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 Post subject: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Tue 21, 2011 7:05 pm 
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I have to start out by saying, I don't know anything about "ham" radios...I live in Florida and have been through a couple of bad storms...so I actually went looking for an old radio I could use in case of an emergency.

This is what I found:


Image

I thought it was a CB at first, but a "Ham" told me that while it could be set up as a mobile unit - it would work better for my purposes as a base unit - he then told me I'd need a power supply, and for an emergency set-up he suggested I invest in a tube tester, and that I also have both an AC power supply as well as a DC/baterry back-up...but that's all I was able to get out of him.

I JUST got this old Heathkit Dynamic Tube Tester:

Image

I started to enjoy the idea of restoring a vintage tube rig - but then I realized my electronics background is replacing outlets and hanging cieling fans - and before that - taking apart all my brothers stuff...and other than my uncle being into HAM when I was much younger...I have ZERO radio experience!?

So I KNOW I'm in over my head - but I'm a little too far in this to go back now...my pride won't let me!

I've nosed around a little and found that the AC power supply this unit requires is a "HWA-202-1" (and I'm looking for one on eBay), but I have NO IDEA as to what DC/12 volt option - nor do I know what else I will need to complete this project!

I would certainly appreciate any help you experts could offer - I've reached the end of the rope and I'm only still hanging on because I found this knot at the end....!

HELP!!


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Tue 21, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 20, 2010 5:14 pm
Posts: 583
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Hello:
The HW202 runs off of an automotive 12vdc ( actually more like 13.8 vdc) power supply. Any power supply with about the right output voltage and sufficient current will operate the HW202, you don't need the matching supply.

Problem is you do need an amateur radio license to talk on that radio. You can listen without a license

Even if you use it to listen, that radio needs a different crystal for every receive channel. The crystals that are already installed might not be for the channels currently used in your area.

You would be better off attempting to sell the HW202 on Ebay for a few bucks- it is not worth a lot- and put that money into a standard scanning radio.

On the other hand getting an amateur radio license is not that hard if you put your mind to it and then in an emergency instead of passively listening to the radio you could be making an active contribution to emergency communications.

Contact the local amateur radio club(s). I am sure you will meet some guys who would be pleased to help you earn an amateur license.

Best Wishes 73's

Bruce Long KJ3Z


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Tue 21, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Bruce, thanks for the input!

Would either a Heathkit IP-28 or a HP-13 work as the DC option?

I didn't know I'd need an amatuer license for this radio - the thought never occured to me!? As I sit here and think about it, it does sound like something I'd be interested in. How long does it take...and how much math is involved (hah)?!

How would I find the local Ham radio club? Are their links in this forum to discover that?

I live in the Tampa area - if anyone knows, I'd be proud to hear about it!

Bruce again, I appreciate it!


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Tue 21, 2011 7:34 pm 
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You can visit the ARRL website for info on getting a ham license. Chances are you have a local ham club in your area which may conduct classes and give exams. I'd almost bet on it.

One other caveat on that vintage FM rig is that many of the ham repeaters have gone to sub audible tone access. The newer FM rigs have the ability built in, but for something that old it will cost more to retrofit an encoder than the radio is worth. It also uses crystals, and chances are you'll need to spend a hundred bucks to crystal for the channels in you area.

Pete k1zjh

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Tue 21, 2011 9:02 pm 
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OK, so I'm seeing the error of my pursuit...I should just sell the HW-202 and go with a more modern rig.

Understanding that I am interested in obtaining the amatuer license, and I wan to use it for emergency use, what system would you recommend? I'll be buying used...

One more question - are the solid state rigs better insulated/protected against things like a solar flair induced EMP than the old tube radios?


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Wed 22, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Location: Somers, CT
Tube radios have a substantial edge in surving EMP events!

Your radio would be fine for fixe chanel Packet Radio use, for DX clusters or similar
fixed channel packet radio base location applications.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Wed 22, 2011 8:10 pm 
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OK Peter, see...now you're reeling me back into keeping my little 2 meter rig...

...because I've lived through a few storms that either directly shut down regular communications/power grid, or indirectly shut them down due to increased traffic - they were shut down. Like most Floridians who've been here for awhile, I have taken some precautions (like having some food & water on hand). I'm adding a generator (both diesel and solar), and I felt an emergency communication option would be good to have as well - but I was concerned that the tube radio was just a fantasy of mine based on very limited knowledge. I won't be an immediate "broadcaster" but I'm starting to see that it might fit the narrow scenario for which I envisioned using it.

...in addition to the emergency/storm scenario - and based on NASA's prediction and obvious solar activity - I think it's only a matter of time before we experience an EMP type event - my limited knowledge of electrical systems had me thinking that the old tube technology would give me some advantage in that scenario - so, I appreciate your comments!


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Wed 22, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Monterey California USA
You do realize that Heathkit radio has nothing to do with tubes, right? I think you do, but thought I would mention it.

By the time you get through finding a place to make you crystals, they will cost about $ 15-20 each and then you will need a frequency counter to zero them in. Four channels' worth of crystals will be more than a brand new rig like an Alinco or a Puxing type 2 Meter radio costs, and those can also be used to scan emergency services channels for some agencies. And, as above, if the Heath doesn't have tone squelch, you will be unable to access most or all local ham systems. Unless the crystals in the Heathkit already match everything you would want to use in your local area, and haven't drifted out of tolerance with age, you would be throwing money away trying to rejuvenate a forty year old radio.

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Bell System Mobile Telephone History
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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Thu 23, 2011 7:42 am 
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Geoff Fors wrote:
You do realize that Heathkit radio has nothing to do with tubes, right? I think you do, but thought I would mention it.

By the time you get through finding a place to make you crystals, they will cost about $ 15-20 each and then you will need a frequency counter to zero them in. Four channels' worth of crystals will be more than a brand new rig like an Alinco or a Puxing type 2 Meter radio costs, and those can also be used to scan emergency services channels for some agencies. And, as above, if the Heath doesn't have tone squelch, you will be unable to access most or all local ham systems. Unless the crystals in the Heathkit already match everything you would want to use in your local area, and haven't drifted out of tolerance with age, you would be throwing money away trying to rejuvenate a forty year old radio.


So, a vintage crystal rig may be cheap to acquire, but will cost too much to update - and even then I'll only get minimal functionality...

...and a tube rig would be better, especially for the scenario's I described wanting it for; emergency communication during storms, somewhat better protection if the NASA predicted solar flare/EMP event becomes a reality...

...but I don't have enough knowledge or experience to operate the tube rig (an HW-12a SSB 80 meter transciever that the Ham I referred to in my OP, talked me into selling, and going with the 2 meter crystal unit)...

So, I think I just got told that "...I can't get there from here..." (you guys from Maine?)...

Any suggestions for my skill level, and need?


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Fri 24, 2011 3:36 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 20, 2010 5:14 pm
Posts: 583
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Hello again
Glad you are considering an amateur radio license. It will take some effort but it is very rewarding. If you have an interest in emergency or disaster communication you really need to become part of the amateur radio community.

The other ARF members who responded to your questions are giving you excellent advice. I also agree the HW202 is not worth much effort. I would connect it to a 12 vdc automotive source such as the cigarette lighter in your car, stick a 19 inch long piece of wire into the antenna connection REMOVE THE MICROPHONE to avoid accidental transmission and see if you can hear anything locally. If you hear something then it might be worth snagging a cheap 12vdc power supply and making some sort of cheap home brew antenna. But on the whole unfortunately that rig is not very useful to you licensed or unlicensed.

I will politely disagree with one bit of advice you got. A solid state rig will survive a Carrington solar flare even just fine. no problems at all. However stuff with long wires, such as the national electric power transmission system and line line phone service will be damaged. The confusion here lies in referring to a Carrington solar flare event as EMP. EMP is a transient effect lasting a few microseconds at best, generated by a nuclear explosion in the upper atmosphere- or by a EMP weapon- if such things exist- using non-atomic methods. EMP is essentially a single very strong pulse of radio energy that burns stuff out.

