Any Current Use for a Heathkit HW-18 Transceiver?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K9ZMD, Jan 26, 2010.

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  1. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can anyone tell me if Heathkit HW-18 SSB transceivers can be modified for use in the Amateur Radio Service? As near as I can determine, the HW-18 is a SSB transceiver crystal controlled in the range 4450-4650 KHz, with a power output of 200 watts (PEP). Heathkit marketed this model for use by Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members. One of the transceivers is pictured here.
    A larger image can be seen here.
    There are a number of these transceivers stored with other equipment from the estate of Ray Lake, K6KNB (SK), who was a very active, long-time member of the CAP. Each of the transceivers was apparently modified to meet CAP needs. The original channel selector (a 2-position slide switch) has been replaced by a phone jack, and the the original Clarifier control has been replaced by a rotary channel switch.

    A friend of Ray's is disposing of all the equipment on behalf of Ray's daughter, who lives in another state. I'm just trying to help him determine if the items have any value; he plans to dispose of worthless items as e-waste. Honest assessment solicited; you won't hurt anyone's feelings.

    Gary, K9ZMD/6
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If they run USB and still work, maybe they can be re-crystalled for the 60m amateur band-? Not much difference in frequency...

    I really have no idea!
  3. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Subscriber QRZ Page

    I never even thought of that, Steve. Thanks. I'll have to dig a little to find out if they were designed for USB. I sure don't see any USB/LSB switch on the front.
  4. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    One could kludge some kind of VFO for it for 75m, and, probably you could get it on LSB with a different crystal, and maybe modify the tuned circuits slightly.

    But, except for the 60m possibility -- great idea -- it's hard to see much ham value except for experimentation or maybe parts. Or maybe Heathkit collectors trying to complete their collection?
  5. KD7MSC

    KD7MSC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bet Glen or Pat would know.
  6. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    There were actually 3 different versions of the HW-18.

    The HW-18-1 was made for CAP operation and covered 4450 kHz to 4650 kHz.

    The HW-18-2 was made for MARS operation and covered 4450 kHz to 4650 kHz.

    The HW-18-3 was made for 160 meter operation and covered 1800 kHz to 2000 kHz.

    Both the HW-18-1 and HW-18-2 were for USB and the HW-18-3 was for LSB.

    The CAP and MARS units use crystal frequencies between 7800 kHz and 8000 kHz while the 160 meter version used crystal frequencies between between approximately 5200 kHz and 5400 kHz. The actual formula for USB operation (CAP and MARS) is the operating frequency + 3396.5 = crystal frequency. The formula for LSB (160 meter) is the operating frequency + 3393.5 = crystal frequency.

    It would be very easy to adapt a Heath LMO from one of the SB-Line units which covers 5000 kHz to 5500 kHz as a VFO for the HW-18-3.

    The CAP and MARS units can be modified for 75 meter operation but you have to change the BFO crystal from the existing 3396.5 kHz to 3393.5 kHz (to change to LSB) and then use a 40 meter VFO that operates between just under 7000 kHz to just under 7400 kHz.

    Those units are fairly scarce and the 160 meter version is the rarest of the lot.

    Glen, K9STH
  7. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe Not Quite Ready Yet For the E-Waste Pile

    Glen, thanks for those details. Seems like some good potential there for the technically adept. Collector value? I suspect that scarcity may be because there wasn't a heckuva big market for them in the first place.

    Whether or not experimenters or collectors might actually be interested remains to be seen. I'll tell the SK's friend that he shouldn't put them on the discard pile until he runs an ad in various places. I guess I'll help him with that, too.

    Thanks to all who provided suggestions. 73

    Gary, K9ZMD/6
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The difference in value between a 30 year-old used/untested rig and the same rig "just bench tested and everything works fine" is enormous -- at least as far as I'm concerned.

    For a rig like that sight unseen (untested, condition really unknown) I doubt I'd pay $20.

    For the same rig "tested and works perfectly" from someone I could trust to actually do that, more like $200 -- maybe more.

    If they were mine, I'd thoroughly test each one and see if any are "perfect," then put those up for sale; if some are somewhat functional but have problems, I'd try to fix them first before selling them. If any are destroyed beyond all hope, I'd scrap them.
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    With a scarce rig I wouldn't "scrap it" even if it doesn't work. There is always someone looking for a "parts rig" or for one to repair.

    Glen, K9STH
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're right! I might scrap it if it were mine and a dud, because I already have a ton of parts...but for those who don't, parting a rig out is always better than adding to landfills!
  11. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It would be great if you could get one of those up on 60. I suspect the power output might be pretty close to 50 W, too.
  12. KF0XO

    KF0XO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Any Current Uses For A Heathkit

    The HW-18 runs about 200 watts PEP USB and were used by the Civil Air Patrol in about 1965 through about 1980 when Kenwood and other manufacturers made easy to modify general coverage transceivers available at a reasonable price.
    I suppose you could put one on 6o meters but they do not meet the technical requirements for signal purity or bandwidth so you might be risking a notice from the FCC. These radios aren't all that rare in fact they are somewhat ubiquitous as you see them on the auction sites quite frequently. I think if I were going to modify one of these I would try 75 meters. Good luck.

  13. KC2WI

    KC2WI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would be interested in them if I was local. My thoughts were also to convert to 60M or maybe 40M since one of my favorite frequencies is ECARS on 7.255. Someone suggested $20 untested. I would not hesitate to buy one in good physical condition but untested for $50. You have to figure that these are unuseable as configured. Even to just get a crystal for one frequency would cost you $20 or so nowadays. If you needed to do other repair and/or just to convert the frequency and maybe sideband to use on 40M from there could be more cost plus a lot of time.
  14. KC0NBW

    KC0NBW Ham Member QRZ Page

    if they were cheap enough, they could be an interesting speaker case on the op desk!:cool:
  15. KC0NBW

    KC0NBW Ham Member QRZ Page

    i would also hazard a guess that they used some of the same pc boards as the hw and sb series!

  16. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    all HF SSB voice commercial traffic is done in USB.:eek:
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