It’s been a slow news week for me. I’ve been busy with kids’ sports, Cub Scouts, and Christmas preparations. Also watching the kids so Amber can help her parents with the catering business. Tis the season for busy days and nights. Both the boys were in the annual school Christmas program. I think everyone in town shows up for it. I’d like to get out in the shack and make some contacts but the free time has been limited.
I was able to power up the Heathkit SB-1400 and matching power supply for a quick checkout. Preliminary tests look like it might work out okay. The power supply puts out right at 14 VDC and doesn’t sag too much when the radio is keyed up. I’m really pretty happy with it. It looks and feels to be pretty well-built. Nice heavy and solid feel. The built-in speaker even works, though it sounds mighty crappy. I suppose it would be possible to replace it with a nicer one of the same size.
The radio has also passed the initial power up test. In CW mode I get 100W out into the dummy load. In SSB it seems a little flakey. I suppose it could be a mic or the radio itself. Since I have a duplicate mic on my Yaesu FT-736R I can try it out. It does put out power but it jumps around quite a bit and adjusting the mic gain is a little touchy. There’s no ALC meter to tell if I’m really over driving it to get the power output up near 100W. I don’t think it’s been used in a long time. Maybe If I transmit into the dummy load I can listen and record the audio on the Flex5k. Further testing will have to wait for now. It also has the MARS mod and there are several frequencies programmed into the memory channels. If I open it up to start cleaning it all up I may reverse the mod since I have no need for out of band transmit. Since the receiver is general coverage I could still listen to the channels if I wanted. I think this would make a good first radio or a backup. It’s not rich on features but is simple to operate with no menus or extraneous knobs/buttons.
Right now the shack looks like Santa’s staging room. We’ve hidden all the boy’s presents out there until Christmas. Since the boys often follow me out there I can’t just go out there at my leisure. It’s kinda like I’m grounded from the shack until Christmas. Don’t want to spoil it for them. Speaking of Christmas…best wishes to all my ham buddies that are following my blog. At the rate I’m going it might be after New Year’s before I find spare time to get back in touch with you all. I hope the holidays are safe, happy, and prosperous. Here’s a classic ham video for all your enjoyment. I know it goes around every year but it’s clever!