HALLICRAFTERS HT-32A & SX-101 Is this still a viable station ?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K5FRH, Dec 12, 2018.

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  1. KC8YLT

    KC8YLT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a SX 101 and really like the radio but I had to replace the power transformer and several of the capacitors. After all that work I came to really appreciate this radio.
  2. W3WN

    W3WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wish I could take you up on this one!
  3. KE0ZU

    KE0ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I too have those two, they are good, dependable radios, and I really do like the 101. If you're ok with the price I'd recommend you get them. They were good for serious DXing in their day, so there is no reason they wouldn't work pretty well today.
  4. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used the HT-32A/HT-33A & SX-101A (with a Mosley TA-33 @ 75 Ft) in 1964. It was our SSB club station at WA4ECY (Naval Communications Training Center - Corry Field) in Pensacola. As a 17 year-old General, I thought I'd died & gone to Ham Heaven !! (It sure was a lot different than my Globe Scout-680, ART-13 & National NC-173) :p
    K9ASE and W7UUU like this.
  5. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are strong enough to lift them they are. I ran an HT-32B and SX101A for about a year and made a great many contacts both domestic and DX, phone and CW. The rigs themselves are no more problematic than other radios of the era. Most components for them can be found, but things like transformers and chokes, or resonating coils for the driver stage in the transmitter are very difficult to come by.

    I think you might be surprised at how well they actually work. They don't have the bells and whistles that we have become used to but they are a very competent combination.
    W7UUU likes this.
  6. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is a very viable set up for use on the air. Many years ago, I regularly used a Hallicrafters HT-37 (similar power and features to your HT-32A) and a Hammarlund HQ-110 (inferior to your SX-101A) on both SSB and CW. Fast forward several decades, I am 100% dedicated to using boatanchor gear. I would have no reservations whatsoever of using your proposed units on the air daily.

    I don't recall entirely, but I think the HT-32A might have the same or similar problematic power supply problem that the HT-37 has. That is, the power transformer is weak. The typical failure mode is a short between the B+ to the 5v rectifier windings. But the preventative cure is easy and cheap. Simply replace the tube rectifiers with SS diodes or power the tube rectifiers from a separate filament transformer.

    Other than that, replace all electrolytic caps and tubular wax paper caps in both units. Good to go.
  7. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's viable if you're willing to work on it to maintain it.

    If you do that, it will operate and serve you well for at least 100 years.

    Can't say that will be the case with these latest plastic microprocessor powered rigs. They have a tendency of becoming obsolete and non repairable the following week after buying one.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    K0PV, W7ASA, W5BIB and 2 others like this.
  8. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    The HT-32 series/HT-37 transformer is fine if you catch it in time and clip off the filament leads at the socket and tape them up and wire in some 1N5408 diodes (more rugged than 1N4007's). The one I picked up was stored since the 70's, bought in the 80's and has been fine since. I also replaced all electrolytics as well at that time, and a few tubes when I picked up a Hickok 752A at the National Radio IRS auction in 92.

    It drives a NCL-2000 so the 6146's are loafing and are what was in it.

    I didnt care for the SX-101A performance on 15 and 10M and that was replaced by a SX-115 I picked up long before it became a collector item.....even that needed a few plug n play tube swaps. Halli was never known for exceptional sensitivity.

    A classic 60's station.

    W1BR likes this.
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The HT-32- series, the HT-37, and the Collins 32V- series all need to have the tube type rectifiers removed, the 5.0 VAC filament leads removed from the rectifier tube sockets, and then solid-state replacements installed. All of those transmitters are VERY prone to having the 5.0 VAC windings shorted in the power transformer.

    In other equipment, leaving the tube-type rectifier is usually a good idea, at least in my opinion, especially if you don't want to have to do some more work on the unit.

    Glen, K9STH
    W1TRY likes this.
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    If it looks good, and works, buy it and USE IT!
    W5TTP and KA4DPO like this.

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