Old Heathkit Catalog Winter 1969 (excepts) (and 2 schematics)

A Flash back to Winter 1969   
(I was in Viet Nam then...and ET2 tech then...)  (The SB301 is $2,319.  in todays deflated dollars )  I do miss that great company even today. (I even built their TV kits, 100hr build times...)

The Ham back then wanted a Collins Sline, 75S-1,2,3 receivers.   (S1 $500+  new,  S3 $700 new.)  a 1-2 months pay for me in 1967 before taxes. @$3.50 /hr.
Even Collins rigs today  sell for upwards of $500 to over $2000 each,  pretty pricey for 5 decade old gear no?, that is because man hams love this rig and will pay for Collin quality.

Keep in mind Collins sold lots of radios and transmitters to the Navy. (I worked on many even R390s and URC's) So they know radios, very well. Not just from the consumer angles.

I wish I had and S3 Collins, and one SB101 now. ( I is a life long search, and will not buy one that is basket case at those prices)

The SB301 uses a 6BZ6 RF front end tube, that is way better than the 6AU6., The BZ6 has 2 times the transconductance gain of the AU6.
The 6BZ6 can be at 8000uMho's up top to 10,000 by adjusting the cathode(K) resistor from 150 to 56 homes (experimentally) << in the interest of rural DX'ing (RF gain UP)
Unlike the SB101 these 3 below needs no external power supply (big , heavy box and heavy cables and many now are rare to find)

If you want to buy  a vintage (Tube rig, this is the best one based on price alone) And all in one TRANSCIEVER  SB-101

The HW series,
uses cheap crude and unreliable (IMO) tuner, LFO.  This saved the buyer a whopping $20, see proof below. But needs and external power supply is it useless. (add up all parts you need first, then see if you saved cash)
HW jokingly is Hot Water series, I bet it means Hand wired, 100%  as the LFO below is Hand wired and not made by TRW (factory tuned and all like the above.)
The SB line TRW tuner is low drift tuner, it has factory selected parts to prevent and reduce frequency drift as good as possible then. (a major feature then, until SB104 was born 100% sold-state)
The LFO is a FET below but can't drive tubes so they added a tube to make the FET work, kinda self defeating the purpose of  FET (less tubes). (my guess is the FET has less noise with gain at max)
There are plenty of mod's on this rig , to make it run better (and new drive belts, omg belts and o-rings)  Before buying one of these HW read up on all the work it takes to get it stable... first... 
The HW101 was released Winter 1970 and ran to 1983, (30k sold?) Last tube rig (Heath) and very popular then not now.  
Keep in mind you can't smell a radio on Fleabay. ( nasty has no limits , trust me) (get close in photos or pass)

Almost 50 year old pages above.

Fleabay Buys: (decoding) (this word flea means any blind auction site of any kind online) + hints + altenernat ways to buy rigs, and more...
A list of things you might hear, say or do...  At all times known you are buying a "PIG in  POKE SACK"(fleabay is the sack)
  • I (seller) haven't turned it on, means the transformer burned up and super hard to find one. (or says all I can say is , one lamp glows)
  • It has some minor scuffs and scratches, means it was dropped 12 feet from the attic hatch to the garage floor.
  • I lost my camera. ( blush red face) skip this. (IMO , no photos, no joy, no buy) or worse the photo is stock photo (fake) and wants top price, (amazing no?)
  • I can't get the lid to open to seen inside and post photos. (next !) (lazy bad, scared of  HV caps, sure)
  • You do see photos, but many things inside are missing, know what should look like first, I recommend RTFM "read the free manuals". (get 1 file every 4 days)
  • The photos posted look like those from  1998, webcam(toy grade), (blurry and shaking photos and from 10 feet away because the camera has no focus) ask seller to get grand kids with real CELL phone to snap clear photos, please.
  • If the rig looks in near new condtion, it may be worth the asking price. (a BINGO HERE)
  • The wafer switches, make sure they are not broken. (super hard to find ! spares)
  • Ask how the rig smells, (like Tobacco and mouse pee ? , yes then skip it.)
  • Does the for sale SB-101 come with the power supply, I see most those listed are missing that.
  • Are the crystals missing?  all or only some, or crystal filters? (know that some are very very hard to get now)
  • Is the T/R relay smashed or wrecked as many are. (as seen in SB401) Some relays are simple and easy to sub out, but not SB401 series.(complex and custom to Heath)
  • I can't ship it,  tell them all you need to do is lay it on the counter at UPS or Fedex,  and say "do it all", (and I the buyer will pay in advance , even tell them to call me and I will pay now with CC to shipper in advance and packing all)
  • Some even can't drop a rig on counter (avoid these sellers) (well except the SB220 huge PA. @ 50lbs naked) To ship a PA , pack the huge tubes separately.
  • Before you buy any PA, makes sure it was not hacked by CB radio GOON's  and make sure you can find/buy or even afford this part.
  • Buying things on any blind auction sites are an act of faith, so be ready to buy 2 of them and mix parts.  (50 year old rigs, most need lots and lots of TLC)  Would you buy  50 year old car, blind? (same mind set)
  • If the auction has box called make offer, do use that first. Offer 1/2. (most sellers think there gem is a diamond but in fact is  pile of junk, (non ham sellers)
  • Do use CRAIGS,  local is best. (find rigs) or use ALL of CRAIGS country wide see what you can scare up. ( meet in  Public place for your security)
  • One smart move is to place WTB, wanted to buy here.  (many hams have attics full of stuff,  begging for rigs is 100% OK,  some HAMS will only sell to hams, so you must ask first, (eg: WTB SB101 or near)
  • Same goes here, at QTH.
  • Do not be dismayed, restoring a rig is lots of fun ! (for sure  if retired) , and when you  make your first contact brag and say, I am talking  on  a SB101. (Pride is good in small measures, go for it ! ) Know that in 50 more years that new ICOM is  now dead and will stay Dead.
  • If all the parts are there,  most of the bad parts are super easy to find, on tube rigs. (even my SB104 uses descrete solid state parts and are sold) Rigs with custom ICs are super hard to  fix, if at all.
  • To get and hold the fever , Buy the movie, "Frequency"  my wife loves it. (pay no attention to  the missing rig parts, the lack of  transceiver)
If doing your own work on TUBE RIGS, be sure  to use  the chicken stick.
This is no super safe 12vdc solid state RIG, no, not at all. ( even take  class on how to work in high voltage gear)  Safety first, always.
I am a solid state guy, (and tech) but I love tubes too,  well in fact , I LOVE IT ALL. (even hybrids or homegrown(brew) rigs , antenna's,etc, )  GOOD LUCK TO YOU !
For me tubes ended when I left  the USN, US Navy with DD214 in hand, but not now.

My Schematics,  with edits. (some I had to glue together to get one large clear print) Some here I show how the DC power sneaks through those tricky wafer switches, case in point, the plate of the RF front end 6BZ6.

See my super SB300 good schematic here,(HiRes + color)

SB401 schematic. ( in color with voltages , revised and errors corrected )

SB101 (from Russia)
(super clear print here)


v1; 5-26-2018,  (all in my opinion, IMO) YMMV? or YRMV your rust may vary.  (this is only my journal, it is not a paid for published site (hint no staff if editors here), it's just a log.) But welcome to my log. (not a blog)