Re-Using a Astatic D-104 Mic

I have been busy blowing up the Ham Shack and re-building it this summer.  More on that later.  Astatic D-104

One of the primary goals in doing this, was to make sure as much as possible everything in the shack served a purpose and got used.  We live in a small house and space is at a premium.  I looked around the shack this spring and realized that all but a few things I had in it where basically just for decoration.

One of those “Things” was an old Astatic D-104 Mic.  I got it when I purchased a Heathkit HW-101 about 3 years ago.  The PO threw the mic in since I didn’t have one for the HW-101.  I kept it because the XYL and one of my daughters thought it looked “Cool”.  Well if I could get them to show at least some interest in may obsession, I wasn’t going to complain, so it just sat on the desk.

So, I decided to see if I could make it useful again.  It wasn’t wired to work on any of my new Kenwoods and from what I researched, the original mic elements where pretty tinny and this one had been replaced at one time with only god knows what.  I did a little more research and found the Heil Sound made a retro fit kit to put one of their elements in the D-104.  I was excited about that and went to all the usual sources to order one.  unfortunately, no one had one and one site said it was discontinued.  I then went to Heil’s website and sure enough, I couldn’t find it listed.

So in desperation I emailed Heil and asked if I could at least by the components to rebuild the d-104.  I was surprised to get a response back almost immediately from Bob himself.


We make the kit with the new HC  5.1   Best to call Jerry at 618 257 3000.
He can help
So I called Jerry and the element was $50.00 plus shipping and I had it in 2 days.  Wow, talk about customer service.
I followed the instructions and put the element in.  Then I rewired the switch in the stand to make it work with the Kenwoods and put a new mic cable and 8 pin connector on it.  I have gotten really good reports back and am using it on my TS-790 for now.  So for $50.00 and an hours worth of work, I now have taken something from the bench and put it back to work.
Till Later, 73


  • I got one of these for free with a busted element, and I am aware of the Heil element, and I’ve debated buying it. But I honestly just don’t know what I’d use it for; I always use a headset for contesting and a hand mic for ragchew. Having to lean over to my desk on every transmission seems non-ergonomic.

  • Ya, but you look cool doing it.:)

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