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SX-88 it...is...ALIVE!!!

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SCPD

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Congrats on getting it back in one piece and up and running. Great video.
 

ridgescan

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Thank you very much for that :) this guy gutted her and put everything new in-caps, resistors, coils, tubes the whole shebang. Boy does she run HOT! I can just use her for a room heater and save tons of money:D I have to tell you, you gotta be here in this room to really appreciate the rich clean sound that eminates from her. She is much cleaner sounding than the r71! That is saying a lot!
 

gcgrotz

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Absolutely beautiful! I know blantonl says not to use all caps but DUDE I AM SO JEALOUS!!!

You know the book "shortwave receivers volume 3" says that radio is extremely rare. I have seen pictures of that guy's work when one of them was on ebay a while back. What a work of art. I hope you appreciate what you have there, and I know she is happy to be working again.
 

ridgescan

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Heck ya gc I do know and appreciate what I have here-which is why I have been an overly cautious and careful, loving owner and custodian of this piece of radio history and Americana:) I'm not worthy.
She's apparently very happy to be running again-check out this night shot with Voice of Russia
1954 Hallicrafters SX-88 - YouTube
 

kruser

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Heck ya gc I do know and appreciate what I have here-which is why I have been an overly cautious and careful, loving owner and custodian of this piece of radio history and Americana:) I'm not worthy.
She's apparently very happy to be running again-check out this night shot with Voice of Russia
1954 Hallicrafters SX-88 - YouTube

Way to go Ridge!! I had one back in the day when I was young but I gave it away to an even younger fella that was just starting out learning about radio. I'd guess he was only about 10 or so. I myself had moved on to the first digital readout sets so I figured I may as well help someone out as an old ham had done for me. I was given the radio by an old neighborhood ham who is now gone. The kid I gave the 88 to still had it the last time we spoke but I don't know if he ever restored it. It worked great when I owned it and I can definitely recall the great sounding audio. I used it back then mainly for SW broadcast radio. I remember my dad helping me string up wires all over the yard but I did not have a clue what I was really doing back then! I still wonder if I know what I'm doing today :lol:
And yes, they do make good room heaters! Couple that radio with a 55 gallon aquarium running at 78 degrees, made my cold converted breezeway bedroom very warm in the winter! Hot as all heck in the summer though.
The kid I gave it to grew up to get a job at the old McDonnell Douglass aircraft plant here in town and eventually he worked with communications systems plus he became a general class ham operator. I often wonder if it was that SX-88 that sparked his interest for his future. He was working for Boeing (they took over the old McDonnell Douglass headquarters here years ago) the last I heard but I've not talked with him for a long long time now. I should try and contact him and see if he will give the 88 back! I miss it now that I see yours.
I hope it gives you many years of life!
 

ridgescan

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Shortwave radio the way it was meant to be. Can I ask, roughly, how much your repairs cost?

it cost me $300. That was a great price for such stellar work. I wanted to sing the guy's praises here but he insisted on me not doing it-I understand after seeing the work lined up from several places including Japan waiting for his attention. I asked this guy 2 months ago for a fix and because of a loaded bench and a full schedule then, he turned me away. 2 months later I get a call from the head guy at CHRS saying that this guy changed his mind because he felt bad leaving me hanging with a dead 88. What a guy:) he replaced the whole bottom end in two days as well as some stuff up top like two coils and two tubes I missed. This rig is new again which means many joyful DXs on what you coined as "SW the way it was meant to be":D only thing I have to re-acclimate myself to SSB operation. On this rig, to bring up say 11175, you have more work as an operator to do to land intelligible voice!
Way to go Ridge!! I had one back in the day when I was young but I gave it away to an even younger fella that was just starting out learning about radio. I'd guess he was only about 10 or so. I myself had moved on to the first digital readout sets so I figured I may as well help someone out as an old ham had done for me. I was given the radio by an old neighborhood ham who is now gone. The kid I gave the 88 to still had it the last time we spoke but I don't know if he ever restored it. It worked great when I owned it and I can definitely recall the great sounding audio. I used it back then mainly for SW broadcast radio. I remember my dad helping me string up wires all over the yard but I did not have a clue what I was really doing back then! I still wonder if I know what I'm doing today :lol:
And yes, they do make good room heaters! Couple that radio with a 55 gallon aquarium running at 78 degrees, made my cold converted breezeway bedroom very warm in the winter! Hot as all heck in the summer though.
The kid I gave it to grew up to get a job at the old McDonnell Douglass aircraft plant here in town and eventually he worked with communications systems plus he became a general class ham operator. I often wonder if it was that SX-88 that sparked his interest for his future. He was working for Boeing (they took over the old McDonnell Douglass headquarters here years ago) the last I heard but I've not talked with him for a long long time now. I should try and contact him and see if he will give the 88 back! I miss it now that I see yours.
I hope it gives you many years of life!
I don't doubt it one bit that the SX-88 had a lot to do with setting the youngun off into that direction. The SX-88 was then, and is now, a very precision high-end reciever. Think about it-you hadda pay $595 for one in 1954! It was originally built for a government contract that fell through, so Hallicrafters sold a handfull to the (wealthier) public.. and apparently at a loss to boot! The point I want to make here is, I remember when my wealthy uncle gave me his Zenith Royal 3000-1 because every time we went there to visit, I would play with that radio for hours. He figured since none of my 6 cousins cared for it and he had no time to play it himself (anasthesiologist always on call) then he'd let it go to one who'd enjoy it like it should be. Well-this radio was leaps and bounds more refined and costly and serious than anything I had ever laid hands on-as a kid, I fully recognized the higher level of radio this was. Imagine how that kid felt when you gave him the 88!!!! His radio communications passion as well as his thirst for more knowledge likely advanced by years with the first session behind the dials:D
 

kilokat7

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Worth every dime Ridge - great radio and I can see you're having a blast using it (I would too!) The push pull audio in that rig must sound very rich and pleasing. What's the story behind it - how and when did you come across it? Sorry if I'm making you repeat yourself (I don't remember reading about it before).
 

ridgescan

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I picked it up way back in 1988 at an "estate sale" it was a passing chance me and Rosie came upon the sign in front of this home at about 2 in the afternoon so we stopped in. It was setting under a pile of stuff in the guy's downstairs bonus room. I plugged in and fired it up with no antenna and it ran so I asked the lady running the sale how much she goes "it doesn't run so how does $40 sound" I said ok and bought it. Took it home and scrambled for a random wire and a speaker and boom she came alive, all bands. Plus they had her switched to "standby" which probably made them think it had no audio if they tried it. This radio ran perfectly from that evening all the way to when she stopped running in 2006. I put her up in the radio closet until last year when I couldn't stand not hearing that awesome audio and smelling the heat off them tubes:D the rest is in the books:) I can't believe I have owned this thing for over 23 years!
 

ridgescan

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Well it's a very sad day here:( all at once the sx88 started in with this static crashing on all bands, AND when I switched bands the whole thing went out of sync-so now I get MW on the 40m band and so on. The guy who fixed it won't be freed up from his other jobs for at least two-three weeks and then he will take and try to see if he can re align the bands. So sad-not even a week. Well she's 57 years old so You have to expect this I suppose.
 

ridgescan

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Now some good news, I got brave. I re-aligned the band indicators to their proper bands myself. Was just a matter of disconnecting the driveshaft and turning the indicator mechanicals till they corresponded to the proper band. More good news is that in doing so, I apparently changed how the multiple band contacts meetup, and the awful crackling I had is 95% gone:) this is a very good sign that I may only need a good careful cleaning of all those contacts in the tuning department. Which means that I wont have to hunt down one of those rare hi-Q coils like I was afraid was going down. She's running as I type and not one crackel has occurred during this text. Happy. She's still going up on John's bench when he's clear so we can further clear this bug up!
 

majoco

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I recommend some switch cleaner (your De-Oxit is supposed to be good) painted onto the contacts with a small paintbrush, then work the switch around a few times with the power off! The solvent flows into the insulation and maycause a short if the power is on causing more grief! Wait a couple of hours for evaporation then give it another try. Well done Ridgy - another boat anchor saved from the dumpster - and it will give you a great deal of pleasure and warmth for years to come!
 

ridgescan

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Thank you much for the advice Martin and thank you for saying what you said I appreciate it very much. I have owned this radio for over 23 years and I too feel an obligation to preserve this radio and I am proud to be one of the people who bring a great historical radio to RR. I don't have a quarter of what you guys have in a collection but what I have I am proud of:)
One thing I can say with confidence is that this radio has the will to live and does NOT like to be sick!
 

ridgescan

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Hey kruser thank you for asking-she's doing absolutely fantastic. The problem is solved and I am just enjoying my morning coffee time as well as my evening tea time running DX with her:)
It sure is nice to have her sitting proudly at my desk-very much alive and in good health, and, frankly, putting the Icoms on notice with her beautiful audio and her pleasing receive sensitivity.
I sorely missed having her running all the years she sat covered in the livingroom closet..but those days are behind us now. I am a very fortunate man. Rosie is happy to see her back running again-she has always thought this radio was "the bomb":D
 
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