Hallicrafters SX-42 Short-Wave Receiver
By Paul Bock - K4MSG of Hamilton, Virginia
Date: 04/02/2000 12:28:05 AM EST
Photos By Larry - KG4CGR of Leesburg, Virginia
Click here for other articles by Paul posted to the LARG Internet Site

     For those old enough to remember what one is, I just finished a rehab of a Hallicrafters SX-42 SW receiver. This was the predecessor to the SX-62 and SX-62A. It is somewhat famous among radio collectors because of the R-42 speaker, aka the Darth Vadar speaker, so-called because the front of it is reminiscent of Darth's helmet.

     The SX-42 was introduced in 1948 and discontinued in 1950 because of the introduction of the SX-62. As a result, it is somewhat rare. This one is in pretty nice shape although it really should have the hinged-lid cabinet repainted; I rate the cabinet as GC due to some rust spots and paint dings. The chassis is VGC, the front panel is VGC/EC, and the R-42 is VGC/EC (some minor blemishes in the speaker cabinet paint). Actually, the condition is remarkable given where it was stored for the past several years.

     The radio now has all new electrolytics and power resistors, several NOS replacement tubes, over 40 Orange Drop cap replacements, and a thorough cleaning, de-oxidizing, gear train lube, and electrical alignment. It works very well (beautiful audio quality on SWBC stations) although it is certainly no match, sensitivity or selectivity-wise, for a modern receiver. Does have a xtal filter, tho, plus bandspread on the ham bands. The dials are circular.

     This particular radio is the property of Edwin Potts, who lives north of Round Hill; he bought it in 1949. He had been keeping it in the garage, on the floor in a corner (ugh!), and some dampness got to it, so it was a pretty extensive clean-up job. I enlightened him (gently) on the subject of storage of old radios. Because of the exposure to dampness it has been thoroughly "cooked in" to make sure there are no hidden problems. He gets it back tomorrow (we attend the same church).

     Sure was fun to get my fingers inside the guts of another old radio, and this one is the kind that just doesn't come along very often. I told Edwin's wife, Lucy, that it would look great in the kitchen in place of the microwave.....she was not amused.....;-)

     The SX-42 was safely delivered to Edwin Potts on Sunday afternoon, April 9, 2000, and is set up in a place of honor where it can be used and enjoyed. ;-)

     Thanks to those LARG members who showed interest in the project. 73 DE K4MSG

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