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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024
Webmaster:
    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Vintage Heathkit HW-8 QRP Transceiver Kit
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The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.

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Vintage HW-8 QRP Transceiver Kit Spring 1976 Catalog - RF Cafe Cool Product

Heathkit Spring 1976 Catalog Cover - RF CafeVintage HW−8 QRP Transceiver in the Spring 1976 Heathkit catalog.

Images from the WorldRadioHistory.com website.

This vintage Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver kit is one of the latest unbuilt Heathkit kits which appeared today on eBay. I have been saving the images in order to preserve the history. The constantly growing list is at the lower right. The HW−8 covers the 80-, 40-, 20-, and 15−meter bands for CW. As you can see from the video at the bottom of the page, there were a lot of parts in the kit to assemble.

The first instance I could find for HW−8 being offered for sale was in the Spring 1976 Heathkit catalog (p79), at a cost of $129.95 ($623.56 in 2021 money per the BLS).

This is a very nice resource of information on the Heathkit HW−8 by William Eric McFadden.

From the Spring 1976 Heathkit catalog:

We've made the world's most popular low-power CW transceiver even better! To the Heathkit HW-7 - we have added more bands, more features and a super new receiver section that's the best in its class. The famous HW-7 QRP Transceiver helped thousands of hams work the world on a couple of watts - and on a budget. Now, in the same value conscious tradition, Heath announces the HW-8.

Pushbuttons Instantly select any of the four bands - 3.5-3.75; 7-7.25; 14-14.25 and 21-21.25 MHz. Crystal heterodyne circuitry allows easy frequency tuning with a single dial scale for all four bands, excellent stability and fixed CW offset. Other features include adjustable sidetone volume, relative power meter, diode band switching and break-in keying with adjustable T/R delay, and RF gain control.

The direct-conversion receiver boasts dramatically improved resistance to overload and reduced microphonics and hum thanks to a new RF amplifier stage and a two-position active audio filter. Its improved selectivity give the HW-8 the finest receiver section in its price class. You get solid copy from all over with readable signals from as little as 0.2μV; 1 μV or less produces 10 dB S+ N/N!

The HW-8 can be operated from its optional AC power supply or 12 VDC - great for vacationing or emergencies. Has built-in headphone jack, adjustable AF gain, preselector and tune controls.

Now's the time to get into the fun and challenge of low-power CW operation. Order your HW-8 today.

Kit HW−8, Shpg. wt. 7 lbs. .............129.95 

Kit HWA-7-1, AC Power Supply, Shpg. wt. 3 lbs. .............. $14.95

Here is the HW−8 owner's Manual with building and operating instructions.

Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Kit Parts - RF Cafe

Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Kit Parts
(eBay photo)

 Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Front & Rear Panels - RF Cafe

 Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Front & Rear Panels
(eBay photo) 

Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Documentation - RF Cafe

 Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Documentation
(eBay photo) 

Heathkit Spring 1976 Catalog Cover (wolrdradiohistory.com) - RF Cafe

Heathkit Spring 1976 Catalog Cover
(worldradiohistory.com photo)

Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Printed Circuit Board - RF Cafe

  Heathkit HW−8 QRP Transceiver Printed Circuit Board
(eBay photo) 

 

Download the HW−8 manual here.

Heathkit HW-8 QRP transceiver video by Paul (VK3HN)

Heathkit products were well known for the completeness of its instruction manuals, with clearly illustrated instructions. During the writing and editing process, Heathkit employees were given pre-production kits to take home and build, while annotating any difficulties or errors encountered. Doing so helped minimize the situation where the writer inadvertently assumes his own familiarity with the process is shared by the customer. Having built a few Heathkit products myself in the 1970s when I did not have a lot of experience with electronics assembly, I can attest to the user friendliness of the instructions. Heathkit still sells many of its vintage manuals for around $15, which is what you would pay on eBay.

 

Contact Info

Heath Company (Heathkit)
Operations: PO Box 15, Ottsville, PA 18942
R&D/Mfg: PO Box 3115, Santa Cruz CA 95063
Phone: +1 (831) 480-4368
E-Mail: info.2015@2015.heath.company

 

 

Posted July 6, 2021

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