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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Hammarlund HQ145 Help

Reviews Summary for Hammarlund HQ145
Hammarlund HQ145 Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $260.00
Description: Tube type general coverage receiver
Product is not in production.
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K1LNC Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2015 20:01 Send this review to a friend
Wish I had one today  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my novice license in 1959. First station was a Hallicrafters S-85 and a homebrew 6L6/807 crystal controlled transmitter that only had coils for 80 CW. Antenna was an end fed wire tuned by a homebrew tuner built on the end of my mom's old wooden ironing board. Then--the day came when I could drop the "N" from my callsign and operate "phone" with a VFO! I bought a used HQ-145C from Evans Radio in Concord NH and got a Viking Ranger as a birthday present. Suddenly the world was there--the S-85 was virtually dead above 7 MHz--but the 145--wow. I worked 5A2TD in Tripoli, Libya on the first call on ten meter AM and I thought it was magic.

The Hammarlund HQ-145C was and still is a fine general coverage receiver. It had crystal selectivity, a crystal calibrator, a notch filter, great sensitivity, great audio, a clock and it looked fantastic in the shack. I owned it and used it for five years and it never skipped a beat. The Ranger was replaced by a Valiant. Then SSB replaced plate modulated AM....but--in those days the Valiant and 145C were the cat's ass. Good old days--you bet.
AA6QQ Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2013 17:43 Send this review to a friend
Always wanted one  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Craigslist ad read "Hammarlund HQ 145AC with speaker needs repair, $50.00", he looked good in the pics so I drove out to check him out. He was beautiful, the paint was flawless and when I lifted the lid the chassis was still shiny, tuning capacitors still have the plating and look brand new, the speaker was likewise. I gave the guy the fifty bucks and drove home and didn't look back. Back home I turned him on, nothing, I checked the fuse it was OK and when I put it back in and turned him on again he came to life, bad connection on the fuse, that's all it was. Some cleaning of the switches and pots and he is back like new.

I always wanted a Hammarlund and now I have one, audio through that big speaker is great. Alignment is spot on and sensitivity is better than I expected.

It was a 240 mile round trip but it was worth it, I would do it again in a heartbeat, love this radio!


KD6MXE Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2013 16:07 Send this review to a friend
SWL companion for almost 50 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my HQ145 with xtal selection w/o clock almost 48-50 years ago. Used it for CAP communications on establish net frequencies. Took it Korea and Vietnam and Okinawa and enjoyed listening to VOA, AFRTS while overseas. I still have it today and listen to what is left of short wave commercial stations and WWV. Still runs great, and yet to change a tube. I started out with the Heath AR-3 then Hallicrafter SX-99 and I have newer ham equipment but I enjoy listening on the HQ145. (Not a scratch or dent).
K7WXK Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2012 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Another great bang for the buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Here is another good performer in the mid-priced range of GC receivers. Audio is top shelf. Selectivity is above average and sensitivity is also very good. It is easy to work on under the chassis with the exception of the rf, oscillator, and mixer tubes which are are partially hidden by permanently mounted circuitry. Calibration and alignment were pretty easy using a vtvm and signal generator. Dial accuracy is extremely good considering there is only 180 degrees of travel in either tuning scale. The judicious use of the antenna trimmer is critical to effective signal gain. It might seem that a band is completely dead unless the trimmer is tuned for max signal strength.

The only negative that I see compared to the earlier HQ's is the bandspread is quite broad, but functional nonetheless. The bandspread in the HQ-129, 140, and 150 is much "finer", covering some 270 degrees of arc over the same range of freqs.

Drift is practically non-existent after a short warm-up.

It may seem like I am picking nits, but that is what an accurate review should be. In short, this is a fine receiver for the money and compared very favorably next to my FT990 demonstrating better signal to noise and far superior audio. And did I say it is a good looker, too.

Given its performance to price range I am going to give it a 4.7 out of 5, therefore it gets a "5" for the review. Enjoy.
W0AZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2011 14:57 Send this review to a friend
A fine receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Others have covered the features of this fine radio quite well here. In that regard I have little to add. The receiver is sensitive, quite selective (once you get the hang of using the "slot" and crystal filters), and the audio (especially on Shortwave AM with the bandpass wide open and through that big speaker!) is exceptional.

The 145 series were "in-between" radios in the Hammarlund line--not low end, not top end, but as stated in earlier reviews here the difference between this radio and the more expensive Hammarlunds is not that great in actual use.

When I bought my 145AC, roughly ten years ago, it was a bargain. I paid $125 for it (fully functional including the clock, and with an S200 speaker), it was a real bargain.

