The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

June 24, 2013

Hard Lessons About Old Heathkit® Gear

Filed under: Electronics,ham radio — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:26 pm

I recently purchased an old (possibly older than me) Heathkit® HW-100 transceiver and a HP-23 (the “first edition”). After getting it home, I immediately proceeded to plug it in and test it. You know that nagging feeling you get when you’re doing something you shouldn’t? Well, I ignored that. When I plugged in the supply, the fuse popped. I took a look inside. It was wired wrong in several ways. While I spent time rewiring it, I noticed that the electrolytic caps were light as a feather. I replaced those and tested the power supply with much better success. Don’t trust the ebay add that states “tested good”.

I then proceeded to plug in the 11 pin cable to the power supply and the HW-100. You know that nagging feeling you get when you’re doing something you shouldn’t? Well, I ignored it again. I powered up the radio. There was a loud pop in the radio and one of the audio tubes glowed white hot. By now you see the pattern of my misdeeds. It turns out that the cable is wired completely incorrectly for an HW-100. It almost looks like it’s mostly wired partially backward.

Well, once I fix the cable, I’m going to give the HW-100 a good going over. The ebay sale listed a litany of problems which looked fixable. Now it has at least one more problem. I hope I have the tubes and components to fix my mistake.

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