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Hallicrafters SX-88 Restoration Advice....




 
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Author Topic: Hallicrafters SX-88 Restoration Advice....  (Read 55485 times)
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n2len
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« Reply #75 on: April 17, 2011, 07:55:51 PM »

More pics....


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n2len
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« Reply #76 on: July 07, 2011, 11:08:37 AM »

I just wanted to update everyone who had assisted me on my Hallicrafters SX-88 restoration.
Recently the front panel was sent to Bob W0YVA for a complete redo...
As many of you remember many parts including the front panel was anodized gold.
The front panel came back and it looks absolutely stunning!
Bob does beautiful work! I will be sending him the cabinet in the future for his magic!
A new radio friend sent me 2 original replacement dials, for the main and band spread knobs.
After many weeks of searching the entire country for a replacement bezel.
Only one replica bezel was found and immediately purchased. It just arrived yesterday.

I am still looking for the original knobs!

Pictures attached...




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n2len
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« Reply #77 on: July 07, 2011, 11:17:55 AM »

Oh by the way,

I am not running to put this all back together yet. So if anybody would like to offer a computerized CNC milling machine and copy the bezel, let me know....
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kg8lb
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« Reply #78 on: July 20, 2011, 06:25:14 AM »

Oh by the way,

I am not running to put this all back together yet. So if anybody would like to offer a computerized CNC milling machine and copy the bezel, let me know....

  Any chance to buy a copy of the data ?
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n2len
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« Reply #79 on: July 20, 2011, 08:31:47 AM »

Tell you what...
There is a place not to far from me that uses CNC machines. I will go over there when I get the chance and ask them if they would consider making a program to cut the bezel. I will ask them for a price to do this, or will then even consider doing this type of job without making a prototype. Seems like the same situation with the drive belt.
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n2len
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« Reply #80 on: July 20, 2011, 08:35:31 AM »

Oh by the way...
The replica bezel is a quarter of the weight of the original pot metal version. However the texture of the metal and how it was originally cut is quite different, I guess due to the composite makeup of the pot metal used in the 50's.
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kg8lb
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« Reply #81 on: July 20, 2011, 09:18:07 AM »

 Len, Sorry, I thought you already had the data. There are plenty of shops in our area that could Rapid Prototype that part but the cost is a bit heavy in most cases. As for the hand lay up , there are also shops that specialize in applying textures to the mold. A good painter can usually duplicate just about any texture during the finishing of composite or metal parts.
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WA1KBQ
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« Reply #82 on: July 28, 2011, 10:59:59 PM »

Can you supply me with a place to purchase the proper alignment tool for the IF can adjustment?

I am curious to ask if you have over 100 bench hours in the restoration shown?

What do you use to treat the metal? Is it a step by step process?

The front panel is going to be restored by Bob W0YVA in the near future.


Len,

The alignment tool starts out as a General Cement part #8727. I need to order a couple new ones also and a quick check of the GC Electronics website shows they're still available for a little over $4 each and there is a link to a picture of the tool. The tip has to be reduced in size slightly to fit the small rectangular slot in the tops of SX-88 slugs. I use a small mill smooth file and work them down to the dimensions shown in the SX-88 manual. The slugs might break if they're tight, and often some are, if you attempt to use a screwdriver. The slugs are not available anywhere else that I am aware of.

I have not previously kept an account of time it takes to do a complete job but I did start keeping a record of that now on this latest job which is number 400. It has always been purely a labor of love and I just worked on them off and on mostly in my spare time (whatever that is) when I could find it. SX-88s are fairly complex receivers and it seems to take me quite a bit longer to go completely through one than other makes and models. The last two SX-88 projects took about a year each but that's not a fair assessment because I usually bounce around among four different projects in-process at any given time because it seems you are constantly getting temporarily held up on something, either looking for replacement parts or sending parts off for outside work, refinishing, plating, etc. I like to disassemble equipment as far as is practical, clean and restore each individual part as necessary and reassemble restored parts. A good restoration is simply an assembly of restored parts.

