25 Jan 2014

Heathkit HW8 QRP HF CW Transceiver

Looking back on all the rigs I have owned over the years, the Heathkit HW8 must be up there near the top of the list. I bought mine secondhand ready built in totally unmodified state. It stayed in its original state all the time I owned it. It was eventually sold back to its original owner when I bought a Yaesu FT7 I believe.
I could go on the air most days and be sure to work something including plenty of DX on 15m. There are lots of mods on the net but as it is it performs pretty well.  It gets a good score in the reviews on http://www.eham.net . The power out was around 2-3W and the RX a decent direct conversion design. Style-wise it was typical Heathkit - very neat on the desktop. I used mine with the Heathkit PSU.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/hf/hw8 .

These days, the HW8 is hard to find and not cheap, for good reasons.  I liked the looks and performance of mine and regret selling it. I actually preferred it to the 4-band superhet based Elecraft K1 CW rig. If you own no other radios, you can do a lot worse than the HW8. It just works well.  A couple of watts of CW is quite enough to work DX on 20 or 15m as well as loads of UK and EU stations on the lower bands.


Dick said...

I have a pristine HW-8 back in the USA. My second. First was purchased back in the early 1980's, current one last spring. My favorite rig! Must admit the FT-817 and OHR 100A here are superior spec-wise but the HW-8 gives me the most pleasure. Also like it's size. Easier to operate and doesn't move all over the desk when I touch it. 73 and be well, Dick

Janet Winslow said...

Yes, great little rigs. They just do what they're supposed to do - mostly.

A good little write-up in November 2015 Practical Wireless.