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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

TRGHS: Hallicrafters S-38E will NOT be Discarded (video)



My Hallicrafters S-38E was on very thin ice.  I had grown tired of the little beast.  Its dangerous no-transformer power supply had caused me to risk death and to fry one of the RF input coils (that happens if you short the antenna input to an inadvertently hot chassis). It is rickety and old and I just got tired of working on it.  I had down in the basement, awaiting disposal of some kind.  (I'd been afraid to give it away, fearing that the recipient might electrocute himself.)  But recently I've been doing some shortwave listening and this caused me to reconsider the S-38E.  

Around this time, while looking at e-bay, I saw some guy selling just the RF input coil that I had fried.  So I bought it.  Then I pulled the S38-E out of the basement and fired it up.  I realized that I had already done a lot of work on it.  I had put in an isolation transformer, so the receiver was no longer quite so dangerous.  I'd already replaced most of the capacitors.  It sounded pretty good on the AM broadcast band.  Then, in my first scan of the shortwave bands, I heard the William Tell Overture pouring from the speaker (see video).  Could it be?  Perhaps a replay of the Jean Shepherd show?  No, but I soon heard the familiar voice of Tim WA1HLR -- he was doing his show on (I think) WBCQ shortwave, just above our 40 meter band.     

THE RADIO GODS HAVE SPOKEN.  THE S-38E STAYS!  


8 comments:

  1. I guess the only way I would touch a S38E would be to do so with the special light weight rubber gloves to avoid a terrible shock hazard. Good for you Bill! The S38E lives on sort of like the Masked Man and Tonto

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  2. Take a listen to wtww on 5085kcs, wednesdays at 6p Pacific is ham nation, Ted Rendell radio show on Thursdays (I think)

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  3. Wow that S-38E looks way different than the ABC models that I usually see around. When I was a kid I played around with my dad's old S-41W, which I read was the precursor to the S-38 series. One thing I remember about it was that it could cause massive TVI to the lower VHF channels because of all the LO radiation it had (this was well before cable TV)!

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  4. You should do a side by side of your HROish rx on AM along side the S38-E

    Ed KC8SBV

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    1. Right now the HROish RX would easily win on SSB and CW. But the S-38 sounds a lot better on shortwave broadcasts, probably for two reasons: 1) it has a wider bandwidth and 2) it has AGC (which is needed when dealing with very strong broadcast signals). 73 Bill

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  5. I have yet to read (rip McClatchy) of anyone being electrocuted by their S-38E. Or for that matter, any of the many line operated "All American 5" AM receivers that were in use over the years. I'm glad that you have maintained yours. The one I have was a Christmas present when I was 12. Many memories of HCJB! It still works!

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    1. Bruce: Your S-38 story (in a post from a few years ago) helped prevent me from getting rid of this receiver. Thanks. 73 Bill

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