The Benton Harbor Lunchboxes
" and "Sixer
" were part of a family of lunchbox styled transceivers introduced by Heathkit in the 1960s. There were versions for 2m (the HW30 Twoer), 6m (the HW29/29A Sixer), and 10m (the HW19 Tenner).
In their day they were capable and popular radios. Although I never actually built or owned one, I coveted one for some time. At one point I bought the manual to see if I'd enjoy building it, but I never did get around to forking out the £26 required for the kit! The HW30, like its 6m and 10m cousins, was a 5W input AM crystal controlled transmitter with a tunable super-regenerative receiver. The "lunchbox" was the inspiration for similar rigs I built and used in the 1970s, including one that I never kept that had a similar form factor and general arrangement (crystal controlled TX and tuneable RX. My version was all transistorised and used a superhet.
By modern standards these receivers would not be considered suitable to use for everyday use in the often crowded bands of today but in their day, when occupancy was low they were fine. All were mains powered, so were complete "ready to go" stations in a box. The family consisted of the HW-19 10-Metre "Tenner" Transceiver and the HW-29A 6-Metre "Sixer" Transceiver. There was also an 11m (CB band) version in the early days of USA CB.
The internal construction of the HW29 and HW30 was similar to many valve based rigs of the time: a chassis with point-to-point wiring using leaded parts. As always, the Heathkit instruction manuals allowed little chance of errors during construction. These days, the nearest equivalents in kit instruction manuals are those from Elecraft. I am sure these were inspired by the Heathkit manuals.In some versions of the ARRL VHF Manuals there were modifications to the HW29 and HW30 to add MCW, external crystal sockets, metering and to screen the leads to the antenna socket.
When first sold in the UK in 1966 the price was £26. A full review appeared in RadCom for April 1966 by G3HRH.
Video of HW29 on 6m