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Lafayette HA-230


The HA-230 is a simple communications receiver sold in USA by Lafayette Radio Electronics around 1964. That is date printed in the operating manual. Like other Lafayette radios, the HA-230 was produced in Japan by Trio/Kenwood. It is essentially the same as the HE-30, apart from having the HF Oscillator and Mixer filaments permanently on (via a dedicated transformer, see below) to improve the stability. The unit covers the spectrum from the AM Broadcast band up to 30 MHz in four bands. A calibrated band spread dial is used for the Ham bands (80-40-20-15-10 meters). The IF is 455 kHz.

The HA-230 has one RF stage, S-meter and a tunable BFO/Q-multiplier. However one cannot use the BFO and Q-multiplier functions at the same time since they share the same circuitry. Despite the lack of a product detector, SSB reception is decent provided one uses carefully the manual gain (volume) control (MVC).

I got my HA-230 through Ebay USA. In practice the shipping charges to Europe where higher than the receiver's worth. I had to install a step-down transformer from 220 to 117 V using an inexpensive transformer for industrial controls I had in my junk box. See here for the schematics.


Tube complement

  • A 550-1600 kHz
  • B 1.6 - 4.8 MHz
  • C 4.8 - 14.5 MHz
  • D 10.3 - 30 MHz
  • V1 6BA6 RF Amp.
  • V2 6BE6 Mixer
  • V3 6BE6 HF Oscillator
  • V4 6AV6 Q-Multiplier/BFO
  • V5 6BA6 1st IF Amp.
  • V6 6BA6 2nd IF Amp.
  • V7 6AV6 Detector, 1st AF Amp, ANL, AVC
  • V8 6AQ5 Audio Output G/GT Rectifier
  • V9 5CG4 (5Y3) Rectifier
Dimensions and weight: 18 cm high, 38 cm wide, 25 cm deep. Weight: 9.5 kg
Power requirements: 117 VAC, 50 W.

When I tested the receiver after purchase it basically worked, but had a lot of audio distortion. This was reduced by replacing a leaky C23 (detected because of +0.8 V on the 6AQ5A grid). Some distortion is still present especially on strong stations. I should probably check the capacitors on the AVC line for leaks since the AVC does not look to work too well.

Maintenance history (the calibration keeps moving):

My receiver has a power-line leak problem (mild but annoying shock when touching the chassis). This is enough to knock off the house differential switch if the chassis is grounded. I replaced C28 without improvement. Reversing the insertion of the power plug reduces/suppresses the effect. To find the correct orientation touch the ungrounded chassis with a neon tester: it's OK when the lamp is off.

HA-230 operating manual (from BAMA site)

catalog page The predecessor HE-30 listed in the Lafayette 1964 summer catalog for 79.95 $ (64.95 $ in kit form)
Click for larger image The tuning dial with the A,B,C,D bands (top), the logging scale (middle) and the bandspread for the Amateur's bands (bottom).
Click for larger image Rear view of the chassis. From the left: multipin socket/plug for remote control when used with a transmitter; antenna binding posts (balanced and unbalanced); S-Meter zero adjust; audio output terminal strip; fuse. The mechanical construction is robust. Clamps are used to keep tubes in place.
Click for larger image Bottom view of the chassis. The coil pack and the band switch are in the middle, with the mica trimmers well visible. On the bottom right are the main power transformer and the transformer for the mixer and oscillator filaments (always on). I suggest to suppress this feature to spare the life of filaments by rewiring its primary in parallel with the main transformer's primary.
Click for larger image Chassis top view. The manufacturer's marking "TRIO CORP." is embosssed on the top of the IFT cans.
Click for larger image Detail of the 3-gang tuning and bandspread capacitors. On the left are the Q-multiplier shielded coil and the 6AV6 tube.
Click for larger image The leaky capacitor C23 put +0.8 V on the 6AQ5A grid, causing a distorted output. It was replaced with a ceramic disc type (arrow)

Look and listen tuning in "Radiodiffusion Tchadienne " on 4905 kHz (30.03.2008)

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