Hallicrafters S-38C Restoration

Hallicrafters S-38C Restoration

Hallicrafters S-38C
Here’s the Hallicrafters S-38C I got off eBay

Well… There always seems to come a time in a person’s life that they look back into their earlier days with their mind and ‘see’ where or when a particular thing in their life, got its start.

I’ve done that many times, but again not too long ago. I realized that my real interest in electronics came from when my Dad gave my brother a gift that my brother really care too much about. However, I was interested in it a lot!┬áThat gift was a Hallicrafters S-38C shortwave radio. In simple terms, at that time in his life, if it wasn’t a football, basketball, baseball, or something to do with sports, my brother really didn’t pay too much attention to it. His loss was definitely my gain this time!

Fairly recently, I was just looking on eBay for nothing really in particular. Just surfing around putting weird stuff into the search just to see what kind of random stuff came up. As a result of one search, I found a Hallicrafters S-38C radio listed that looked like it was in pretty decent shape. I had seen another one and had it on my ‘watch list’ that looked even better case wise, but it didn’t have any knobs. It was going on bid as well as the one I eventually bought. I kept searching around and finally contacted the seller of the radio that did have all its knobs and made him an offer. He accepted pretty quick. He put a ‘buy it now’ option for the amount I offered on his listing, and I purchased it.


Hallicrafters S-38C-Back
Hallicrafters S-38C-Back
Hallicrafters S-38C-Bottom
Hallicrafters S-38C-Bottom

When it came in, it was all nicely boxed. He took great care to make sure it arrived safely. When I took it out of the box, something came over me like it did when dad first brought the original S-38C home. I took that radio, after dad got it out of the box and plugged it in right then and there. Turned it on and heard the crackle and pop of interstation hiss. Of course, nothing was heard until dad and I strung up a piece of wire and screwed it to the antenna terminals. Then it happened. The radio came alive with all kinds of noises. Noises I had never heard before. Strange signals from the abyss.

The feeling of excitement was going on in my mind, as I removed the radio from the box I got off of eBay. I reenacted the process in my memory as I remembered doing from those fond old days by plugging it in and turning it on. The anticipation was reaching its crest. I was really excited! And there it was! The radio was reacting to all my efforts. What I heard coming from the little speaker in the top of that metal case of that Hallicrafters S-38C shortwave radio, was a very loud buzzing from dried out filter capacitors instead of that sweet sweet inter-station crackling and popping I was remembering as a kid.

Hallicrafters S-38C-With Cu
Hallicrafters S-38C Showing Cut Power Cord – (Note cracked insulation.)


With that… I pulled the plug out of the wall. Since the cord was in my hand, I looked more closely and noticed that the insulation on the cord was beginning to crack. So…I reached for my dikes, and snipped off the entire power cord just about an inch from where it exits from the back of the radio.


* My plan here is to chronicle my restoration attempt on my new little old Hallicrafters S-38C Shortwave radio.


First step… Get rid of that awful noise! – Let’s change out the filter capacitors! – Click here!


Leave a Reply