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Author Topic: Hallicrafters SX-88 Restoration Advice....  (Read 98806 times)
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n2len
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2011, 02:42:27 PM »

Definitely not an original finished panel if you're still wondering on that, Len. Looks like someone had it anodized and applied some P-Touch labels to a few controls. The rest are blank, labels were on the knob skirts for many.

Should be a typical Halli gray panel with white lettering and trim around the switches. Maybe Rodger can give you a good close up shot of his to give you a good idea where to start.

I'd say if you get a replacement bezel and get the front panel repainted, that would be more than half the battle. Knobs will be a challenge, but some at least may well be shared with a few other sets like the SX-62, SX-42, etc. that also used the labeled aluminum skirts. You've got the two main tuning knobs which is a big plus, they're probably the most difficult to find. Halli used them on the SX-73 and R-649, maybe a couple others. I have no idea if any of the small knobs were specific to the 88 only, though I doubt it.

Johnny is right on the money for the black color. If you can't find the silver he suggests, Rustoleum had a good match for the silver cabinet cover too. Can't remember the name/number right now. Seems like it was Dull Aluminum or something along those lines. Not too bright, no shiny bits.

Looks like you've got a excellent foundation for a rebuild. As was mentioned, it may not end up being perfect 'collector quality', but you should come out of it with a nice looking and working set when all is said and done.


Hey Todd,
Regarding the front panel, Yup, I agree it looks anodized. which now looking back at the original correspondence from the gentleman I purchased it from mentioned. The front panel and lid are anodized gold.
With the advice of Robert K5UJ and Howard Mills, I reached out to Bob W0YVA. Howard actually got in touch with him which led to a telephone call. After speaking with Bob, he offered the service of repaint/silkscreen the front panel and cabinet as well. You are dead on with the knobs! I'm sure I will be able to muster some hallicrafter knobs from another rig for a closer match. I was thinking of maybe asking Bob to refinish the front panel and I complete the cabinet.  Grin




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n2len
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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2011, 02:44:04 PM »

The gold lid is a hammy hambone addition, too.  All Hallicrafters cabinets in that style had basically the same paint - black cabinet with a silver lid.  It's just plain ol' steel underneath.

That cabinet is unique to the SX-88 though, it's deeper than any other Hallicrafters cabinet.

Yup!
The front panel and lid is gold anodized!
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n2len
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2011, 02:49:11 PM »

This may or may not be helpful on the bezel, but since it looks to only be distorted, you may be able to straighten it if you're very careful.

I did a straightening job on a bezel or "hood, if you will", for a NC-270 once. With a lot of patience, and luck, I got it back straight as an arrow. The main thing to remember is work VERY slowly, over days; weeks, if necessary. Crank a LITTLE pressure, let it stand a day, take it out and re-check it. You'll need a good bench vise and a lot of different shim materials in different sizes, shapes, and material. Don't forget that a little heat in various temps/durations can really help also. The key is VERY SLOW! Also, if it does manage to crack, remember those Wonder Rods they used to advertise on tv that would braze anything? The only 2 times I have seen those actually used, they did work. Once more, VERY SLOWLY.

As it stands, you don't have anything to lose, but don't take that mindset when you start. Think of it as being the last one available. If it is really crappy pot metal, it may be a fruitless exercise, but what the heck?

73, Phil   

 
Phil,
That's fantastic!
You know everyone I spoke to so far....
Said, the bezel will probably crack with any attempt at straightening it back..
Your suggestions sound very promising however, I am not set up with the proper tools to attempt repair.
Would you like to tackle the bezel work for me?

Regards,
Len
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WQ9E
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2011, 03:26:08 PM »

The bandwidth knob (goes from 250 cycles to 10 KC for the SX-88) is unique to this receiver as is the actual frequency band around the band switch knob but the knob style itself is common to other Halli gear.  Other knobs are common to a lot of Halli gear and you can probably live with a close match from another receiver for the bandwidth knob. 

As long as your belt doesn't break, you won't need the frequency markings on the band switch knob Smiley
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Rodger WQ9E
n2len
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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2011, 05:20:45 PM »

The bandwidth knob (goes from 250 cycles to 10 KC for the SX-88) is unique to this receiver as is the actual frequency band around the band switch knob but the knob style itself is common to other Halli gear.  Other knobs are common to a lot of Halli gear and you can probably live with a close match from another receiver for the bandwidth knob. 