They're getting harder to find now and they cost more--I imagine the people who have bought them in the past few years have discovered how good they are and they're going to hang onto them.

I know mine won't be leaving the shack anytime soon.

I have paired it with a Hallicrafters HT-37. It's the sort of setup I dreamed about having when I was a kid. I kind of feel like a kid again whenever I operate these boatanchors.

KD0JRG Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2011 11:25 Send this review to a friend
A lot to like!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my Hammarlund 145X radio because it can closely emulate even bigger tube rigs. It is a relatively unknown model and can be had for a correspondingly lower price. I currently own a HQ-100A and was looking at a HQ-180 when I saw this 145X a few months ago. I got it to improve my SWL and amateur SSB monitoring.
From day one this radio has been a real pleasure. First off, visitors who have seen this rig in my office/shack have noted how "cool" it looks. Also it's audio quality is excellent whether it is driving my Telex headsets or the Hammarlund S-200 speaker. But the real reason for choosing this particular Hammarlund model was the notch filter.
Signals that would otherwise be uncopyable are routinely enjoyed once the carrier of an interfering signal has been deeply attenuated. Even though the front end is very capable and IF is dual conversion (above 10 Mc/s) the notch filter gets called upon once in a while to knock out a birdie. The other thing the notch filter has been good at is allowing me to get good copy on AM signals whose carriers are too weak to be of any real use. After it strips the remains of such a carrier the BFO provides a nice clean carrier for easy armchair listening. Which brings me to my next point.
Some reviewers have noted that some Hammarlund's have weak BFO's. This one does. But it is not a weakness. Because the BFO will not swamp the AVC you can leave the AVC on and use it during SSB. This a feature that is usually only enjoyed by owners of the pricey 170/180 models. Speaking of filters, I'll mention the crystal filter.
It is very simple in it's design and use. But boy is it ever effective in driving down noise. Also, once you get the hang of it, you can use it to take out an unwanted sideband of an AM signal. Nice! I'll briefly mention the noise limiter too.
It is quite effective. If it is left on all the time only slight clipping is heard. When noise is present, the desired signal is usually very easily understood.
In summary, if you like boat anchor general coverage receivers this one could well be worth your consideration. The 145X is perhaps the highest performance tube radio of it's kind for the money. And the longer I own it, the less inclined I am to pony up for a 180. Enjoy!
KF8OO Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2010 04:38 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up a HQ-145X and SP-200 speaker from an estate sale recently and am impressed with the performance of this set! This is really a fun radio - sensitive, selective and best of all it has great audio. You can listen to this thing for hours without getting tired of noise. I have compared performance to my Drake TR-7 and it receives every bit as good as the Drake and is nicer to listen too. The only thing I can say negative about the unit is that physically it is rather large. Not a bad thing, but it will need space in the shack to set it up - especially with the speaker. A great radio that's fun to use and listen to!!!!!!
BARRYED Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2010 22:24 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this radio for two years now and have found it to be an excellent receiver. It is very well built and easy to service, the sensitivity is excellent and as a result it outperforms some newer solid state radios I have used.
K6HOM Rating: 4/5 Nov 6, 2009 16:55 Send this review to a friend
Ok For Its Day  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the "X" variant of the HQ145, new, as my dream SWL receiver as a H.S. student in 1967. It was my "window to the world" and I enjoyed my 30 years with it. The previous reviewer has described it well. Big, reliable, easy to service (mine didn't require ANY servicing over 30 years, not even a single tube change!), easy to use. Loved that huge analog S-meter that was right in the middle of my view! Good NB and tone, too.

However, from a SWL feature perspective, the HQ145X was really made obsolete when the Drake SW-4 series was introduced in the late 60s. True, the Drake was an AM-only RX, but its tuning accuracy was revolutionary at this price and for this era in SWL. My HQ145X just could not compete. I purchased a Drake and, although I kept my Hammarlund for 30 years, always preferred the tuning performance of the Drake for SWL. You could hear the same stations on both units, but you could set the Drake on any frequency, turn it on and, if the station could be heard, it would be there.

Enough said. I loved this radio in its day. You can buy a lot more performance today. Beautiful units, though.
ERIEDXER Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2009 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Great tube rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this receiver for over 20 years and always enjoy its company. Excellent sensitivity and selectivity, it's really a teriffic performer. Falls in the mid-range of Hammarlund tube GC's, more features and dual conversion over the HQ100, but with performance only marginally below that of the bigger HQ180 and every bit as much fun to listen to, easily performs right along with the high end tube or solid state rigs. Big plus is these are easy to find at bargain besement prices for a high quality tube receiver. Built like a tank and easy to repair with very few electronic issues if kept in a stable environment.

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