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A 1948 Hallicrafters S-51 "Sea Farer" comes back to life.




 
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Author Topic: A 1948 Hallicrafters S-51 "Sea Farer" comes back to life.  (Read 268 times)
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KK4YY
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Gol’ na vydumku khitra


« on: May 24, 2019, 12:25:07 AM »

I picked up a 1948 Hallicrafters S-51 "Sea Farer" receiver a few years ago from a local junque shop for small money. It was in decent shape, but was missing all four of its 6SS7 tubes (all the others tubes were there). Not having any 6SS7 tubes in my stockpile, the radio went on a shelf... and languished.

Today I decided to see if the old girl worked. I made four tube socket adapters so I could use 6BJ6's (which I did have) in place of the 6SS7's. I plugged them in, turned it on, and... nothing. I found that the internal speaker was shot. Connecting an external speaker, the audio was there, but very low. I found a bad solder joint on the audio gain pot and, once repaired, the audio came booming out. Nice! It's no world-beater for sure, but it doesn't sound bad at all.

I think with a bit more cleaning of dirty switch contacts and such, the S-51 just might make it into the station line-up here. And, according to the tag inside, it was "born" on May 26, 1948 so this Sunday will be its 71st birthday. I'll have to hurry-up with the repairs now — I wouldn't want it to miss the party!


Don
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KA0HCP
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 11:59:49 AM »

Example photo of S-51.  Hallicrafters got a lot of mileage out of AC/DC models; which can be a little hard to fathom today.  However, across the world then there were many different electrical distribution systems, unlike todays' standardization.
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New callsign KA0HCP, ex-KB4QAA.  Relocated to Kansas in April 2019.
KK4YY
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Gol’ na vydumku khitra


« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 04:08:10 PM »

KA0HCP,

The S-51 that I have is slightly different than the one you've pictured, in that mine has a "Range Filter" switch between the CW/AM and Noise Limiter switches. It switches an RC filter in/out of the audio path providing a more "communications" sound. That's pretty useless to me. What would have been better, would be terminals on the rear panel for t/r switching. Who wants to keep flipping a standby/rec switch while they're out sea-faring? Grin

Oh well, at least it has a standby/rec switch.


Don
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Fate does not protect its worshipers any more than its deniers.
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