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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Last Hallicrafters Transceiver...REBORN! TWICE!

Pete Juliano and his colleague Giovanni Manzoni led me this morning to the happy land of Hallicrafters hybrid nostalgia.

It all started with Pete's latest blog post:  

I admit that I had never even heard of the Hallicrafters FPM rigs.  Pete's (uh, I mean Giovanni's) video show's Pete's junk-box rebuild of the old rig.  Very nice.   Note the presence of the Si5351...

I needed more background info, so I turned to YouTube.  This led me to more old friends:  Dale Parfitt W4OP has a really nice video of his rebuild of the Halli FPM rig (see above).  From his video we learn why Dr. Juliano prescribed a dose of Si5351 for the patient:  Dale tells us that VFO instability was a major problem with this rig.   Dale fixed his with the addition of an X-Lock board from yet another friend of SolderSmoke: Ron G4GXO of Cumbria Designs. 

Dale really out-did himself by building an add-on accessory box for the FPM.  Very nice.  I especially liked the addition of the W3NQN passive audio filter for CW.   I always have misgivings about adding audio filters to Direct Conversion receivers -- this will reduce QRM, but you are still listening to both sides of zero beat.  But when you add a sharp CW audio filter to an SSB superhet you will end up with true "single signal reception."  FB Dale.  

Please send Pete Juliano and Giovanni Manzoni some positive feedback and words of encouragement.  Please urge them to keep up the good work on the blog and the videos.  Theirs is sometimes a lonely task -- without feedback it can sometimes seem like putting messages in a bottle and throwing them into the digital sea.   Please let them know that their work is being seen!  Leave some positive comments on Pete's blog.  (No snark please -- The Radio Gods will retaliate if you harsh N6QW's mellow.)


  1. Bill,

    Thanks for posting the video and story. I had noticed Pete's video and commented. I like how he side steps the whole unstable VFO with a Si5351. Looks to me like a great way to "modernize" old transceivers and give them more years of service.

  2. I am glad Pete isn't giving up his Blog!!

  3. But where's the video for the upgrade of the Hallicrafters FPM-200?


    1. Michael: For Dale's upgrade you click on the video link at the top of the post. Pete's can be found by going to the link to his blog. 73 Bill

    2. No, that was a joke. The fpm-200 was Hallicrafter's first solid state ssb rig, circa 1958. Must have been the first transistor ssb rig (it had tubes in the driver and final), since it was so early. Apparently few were made. But when the fpm-300 came out, obviously they used a similar model number.



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