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S-38B Question



 
 
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  #11  
Old March 12th 12, 02:18 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 708
Default S-38B Question

Channel Jumper wrote:

The radio is of little value - since it only did CW AM and has no
SSB....
Just looking on Flea Bay tells me that they had issues with the
cardboard on the rear of the radio - lot's of reproductions.


Sure it will do SSB! The BFO isn't adjustable, but the IF is wide as a
barn, wide enough that you can just set it on CW and then tune back and
forth until you get clear audio. Mind you it's unusable in a pileup...
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #12  
Old March 12th 12, 03:21 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
Michael Black[_2_]
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Posts: 393
Default S-38B Question

On Mon, 12 Mar 2012, Scott Dorsey wrote:

Channel Jumper wrote:

The radio is of little value - since it only did CW AM and has no
SSB....
Just looking on Flea Bay tells me that they had issues with the
cardboard on the rear of the radio - lot's of reproductions.


Sure it will do SSB! The BFO isn't adjustable, but the IF is wide as a
barn, wide enough that you can just set it on CW and then tune back and
forth until you get clear audio. Mind you it's unusable in a pileup...


Which was often the case for a lot of receivers. They had BFOs but
weren't so great when SSB came along, or required you to turn back the RF
gain a lot (so the BFO was strong compared to the incoming signal), which
made it relatively insensitive.

They weren't good receivers, but neither were a lot of low end ones back
then. But we bought them because we couldn't afford something better.

It wasn't a good choice, but a lot of people did start by shortwave
listening, so they got a general coverage receiver. A ham band only
receiver tended to be more expensive. So they had to live with a receiver
that wasn't particularly great for the ham bands, until they could
scrounge something better.

When I got my Hallicracter's S-120A in the summer of 1971, it was the
cheapest I could get, and almost more than I could afford, using up all
the birthday money saved in my relatively new bank account. It was junk,
not just cheap like the S38, but solid state and thus made worse because
the thing overloaded badly. But at the time, getting a ham license seemed
some years in the future, since at the time you had to be 15 or older to
get a license in Canada. So I bought that receiver, and never got much
out of it. At least it wsa a time when there were lots of SW broadcast
sttions, and I could thrill to WWV on six frequencies. And yes, it did
"well" on CB, because there were local signals, and when the band opened
up, it was wall to wall heterodynes.

It didn't do SSB, until I put a potentiometer between the antenna and the
antenna terminals and reduced signals so the BFO was strong enough,
leaving very few signals that were strong enough. But it wsa a period
when there were some AM stations, I thought at the time they were younger
and doing AM as "something new" but maybe not, maybe they just never
switched to SSB. So I could listen to them every night on 80m and it was
sort of what ham radio must have sounded like in earlier decades.

And then five months later, I read in the paper that the law was changing,
so you didn't need to be fifteen to get a ham license in Canada.

I couldn't use that receiver for CW, not enough selectivity, so I was
reduced to a record to learn the code. And then I was lucky, someone at
the ham club when I finally found it lent me an SP-600 (I had it for about
a decade), so I actually had a decent receiver. (It didn't do anything
differently than the S-120A when it came to SSB either, except it was a
much better receiver, much more sensitive and of course more selective, so
when I turned down the RF gain to use the BFO properly, there were still
plenty of SSB signals to receive.

Michael VE2BVW

  #13  
Old March 13th 12, 07:08 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
coffelt2
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Posts: 70
Default S-38B Question


"Scott Dorsey" wrote in message
...
Channel Jumper wrote:

The radio is of little value - since it only did CW AM and has no
SSB....
Just looking on Flea Bay tells me that they had issues with the
cardboard on the rear of the radio - lot's of reproductions.