As long as your belt doesn't break, you won't need the frequency markings on the band switch knob Smiley

I guess I will just check around for some similar knobs for replacement....
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2011, 06:14:43 PM »

Rodger's input on the band switch knob is great, because it's the same knob used on the SX-42, HT-32/33 and maybe a couple others. I just sold one along with a full set of SX-42 knobs (probably some of the ones you need!) last fall. Held onto them for years, no one needed them, so off to the 'Bay they went.

You'd need to clean and most likely repaint the skirt, then either do an excellent job of re-lettering with dry transfers or maybe make a clear decal you could wrap around the skirt. Ask Bob about this, maybe he already did his over. No need to re-invent the wheel.

Or as Rodger says, just find one with good paint from a SX-42 and stuff it on. Close enough.

I bet Gary will turn up a bezel for you.
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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2011, 06:21:43 PM »



That "gold anodized" panel may be "Alodine" which is a conversion coating suitable for taking paint. I forget at the moment what the generic coating is called, another CRS moment...
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n2len
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2011, 07:29:10 PM »

Rodger's input on the band switch knob is great, because it's the same knob used on the SX-42, HT-32/33 and maybe a couple others. I just sold one along with a full set of SX-42 knobs (probably some of the ones you need!) last fall. Held onto them for years, no one needed them, so off to the 'Bay they went.

You'd need to clean and most likely repaint the skirt, then either do an excellent job of re-lettering with dry transfers or maybe make a clear decal you could wrap around the skirt. Ask Bob about this, maybe he already did his over. No need to re-invent the wheel.

Or as Rodger says, just find one with good paint from a SX-42 and stuff it on. Close enough.

I bet Gary will turn up a bezel for you.

Sounds good to me....! Grin
Thanks much for all the advice...
Awaiting on the bezel answer from several people....
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n2len
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« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2011, 07:31:14 PM »



That "gold anodized" panel may be "Alodine" which is a conversion coating suitable for taking paint. I forget at the moment what the generic coating is called, another CRS moment...

Thanks for the input!
Will I be able to determine the difference by simply looking at the receiver when it arrives?
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n2len
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2011, 09:34:55 PM »

The SX-88 arrived late this evening.  It was packaged really well and survived it trip!

I couldn't resist! So I immediately began to break it down.

Initial inspection, show 2 IF cans in the left corner need repit work. They snapped off the left sided rivets! Quite apparently from prior sitting on it's left side!
Suggestion to repair? I've seen many for sale with the same repair, just by using solder.

Removal of the front panel was easy. It just slipped off the front of the chassis, I just needed to remove the panel screws and the nut for the phono jack!

The panel, lid and both band spread knob plates were anodized gold.
I removed the dial glass, and the bezel, the panel is the original and looks like it would be a good candidate for refinishing by Bob!

I haven't given up on the bezel. It's pretty bad, however there has to be some way of straightening it back out, maybe by a aluminum repair shop, with heat.

Sliding the front panel off exposed the complete dial assembly.

Another repair has to be done. Any suggestions on this one?

The right dial pointer cam, the brass wire belt snapped off. Someone used silicone glue to hold the dial pointer straight up!

Further primary inspection revealed a pretty clean chassis, with what looks to be a good drive belt, under-body shows many capacitors changed.

Any suggestions please....
Some pictures to follow....
 



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n2len
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2011, 09:38:24 PM »

more pics


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n2len
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2011, 09:41:24 PM »

more pics


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WQ9E
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2011, 10:09:30 PM »

Len,

It looks like this should turn into a very nice SX-88 when you are through.  I would get the panel and all of the electronic and mechanical problems addressed and then worry about the bezel.

 It has been a very long day but I will try to comment on a possible repair for the pointer drive tomorrow, I wouldn't put a lot of trust in any complex explanations I write tonight.  Someone else may chime in before tomorrow.

One other caution:  I had no problems with seized adjusting hardware with any of the IF transformer adjustments with my SX-88 and you probably will not with yours.  But if you do, proceed with extreme caution as the low IF transformers in the SX-88 are exclusive to this receiver so another SX-88 is the only source for a proper spare.  Although it would limp along with a replacement transformer out of another one of the Halli 50 KC low IF receivers (SX-96, 100, 101, 111, 115, 117) the SX-88 IF transformers have significantly higher Q and the difference is evident in a side by side comparison with the later family members. 
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2011, 10:10:11 PM »

Wowsers, Len. It actually looks to be in pretty clean shape overall. And someone has re-capped it already, though you might want to re-check and redress the work.

Basically, once Bob repaints the panel for you and you get the cabinet done, all you'll need to deal with is the bezel and knobs, bolt-on parts. Not bad.