Improving the appearance of old tarnished and discolored cadmium plating can sometimes present a bit of a challenge and usually you don't want to employ more aggressive measures than necessary to restore a brighter appearance to the plating. Sometimes brightening up a dingy tarnished chassis will make quite a difference in a restoration but polished up like a mirror, while popular with some, does not look quite right to me. You should also carefully consider whether any polishing or cleaning to brighten the chassis appearance outweighs retaining the various original factory ink stamps and markings many of which will most likely be destroyed during the cleaning process. A very effective way to brighten tarnished cadmium is to dissolve a small amount of Sodium Bisulfate (pH Down for pools and spas) in a cup of warm water. With a shop towel and rubber gloves wipe the chassis down. If your cadmium is beyond achieving results with sodium bisulfate solution increase to slightly more aggressive phosphoric acid. This one is a green liquid available in quart size plastic bottles and auto body repair and paint supply houses sell it as a metal prep step before painting. Clean with a 50-50 mix of industrial 409 and ammonia to neutralize, rinse and blow dry. The 409 kitchen counter cleaner variety sold in grocery stores is not strong enough. A good substitute for industrial strength 409 is Westley's Bleche-Wite which is a tire cleaner sold in automotive parts and accessory stores. The sodium bisulfate solution is a weak acid and the cleaning step removes discoloration, improves the brightness and neutralizes the acid. I always wipe down a freshly cleaned chassis with a protective coat of Cimguard (or WD-40) afterwards to preserve the luster and retard oxidation.

I have seen some very good work from Bob, WYVA, glad to hear he is doing silkscreens. I need to call him.


Regards, Greg
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n2len
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« Reply #83 on: September 25, 2013, 08:11:17 PM »

So, Where am I now 2 years later?

I have been on the hunt for the original knobs...
I did find and purchased a donor (prototype) SX-88. But even before I received it, I sold it back to the gentleman I purchased it from. He was sad to let it go, and I understood why he purchased it in the first place, to restore and needed the cash at the time of sale.

So maybe 2 E-bay auctions since, and after bidding my limit, unable to win..

Tonight I finally received my 2nd SX-88.
Now this receiver was just purchased to be a donor radio. I simply needed the original knobs to complete mine and a cabinet repaint and done. But what I received, was a complete fully restorable SX-88.

I only unwrapped it about an hour ago. The gentleman I purchased it from did a fantastic job at packaging. Double boxing etc.. It was well worth the wait for the extra time and effort he took wrapping this 98 pound beast. It survived the UPS gorillas!

First quick inspection, reveals a broken band belt and broken window glass on the left side.
The always broken replaceable IF cans in the back left corner are untouched in excellent condition. Someone built a bracket in the left corner to prevent breakage as a preventative measure.

I cant believe that the front BEZEL is as straight as a arrow. The cabinet is straight and somewhat clean. The front panel is quite clean with only some fade on lettering on the panel switches. All the knobs are in great shape and will clean up nicely.

The top reveals slight surface rust, the bottom clean and somewhat untouched....The switches, band switch and controls all move freely.

Restore this one too, have two, (I really don't need 2) and back to looking for the knobs....
Do I take only the parts really needed and sell it minus the knobs...
Part it out to gents who really need the bezel, and cabinet, what pieces needed?
Take the best parts from the 2 and sell the balance?
Should I keep the original panel, sell the newly refurbished W0YVA uninstalled panel, use the original Bezel, sell the last NOS uninstalled reproduced new Bezel? (That took over a year to locate and secure)...

My gut feeling is to not destroy and fully restore this beauty!

Here are some pics...
Suggestions by my AM friends?
What should I do?

Thanks,
Len

 





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n2len
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« Reply #84 on: September 25, 2013, 08:14:55 PM »

another pic..


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WQ9E
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« Reply #85 on: September 25, 2013, 08:40:27 PM »

Len,

I would say it is in very restorable condition and I would not part it out.  I know you have been looking for parts for awhile to restore #1 but it would be tough for me to steal parts from one that is in pretty good shape.  BUT it is yours so regardless of what the rest of us think it is your right to decide.

One SX-88 is enough for me although I do have a pair of National NC-400 and Pierson KP-81 receivers and having two would allow you to pair SX-88 receivers with your two favorite transmitters Smiley
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Rodger WQ9E
n2len
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« Reply #86 on: September 25, 2013, 09:13:36 PM »

Hey Rodger,
Thanks for the reply..
I appreciate it.
And, I too am leaning towards the restoration way....

