SB-1000 on eBay

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK7BMS, Nov 26, 2021.

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  1. KK7BMS

    KK7BMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wondering if anyone saw the unbuilt Heathkit SB-1000 on eBay. 2 days to go, $1875 plus shipping! Crazy ....
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not worth it except to a collector who also won't build it and may look to make a profit some years later.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    "Brown box collectors"
    W3SY, K7MH and K1OIK like this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Even weirder: The Ameco AC-1 was $15 brand new as a kit in 1965. With the two tubes and everything (but no crystals).

    I occasionally see an "unbuilt, still in box" (claimed) AC-1 go for well over $100. It's a lousy transmitter. I built one and used it a little bit 55 years ago. Still remember having to file all the holes on the underside of the chassis to make ground connections because it was all painted everywhere.:p
  5. G3EDM

    G3EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    What I do is buy a built Heathkit (or Eico), dismantle it, then rebuild it from scratch from the original manual, purchased separately (yes I could just download the manuals but I like the look and feel of the originals). That is a lot cheaper especially if, as is my usual preference, the original is not in great condition. In the process (a) any mistakes made in the original build are eliminated, and (b) components can be replaced with new, or NOS, ones as appropriate.

    I've done this mainly with Eico kits. On the Heathkit side, the only ones I have purchased "unbuilt" are the "electronics teaching" series from the 1950s/60s: EK-1 (basic electricity and electronics), EK-2A and 2B (radio), and EK-3 (transistors). Those are much less expensive on eBay than unbuilt Heathkit ham gear, or at least, they were when I bought them a decade ago. I haven't built them yet, that's a pleasure for my future retirement years....

    I also have the other Heathkit "teaching" stuff: how to use your VTVM, how to use your RF signal generator, how to use your oscilloscope. All of those came with a great book, and a small chassis with stuff you could connect to the test gear in question as you learned how to use it. I took apart and rebuilt some of those, that was fun and very good as a learning aid.

    As for the Heathkit unbuilt ham gear: I can't fathom paying the sums people are managing to get on eBay. Once again, I would just buy a unit that is already built, take it apart, and rebuild it. Of course that may not really be practical with gear that uses PCBs and by the late 1960s even Heathkit's tube gear used PCBs. Well, it's doable, but you would need a good "desoldering station" and it wouldn't be much fun.

    Someone could probably make some $$$ doing what I do: taking apart the Heathkit. They could repackage it as a kit, without offering any guarantees! Unfortunately, with the kinds of voltages some of that gear used, there would probably be liability issues nowadays....

    Edited to add: I don't think the price being asked for the item mentioned by OP is "crazy". It's a market. If someone is willing to pay it, it must be worth that much money to them.... It will be interesting to see if it sells at that price.

    Oh, and here's a calculation. In 1965 in the United States, $100 could buy what it now takes $835 to buy. So: $1,875 being asked today on eBay is 1,875/8.35 and that is $224 in 1965 dollars (do correct me if my math is wrong). I don't know how much the SB-1000 sold for in the 1960s (or the exact year the SB-1000 was introduced) but ... the eBay price seems to be in the right ballpark, amazingly enough.

    The source for the inflation calculator is:

    73 de Martin, G3EDM
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The SB-1000 isn't from the 60s, it's much newer than that. The SB-200 is from the sixties.

    The issue for me would be anyone can buy a new AL-80B for less than what he's asking for the SB-1000 and the AL-80B is a better amp in several ways: It has a bigger power transformer (more margin in the power supply), a built-in PEP wattmeter/SWR meter, far better ALC circuit, and electronic bias keying which saves heat and power. SB-1000 doesn't have any of that.

    Its "value" is in being an unbuilt kit, assuming all parts are still there and the capacitors are still worth using (they may not be).
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    How can anyone live with a unbuilt Kit ?

    That would bug me to the max.
    W0FS, NL7W and KA4DPO like this.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I don't get it either. Other than two that burned to a crisp in my shack fire last year, every "unbuilt Heathkit" that came my way got built. Those in the fire (Cantenna dummy load and HD-8999 Keyboard Keyer) were in queue to be built last winter.

    The idea of hoarding "brown boxes that say Heathkit" is absurd to me.

    NL7W, KA4DPO, K7MH and 1 other person like this.
  9. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Humm... If I sell a sealed Heathkit box that has the proper interior mass and weight distribution (but not the original contents) to someone who is going to put it on a shelf and admire it, does it matter? Of course it does - it's fraud, but many collectors have items that aren't the real deal - known or not. Kinda like the people that bought forged masterpieces - they believed they had a Picasso, Matisse, etc., and they were happy with that they had. In some cases, the forgery becomes more famous than the original. Michelangelo got his start that way.

    But back to the Heathkit. If you're buying a sealed box you have no intention of opening, then what does it matter? Your happiness is wrapped up in what you believe. The idea of hoarding anything is absurd to me (except HF radios). I wonder how Pat's doing, has anyone heard from him lately? My wandering filaments of thought on a Saturday morning as I sip my coffee...
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    They see the "unbuilt" Heathkit as an INVESTMENT, not as a "kit."! Heaven forbid anyone should buy it, build it, and USE it! That would destroy its value by (at least ) a factor of ten.
    K1OIK likes this.

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