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Heathkit SB-1000 Amplifier 1kW 160-10 meters, with WARC and Eimac 3-500Z

Submitted by on April 15, 2013 – 9:35 am

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Heathkit SB-1000 Amplifier 1kW 160-10 meters, with WARC and Eimac 3-500Z Picture and Description:

 731983211073686920 Heathkit SB 1000 Amplifier 1kW 160 10 meters, with WARC and Eimac 3 500Z

Normal 0 First, I apologize for the length of this listing. However, I thought it would help you make your bidding decision if you knew as many details about this amplifier as I could provide. The radio club to which I belong has owned this amplifier for a few years. The club has decided to upgrade their inventory of loanable equipment to more modern equipment, so this amplifier, and a matching tuner, are up for auction. For more info on what I consider our worthy club, see http://www.otvarc.org The Heathkit SB-1000 amplifier was available in the late 1980s. It was essentially a kit-form version of the Ameritron AL-80A. Tom Rauch W8JI lays claim to have been the designer of the AL-80A and the creating of the Heathkit version. In creating the kit, Tom claims that some minor design changes took place. He notes the absence of an anti-corona washer for instance, leading to an increased risk of internal arcs. I have installed that washer, but there was no evidence internally that there had been arcing caused by its absence. In my photo collection, for comparison, I show the amp on top of another popular Heathkit, the SB-220. The amp is rated for 1kW PEP output from 160 through 10 meters. Ten meters is enabled on this amplifier, and it has the plate choke upgrade required to work on 12 and 17 meters. In actual operation, most users find that 800W is a more reliable output figure, unless the tube is brand new and the amp is operated on 240VAC. The club had been given the amplifier many years ago and it rattled around in the trunk of our secretary for a while. Well, OK, his car’s trunk, not his own trunk. In recent years, many of our newly-licensed members have wanted to learn HF contesting, and we decided to use the amp to assist those efforts. The first thing we learned was that the tube installed was shot…it was gassy. A club member ramped up the amp on a variac, and at half of normal voltage, the tube glowed bright blue and flashed over. So, a replacement tube was acquired from the Dayton Hamvention in 2010. This tube, a genuine Eimac, is performing well. It might be a tad low in emission, but I cycled two other tubes through the amp and obtained similar output power. I only tested on 120VAC, so it’s possible that if the amp is operated from 240VAC, it’ll deliver more power. One of the members borrowed it to use in his home station for a while. He reported some hissing sounds. Me being a bit of an amp designer/repairer, I offered to look into it. Kit-built products are only as good as how they were built. The smaller tank coil in this kit did not have any means of mechcanical stabilization. Because of this, one end of the coil ended up within 1/8” of the bandswitch, and the “hissing sound” was in fact, RF arcing. The rear wafer of the switch was toasted pretty badly. Here is the report of repairs performed to alleviate the issues and improve the amplifier: - The tank coil had strips of RTV added to mechanically stablize it - The coil was re-mounted to create the ½” gap specified in the construction manual - An anti-corona washer, present in the AL-80A but absent in the SB-1000, was added. There was no evidence of arcing caused by its absence - The rear bandswitch wafer was replaced, following procedures developed by “QRO King” W1QJ. - The original plate choke was replaced with the currently-produced Ameritron choke, enabling WARC band coverage. I have used the amp on and off in my own shack, mostly on 160 meters, since my own SB-220 does not cover that band. It has performed well for me, although as W8JI predicts, it can generate internal arcing if you operate it into a poor SWR. I recommend using it with resonant antennas, or a tuner. For your convenience, the club is also auctioning a perfectly suitable Heathkit SA-2060A tuner at the same time. Statement of current condition: - Works 100% - W8JI cautions against operating into high VSWR, so the use of a tuner is recommended - Tube socket mounting appears upside down. One commenter on the internet claims this will reduce grid lead inductance, and is probably why the builder chose to use the technique. - Tested on 120VAC, delivers 700-800 watts into 50 ohm load, depending on which power meter you believe. - Rear and bottom of chassis appear to have fingerprints on them which have slightly etched the metal. Looking at other AL-80A photos on the web, this seems to be common. - Top of lid has what appear to be water marks, but they don’t come off with soap and water. I have highlighted them in some of the photos. - Amp does not have the QSK board installed. - Amp is currently jumpered for 120VAC and is supplied with the proper 15A fast-blo fuses for 120VAC operation.. - Amp does not smell of smoke, and since the club took possession, has been only in non-smoking homes. The supplied manual is worthy of note. You can find an SB-1000 manual on the web in pdf format, and that’s what has been printed and bound here. However, you can NOT find the 70-page Heathkit fold-outs that were essential to construction and are still essential to service. As you can tell from the photos, these fold-outs have been obtained and bound in with the rest of the manual. I have a set of 23 photos of this amplifier on Flickr. You can find the photo set here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48269673@N07/sets/72157633238797910/ Some assembly required by winning bidder: - Tube is bubble-wrapped and placed inside amp - AC line fuses are bagged (with spares) and taped to top of amp - You will need to remove lid and install tube (requires #2 phillips screwdriver) and install the AC line fuses, before using. What’s included in the auction: 1 – Heathkit SB-1000 amplifier, set to operate on 120VAC, series 07-27-89, constructed in 1989 1 – Eimac 3-500Z tube, date code 7935 1 – Four AC line fuses 1 – Comprehensive construction and operating manual Shipping: Shipping costs are based on a package that’s 26 X 24 X 21 inches and 58 pounds. We prefer to ship Fedex as the reliability has been better. However, ebay does not have a Fedex estimating tool. We have chosen to use the UPS ground estimating tool. This provides a higher estimate but still a bit less than our actual cost that includes $35 paid to “Craters and Freighters”, who does our professional packaging for us. If our actual cost to ship ends up lower than the estimate provided by the ebay estimator, then we will refund the difference. Winning bidder is requested to supply their phone number, as Fedex requires this for ground shipping. Warranty: The club and I take full responsibility for the accuracy of this listing. However, proper usage of this item is crucial. We have faith in licensed amateur radio operators’ ability to use this equipment. Therefore, auction winners holding a valid amateur radio callsign (please submit upon winning auction) have 14 days to inspect the amplifier and ascertain that it is in condition described or better. If not satisfied, return in the packaging it came in, insured, and you will receive a refund of your winning bid value. Buyer pays return shipping costs.

 731983211073686921 Heathkit SB 1000 Amplifier 1kW 160 10 meters, with WARC and Eimac 3 500Z
 731983211073686922 Heathkit SB 1000 Amplifier 1kW 160 10 meters, with WARC and Eimac 3 500Z
 731983211073686923 Heathkit SB 1000 Amplifier 1kW 160 10 meters, with WARC and Eimac 3 500Z