A Carrington solar flare event creates very strong disturbances in the earths magnetic field. These strong magnetic field fluctuations - rapid changes in the magnitude of the earths magnetic field- induce very low frequency voltages and currents by what is essentially transformer action. Even through the magnetic fields are potentially much stronger than the earths intrinsic magnetic field, only stuff with really long wires--- wires hundreds or thousands of miles long receive
enough energy to cause damage. A modern solid state vhf rig would not be much affected

However the electrical power distribution system is susceptible especially the high power, high voltage distribution transformers that feed and take power from cross country distribution lines. These devices are not capable oif handling the high magnitude, essentially dc currents that would be induced by a Carrington solar flare event. These transformers are very large and very heavy. This means they are hard to move and cannot be made quickly.

The really scarily thing I think is the fact these transformers are no longer made in the US. The US would have to wait in line with the rest of the world as the Chinese - and I think a Swiss and a German company attempts to replace the worlds supply of transformers, assuming of course that the the transformer factories can get electrical power off the local grid to operate.

A sizable solar panel and 12vdc storage battery system is an excellent emergency communications investment in any case.

Sorry for the long post. Emergency communications is a subject dear to my heart. As a teenager I ran a central Pennsylvania Civil Defense communication net for two days during a 1972 hurricane caused flooding --- I'm getting old I can't remember the name of the hurricane.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Fri 24, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Wow, that was excellent Coolbruce - and I believe the 1972 storm you referenced was Hurricane Agnes - it was so severe they retired the name. I know because I've been in Florida since 1976...and they were still talking about it, and Hurricane Camille (1969), when I got here!

Incidentally, I'm originally from Columbus, Ohio - but my family uprooted in '69 and I've been in the south ever since (one of those who claim to be Northern by birth, Southern by the grace of God). Interestingly enough, I worked for a company from Western Pennsylvania...little town called Cressona in Schuykill County...when I visited the home office and they found out I was from Florida, they started telling me about Hurricane Agnes!

I appreciate the clarification of the difference between the EMP and Solar Flare - as well as the way to test the HW-202 - I wish I would have had this direction before, I would have kept the tube rig I sold...but the Ham guy I spoke to said it would be too difficult for someone of my limited experience - he thought I'd get frustrated with the results. The tube systems have some nostalgia for me - I used to fall asleep at night listening to Red's games on a Zenith radio tuned to WLW Cincinnati...can still remember the glow of those tubes...

ARF in general has helped immensely with information gathering, and in specific, folks in this thread have inspired me to check into getting my license - so I really appreciate ALL of your assistance and information!!

I would like to know what brands/models you all have used, and could recommend for my aims.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Sat 25, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 195
Location: Slidell, LA
Just for the record, Heath made a matching AC supply HWA-202-1 for it. I built both units, which are still sitting in the garage. I see that this one was set up for the popular 34/94 repeater frequencies.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Sat 25, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Location: Columbia, SC, USA 29223
I think you'll find these links helpful:


http://www.hamclub.org/

http://www.arrl.org/new-to-ham-radio


Welcome to Ham radio!

Terry

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jun Sat 25, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 20, 2010 5:14 pm
Posts: 583
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Hello White tiger
Yes I know Cressona but not well and yes it was Agnes. I posted just before bedtime and I could not remember that. There is a famous picture of the Howard Johnson restaurant in Harrisburg during Agnes with only the top of the orange cupola sticking out of the water.

The thing to do is to make contact with your local amateur radio community. That way you can make some friends and get some hands on assistance if you decide to get your amateur radio license.
Ideas for contacting the local Ham community.

(As suggested by another on this thread) contact the ARRL and get contact information for the local club
Be on the look out for automobiles with Ham radio vanity tags. If you are a ham you can get your call sign as your license plate number. Leave a business card or note on the car.