I am going to take a closer look this weekend.
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n2len
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« Reply #87 on: September 28, 2013, 05:48:58 PM »

Rodger,

I began the dismantle of the front panel. Question...
What type of tool is used to remove the knobs?
Is it bristol or spline? What size?

It looks like a 4 leaf clover.


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WQ9E
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« Reply #88 on: September 28, 2013, 06:29:32 PM »

Len,

That is known as a Bristol with four flutes and some of the sizes have four flutes instead of the more common 6. In the Xcelite set I own the correct tool is # 99-63,  I believe 99 is the tool set identifier and 63 is the actual tool.  I think Cooper bought Xcelite.

The set I bought years ago is identical to the one currently sold on Amazon.  Use this for reference as you may find it cheaper elsewhere.  I guess you could buy the individual tool but it is a good Bristol set if you don't already have a complete set:  http://www.amazon.com/Xcelite-Compact-Bristol-Multiple-Spline-Screwdriver/dp/B001T4VXH0
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Rodger WQ9E
n2len
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« Reply #89 on: September 28, 2013, 08:56:25 PM »

Thanks for the information and link. I will order a set as I could definitely use them.

I was able to slide out the broken band belt. So, I reopened the belt project again. I made several phone calls to companies that produce timing belts. Looking to see if a belt close in size would be available. 112 groves, 1/8" in width etc...
Will see if I receive any replies.

I want to first remove the front panel and inspect the gear drive.
So I will first ofer the wrench set to get moving.

Strange, the Sx-101 knobs look almost the same in size and pattern. Different mounting screws than the 4 flute pattern.

Len
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WQ9E
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« Reply #90 on: September 28, 2013, 10:31:19 PM »

If you find a source for a workable belt please let me know.  Mine is OK now but a spare would sure be nice to have.
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Rodger WQ9E
Joe Connor
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« Reply #91 on: September 29, 2013, 01:00:23 PM »

This is a fascinating thread. Keep it coming!

              Joe Connor
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n2len
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« Reply #92 on: November 21, 2013, 08:23:22 PM »

Well after about a month and a half, the Xcelite Spline Tool case finally arrived....
I waited for a used set to appear on the bay then grabbed a very old set when they became available.
Wow, Did that make it super easy to remove these knobs....

Thanks Rodger!...
Removal of the front panel and bezel next....

Happy Holidays....
Len


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KD6VXI
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Making AM GREAT Again!


« Reply #93 on: November 21, 2013, 08:38:32 PM »

Not sure if they are still in business,  but PRB (Projector / Recorder Belt)  is / was a great place to get belts.

One of my favorite mail order houses when I was an Authorized Alpine Service Center.   

--Shane
KD6VXI
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n2len
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« Reply #94 on: August 14, 2015, 10:47:39 PM »

If you find a source for a workable belt please let me know.  Mine is OK now but a spare would sure be nice to have.

Hello Rodger,
Two years later I was lucky to find a Spare NOS Reproduction SX-88 Band Drive Belt from 1996.
Also included in the sale was (2) Pairs of Reproduction Dial Glasses.

I hope to finally complete (after 4 Years) this SX-88 restoration soon!

Regards,
Len N2LEN


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WBear2GCR
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Brrrr- it's cold in the shack! Fire up the BIG RIG


WWW
« Reply #95 on: August 15, 2015, 10:57:23 PM »

Len,

Great perseverance!

Hope you actually listen to the radio and use it after all this painstaking work and time!! Wow.

How about some pix of the unit as it now sits??

                          _-_-bear
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_-_- bear WB2GCR                   http://www.bearlabs.com
n2len
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« Reply #96 on: August 16, 2015, 08:12:16 PM »

Len,

Great perseverance!

Hope you actually listen to the radio and use it after all this painstaking work and time!! Wow.

How about some pix of the unit as it now sits??

                          _-_-bear

Hey Bear,
Hope you are doing well and thanks!

Yup...
I almost gave up on this project. The receiver was put aside for quite sometime.
It really was a cosmetic basket case!
All that really needs to be done is to put the front panel all back together.
I will take many pictures and gladly share them as soon as I get it back on my workbench.

Len





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