Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Heathkit HW-2036A

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Heathkit HW-2036A
Reviews: 7MSRP: 269.95 (1978)
2-Meter FM synthesized transceiver, 10 watt.
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N2LCJ Rating: 2017-08-23
A solid performer in daily use Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
While searching out a "new" 2m rig (after 25 years I just needed to change it up from the Clegg FM-28 which still works fine), I came across one of these on ebay.

I replaced all of the electrolytic capacitors (for good measure), coupled it with an Electro-Voice model 619 microphone, and use it every night as check in or net control on a local ARRL traffic net. It's just as much fun to look at as it is to use! I never have any issues with getting into non-PL repeaters with full quieting even on nights with really bad interference from other distant repeaters.


Outstanding transmit audio, solid performance, Heathkit classic styling, fun to use!!


Factory speaker in the radio is pretty tinny sounding....suggest an accessory speaker

Antenna connector is an RCA jack (nowhere on the back to mount an SO-239 either)

Microphone is hard wired

Dial settings for the station frequency aren't lighted (I plan to correct this somehow at some point)

I'm very picky about the gear I use....not by a certain category, but it just has to "feel right". That said I plan on buying every one of these I can find, that's how much I like it. The next one I come across will get modded with a CTCSS board.
K1FPV Rating: 2013-07-07
Old, basic, to the point teriffic 2 Meter FM rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I built my HW-2036A about 35 years ago and have been using it nearly non-stop since. Till a few years back, I set the PLL tone generator pots for a few local repeaters and all was well.

Over the years, more repeaters use PLL tones, and as a result, there weren't enough tone positions in the rig, so I opted to hook up a Com Spec TE-32 tone generator to be able to access them all. Other than taking it apart initially to set tones, I've never had a problem with the radio in 35 years. (I hope I didn't jinx it!)

If you can buy one, get it! I've had numerous compliments on the audio it transmits. Only gripe is (and it is minor), the 833 Hz. tone from the VCO that gets into the audio. (The tone level is way down low!) But for a 35 year old rig, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking!

N0HAN Rating: 2013-07-07
My go to basic rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is not your new guy radio but would be great for that! I have had mine now for three years. It's old yes but to be honest still viable in today's ham 2mtr band. I have newer radios yes but this one is my mainstay it has taken lighting near strikes been abused and beating and like a Timex comes back for more! The RX is excellent and has a crystal filter great for today's crowded 2 mtr bands in cities Mine has the continuously adj tone option for tone encoded repeaters easy to fix if it dies. I have seen these for $5 up to $50 bucks at ham fests BUY it you wont be disappointed!
VK2CU Rating: 2011-08-27
Nice Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just bought one for $20. Gave it a tune-up and wow! It was kind of OK to start with, but a tweak really bought it to life. 0.15uV for 12db Sinad is not too shabby for a 1970's radio. The transmitter managed 18w (it was 5w). The selectivity is good too, and audio quality is nice with the largish speaker. VK land has a problem with Pagers on 148MHz and Ethnic broadcasters on 152MHz and modern Amateur radios with wideband varactor tune RX's can have problems in cities, but not the older radios like the Heathkit.
Great American engineering, all metal construction and chrome plating. This radio will still be going long after the plastic stuff. And if something releases the magic smoke, you can fix it!
Justin VK2CU
K8UV Rating: 2010-05-07
Keeps on Ticking Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Picked this up at Marshal, Michigan swap this year from off a ham friends table. Had the rig, matching power supply and Heath 40 vhf amp, Everything in very good conditon all for $40.00. I really wanted the amp, forget the rest. But I put the rig on the air during one of our usual 6.475 simplex roung tables. It hears very well and I got great reports (without the amp). Actually the rig won't drive the amp, may be why it was sold? The amp works on my TS-700 however. Love this little rig, lots of fun with an old rig. I would get one if it is in the $20.00 range for sure! Love the hardwired in hand mic.
K6LO Rating: 2009-11-03
Sensible Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I still have the one I built in 1980. It has three tunable CTCSS positions, which now nearly 30 years later I am finally using. I love every thing about the radio, including the signature 833.333333333 cycle tone.
WB3KWW Rating: 2006-07-21
Great Audio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I built and owned one of these rigs in the late 70s and early 80s. It was a fantastic rig; with a 5/8 colinear, I never had any problem hearing/hitting repeaters within reasonable distance, and always got compliments on my audio quality. I rewired the touchtone mike to be battery-less, so the mike was light and did not create a problem while driving.

The only negative things about the rig that I can recall: It had only one preset and one custom offset, and the adjacent signal rejection was not quite up to some of the more crowded repeater farm areas around New York City. Also, as I remember, it did not have PL (which, at the time I owned it, was only a problem around NYC).

The morning I found that someone had stolen the rig from my (locked) trunk, was one of my saddest moments in hamming (Heath was no longer selling them at that point, or I would have bought another kit immediately).