Gone, But Not Forgotten

Every ham as a few radios he holds in fond regard.... you know, the ones you WISH you had kept! I know I do. They are the radios I learned Morse Code on. Every one of them bought in pawn shops for a mere fraction of current collectors value, and, in my case, passed on to others as gifts while THEY learned CW. I may no longer have the radios, but I have the memories and I'll share them with you.


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The Hallicrafters S-20R "Sky Champion" was made from 1939-1941 and sold for $49.50, putting it in middle of the company's prewar radio lineup. The entry-level Hallicrafters set for 1939 was the model S-19 "Sky Buddy," selling for $29.50. Higher priced prewar models included the SX-24 "Skyrider Defiant" at $69.50 and the SX-25 "Super Defiant" at $94.50.
Model S-20R was the first in a long-lived product line. Hallicrafters repackaged essentially the same radio, with minor updates, as models S-40 (1946-1995), S-85 (1955-1959), and S-108 (1959-1961).

This is a four-band receiver, covering all of the frequencies from 540 Khz to 44 Mhz. In addition to bandspread tuning, it features AVC (automatic volume control), ANL (automatic noise limiter), BFO (beat frequency oscillator), a three-position tone control, and a headphone jack. The back panel contains sockets for two optional accessories. One socket is for power, permitting mobile use with batteries (one 6-volt and one 340-volt). The second socket is for an external S-meter to show signal strength while tuning.


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The S-40 Hallicrafters line began in 1946 and lasted until 1954. With eight tubes, Model S-40 was the mid-level Hallicrafters receiver of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The S-40B was made from 1950-1954 and sold for $129.95.

The entry-level receiver during those years was the six-tube S-38, one of the best-selling shortwave sets of all time, retailing for about $40 to $50. If you wanted a top-of-the line Hallicrafters in 1946, you went for the fifteen-tube SX-42, which retailed for $275, roughly double the price of an S-40 and almost six times the price of the original S-38.


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The Gonset GR-212 was dual conversion for increased selectivity with Variable BFO. Sensitivity: At least 6 db (S+N)/N at 1 ILY (mod. 30% at 400 cps) input on all H.F. bands. Two full-vision, illuminated, slide-rule type dials provide instant identification of broadcast and shortwave frequencies. Panel-mounted "S" meter. Band-spread tuning knob is inertia fly-wheel weighted for smoothest tuning. Separate band-spread dial for amateur bands. For 115V AC operation.


(Hallicrafters Photos and Descriptions from Phil's Old Radios)

(Gonset GR-212 Photo from The Museum of Radio and Technology )

(Gonset GR-212 Description from Hampedia )

Copyright 2003, David F. Hammack