct 18, 2012 08:59 Send this review to a friend
Not much radio for the money  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Lowe receiver is OK for general listening . Use on the crowded ham bands is another issue altogether . Bandwidth , passband tuning ? Yes , nice audio ..on strong stations . When things get tough the Lowe falls short on features . Small display (get a flashlight to use it at night ) . It needs a tough case construction . The shortcomings provoke one to toss it at the wall .
BXLISTENER Rating: 4/5 Feb 25, 2012 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Simple radio with very good performance.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my HF150 second hand. The power supply was toast so I use a supermarket plug-in-the-wall adapter with a ferrite clamp to soak up the buzz. 12v, 500mA, 6VA so it doesn't run too hot. Batteries are great but it EATS them (8xAA). The loudspeaker was rattling around inside the case when I bought it so I had to disassemble the set to get at it. The only way in is through the base and all the boards have to come out. There is a particular way of getting them out and back in again. You have to sort of "fly" them back in, pitching and yawing as you go. The biggest shock was when I found the loudspeaker was held in place by GLUE. Yup, no clips, bolts or screws. GLUE. Go figure. The tuning knob was sluggish so I shot some WD40/Duck Oil into where the spindle enters the set. Bingo! Smooth flywheel style tuning! There is no built in S meter so you have to use your EARS instead. No backlight on the display either. I use about 60ft of end fed wire straight in with no tuner and no problems. The bedroom radiator is my earth/counterpoise. I also have a telescopic whip with a PL259 on the end for portable use and indoor use during thundery weather. The narrow bandwidth works well on a crowded broadcast band and the audio is not too muffled. The sync detector is great for really tough conditions. It does tune slowly in sync and SSB mode. What I do on the Ham bands is tune around in AM mode then switch to SSB when I find a signal. I wasn't blown away by this radio when I first had it but it's grown on me now to the point where it's a keeper. NOT FOR SALE! It has a good record out level (3.5mm mono), ditto for external speaker. SO239 socket plus clamps. Pre-amp/norm/att switch. At first I missed the S meter, tone controll, keypad, backlight, AGC fast/slow etc but it IS kind of nice in a "back to basics/K.I.S.S." way. Oh yes, and the fact that it is actually BRITISH (!!!) just makes it that bit extra special for me personally. Of course there are better radios out there but if, like me, you don't specialize in any particular type of listening and just like tuning around for anything (broadcast, Ham, utility, number stations etc etc) it is a nice little all-rounder.
N5JRN Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2010 19:33 Send this review to a friend
An amazing receiver for broadcast listening  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's an absolutely amazing receiver FOR BROADCAST LISTENING. Keep that latter part in mind and you won't be disappointed in it.

I've had one for years (original owner, bought it on closeout when Lowe was discontinuing them about a decade ago) and have only recently done some serious comparisons with other receivers, which underscored how well designed it is for its intended purpose.

Which, despite the "communications receiver" wording in the front panel, is as a receiver for broadcast listening. Mainly because of the incredibly slow tuning rate on SSB (which makes it virtually impossible to tune around and scan for signals), it cannot be considered a fully usable receiver for receiving ham or utility signals. (It works for such in a pinch, but you'll wish you had something better-suited.)

It has NO noticeable birdies. Disconnect the antenna and tune around and it's simply dead-quiet.

Biggest annoyances are the lack of an S-meter and no backlighting on the display. And, if you live in an area with strong signals, you'll want a preselector for it.

The one problem I've run into with mine (and it's apparently a fairly common one) is that the BFO gave up the ghost. This broke any reception mode that relied on the BFO (including synchronous AM detection). Symptom was a harsh "motorboating" sound. I fixed this myself by replacing the MC14569 frequency divider that generates the BFO signal, as detailed here:

Oh, and it's built like a tank. The only radio sets I've seen with more sturdy construction than the HF-150s aluminum case are military-grade receivers.
VR2XMQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2009 23:50 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great little radio and many before have covered what I would want to say about it.

If you get one, you need to pair it up with the matching PR-150 for strong signal handling and to get the most out of it.

Besides my JRC NRD-515 and Kenwood R-820, this receiver gets the most use in the shack.

Nice minimalist design, no need for bells and whistles, just pure fun and performance.
JRT3 Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2009 05:52 Send this review to a friend
A classic - great audio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had many SWL/DX rcvrs over the years - still have my modified NRD525 & R8. I bought the HF-150 and PR-150 from EEB years ago - what a listening bargain - feeding a Minimus 7 speaker. Audio and detector selection is exemplary. Power demand (no illumination in my model) on NiCd gave 6+ hr - now on 2.5+ A-hr NiMH, I don't take the AC PS on vacations. The '150, Sony MDR-V6 'cans, RS AM Loop, and the NRC MW notes and I have something to do sitting on the condo's balconey - any time of the day - while my wife 'enjoys' the Gulf Shores, AL beaches. If you find one in nice shape, grab it!

The PR-150 preselector is a great find, too. Very good Q - needs often repeaking - adds a balanced input, if needed, but no HiZ 'whip' pre-amp, a la the bare HF-150. Helps with overloading & TOIP. It's pre-amp doesn't appear to add any problems, especially with the preselector in line (a wideband pass through is available). Sadly, power must be routed through PR to HF-150, negating portable use from the internal batteries(May be remedied by jumping polarity protecting D14 diode.). Simple to operate receiver - lacking a keyboard is offset by it's simplicity. Selectivity could be better - Collins mechanical filters would make it even better. My rating is for the HF/PR-150 combo - probably 4.5 for just the receiver.

My last new receiver - over ten years ago. Next - a Palstar R30A... an 'S-meter'... those Collins filters... how novel!
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