I have a bad feeling you won't have much luck straightening that bezel. Even if you could get the main sag out of it, the other waves would still be obvious. Though it might be a bit on the costly side, if you can't get one of the replacement bezels through Gary, perhaps you could get one machined locally. In fact, it might be an excellent project for a local shop class to undertake.

Keep us posted on your progress. And watch ebay for SX-42 knobs or a beater parts set as well as putting out the word here and elsewhere.
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2011, 10:36:12 PM »



That "gold anodized" panel may be "Alodine" which is a conversion coating suitable for taking paint. I forget at the moment what the generic coating is called, another CRS moment...

Hi Bear,

Perhaps you are referring to irridite chemical film treatment?

You and I have both had a lot of experience with irriditing and re-irriditing aluminum components.

73,

Bruce
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« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2011, 06:27:40 AM »

Alodine (a conversion coating process similar to Iridite) leaves a gold tone finish on aluminum. "Metal-Prep" often leaves a yellowish looking phosphate coating on steel . Both are good substrates for paint.  There are a few replacements for cadmium plating now in use for steel finishing that leave a yellowish sheen. Zinc Dichromate is but one of the Cad plate alternatives.
 "Aircraft Spruce and Specialty" handles many products for finishing and preserving metals along with great metalworking  tools and supplies. A request will bring a catalog.
 For the rattle can painters; An alternative to flat black Rustoleum paint is Krylon "Chalkboard" black. Not as chalky as one would think. A very durable semi-flat furface.
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n2len
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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2011, 08:24:25 AM »

Len,

It looks like this should turn into a very nice SX-88 when you are through.  I would get the panel and all of the electronic and mechanical problems addressed and then worry about the bezel.

 It has been a very long day but I will try to comment on a possible repair for the pointer drive tomorrow, I wouldn't put a lot of trust in any complex explanations I write tonight.  Someone else may chime in before tomorrow.

One other caution:  I had no problems with seized adjusting hardware with any of the IF transformer adjustments with my SX-88 and you probably will not with yours.  But if you do, proceed with extreme caution as the low IF transformers in the SX-88 are exclusive to this receiver so another SX-88 is the only source for a proper spare.  Although it would limp along with a replacement transformer out of another one of the Halli 50 KC low IF receivers (SX-96, 100, 101, 111, 115, 117) the SX-88 IF transformers have significantly higher Q and the difference is evident in a side by side comparison with the later family members. 

Thanks much for the reply....
I am awaiting you comment on repair of the pointer drive.  Upon close examination of the pointer cam, the silicone used will first
have to be completely removed. That should hopefully peel off.
Regarding the 2 IF cans on the left back side, Is the soldering method the best at repair? Basically soldering the rivet to the actual can itself? If so, Would applying heat from the solder gun possibly damage the IF can in anyway?
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n2len
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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2011, 08:35:14 AM »

Wowsers, Len. It actually looks to be in pretty clean shape overall. And someone has re-capped it already, though you might want to re-check and redress the work.

Basically, once Bob repaints the panel for you and you get the cabinet done, all you'll need to deal with is the bezel and knobs, bolt-on parts. Not bad.

I have a bad feeling you won't have much luck straightening that bezel. Even if you could get the main sag out of it, the other waves would still be obvious. Though it might be a bit on the costly side, if you can't get one of the replacement bezels through Gary, perhaps you could get one machined locally. In fact, it might be an excellent project for a local shop class to undertake.

Keep us posted on your progress. And watch ebay for SX-42 knobs or a beater parts set as well as putting out the word here and elsewhere.

Thanks Todd,
Actually I'm thrilled....I really can't believe it's actually here....In person....What a freaking sickness this hobby is heh'?
The gentleman who I got it from, took extreme care packaging it for me and it paid off when it arrived.
Yup, I will go through the capacitor work touching up anything found if necessary. You know, regarding the bezel, I looked at it more closely last night, where it warped shows many tiny stress cracks. The composite metal makeup resembles a fishing lead anchor. (well maybe not) but more lead looking than aluminum.
Hopefully, a replacement bezel will come up somewhere. Gary, put me in contact with a gentleman in NYC who purchased a lot of these bezels, maybe he has one to part with...
I also would like to eventually fine a replacement belt....
Looking for the knobs too!

Len
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n2len
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2011, 08:40:14 AM »

Alodine (a conversion coating process similar to Iridite) leaves a gold tone finish on aluminum. "Metal-Prep" often leaves a yellowish looking phosphate coating on steel . Both are good substrates for paint.  There are a few replacements for cadmium plating now in use for steel finishing that leave a yellowish sheen. Zinc Dichromate is but one of the Cad plate alternatives.
 "Aircraft Spruce and Specialty" handles many products for finishing and preserving metals along with great metalworking  tools and supplies. A request will bring a catalog.
 For the rattle can painters; An alternative to flat black Rustoleum paint is Krylon "Chalkboard" black. Not as chalky as one would think. A very durable semi-flat furface.

