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Author Topic: Hallicrafters S38-E help  (Read 2517 times)
KD4LEC
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Posts: 37




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« on: February 24, 2008, 02:49:06 PM »

I bought a Hallicrafters S-38 E which is in real good shape but the tuning stick often gets stuck. The knob keeps turning but the stick won't move.
And then next time I use it it is ok.
How do I check this out and fix it?
Thanks

Rich
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 03:09:52 AM »

Go to the bama site  
http://bama.edebris.com/manuals/hallicra/s38e/
and download a copy of the manual (if you don't already have one).  You will also need to download a djvu reader from Lizard Tech.  
The problem is in the dial cord assembly which, on the S38E, is complicated and has a couple of main pullies, a couple of springs and several idler pullies.  From many years of hard learned experience restringing dial cords is an exasperating task not for the timid.  Once you have the cabinet off you will see what I mean.  Your best bet is to find some old timer with real experience for the task.  If the string isn't at the correct tension it will slip.  This radio is getting close to 50 years old.  
If you attempt restringing you will have to buy dial cord (see internet for sources) and be able to tie knots and perhaps use glue on the knots.  
Good luck (you will need it)
Allen  
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KL7AJ
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Posts: 340


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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 08:31:49 AM »

Allen:

   An excerpt from the Opus.  I'm sure you can identify. Smiley

Eric

Boat anchors generally have more moving parts than modern radios.  You have things like dial cords, gears, racks, toggle switches, rotary switches, and variable capacitors to contend with.  Fortunately, these items are all large enough to be visible by the naked eye.  After you “recapacitate” your “new” boat anchor, the next thing you’re going to want to do is drench everything that even remotely moves with a good contact cleaner/lubricant.  Back in the olden days, this meant carbon tetrachloride, but it was discovered a while back that “carbon tet” caused people to grow superfluous cranium-like appendages or something like that, so the substance is now banned.  They have more politically correct chemicals for contact cleaning these days.  When all else fails, a good dose of WD-40 serves as a fairly respectable contact cleaner...but doesn’t smell anywhere near as nice as carbon tet.  
   Genuine dial cord is a bit hard to find these days, and more than likely your boat anchor will need a re-stringing.  The next best thing is good Dacron fly-fishing line; it’s very tough and doesn’t stretch.  If you do it right, you’ll probably never have to do it again.  (Famous last words!)  Replacing dial cord is another art form in itself, and if the original one happens to be missing, it can be a real challenge to figure out which way everything is supposed to turn.  There seemed to be no limit to the creativity of radio designers when it came to devising convoluted, circuitous, unnecessarily complicated dial cord paths!  After the ultimate demise of the dial cord, these designers, by this time all centenarians and senile, were pulled out of retirement to design the Windows operating system.
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 09:01:45 AM »

What's really fun is restringing a dial cord that has broken, you've never seen that radio before and you can't find any service info on the radio.  To top it off, someone has "helped" you by losing the several springs and the old dial cord.  Now you have to guess at the length of the cord find springs and figure  how they fit and which way the cord goes around the pullys, etc.  You finally finish and find that the dial pointer is going in the wrong direction!
As an old radio man told me as a youth, "Dial cords will learn you how to cuss."
Allen
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AA9XY
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2008, 06:52:17 PM »

Hi,

Before restringing the dial, you might want to check a few things.  If there are pulleys that the string wraps around, I would put a very small drop of 3 in 1 oil on the shaft each pulley rides on.  Also check where the tuning needle slides....it may have corrosion or some other substance on it that is making the needle hang up.  I'd wipe it down at the top of the dial with some sort of solvent, being careful of any dial lettering.  Then you can put a very light coat of vaseline or lithium grease up there to help the needle slide.  Also make sure that the tuning capacitor bearings are well lubricated.  You can put powdered rosin, like you use on a violin bow, on the dial cord and that will stop it from slipping.  I did that once, and it stopped the cord from slipping.  

'Just trying to save you from restringing the dial, if possible.  

73, and good luck,

Alex

AA9XY
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KD4LEC
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2008, 07:17:34 PM »

Thanks I will try that.
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