How Good Are 70's Receivers from eBay?

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  • Posted In: DX & Reception

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    In 1971 I bought a Lafayette HA-600A brand new.    Although at times the fidelity could be as sonically fulfilling as a bad pay phone connection,  that unit could really ‘pick it’ as far as selectivity went.    I mean,   getting Costa Rica’s TIW on 775 from a part of New York City — with WABC *on* ?!?

    There is an HE-30 for bid on eBay,  for example.   It looks pretty sophisticated.    I’d just be guessing that it’s older than the HA-600 and the earlier HA-700.    But I’m wondering if components of these 60’s/70’s radios,  which once provided terrific sensitivity and selectivity for ‘budget’ receivers,   can still ‘rake it’ after all these years.

    As well,  there is the problem of 2018 noise on the AM dial plus the exodus of stations on short-wave to consider.    Never mind the ‘entertainment’ factor (if there is any) on the AM dial.    It just seems to me that off a car battery in a meadow — the HA 600 had a provision for that option — I might be able to replicate a quiet 1970’s daytime AM dial.

    That is,  *if* age and temperatures and spilled soup and cat hair and wizz and atrophying components have stood up to modern life.   A few years ago my beloved HA-600 busted a part — it snapped off — that looked like a white 2-inch icicle.    Sensitivity was never the same,  or even close.    Other priorities led me away from DXing at the time,  anyway.

    So the question is general:   Are these HE-30’s or Zenith Trans-Oceanics worth it 40 years later?    Or are they as withered as I am,  hi ?







    There are people out there who repair the old radios and may have the part that broke in stock.  You might want to Google for classic radio repair or something like that, and also contact some of the advertisers in the classifieds in QST.  I would not recommend buying a used radio unless you can try it out before purchasing, perhaps you can find one of these classic radios at a local hamfest.

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