Contact the local two-way radio shop and ask them if they can provide contact information. Lots of the two-way radio guys are hams.

Attend a local "Hamfest" A hamfest is a ham radio fleamarket. The ARRL maintains a schedule on its web site. A hamfest is a good place to get an older but still fully frequency synthesized ( this means you do not have to buy crystals for it) two meter radio at a affordable price. This would give you something to listen to. Lists of the frequencies used my two meter repeater stations are available on the web.

Look on the internet for amateur radio forms. There are several, such as the AM form. Resister and make a posting asking for contact with the local community.

At one time taking the amateur radio license exam meant making a trip to the nearest city with a FCC office. The exam was then administered by a FCC employee. That was a long time ago. Now you take the exam from an amateur volunteer examiner. The local VE would be an excellent first point of contact. The following web address will help you find VEs in your area.

http://www.w5yi-vec.org/exam_locations_ama.php

Good luck
Bruce KJ3Z


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jul Thu 07, 2011 4:19 pm 
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mikearthur wrote:
Just for the record, Heath made a matching AC supply HWA-202-1 for it. I built both units, which are still sitting in the garage. I see that this one was set up for the popular 34/94 repeater frequencies.


Mike, I sent you a PM response to this message, but then remembered the upgrade may have changed how folks reply to a PM...

My question is, if this radio is set up for the popular 34/94 repeater frequency, does this mean it may avoid some of the expense of updating it?

Thanks for the information regarding the AC power supply option, I was aware of it, I just never had any luck finding one.
I recently acquired a DC power supply - the HP-13(b) option (assuming it would work) - to see if I could "power up" the radio. I have an original "Heathkit Assembly Manual for the HP-13 Transisterized Power Supply" to help me do some preliminary (and VERY rudimentary) trouble shooting as well.

This seemed to be an inexpensive way to discover if the unit is capable of functioning per my requirements.

mikearthur If your garage-kept HWA-202-1 AC power supply is loney, would you be interested in helping it return to active service as a useful and productive member of new generation of old-style hammers?


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jul Thu 07, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 195
Location: Slidell, LA
You really don't need the AC power supply to power it up. Just plug it into the 12VDC supply in your car. Or hook it up to a spare car battery if you have one.

Sorry, I'm not really interested in selling the pair of them yet. Don't think it's anything special, however, just in a matching case to the transceiver.

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W9MWA


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jul Fri 08, 2011 4:22 am 
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Posts: 9
OK Mike, I would kicked myself for not asking!

Ready-made Power Supply's seem to be very popular - I may simply package the Heathkit HP-13b with the Heathkit radio and speaker...probably will sell for a premium!

but then I'd still need a radio.... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jul Fri 08, 2011 7:06 am 
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Posts: 3708
Location: Monterey California USA
Since nobody has told you, the Heath HP-13 is a 12 Volt to 800 Volt DC to DC converter used with their 1960's tube type HF ham gear. It has nothing at all to do with this model and can not possibly be used with it. This radio operates from 12 Volts already, it doesn't need a mobile power supply.

If you tried to connect the HP13 to this radio, you will just end up destroying both items.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jul Fri 08, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Sodus,NY USA
hi white Tiger,
Heres a link to a florida ham radio club. http://www.nofars.org/They should be able to help you out and let you know of other clubs in florida.good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit HW202
PostPosted: Jul Sun 10, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Jun Tue 21, 2011 11:32 am
Posts: 9
Geoff Fors wrote:
Since nobody has told you, the Heath HP-13 is a 12 Volt to 800 Volt DC to DC converter used with their 1960's tube type HF ham gear. It has nothing at all to do with this model and can not possibly be used with it. This radio operates from 12 Volts already, it doesn't need a mobile power supply.

If you tried to connect the HP13 to this radio, you will just end up destroying both items.


Well, that kinda throws a damper on me acquiring the HP-13b - wonder how I came to conclude that was the model I needed?

Will the HP-13b be an accurate 12vdc power supply for the HW-12a 80 meter rig?


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