Vintage Review- Swan MX100 Transceiver

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N8FVJ, Jun 24, 2019.

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  1. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I noticed a lack of vintage transceiver at QRZ. So, I will perform a few reviews. It is fun to check into viontage radio nets and lets you know just how good your newer transceiver performs.

    The Swan MX100 was produced I believe around 1980 to about 1985, built in the USA and is completely solid-state (no xmit tuning). It is a very well built 80 thru 10 meter (non WARC) transceiver and after all these years failures are not common. It has a fairly sensitive receiver and surprisingly quiet. The receive audio is very clear sounding. The VFO has zero backlash. This is for the most part a SSB radio as a narrow CW filter is not an option. An aftermarket audio based CW filter would perform well. I use a Clear Speech DNR for SSB to remove background noise, but this radio does not need it (DNR) as much my newer Yaesu for unknown reasons even with reduced RF gain. The included MX-100 noise blanker does not distort the audio like some vintage receivers. The radio has a RIT control.

    The transmitter produces 100 watts PEP. It draws 20 amps during transmit. If you can find a Swan MX-100 I highly recommend the transceiver. Excellent condition MX-100s are about $300 and average condition can be bought for about $200 in operating condition.

    The Atlas 210X is similar in performance and the noise blanker was optional. The Swan MX-100 is nicer in appearance vs the Atlas. Another similar vintage no tube solid-state transceiver is the Heathkit HW-104 and SB-104. But these Heathkits are known to have reliability issues after all these years.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019

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