Most amateur radio operators of my vintage were raised on Heathkit amateur radio gear. Some of the equipment was of economical design meant for a thin pocketbook and some was of top notch quality. From the early 1950's through the 1960's and into the 1970's, Heathkit gear was plentiful on the air from 160 meters through UHF.

My first Heathkit was an AT-1 transmitter that somebody else had built. It provided a young novice with about 15 watts of output power from a 6L6 output tube on the 80, 40, and 20 meter bands. A lesser amount of power was available on 10 meters due to doubling in the final stage. I managed to work about 40 states on the 40 meter novice band with it using just two crystals and a lot of patience.

In later years, I built a lot of Heathkit radio equipment including the famous "VHF Lunchboxes" and the HW-XX mobile SSB transceivers. Some of the best equipment appeared as the SB-series receivers, transmitters, and transceivers. They still can be found for a fairly reasonable price and can make a fine, competitive station, even today.

I've picked up some Heath equipment for old time's sake and a little old-time operating as shown in the following pictures.


Here is my restored Heath HW-16 from the 1960's. I have a lot of crystals, so I haven't connected the HG-10B VFO (variable frequency oscillator) as yet. My first contact after connecting the 40 meter dipole was with Kodiak, Alaska on 40 meter CW. I followed that up with Florida and Louisiana. All with a mere 40 watts of output power and warm, glowing vacuum tubes.

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