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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Hallicrafters S-119 Help

Reviews Summary for Hallicrafters S-119
Hallicrafters S-119 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 2.8/5 MSRP: $$30
Description: "Sky Buddy II" .535-1640, 2.0-5.5 and 6-16.4 MHz. Has
planetary drive tuning. Sold both as a kit and
assembled. The S-119 was closed-out in 1964 at $30.
The original Sky Buddy was the model 5-T which sold
in 1935. The better known S-19 and S-19R were
introduced in 1938 and 1939. The Sky Buddy series is
very collectable and increasingly difficult to assemble.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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N8FVJ Rating: 4/5 Jun 20, 2015 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for 3 Tubes  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like minimalist & classic radios. I am surprised how well this radio performs on shortwave for what it is- 3 tubes. The radio covers 540 kHz to 16.4 mHz. The S-119 has a power transformer thus no hot chassis issues with this radio. Tubes are a 6BE6, 6BA6 and a 6CM8. A germanium diode is used for the detector diode.

The Hallicrafters Sky Buddy II S-119 radio is unusually quiet with regard to background noise, yet sensitive to the top of band at 16.4 mHz. The audio is crystal clear. I suspect the speaker is tuned to 250Hz and higher that helps with hearing weaker stations. The AVC works well too. Plenty of volume is available to fill a radio room. The Hallicrafters S-119 is surprisingly stable on frequency and I do not detect any frequency drift at high volumes (called pulling).

I replaced the 1/2 wave selenium rectifier with a bridge rectifier made with UF4007 rectifiers. The UF4007 are ultra quiet. The B+ voltage will be higher using a bridge rectifier, thus a 560 ohm @ 5 watt resistor is needed in-between the bridge positive output and the first filter capacitor. Normal plate voltage on the first cap is 135 volts & the second filter after the dropping resistor is 105 volts per the Hallicrafters manual. Not using a resistor provides 165 volts & 135 volts. The radio performs better with the lower voltages in that the receive background noise is much quieter yet the audio is still plenty loud.

Another benefit is the power transformer will operate cooler with a full-wave rectifier & the 560 ohm resistor. The two capacitor filters are 60uF @ 200 volts & 150 volts (2nd Capacitor. I used 180uF and 47uF as I had these in my parts drawer. I cut the waxed paper capacitor case on the original capacitor and placed the new capacitor. Other capacitors were installed under the chassis. A new 20uF @ 50 volt capacitor was installed at audio tube cathode. Original value was 20uF @ 25 volts.

Compared to a Knight Span Master, the S-119 is a superior radio. In fairness the Knight Span Master is a two tube regeneration radio. I read the Hallicrafters S-119 uses regeneration for the volume control, but is limited to not oscillate at full volume.

If you want a classic radio consider the Hallicrafters S-119 vs the Lafayette KT-135, Heathkit GR-81, Knight Span Master and like radios. The other radios stated above cost around $100 vs the Hallicrafters S-119 at $40-$50 in very good condition.
WA1SXW Rating: 3/5 Jun 19, 2013 18:11 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I gave it a 3 because it's not particularly powerful. But I called it great little radio because of the one I just acquired from ebay to add to my collection. The BFO is not good enough for ham operation, but for just cruising around the SW broadcast bands this is a fun little radio. The one I acquired has the original Hallicrafters tubes and after a cleaning of the switches and controls it works perfectly. Its also built of solid metal and should continue to work for another 50 years. There are no circuit boards to decay. It now occupies a prominent place in my collection (although it doesn't take up much space) and I regularly do SWLing in the evenings. And the speaker is in the front WHERE IT BELONGS.
KA8DLL Rating: 3/5 Sep 17, 2006 08:15 Send this review to a friend
3 tube radio with the performance of 5 tubes  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nice Radio, very small for a tube radio. Sensitive, bfo isn't good enough for the ham bands. Very hot on am broadcast band. All in all pretty nice shortwave radio.
W1GFH Rating: 1/5 Jul 14, 2005 20:11 Send this review to a friend
My First Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was one of those kids in 1964 who begged his parents to buy him a Sky Buddy II being closed out at Radio Shack for $30. It was my first SW receiver and I was thrilled to pieces with it, even thought it was truly the bottom of the barrel as far as selectivity, stability, and features go. Of course I didn't know any better. I DXed like mad, getting QSL's from all the major SW broadcasters (and acquiring a WPE certificate). Heard my first AM ham on 75 meters with it (W1ZYZ). I even brought it to my grammar school science fair, whipped up a longwire., and wowed the kids and teachers by letting them hear the BBC on it.

It came with a llittle booklet showing the other rigs in the Hallicrafters lineup -- the SX101 etc. - which I mooned over, imagining what it'd be like to have one of those rigs with 12 knobs on it.

The little Sky Buddy served me well, I have nothing but fond memories.

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