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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Hammarlund HQ-215 Help

Reviews Summary for Hammarlund HQ-215
Hammarlund HQ-215 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $$530 (1968)
Description: This is an all solid state, double-conversion receiver. It covers 3.4 to 30 Mhz in twenty-four crystal controlled ranges. It operates from 120v a.c. or 12v d.c. The unique drum dial has an effective scale length of 21 inches.
Product is not in production.
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K9FLY Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2019 16:19 Send this review to a friend
A great performing classic.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As a collector of many decades, I have recently added the HQ-215 to the shack. I have the HQ-180A and several Hammarlund's others to compare it with.

This was a new approach from Hammarlund and one that could have been very successful if they introduced that thinking earlier. It is patterned after the Collins 75S-3C in many respects, except this is totally solid state.

The radio is built like a Hammarlund, solid and seemingly unbreakable. Controls are well thought out and the frequency readout is on a large horizontal drum, giving accuracy normally reserved for digital rigs. It is a smaller footprint, much like that of the Collins S-Line.

I did a direct comparison with my Collins 75S-3C. Using A/B switching and headphones for listening, the two rigs are very comparable. Sensitivity, selectivity and quality of received audio is almost the same. The controls are the same as on the Collins. The year of manufacture of the Collins was 1961 and the HQ-215 was 1969 on my rigs.

It would have been grand had Hammarlund started earlier to transition to solid state and smaller footprint. The "driving experience" of the HQ-215 was something you looked forward to.....

A definite 5 for this esteemed radio and company.
Thanks for reading....
K4YRK Rating: 4/5 Jun 11, 2011 19:38 Send this review to a friend
A great classic receiver and very rare find  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got this classic receiver at the Knoxville hamfest. I had read about this receiver in "Electric Radio Magazine" but they are so rare had never seen one. There it was in the tail gate section and said to work well. Even had the matching speaker.
I hooked it up to my 160M loop and compaired it to another top classic the Drake R4C. It holds its own to the Drake on the ham bands and also includes SWL bands.
It is solid, and reminds me of a Collins receiver.
I believe this will be a keeper and it is "no telling what it is worth to a collector"

I will update this as I test the receiver more in the days to come.
DAROBIN Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2003 13:18 Send this review to a friend
A true classick!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a Hammarlund fanatic -- primarily having collected HQ-180s and SP600s over the years. I started DXing on the 180, which I still believe is among the top tube receivers ever made. In recent years, I became more curious about the final years of Hammarlund, in particular, the company's cautious steps into solid state before going out of business. Then I was able to acquire a HQ-215 on Ebay. I paid a premium price, but it was fully worth it. This one is virtually mint cosmetically and otherwise, and came with the original manual and sales receipt from Henry Radio from the 1970s. What can one say except that this thing is built like a tank. Comparisons that come to mind are the Collins 51S1, which has almost the same form factor. The 215 is built with slide-out panels on the sides and top and bottom, which greatly facilitates repairs, filter work, etc. What a fantastic innovation by Hammarlund way back in the 70's! The receiver also uses Collins filters -- I have a 6.0 and 2.1 installed which are completely adequate for most hard DX listening situations. The 215 rejection notch is superb, especially when combined with the narrow filter. It has AGC FAST/SLOW options, a Noise Limiter position (which actually has a rather severe effect on audio), as well as a STANDBY position. Most impressive thing about the radio however is the incredible bandspread. With its enormous circular wheel inside the cabinet, 5 khz segments come out to just over an inch -- just amazing. The S-meter is great, a real classic. Another treat is the FADING control on the dial lamps -- a turn of the knob to the left of the dial scale will turn the lamps on or fade down to minimum and then OFF -- what a great design concept by Hammarlund. Also, the small knob to the right of the dial scale adjusts the readout pointer to a very large range left and right of center. I have only been using the 215 for a few weeks, but am just very impressed. The CONS are the 200 kHz segments, which limit your tuning, but then with the gradual disappearance of many shortwave stations, obtaining enough crystals should provide a good number of ranges. Also, the Preselector is extremely sensitive and subject to mis-tuning, much like the Allied SX-190. You need to tune each range with care or risk getting images. All in all, what a classic of radio design -- should be in a museum -- and it's a keeper, along with my other receivers.
KG6KB Rating: 4/5 Jul 22, 2001 18:40 Send this review to a friend
A fine piece of equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The dual conversion unit is all solid state and covers 3.4 to 30 MHz in twenty-four 200 KHz segments which are crystal controlled. It comes stock with 11 crystals to cover the five 80-10 meter amateur bands and a 2.1 KHz Collins mechanical filter. A matching speaker was available. Also, provisions are made to install optional 6.0 KHz and 0.5 KHz filters in the 455 kHz IF circuit for additional selectivity. My particular model has crystals installed to cover the popular SWL bands and the CW filter. There is an excellent review in the December 1968 QST. I have owned HQ-170s and 180s and find this to be a completely new experience! It is of a totally different design and configuration. Construction is a masterpiece of quality and ingenuity. The tuning mechanism is a drum dial, which is 7 inches in diameter. It spreads each segment of 200 KHz over 22 inches long with major divisions of 10 KHz . Readout is to one kHz or less.
Front panel controls are provided for every conceivable function. However, the 24 position bandswitch that controls each crystal bandwidth is somewhat confusing. The amateur bands are specified but the remaining positions are lettered. One needs to make up an index card once the selected crystals are installed. A road map so to speak! Reception and sensitivity are very good. The preselector is particularly sharp indicating a well designed front-end.
The manual covers all operational and alignment adjustments.
I would recommend acquiring this fine piece of equipment representing the last of the famous Hammarlund line first established in 1910. It is of quality construction and performance; it will retain its value.

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