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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Hallicrafters S-38 Help


Reviews Summary for Hallicrafters S-38
Hallicrafters S-38 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $$39.95
Description: Six tube general coverage receiver.
Product is not in production.
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W2NSF Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2006 08:03 Send this review to a friend
Also my 1st  Time owned: more than 12 months
Although the S-108 was my first ham radio receiver, the S-38 was my very first SWL receiver and I still get a good feeling whenever I see that familiar face. Don't have one any more, but I'll buy a refurbished one one day. If you see one on eBay, pick it up, you won't be disappointed.
 
N4CT Rating: 4/5 Apr 11, 2006 07:27 Send this review to a friend
MY FIRST RCVR  Time owned: more than 12 months
MY GRANDMOTHER BOUGHT ME A S38D FOR CHRISTMAS IN 1957. IF WAS MY FIRST HAM RADIO AND I WENT FROM SWL TO NOVICE/CONDITIONAL. I WORKED WAS, WAC, DXCC WITH THIS RADIO AND A GLOBE CHIEF TX FROM WRL. LOTS OF SWITCHES TO THROW TO GO FROM RX TO TX BACK IN THOSE DAYS. BRINGS BACK GREAT MEMORIES AS A NOVICE (KN4PHY)AND CHASING DX!! THE FCC WAS ISSUING HAM LICENSES BY THE TONS IN THOSE DAYS AND MANY OF MY FRIENDS GOT THEIR TICKET AT THE SAME TIME. OF COURSE WE HAD GREAT PROP IN 57-58 WHICH HELPED.
73-DX FROM CHARLIE N4CT HS0ZDR
 
KB0XR Rating: 4/5 Apr 11, 2006 07:20 Send this review to a friend
Still Have It  Time owned: more than 12 months
In 1957, my folks bought me an S38DB which was the "updated" radio with the rectangular slide rule dial in a fake blonde(tan) painted cabinet. I used the heck out of it as a swl for a couple of years. Collected a shoe box full of QSL's who were kind enought to send one to "SWL-6".

Upgraded to Hallicrafters SX 110 in 1960.

I still have the S38DB on a shelf in my garage. The electrolytic cap has long since dried up and the bandswitch knob broke into a thousand pieces.

I'll never get rid of the radio.
 
K0AMZ Rating: 4/5 Apr 11, 2006 07:16 Send this review to a friend
Opened the World  Time owned: more than 12 months
It wasn't the best, but for a teenager in the late 50's to early 60's it opened the world of SWL to me and further wetted this appetite to become a HAM. Thank you Hallicrafters and wish you were still around.
 
NS6Y_ Rating: 3/5 Apr 10, 2006 22:36 Send this review to a friend
It isn't an S-40B  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had one too, I was never able to get much with it, it was not a patch on my old S-40B and sure made me miss it. This is OK for strong easy to get signals and is probably a great collector rig, but don't expect it to sniff much subtle stuff out of the ether.
 
W6LBV Rating: 2/5 Apr 10, 2006 19:21 Send this review to a friend
Didn't work well then, and probably still doesn't  Time owned: more than 12 months
It was almost fifty years ago (in 1959), and I was working through the usual novice preparation conundrum: I was a college student then receiving a lunch-time introduction to Amateur Radio conducted by a fellow student who was already a ham, I had a full course load to handle in addition to a strong desire to receive my license and to start operating, and I had very little spare cash. Fifty dollars of (almost) non-existent funds went to buy an E.F. Johnson Adventurer kit that, post construction, would be my novice transmitter. My h.f. antenna would be a 40 meter folded dipole made from TV twin lead already on hand. But what to do for a receiver?

I put out the word around the college campus, and almost instantly I was contacted by a grad student who had an S-38 for sale. The radio didn't actually play, so I talked him into taking $5 for it. I put in a new rectifier tube and soldered in a new line cord (my first ham repair!), and the S-38 took off. I set up the station and began copying 40 meter CW while waiting for my ticket to arrive.

And copy CW I did! Often up to fourteen stations simultaneously. But if a very strong CW signal was present it blocked the front end of the receiver and then I had "single signal" CW. Even to a newbie, the S-38 was clearly not intended to be a CW receiver, its onboard BFO notwithstanding. The fixed i.f. selectivity was about 8 kHz bandwidth. Sensitivity was OK on 40 meters, low on 15, and probably non-existent on 10. It did receive the BBC, Radio Havana, and Voice of America, so it wasn't a total loss.

As a novice I actually completed few CW QSOs; I generally lost the contact in the eternal QRM. There was one afternoon, however, when a WA2 broke through from New Jersey on 15 meters (with a strong, blocking signal), and I made my first transcontinental QSO. I soon finished with both my novice work and the receiver, and sold it shortly afterwards. Now I realize that I should have bought a better novice receiver from the start.

There's no reason now to own one of these, save for populating a museum. Much better post-World War II all-tube boat anchors are still around, many of which can actually be used on the ham bands.
 
PY3KT Rating: 5/5 Nov 26, 2004 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Superb hot tail  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hallicrafters S-38 is a very simple heterodine receiver, but work very fine. A reliable hot tail (transformerless) radio. Mine was restored and fully functional like a 1946 model.
 
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