Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK7BMS, Nov 26, 2021.
But it's a HEATHKIT!
The SB-1000 predates the AL-80B. It is equivalent to the "original" AL-80 which lacked most of the features of the 80B and the old model used a smaller power transformer known for failing if the amp is used to the max.
The original AL-80 was from Prime Instruments in Ohio, basically a spin-off of Dentron under new ownership. That was several years before the MFJ acquisition of Ameritron, and even before "Ameritron" at all.
I would not compare the SB-1000 to an AL-80B; they're real different. The AL-80B is a better design and a better amplifier.
Yes, but homebrewing from scratch and doing it right requires a lot more resources and know-how than assembling a kit. And there's no step-by-step instructions.
Also the fact that Heathkits were generally a good deal for the money.
The high prices are really about something being valued as a collectible than as something that will actually be used.
Consider famous art pieces such as the paintings "American Gothic" and "Whistler's Mother", valued in the $$$$. If someone painted an exact copy, the copy won't be worth anywhere near what the original is, even if the copy is so good that experts can't tell the difference. That's because the price isn't just about its value as a work of art.
There was a Dutch art dealer who made a fortune selling paintings to the Nazis during WW2. His specialty was finding works by Vermeer, some of which were previously unknown. All were verified by art experts. Hermann Goering was his best customer, and paid enormous sums.
After the war, the art dealer was put on trial for treason. His defense was that he was being charged with the wrong crime: all the paintings he'd sold were copies he made himself. He showed the court the entire process he used, from buying old worthless paintings for the canvas, wood and nails, to mixing his own pigments and making his own brushes, to his skill and knowledge of how Vermeer painted his masterpieces.
He was acquitted of treason.
The paintings he'd sold went from being worth $$$$$ to being worth $. They were the exact same paintings, but because they were copies their price dropped to almost nothing.
The Heathkit SB- series were clearly inspired by the S-line, but were NOT "cheaper knockoffs". The SB series uses a completely different heterodyne scheme, mostly different tubes, PCB construction, and many other differences. An SB-101 is a better CW rig than a KWM-2, at 1/3 the price!
What doomed Heathkit was changes in technology that eliminated the savings of home assembly.
73 de Jim, N2EY
And VHF operators much preferred the SB-100/101/102 over the KWM-2/2A because the 500 kHz band tuning accommodated exactly what VHF-UHF ops with transverters need(ed). The 200 kHz tuning range of the Collins stuff was a real PITA for us.
You're right Steve, I was thinking of the AL-80.
I still stand by my statement that it would make more sense to buy a brand-new AL-80B, than to buy an older AL-80 (even if it does have the "Heath/Heathkit" nameplate on it) for the same, if not more, $$.
I had an SB-101 + SB-500 (2m transvertor) in the 70's and worked all over SOCAL/CENTCAL/NORCAL with it from the southwest San Joaquin Valley!
Nothing wrong with Heathkit stuff! There'll be Heathkits on the air when all the IC7300's, Yazzuz and Kenworths are only left in photographs!
AL80, not b. And because it's an unbuilt kit...some are nostalgic for the experience. Others want it as a collector's item.
The major reason I DON'T (or can't?) do more (advanced) homebrew is a lack of mechanical skill. I can assemble (even design) a circuit, but I just don't have the skill (or resources) to properly construct chassis, cabinet, etc. for a major piece of equipment, so I have to rely on what is already available.