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Author Topic: Hallicrafters SX-101 restoration  (Read 2004 times)
N8CMQ
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Posts: 355




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« on: August 22, 2012, 07:17:26 AM »

So I am doing exactly what I said I wouldn't do, replace all the caps, resistors and whatever else I see needing replacing...
But, it is fun and rewarding to see an old BA come back to life with mods making it better than it was when new!
However, my on air date now gets pushed back as the parts get ordered and installed.
Wish me luck! I have the companion 32A to do next...
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 08:53:52 AM »

CMQ:  Good luck with the restore!  I bought  a used SX-101A and used it for several years.  That was one incredible receiver!  However, you needed to be very young to lift the thing.

I have an old National 183D receiver that I initially had the hots to restore but as time goes on I'm gradually talking myself out of it.  I've discovered that unless you have a fondness for things old, refurbishing them is pouring money down a rat hole.   Cheesy
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N8CMQ
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 07:06:57 AM »

Funny thing is, I just had a hernia operation this spring.
That was from a firewood accident tho...

Yes, I had a 101A Years ago, but I could have sworn it was a B... I believe it may have been a prototype, but I sold it before I realized what I had. Between my fading memory and body rusting up, it is hard to remember...

I love tube equipment and I am having fun, so it keeps me from losing all my skills!
Now I need to listen to CW and get back to 15+ WPM...
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K8AXW
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 08:52:11 AM »

CMQ:  Good for you.  The NC-183D was dropped off on my front porch.  I had to get a handcart to get it to the shop.  Then I had to get it on the work bench which was the real ballbuster.

It's been setting there on one end ever since like a monolith, in the way, trying to get my attention as I try to ignore it.... in general just being a pain in the behind.  Why I said "yes" when I was asked if I wanted it, I have no idea.  Except maybe it's a holdover from when I used to raid trash cans on garbage day looking for discarded radios and other electronics.

I've checked the tubes and in general the 183D is in great shape.... just need to free up $40.00 for a cap set to start with just to get it playing.  As frustrated as I'm getting with solid state I think it might be worth fixing just to keep me off the streets.

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N8CMQ
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 09:15:00 AM »

There ya go!
 While you are recapping, I would recommend replacing resistors too.
But don't get fancy like me and replace the tube sockets with ceramics as I am...
Nice thing about heavy radios, it keeps the work place warm when powered up.
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W8JI
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 05:50:51 AM »

I have three SX101's, and have not recapped any of them. As a matter of fact, the only one that needed any capacitors had bad electrolytics. I can't even recall changing any resistors, but if I did I just change the bad ones.

About a half hour with a meter will tell you if the system has any problems.
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N8CMQ
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 07:16:00 AM »

This unit had an evil past. There were some mods that made it look like someone was using it for 11 meters.
The black beauty caps were definitely ohmic, so they were the first to get changed.
Then, the first converter osc looked like the components had a hot night and even the socket had burnt which caused it to have resistance between the pins.
After that work, it still drifted and didn't sound like a 101 should sound like.
With all the problems I kept finding, I just decided to shotgun it.
Somehow, the underside of this old beauty just looked wrong, and with the new parts going in with careful placement and solder technique, it is looking like what I remember my first 101 looking like, but with modern components.
I just hope the IF and other transformers are still good, or I may need to look for a parts unit...
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N8CMQ
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 08:12:38 PM »

Well, I have just replaced my fifth socket and it is going very well. I have some parts on order that should be arriving soon, and I can continue removing the old and installing the new.
It reminds me of working on a Heathkit, only better. The fact that the radio is as old as I am also adds to the fun.
If you are wondering how I am going so in depth on this restoration, I am taking my time and drawing out the parts layout for each socket, then removing the components on the socket. The sockets are riveted in, but I am using #4 screws and nuts to install them with. The rivets have to be drilled out, and some need a whack with a hammer and center punch to get them out of the hole. Once the socket is replaced, the components around it are replaced or reinstalled. As far as reinstalling the components, I had replaced the black beauties before hand, but that didn't cure what ailed the old girl. So those are retained when I install the new sockets.
Well, if I am lucky, after all that and an alignment, she should be better than new, as I am also installing the product detector for better SSB reception, and upgrading the RF amp for better AGC response. Can't wait to get her on the air!
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