Actually the front panel and top lid, are gold....The panel is shiny, smooth, and gold, which may of been buffed during the process.
I would guess it was anodized or even gold plated?  Grin
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n2len
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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2011, 09:55:52 AM »

Question to the group...

Reagrding repair of the 2 "IF cans". Looking from the bottom of the cabinet...
It appears as though each can is held in by 2 nuts.
If I remove the nuts from the bottom of the "IF" can will the can simply slip off the slug for repair?
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WQ9E
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« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2011, 10:07:58 AM »


Thanks much for the reply....
I am awaiting you comment on repair of the pointer drive.  Upon close examination of the pointer cam, the silicone used will first
have to be completely removed. That should hopefully peel off.
Regarding the 2 IF cans on the left back side, Is the soldering method the best at repair? Basically soldering the rivet to the actual can itself? If so, Would applying heat from the solder gun possibly damage the IF can in anyway?

If you could, send me some good closeup shots of the pointer drive so that I am sure I understand exactly how it is broken.  

It will take a fair amount of heat and there is no other source of these transformers so there is a definite risk with soldering.  If it were mine, I would try one of the two part epoxy mixes and make a neat repair with it.  Although JB Weld uses a lot of hyperbole in their advertising it is a pretty good product and I have used it for a number of metal repairs.  I wouldn't trust it to repair a cracked engine block as they claim in the advertising but I am confident it would easily handle the much gentler environment of the SX-88.
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n2len
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« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2011, 10:41:36 AM »


Thanks much for the reply....
I am awaiting you comment on repair of the pointer drive.  Upon close examination of the pointer cam, the silicone used will first
have to be completely removed. That should hopefully peel off.
Regarding the 2 IF cans on the left back side, Is the soldering method the best at repair? Basically soldering the rivet to the actual can itself? If so, Would applying heat from the solder gun possibly damage the IF can in anyway?

If you could, send me some good closeup shots of the pointer drive so that I am sure I understand exactly how it is broken.  

It will take a fair amount of heat and there is no other source of these transformers so there is a definite risk with soldering.  If it were mine, I would try one of the two part epoxy mixes and make a neat repair with it.  Although JB Weld uses a lot of hyperbole in their advertising it is a pretty good product and I have used it for a number of metal repairs.  I wouldn't trust it to repair a cracked engine block as they claim in the advertising but I am confident it would easily handle the much gentler environment of the SX-88.

Hey Rodger, Sure....
Here they are....
I took pictures of the left side which is fine to show how it is built. It appears that they used a brass piece the is shaped like a "U". It goes around the bottom brass cam, then each end it attached to the pointer cam on top. How it is attached, I don't know maybe soldered or glued. I need to look closer.


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WQ9E
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« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2011, 10:54:19 AM »

Len,

That is what I thought you were describing but I wanted to be sure.

You can make a replacement piece either from brass or copper which should be available at hobby shops.  I would suggest using a very small amount of the same two part epoxy I mentioned earlier to anchor the ends to avoid discoloring the black painted part of the pointer assembly from soldering heat.  The messiest part will be removing the silicone without damaging anything. 

I remember you mentioned some of the under chassis caps were replaced.  You might contact the seller to see if he knows whether the caps in the 2'nd converter assembly were replaced.  You don't want to go through the removal process if you don't have to (but it originally contained black beauties which were cracked in my SX-88 production run 2).

Rodger
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n2len
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« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2011, 10:55:41 AM »

Now looking at it closer up....All it is....is a brass stick not  "U" shaped. Each side is a straight piece of brass. Attached from the top of the pointer than is just comes down and sits in the lower brass cam. When you turn the knob the cam moves up and down the sticks thus moving the pointer. This should be an easy fix...?
I need to first carefully remove the silicone and figure out what type of metal to use. Maybe I can cut a thick paper clip.
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n2len
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« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2011, 11:12:37 AM »

What Luck...What I thought would be the most difficult part was the easiest...

Would you believe that the silicone came off in one total piece?

Now I can clearly see the brass stick and how it is attached to the pointer wheel. Only the right side broke off. I even checked to see if the broken part was laying inside the receiver. No luck, it's long gone...
It looks like maybe a sewing needle, trimmed to the correct length would fit perfectly.
I think that I may need to remove the front panel to allow me to swing the sticks back on the lower cam after the right side is repaired.


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