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Reviews For: Heathkit HM-102

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

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Review Summary For : Heathkit HM-102
Reviews: 16MSRP: 39.95 (25 years ago!)
1.8-30 Mhz Watt/SWR meter
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
SA7AZQ Rating: 2015-06-11
OK but I blew mine Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had mine for about a year (brought it second hand) and it worked fine untill one day) I was on 80m ssb and suddenly I blew a trim capacitor on the circut board =(. Well anyway this meter is better than many cheaper. If you want a good swr/Power meter this is a better choice than the crap from "Alan, "Dimond" etc. I blew their 400w rated "KW 520" with 350w ssb =(.
K9MHZ Rating: 2014-12-01
It's fine, but not great. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Relatively nice, and still gets bought/sold at hamfests today, since there's not much to wear out or go wrong in its design. The accuracy was fair, and the FWD/REF switching was a little concerning as you could easily change your reference setting as you moved the FWD/REF knob. But that was a common design back then, especially in CB power/VSWR meters, which were very crude by comparison. But today, if you can find a good one for $25 or so, then go for it if you really feel the need to get one. Don't waste a lot of time restoring one though, trying to recapture that "magical Heathkit moment" (barf). We really need to move on, folks. Their stuff wasn't that great even back then.

K7NNG Rating: 2012-02-23
excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.
built mine over 30 years ago, and it's still on my desk working.
W5WAA Rating: 2012-02-23
Only bargain left in ham radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned this meter a long time, you tend to ignore it after a while, it's like a 10 year old watch, it just keeps on working. Does what it is designed to do, costs less than half of what an equivalent new meter costs, provides a remote sensor, and just keeps on ticking.
KC2CT Rating: 2010-07-22
Great and a bargain Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought this meter a little over 6 months ago.

I have built numerous Heatkits over the years from WX stations to the SB-220 amplifier. So I understand the Heathkit philosophy of design and their construction practices. I miss Heathkit.

Anyway, I found a reasonably priced, well-built meter in working condition and added the K4DPK PEP adapter:

I calibrated the meter against my Bird 43 and I am as happy as a pig in mud with it!

Output power and SWR readings are well within the 10% factory specs.

The only negative that I can find is that the meter is not illuminated. I am sure that some enterprising individual has solved this and I would be interested in hearing from them.

This is a timeless measurement instrument and with the PEP adapter it is as functional and accurate as any modern day power meter.

A bargain with or without the additional PEP adapter. Grab one!
NE4L Rating: 2010-06-15
Old Reliable! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have probably owned a dozen of these over the 33 years of my hamming career. Every one of them worked and were in passable calibration. I use a watt meter as a tuning aid and a trend instrument. I never run the legal limit, but I can tell if tubes are going soft in an amp or if I forgot to turn up the mic gain etc. in a hurry.

The only downside from my point of view is that Heath picked the most awful shades of green on the planet. I've bead blasted the cabinets on mine, created a new panel layout in AutoCAD that matched my Omni VI & Corsair II setups. I then painted the case in colors to match and made a water-slip decal for the panel from the CAD layout. I'm very pleased with the result & glad to be rid of carbuncle green.
KC7NOA Rating: 2009-06-13
Still a good work horse Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was looking for the manual because Bama was told not to host heath manuals anymore... found it here http://pdf. textfiles. com/manuals/ SCANNERS-F-R/ Heathkit-HM-102. pdf

hope it stays there for a while ..

Ps .. i added a few spaces to the url
K2LGO Rating: 2009-05-31
OVER 30 YEARS & STILL PERKING Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The HM-102 is indicative of the great stuff that used to come out of BENTON HARBOR..I have used mine for over 30 years, and if I don't see that familiar face in front of me when I'm operating, I feel lost..
As one previous reviewer mentioned the SWR trimmer cap can go west with high power, and a high SWR, so maybe his hint of a piston type cap is indeed the solution..Its been so long since I replaced that cap in mine I have forgotten what I put in there..Bottom line...great instrument, that has proved itself over time..BOB
KO0T Rating: 2009-02-23
Good classic meter Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked one of these up several years ago on Ebay. It is a good addition to any ham shack. It has a nice large meter display that is very easy to read. The calibration is quite easy and within the accuracy specifications. The only real problem that I had was a failure of the SWR null trimmer capacitor, which I replaced with a small air variable unit. One limitation of the meter is the lack of a peak detector, making it less useful for SSB service. I've recently added a peak detector circuit and the old meter rivals the new models now.
AE5X Rating: 2007-01-11
Just built! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently bought an unbuilt HM-102 still sealed in its Benton Harbor box. I had one of these meters as a novice many moons ago and have always regretted selling it at some point over the years,so the idea of destroying whatever collector value an unbuilt meter might have did not concern me.

The meter went together in about 2 hours and, true to Heathkit's reputation, the instructions were complete and both clearly written and illustrated. The simple calibration procedure took all of five minutes. My dummy load during the cal was a calibrated communications test set and I was pleased to see a close agreement between the indicated powers on the two pieces of equipment.

I calibrated the HM-102 on 40 meters as per the instructions. The power output as indicated on the test set was 104 watts - the Heath showed just a hair under 100. I then went to 10 and 160 meters to compare reading again and found the greatest difference at the 100-watt level to be 7 to 8 watts, ie within the 10% spec.