I finally got my HQ-110 aligned, so I swapped some cables around, got my Versa-TR switch wired up to the HQ-110 and my homebrew novice xmtr, let them both warm up and started listening on 40 meters. The xmtr is xtal controlled, and I only have two usable crystals, 7.030 and 7.040 MHz. I also only can use my straight key as I don’t have any external keyer.

The first thing I noticed was the audio quality on the HQ-110. Hard to describe, but it has a presence. The CW signals sound very pure. I do have a Hammarlund external speaker, which is pretty beat up on the outside, but sounds good.

The HQ-110 was the more entry level receiver in the early 1960s. It will receive SSB, but takes a little more effort to tune in. No AGC or S-Meter function in CW/SSB, and I believe one IF amplifier stage was sacrificed to receive CW/SSB. So one might need to play with sensitivity control (RF Gain). There is a Q-Multiplier in the 110. The one in my original HQ-110 that I used in 1971 never seemed to work correctly, and I remember lots of microphonics in that radio. The one I have now has a working Q-Multiplier and I can tap on the cabinet with no microphonics.

Once everything was hooked up and tuned up, I finally started calling CQ on 7.040. After several calls, a station came back to me, W3MX, Tony out of Irwin, PA. We had a nice QSO. I had no antenna on my FTDX-101D while operating the old station, but tuned to 7.040 to hear myself. A bit of chirp, though not the worst ever. It may have always been like that, I probably never heard myself on that rig.

I have an article stashed away from a ham who modified his HQ-110 to replace the BFO and add another product detector to get AGC and S-Meter function on the radio. It would most certainly improve the radio, but I hate to modify it more than I have (3-wire power cord and Fuse).

But it was quite fun to fire up those old radios, warm my hands on top of the HQ-110, and have a QSO with my old setup. I will be keeping these rigs at the ready when I want a change of pace.

Next up, I will be looking at my HQ-145. I bought it several years ago off eBay. I cleaned it up a bit, replaced the clock face, but didn’t really dig inside, so I need to check the power supply capacitors at a minimum.

Please follow and like us: