Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat May 11, 2013 9:15 am

My neighbor brought me a Hallicrafters S38C that belonged to his dad. His dad passed in 1963, and the radio sat in "the shed" ever since. He wants it fixed since it was his dad's. This poor old radio needs one of everything. I pointed out to him that he could buy the best S38C on the face of the planet for $40, and this one needs $400 worth of work, if it can be made to work at all. The speaker cone is shot, there is no power switch on the volume control. Somebody replaced it with just a volume control, and are using the speaker switch for a power switch. All the rubber chassis bushings are either junk or gone. There is no back or bottom covers. Both dial strings are broken. There are only four tubes. The dial bulb has been disconnected. All the caps are original, and so on. He insists that I can fix it. This should be fun! Wish me luck.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat May 11, 2013 10:47 am

Personally, I'd find the same model, same color, restore it, and, give that to him. He's happy, and, you have made him happy, while being able to put to rest a radio too far gone. That's not lying. It's giving him a better set than he came with.
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here;  http://videokarma.org/index.php
avatar
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4528
Age : 66
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by willy3486 on Sat May 11, 2013 7:07 pm

I am with Bill on this. If nothing else find one like it for parts, or just restore the one you found and put it in his dads case. That way you get one not so much a pain and he gets the radio back.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1394
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat May 11, 2013 11:05 pm

I have an S38C and offered it to him for $40. No dice. "It's not the same." Yeah right. Mine works. It does not contain 5 pounds of mud daubers' nests. It has a power cord actually in one piece. "Johny Hack" has not been working on it. God forbid we have a decent, usable radio. It hasn't spent 50 years in a chicken coop. He wants HIS fixed. Period. AARRRGG!!!!

The items that I am for sure it needs: power cord, speaker, power switch/volume control, speaker switch, all filter caps, all coupling caps, some resistors, some rewiring to repair "the hack", 35Z5 tube, dial lamp bulb and wiring, restring both tuners, one plastic lens over dial, all the knobs (the chickens must have eaten those!), possible repair of SMD, Strip, beadblast, prime and paint the cabinet, complete set of decals, all the rubber bushings, the bottom cover, the back cover, plus unknown surprises. Other than that, it is in pretty good shape. Again, wish me luck. This guy is a pretty good neighbor, and I am between a rock and a hard place with this one. To make matters still worse, my friend in AZ who had all the Halli parts passed away last March. So my parts source has dried up. I am going to have to find a new parts source mucho pronto! I may just give it back to him and take my lumps. That may actually make more sense. It is a good bet that there is nobody within a 200 mile radius of here willing to give this thing a go. I may just quote him some rediculous price like $1200 and see what that does.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Guest on Sun May 12, 2013 1:07 am

Not sure what the difference is but I did pick up a Halicrafters S38D in decent shape for $10 two weeks ago.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 12, 2013 1:31 am

Is the "D" the model that the dial takes up most of the front of the radio? IIRC, the S38D was the first of the S38 line to use miniature tubes. Ten bucks is a great price for any Halli. The "Chicken Coop Special" may be a notable exception!

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by willy3486 on Sun May 12, 2013 10:46 am

Here is a site with info on them.
http://www.stanwatkins.com/hals38.htm

The s38,s38a,s38b,s38c are the ones with the two dials that took like a circle down the middle. They looked the same except for a few differences like color , dial color , number of knobs. But for the most part they were similar.

The s38d and s38e were the ones with the huge dial. IIRC the 38 d still used the big tubes and the 38e switched to smaller tubes. The dials were different, the 38 e had a dial surround that went in. They looked similar somewhat but they did not resemble each other as much as the s38,s38a,s38b,s38c did to one another.

I have bought a fewer of the older ones, I never had one of the last two. I had just restored one back in the early 90s one day and listened to the invasion of the first night of operation Desert storm. Some english speaking fellow was telling everything that was going on. I had got it going that afternoon and found him transmitting what was going on, I listened until way up the next morning.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1394
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Guest on Sun May 12, 2013 12:13 pm

Is the "D" the model that the dial takes up most of the front of the radio?

Yes it does.

If I remember correctly, this unit has octal tubes, I need to check.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by 75X11 on Sun May 12, 2013 6:03 pm

I would get another better unit and swap innards. No use only one person being happy on the deal. Cool
avatar
75X11
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4900
Age : 61
Registration date : 2013-03-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 12, 2013 7:54 pm

My "other" Hallicrafters is an S-38-E. I wasn't sure if it was a "D' or an "E". Mine has miniature tubes.

After a long conversation with my neighbor, I have decided to go ahead with the project of attempting to repair his old S-38-C. I explained the likely perils in trying to fix it. He understands. He would like it finished by the time he retires in four years. Maybe, I said. There is no time limit, I can "sun test" it all I want. I can take whatever time it takes. He gave me money for anticipated and known repair parts needed, so I will forge ahead. I remodeled a bathroom for him in the past, so I know his personality when it comes to difficult projects. I can trust him to keep his word. He helps me and watches our place when we are gone. I feel I owe him this much. I am not going to charge any labor. I am just going to do this because everybody thinks I am nuts for attempting it, myself included. It's the challenge of making junk work again that does it for me. And, rest assured, this thing is as close to junk as I have ever messed with. I wouldn't consider this thing for a parts set. There are simply no good known parts at this stage of the project. I put in a couple of hours on it his afternoon and actually made a little progress. And I actually saw my first exploding black beauty (I did not believe the myth of exploding black beauties. I am no longer quite so skeptical.)

If there is any interest, I would gladly share this project with you all. I am not able to post pictures. I have tried, and it just won't work for me. I am taking pictures as I go along for the owner to have.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Bill Cahill on Sun May 12, 2013 8:25 pm

I'm definately interested. Black Beauty go "Big Bang!"?
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here;  http://videokarma.org/index.php
avatar
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4528
Age : 66
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 12, 2013 10:56 pm

Thanks, Bill. The schematic for this set is in Riders 23-26 to 31

I started out by digging out the mud daubers' nests and sucking up the debris with my shop vac. Then I assessed the degree of "field modifications" that had taken place. I rewired as necessary to allow me to power the thing up and figure out what to do next. I replaced the power cord, rewired the dial lamp and put in a new bulb. I changed the filter caps. There was no way to remove the guts from the old filter cap housing, since it was rotted from damp storage. So I made up a new assembly and shrink wrapped it in 1" shrink tubing. It is just dangling for the moment. If this thing comes to life, I am going to make some kind of bracket to hold it in place. I replaced the paper coupling caps, with the exception of C15 and C27, both .02 at 600 volts in value. One of them is a black beauty. I replaced three resistors in the audio and power supply sections. There are a couple others which are on the border, but I do not have those values. These may still have to be changed, as they are in the front end of the set. I tested the remaining tubes, and, while they tested good, they are rusty and nasty. So I put my test set of tubes in which I know to be good. I subbed the speaker with my bench speaker. I hooked the chassis up to the isolation transformer, Variac, dim bulb tester, VTVM, and my Fluke meter to monitor B+. There are meters on my ISO/VARIAC/DimBulb that monitors input voltage and current.

I set the Variac for 40 volts and powered up the chassis. (I hate the term "powers up." What does that mean, exactly). Then50 volts. Then 60 volts and so on up to full line voltage. At about 90 volts or so, I actually heard scratching from the speaker! The IF transformers are slug tuned, so are eligible to suffer from SMD. I did not hear any of the telltale crashing sounds associated with SME, and a preliminary voltage check reveals no positive voltage on grids following the IF transformers. So that is at least one positive thus far. We all know how rapidly this can change, so the jury is still out on SMD.

I was beginning to feel proud of myself, even though I did not hear any signal from a station yet. I was just glad to see it operating at full line voltage and no smoke anywhere. I stepped away from the bench for second, when I heard a pop and the speaker fell silent. I looked around and noticed the dim bulb getting fully bright. I switched off the power immediately. Drat, a short somewhere. I got to looking and found that the black beauty cap that I did not replace has split in two. This was only a partial cause of the short. The plate bypass capacitor for the audio output tube had also shorted. Both of the .02 caps that I did not change because I am out of that value cap.

I always shotgun caps. I figure if one is bad, as is sure to be the case, then all of them are. I do a full recap and check resistors usually before I even apply power to a chassis. I have been leaning toward at least considering the point of view that shotgunning can introduce a new fault due to our being human. Had I stuck to my guns and replaced every cap before I applied power, I would not have spent two hours trying to find the short after finding the exploded black beauty. All new caps would have eliminated caps as a potential problem. I actually had two problems. I will continue to shotgun caps. I have gotten along just fine doing so. Let the naysayers do it the hard way. I tacked in a couple of .015 caps temporarily so that I could continue testing.

I started over and this time, monitoring B+ very closely and keeping an eye on the dim bulb, I actually got a station to come in VERRRRRY faintly. And that after connecting the set to my 100 foot long outside antenna. I cleaned the band switch, but it acts wonky to me. It is supposed to be a four band radio, but this switch has six positions. Riders does not say anything about how this switch is supposed to work, but my S38C only has four positions. It does not appear to have been changed or tampered with, and does not appear to be broken. I am going to pull the bottom cover off mine and compare to see if anything looks amiss. I can never make any sense out of the schematic drawing of a bandswitch without more extensive study than I gave it today. I am going to look more closely at the drawing and try to figure that one out. Amazingly, the band switch question is the only major faux pas I have found so far. All the other problems are a matter of finding replacement parts and installing them. The oscillator appears to be working, confirmed by the telltale squeal in another radio.

This is just a preliminary examination of this old set, but I am encouraged by this small amount of progress. It is more "alive" than I imagined it could be. There may be hope yet. I will likely have questions before this is over, and I appreciate your interest and help.

RegardsWC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon May 13, 2013 12:30 am

First, replace the rest of the caps. You might also have bad micas. The band switch sounds very suspicious to me.
Could the primary on your output transformer be open, or, shorted?
The primay on an ohm meter should check something like 700 ohms, whcih is NOT the same as impedence, which is what transformers go by.
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here;  http://videokarma.org/index.php
avatar
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4528
Age : 66
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon May 13, 2013 10:39 am

The output transformer appears to be okay. I have a fairly healthy audio system, at least so far. Micas being bad is a possiblility and this thing has several of them. I am going to order the correct .022 caps and install them. I should have that value, but I don't. And, like I said, I don't feel totally out of the woods as far as silver mica disease is concerned. The next project is to build a wooden frame to house the chassis after I remove it from the cabinet. I have to restring both tuners, a job I detest. I don't want the thing moving around while I try to do that. I also can't adjust the IF transformers during an alignment, which is will surely need, because there is not enough room. There was probably a special tool for doing alignment with the chassis in the cabinet, but I don't have that. And I have to repaint the cabinet, so I won't be doing any extra work. The bandswitch is definitely strange. A little research will probably reveal the trouble and/or a workaround. What little signal I got was with the bandswitch in the second position. The BC band was supposed to be in the first position. This may end up a two or three band radio instead of a four. No way will I consider changing that bandswitch. If it won't work dependably, that fact alone will sound the death knell for this radio. The only voltage checks I have done concern the B+ line. I wanted to get all the caps and resistors changed to my satisfaction, then do voltage measurements. Followed by a thorough alignment.

I have to mow, again, so I won't do anything on this today. Hopefully, in the next couple of days I can make some small progress. I still have a couple of my own projects on the bench that I want to finish.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by willy3486 on Mon May 13, 2013 10:54 am

A few steps here and there will eventually get it going. I had a old Fada bullet radio a older radio gave me over 20 years ago. He had been using it for parts. The chassis,tuner,dial, case, and one knob was there. I was able to find all the other parts and get it going. So you can eventually get it going. The hallicrafters 38 are out there more so hopefully you will have a easier time finding parts than I did.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1394
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 19, 2013 4:59 pm

I got some bench time in on this today. I may have made some progress.

My biggest immediate concern with this radio was the wonky bandswitch. It has six positions, but is only supposed to have four. I pulled the bottom cover off my S38C to compare the two and to see what, if anything, was amiss. I found that inside the bandswitch there is a wavy washer with two stops on the outside of the switch frame. Something/somebody/sometime had bent both the wavy washer and the stops for whatever reason. This allowed the switch to rotate past the terminals on the end of the switch. I took my pocket screwdriver and a piece of thin cardboard and bent the wavy washer more and straightened the stops so that they would contact the washer. This returned the switch to a four position switch. Utilizing the schematic drawing to the best of my ability, I traced the wiring on each band, found it correct, and found that there were no opens in the switch, its connections or the coils. I still had only one faint station. It could be heard on all four bands and only in the same position on the dial. I got out my magnifying glass and looked closely at the band switch. Although I had cleaned it, there was some black goo on the bandswitch that did not look right to me. I used an ice pick and got a sample of the goo, which looked like silicone to me. I cleaned the switch multiple additional times until all the black stuff was gone and the switch contacts were shiny metal.

I turned the radio back on, and had no stations this time. Nothing on any band. So I fired up my signal generator and proceeded to perform an alignment per the instructions. I could not get a signal thru the radio on any band. So I fed the input of the signal generator, modulated at 455kc to the input of the 2nd If transformer. I adjusted until the signal was clearly heard and I was satisfied that the transformer was peaked. Then I moved the the first IF transformer and did the same thing. Considerable adjustment was needed to peak the transformers. I then moved to the plates of the tuning cap and did it again. I peaked the IF transformers again. I did this completely three more times, until I was satisfied that it was as good as it was going to get. i hooked up the antenna, and, lo and behold, I had a radio! Yepper, it works and on all four bands. And it sounds amazingly well. Actually it sounds REALLY good, considering what I had when I started. I still need to finish up the alignment on the other bands, restring the dials, change switches, but the rest is cake. This is a major victory and may have broken my string of bad luck. Now maybe I can get that old Zenith going. I am on a roll. Why does this never quit feeling good after all the ones I have resurrected from the dead over the years?

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Bill Cahill on Sun May 19, 2013 5:59 pm

Great job. I find the same satisfaction in restoring radios, tv's, and, my wind up phonographs. I'm finnishing work on my Edison DD phono now. Should have it back together by the end of the week.
It sure feels good to bring 'em back to life..............

_________________
Please also join us here;  http://videokarma.org/index.php
avatar
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4528
Age : 66
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 19, 2013 6:45 pm

I just finished restringing the dials. I usually detest this job and end up frustrated and exercising some of my best words. This one could not have gone smoother. Right the first time. I didn't even have to cheat with the springs. Routed 100% like the diagram says to do it. I put Crazy Glue on the knots of the dial string, and that may be the secret. I have trouble with the knots wanting to come apart. I painted the dial pointers. Now I have to find a decal kit, wrinkle gray paint and the bottom and top covers. And a set of knobs.

Regards

WC


Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 19, 2013 7:14 pm

Does anyone know who makes back and bottom covers for Hallicrafters? Thanks

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by mikehall on Sun May 19, 2013 7:56 pm

this might work?:

http://www.radioantiques.com/mall


mikehall
Member
Member

Number of posts : 35
Registration date : 2012-12-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun May 19, 2013 9:48 pm

Thanks, Mike. Those are just what I need. I could not remember where I saw these for sale. I appreciate your time.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by mikehall on Sun May 19, 2013 10:00 pm

Also saw some on Ebay--you got me curious, and I like a challenge LOL!

mikehall
Member
Member

Number of posts : 35
Registration date : 2012-12-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:19 pm

An update on this radio.

It is now back with its owner. I haven't heard from him this week, but I assume that all is well. I replaced the back and bottom covers. All I did to the outside paint was to use 200 grit and give it a good going over. Then I used car bufffing compound and the buffer on the cabinet and it came out real nice. There are still some minor scratches and "patina", but that was what my neighbor wanted. I made some feet for the cabinet, and made the safety modification to the chassis. That was basically a safety cap one side of the power line. And I put on a polarized cord and plug. I replaced all the rubber washers that isolate the chassis from the cabinet. I made up a 25' hank antenna, and it seemed to work well with that. This radio was one of the nastiest I ever worked on, and the fact that it works at all after it suffered such negligent storage is a testament to how tough old radios were built.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 5168
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:01 pm

Thanks. I had been wondering what had happenned on that set. Sort of like me with my resurection on my ten inch RCA tv radio from 1948, which I am waiting to get back on after repairing my variac, and, restoring two customer radios...

_________________
Please also join us here;  http://videokarma.org/index.php
avatar
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4528
Age : 66
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by 276merc on Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:52 pm

Find a decent one, add some patina so it looks like his such as rubbing out some of the lettering and bill him for the purchase and repair.
Tell him you cleaned his up by running it thru the dishwasher and spray painting a few places.

Replacement backs, bottoms and grommets are available and even chassis decals.

Carl

276merc
Member
Member

Number of posts : 23
Registration date : 2013-07-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Hallicrafters S38C. This should be fun!

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum