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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Lafayette HA-500 Help

Reviews Summary for Lafayette HA-500
Lafayette HA-500 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 2.7/5 MSRP: $130-150
Description: Amateur Band Communication Receiver. Double Conversion, 10 tubes, plus diodes.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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NZ5L Rating: 4/5 Jul 2, 2012 16:51 Send this review to a friend
nice find  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, I admit it. I'm a nostalgia nut. I am also a sucker for a handsome, well-kept front panel and a clean dial face with intact lettering. So I bought the HA-500 without going too much into it's "performance". And at first, I thought I just wasted a pair of "Jacksons", but didn't give up fiddling.
My persistence paid off. I found this receiver is very particular about antenna impedance, and the "trimmer" control becomes the most important function. Even so, sensitivity on bands above 20 leaves quite a bit to be desired. And, as mentioned already, the "CAL" knob has WAY too much effect. But, that aside, when I finally managed to tune in signals, they sounded really good thru my large vintage speaker. There is very little AC hum, and - even better - it is stable enough to really copy CW and keep the signal within a DSP filter passband.
So I'm glad I picked it up. And, at 25lbs, also glad I didn;t have to carry it very far!
It makes a good net monitor receiver, and I like its nice, wide audio.
Not for the DXer or contester, or ham with a closet hamshack, but a bonafide "boatanchor", in the affectionate sense of the word. It was a nice find.
K7NG Rating: 0/5 Jan 16, 2009 15:29 Send this review to a friend
Useful doorstop  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a HA-500 along with a Hallicrafters HT-37 as a 'package' deal in 1968. I checked all the tubes with a 'real' tube tester(not at the tube checker at the local supermarket - remember them?) - and attempted to get on the air once I upgraded from Novice to Advanced. Well, I had a good transmitter, but I should have used a galena crystal and Slinky for receiving.

The receiver at least could hear stuff on 80, 40, and 20 meters, but on 15 and higher was just deaf as a post.

There was an IF image around 3680 KHz and I got to know a guy who liked to use that freq - lived about 100 miles away - and I never actually worked him. I'd hear him regardless of where I had tuned.

I had to chase signals all over the band due to LO drift, and a 10 KW broadcast station 20 miles from me made it necessary to work around all the squeals that showed up in the passband due to crossmod.

I don't believe there was really an AGC.

I found a Collins 75A4 available at what is now called an estate sale, and replaced the HA-500 with that. I GAVE the HA-500 to a kid who had recently gotten his Novice license, after some warning that he might want to get a different receiver when he could afford it - and he left it on my front porch in the middle of the night about 3 weeks later.
N4UE Rating: 4/5 Aug 25, 2008 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Has ONE fault  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, I bought this Lafayette receiver for 3 reasons:

1. I really enjoy working on and using Lafayette receivers. This has to do with my days as a Novice, blah, blah. See my review of the HE-80, if interested.
2. Osterman lists them as "Scarce", and I had never seen one before.
3. This radio was truely 'MINT". It was like new. It just sparkles. Not a mark, scratch, or paint chip.

Anyway, after a little dusting, I 'fired her up'.
I was impressed with both the snsitivity and the amount of audio. Hey, pretty good.
In my external shop, I have a 20M dipole at 30 feet or so, just for receiver testing. The signals on 20M SSB were nice, loud and clear. BUT, they drifted something awful.

(see my review of the HA-800). Like the HA-800, the 'upper, right knob', is called "Cal".
Yes, calibrate it does. Too much!!! Looking into this jewel, I noticed the same fat piece of buss wire going from the 'Cal' trimmer to the main tuning cap. Yep, same arangement in the HA-800.

Even though the HA-500 keeps the Osc tube filiment 'on' as long as it's plugged in, I believe that that large piece of buss wire and the thermal effects on it, are what contribute to it's drift.
Besides, the 'cal' control has WAAAAAY too much effect on the main tuning. Just turning the 'cal' knob a small amount, will shift the signals much further than they need to be.
Same on the HA-800.

OK, problem identified. I believe that a better quality (or value),'cal' cap would help. However, I think the real fix would be to replace the cap with a precision 'pot' and use a Varactor Diode to do the 'calibration'.

Next time I'm in the radio, I'll experiment in this area. Heck, that's why I buy these old girls!!!

Why did I give her a '4' in spite of this shortcoming? Easy, other than this, it is an EXCELLENT receiver! It hears as well as my 'bigger named' radios, just not as stable. Not yet, anyway......

Have FUN, life is short.



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