Both my father-in-law and I share in one passion, Ham Radio. He lives in California and enjoys perusing flea markets and Hamfests on the weekends. If he finds something really cool, he'll throw it in a box and ship it back East to me. I was delighted to find a vintage Heathkit HW-8 in a recently received package and can't wait to dig in and restore it to original specifications.
What is a HW-8?
The Heathkit HW-8 is a solid state low powered (QRP) CW transceiver kit offered by the Heath company from 1976 to 1983. The HW-8 kit had a $140 price tag the first year of its offering.
The HW-8 was the second QRP CW Transceiver kit offered by the Heath company. It had a much improved direct conversion receiver, which made up for the poor sensitivity issues in it predecessor, the HW-7.
Heathkit HW line of transceivers are sometimes affectionately nick-named "Hot-Water", for example "Hot-Water-8", by Ham Radio enthusiasts.
That's right the HW-8 is CW, or Continuous Wave only, so you can only send and receive Morse code. The HW-8 covers 15m, 20m, 40m and part of the 80m amateur radio bands. Transmitter output power is between 1.5 to 2 Watts. RF output is though an unbalanced RCA jack with a 50 Ohm impedance.
There is no internal speaker on the HW-8. You have to plug in external headphones or an amplifier to hear incoming transmission. Audio output impedance is 1000 Ohms.
The HW-8 requires an external 13.4 Volt DC Power Supply that can source at least 1/2 Amp.
Some nice features of the HW-8 is its simple front panel layout with push button band switching and a power meter.
Most HW-8 owners conclude that having a back-lit meter dial would have been a great plus but this is easy enough to rectify.
There are many modifications published for the HW-8 on the Internet. One of the most popular is the RIT (Receiver Incremental Tuning) modification with allows you to slightly vary the receiver frequency while transmitting.
Here is picture of the back of my HW-8, notice the jacks for a Morse code key and headphones. In addition, there is a jack for 13.4 Volts DC Input. There is a Dummy load made up of two 1 Watt 100 Ohm Carbon resistors in parallel attached to the RCA antenna jack.
Get your Amateur Radio License!
Don't just sit on the sidelines listening to Amateur Radio broadcasts, become an active participant! These ARRL publications below contain all you need to pass the exams. I studied the books, took the practice tests that came with it, and passed each exam the very first time. Most Amateur Radio clubs sponsor the testing and conduct it at a public place like a local library.
Who Writes This Blog?
John is an IT professional from Cleveland, OH who enjoys amateur radio, ham radio, metal detecting,
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