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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Hallicrafters S-38B and C models Help

Reviews Summary for Hallicrafters S-38B and C models
Hallicrafters S-38B and C models Reviews: 6 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $50-79
Description: Minor differences in color of case.
Product is not in production.
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K4HPP Rating: 3/5 Oct 7, 2017 20:35 Send this review to a friend
My 1st SW Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a lightly used S38B in 1956 from a guy down the street. I saved for months working at a corner grocery store on Saturdays stocking shelves, cleaning up, etc. and I think I gave him $15 or $18 for it. It worked fine and opened up the whole world of radio to me! As a 12 year old kid, I thought this was the best thing in the world. The best memory of this receiver was actually hearing Sputnik beeping in October 1957. I never actually saw Sputnik in orbit, but heard it several times during it's short life.

It was a pretty good receiver and I still remember being fascinated by hearing Radio Australia, HCJB, and countless other shortwave stations during the fantastic solar maximum during those years.

I sold that receiver in 1959 to help fund my novice DX-20 transmitter. In retrospect, the S38B was only a fair radio, but it sure made a major difference in my life by getting me interested in ham radio. I learned to copy CW at 5 wpm using it and became a ham in May of 1959.
KD5PNT Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2015 05:48 Send this review to a friend
S38B  Time owned: more than 12 months
received this receiver in 1963 at age 10. receiver foreign SW broadcasts from all over the world. have replaced tubes in it once and recapped it about 7 years ago and aligned it. It works as well as the HQ140X that replaced it, selectivity is better with the Hammarlund . am still using the S38B as a receiver with the Viking II. not bad for a 70 year old receiver. time owned 52 years
OLDSWAB Rating: 3/5 Jan 19, 2008 18:08 Send this review to a friend
A good old radio for those that want to learn tube receivers.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still have my 38 B. Its been half way around the world with me in the Navy. I was on an Aircraft Carrier and we had a compartment just below the flight deck. No problem just drop a wire with a weight on it over the catwalk and start receiving.Because of superregen. had to shut down when we were at sea because of rf radiation. The old timer is still working altho the rotary band switch is getting harder to clean I can still tune all but 12 and 10 meters. I have replaced most of the tubes and still have replacement just incase but with a antenna tuner you can still have fun copying cw or trying to tune SSB.LOL
WA2CCN Rating: 3/5 Sep 26, 2007 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Good starter.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The S-38B was my first ham radio receiver back when I got my Novice license (WV2CCN) in the late 50's. It worked OK on 80 & 40 cw... for Novice work. Wide open selectivity, which was OK for hearing off-frequency replys to my rock-bound Harvey Wells TBS-50D transmitter! Sensitivity was poor on 20-15-10... barely usable. Back at that time, I was a stupid kid and didn't appreciate the benefits of transformer isolation! So, yeah, I got "bitten" by AC many times! I had a Gonset 2 meter converter patched into the S-38B for Novice 2 meter work - an after-school-net with other kids in the area, helping each other with homework! I've got a lot of fond memories about the S-38B, but - really - it wasn't a very good receiver. There's lots of old receivers on e-Bay for the same price that are far superior to the S-38B... but I'd still to get one... for old time sake...
WB2ERJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2006 16:26 Send this review to a friend
A classic intro to boat anchors  Time owned: more than 12 months
Restoring an old S38 series receiver is a great intro to working on boatanchors. They are cheap, plentiful, easy to work on, and there is lots of readily available info on them. My S38-C did nothing but hum when I received it, so I replaced all of the electrolytic and paper/oil caps and aligned it. It's been completely reliable since then. I use it as a bedside radio to tune in MW news, music, and the 75M AM gang using a 35' wire hidden under a rug. It is really an AM receiver as you have to constantly retune to receive an ssb or cw signal when it is in it's regenerative "CW" mode. There isn't a lot of selectivity but that's what makes the fidelity so pleasing. It is surprisingly sensitive, but prone to BC band overload, especially above 10 Mhz. As a shop, kitchen table, or bedside receiver, it is great, plus it's design is classic art deco.
SCTVGUY1 Rating: 4/5 Apr 3, 2006 07:49 Send this review to a friend
The S-38C is the last of the classically designed radios.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I found this radio that worked but needed some TLC. My wife and I repainted the case the original hammertone gray, found a set of knobs from a spare B model and had it recapped. I took care of the famous "hot chassis" poblem by using a polarized line cord and plug. I got a new reproduction back, fixed the bottom, shined the chassis with steel wool, and now it looks like new! It is very sensitive even with a short wire and after aligning, it is spot on with the old style pointers. I have not tried the selectivity yet, but if it runs true to form, it won't be anything to write home about. However, there is a satisfaction from restoring the old tube sets, and when you turn off the lights and see the dials glow and start to pick up DX on either the BCB or shortwave, it brings back a lot of memories! This radio was designed by the famous industrial/auto designer Raymond Lowey, who worked for Chrysler and Studebaker in the 30's and 40's. His auto/train/radio designes are Art Deco classics. I am glad that I was able to save this classic little radio from the ravages of time.

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