Adjusting Hallicrafters SX-85 Main Dial and Band Spread Position

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by KD2NOM, Feb 3, 2018.

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  1. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just received a Hallicrafters SX-85 that I won in an auction. The Main Dial and Band Spread Dial are not in the 'home' position when I turn the dials all the way to the left or right.

    Is it necessary to restring them to get them correct or is it possible to carefully force the dial into the proper position to match the capacitor's position?

    Thank you
  2. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought some images would help

    Bandspread dial turned fully LEFT:


    Band Spread fully RIGHT:


    Main Dial fully LEFT:


    Main Dial Fully RIGHT:

  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do you mean an S-85? I cannot find any SX-85.

    Manual here at BAMA:

    Alignment procedure is on Page 6. Yours do appear to be grossly out of position. You will probably need to examine the dial system closely. You may find the dials are held in position by a grub screw that can be loosened to in order to reposition the dial. NOTA BENE: Hallicrafters typically used grub screws with special 'splined" keys (Bristol wrench). These are visually similar to Allen Keys, but they are NOT. Forcing Allen keys into the slot will damage the screw. Splined key sets can be found on eBay for $10-$15.

    Bristol Wrench set:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    N7BDY and W7UUU like this.
  4. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looking inside I believe you are correct - and thank you for the warning about the allen wrenches - I was just about to grab one!

    Yes - it is an S-85
  5. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    GRRRR - well - she's going to get restrung now anyway. I opened the case and was blowing out the dust gently - the next time I touched the main dial the string broke.
  6. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The good news is that the band spread is not dial is not directly connected to the capacitor - so it's adjustment was easy - just hold the dial tight and turn the scale gently. Since the Hallicrafter lid is easy to open - I can set the main dial to the appropriate Amateur band and then fine tune - at least until I get the dials restrung
    KA0HCP likes this.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just checked my S-85 and the setscrews are definitely Bristol.

    My 2nd receiver as an amateur radio operator was an S-85 and I have another one now. They are an "OK" general coverage receiver but definitely need at least a 30-minute warm up before getting reasonably stable. Well, stable enough for reasonable SSB receiving. OK for AM and CW before that.

    I have other general coverage receivers ranging, in stability, etc., from a Hallicrafters S-38B all to way to a Collins 51J-2 and R-388 (51J-3).

    Glen, K9STH
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  9. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So - I picked up some braided fishing line - 65lbs test (overkill I'm sure) and restrung - it works great!

    I blew a bulb while putting it back together so off to the auto parts store to get a replacement.
  10. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Next question,

    I am able to receive AM Broadcast stations very well with a 15' wire on Antenna post 'A1' and with the jumper link connected on Ground and A2. I am not able to tune any Amateur stations. I have also connected my OFC Dipole and my 10 meter vertical - but no joy - I am tuning around stations I have heard on my HF transceiver with strong signals.

    In taking a look at the underside of the radio - I see several caps that appear to be covered in a waxy type coating - I don't know if this is a protective coating or they are / have been leaking something. Pics attached.

    hallicrafters01.jpg hallicrafters02.jpg hallicrafters03.jpg

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