Sure it will do SSB! The BFO isn't adjustable, but the IF is wide as a
barn, wide enough that you can just set it on CW and then tune back and
forth until you get clear audio. Mind you it's unusable in a pileup...
--scott

Bought my FIRST S-38 from the base exchange at Amarillo AFB, Tx, in
1951.
It was small enough to fit under my bunk, behind my lined up (and shined)
shoes. I was
already a ham, but Uncle Sam had better things for me to do!
Don't remember when I parted with that little Honey, but the following
year, 1952,
in the barracks in Germany, I built Heathkit's AR-1 (or was it AR-2?). A
crowd gathered
when I first plugged it in. A little curl of smoke from a resistor had them
all laughing, but
then loud music erupted, and there were cheers!
Now, a couple of years later, I found a maybe 6 of 10, 6 tube S-38. I
haven't got
my new cardboard back or bottom yet, but knobs are perfect. Some Gentleman
in the
Midwest is selling capacitor (condensers, really) kits, which I have. (for
three years)
Rome was not built in a day.

Old Chief Lynn, W7LTQ

  #14  
Old March 13th 12, 04:03 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
Edward Knobloch
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Posts: 112
Default S-38B Question

On 3/13/2012 3:08 AM, coffelt2 wrote:
snip Some Gentleman in the
Midwest is selling capacitor (condensers, really) kits,
which I have. (for three years)
Rome was not built in a day.

Old Chief Lynn, W7LTQ


Hi,

You're probably thinking of "Hayseed Hamfest":
http://www.hayseedhamfest.com/capaci...rafters_1.html

I've only heard heard good things about him, but I'm not yet a customer.

73,
Ed Knobloch


  #15  
Old March 13th 12, 05:29 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
coffelt2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 70
Default S-38B Question


"Edward Knobloch" wrote in message
...
On 3/13/2012 3:08 AM, coffelt2 wrote:
snip Some Gentleman in the
Midwest is selling capacitor (condensers, really) kits,
which I have. (for three years)
Rome was not built in a day.

Old Chief Lynn, W7LTQ


Hi,

You're probably thinking of "Hayseed Hamfest":
http://www.hayseedhamfest.com/capaci...rafters_1.html

I've only heard heard good things about him, but I'm not yet a customer.

73,
Ed Knobloch


Thanks, ED, I see he has a kit for my NC-183D! Glad you pointed out
his website. I had completely forgotten who that was. Got three kits
from him several years ago, and couldn't have been more pleased.

(No connection with him except purchases)

Old Chief Lynn, W7LTQ

  #16  
Old March 14th 12, 05:07 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
Richard Knoppow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 530
Default S-38B Question


"Edward Knobloch" wrote in message
...
On 3/13/2012 3:08 AM, coffelt2 wrote:
snip Some Gentleman in the
Midwest is selling capacitor (condensers, really) kits,
which I have. (for three years)
Rome was not built in a day.

Old Chief Lynn, W7LTQ


Hi,

You're probably thinking of "Hayseed Hamfest":
http://www.hayseedhamfest.com/capaci...rafters_1.html

I've only heard heard good things about him, but I'm not
yet a customer.

73,
Ed Knobloch

I've gotten several can capacitors from Tom, excellent
parts. These are brand new, not re-stuffed old cans and not
old stock.
FWIW, the S-38B is essentially a five-tube wonder
adapted to short wave. My first receiver was an S-38B which
I still have. Its performance is certainly limited but it
works well for what it is. It _will_ receive SSB with
careful tuning and if the signal is not too strong. The RF
gain is not adjustable. The S-38B and later versions uses a
patented feedback arrangement for the BFO where the IF stage
is made to oscillate. The BFO frequency is approximately
centered on the IF frequency and is not adjustable.
The original S-38 used a different circuit with a
separate BFO tube, it also had a noise limiter.
Hallicrafters had a target price of around $50 but the
rather rapid inflation of the time required re-design and
simplification to maintain the price. National's
competition was the SW-54. I've never had one so can't
compare the two. The SW-54 used miniature tubes but the
tubes in the S-38B were the latest octals so there might not
have been any advantage. A lot of the performance would be
determined by the quality of the coils and general
construction. The SW-54 was also an AC/DC rig. Part of this
was simply to save the cost of a power transformer but also
some parts of some cities still had DC current supplied to
homes and especially industrial areas.
My S-38B was a good friend for a long time.


--

--
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles
WB6KBL



 




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