Fwd: [AMRadio] Hallicrafter S-42

W4AWM at aol.com W4AWM at aol.com
Sat Sep 29 18:18:32 EDT 2007

You guys go ahead and knock the S-40B all you want. It was a first receiver 
for many hams and it worked very well for something in it's price range. I can 
tell you that many good CW ops became that way because they learned to 
concentrate on a single signal through all the QRM that could not be notched out or 
processed with today's modern gear.  Likewise, many AM ops became great traffic 
handlers because they learned how to listen to a signal that was covered by 
one or more hetrodynes.  My first receiver as a novice was an S-77 which was 
the AC/DC version of the S-40 series.  How I never managed to get fried, I will 
never know, but I did learn to reverse the line plug if the cabinet felt 

As for today, I still love operating with vintage gear, I know how to tune up 
a transmitter and change bands in a hurry. I only own one "rice box" and it 
is still in the factory carton. It had never been powered up. Ham radio today 
requires only computer knowledge, nimble fingers and good eyesight to see all 
those little buttons. A good majority of todays hams are nothing more than 
appliance operators. Many of them cannot even connect their new gear without help. 
Contesting is no fun and requires no skill any more since many rigs, when 
hooked to a computer, will call CQ, keep the log, and probably even turn on the 
coffee pot with the proper interface. 

Reflectors are great things, but they make some of us wonder how some hams 
ever got their tickets, considering some of the really stupid questions that are 
asked. Many of these are so common sense that many school kids can answer 
them even though they are not licensed. If you want to see what a real exam was 
like, find an old license manual. There was none of this mutiple guess stuff 
like today. You had to draw a diagram of a transmitter and label all the 
components, you might be given a diagram and asked what a certain component was and 
how it functioned in the circuit and you really needed to be able to work out 
some math problems. There were no handheld calculators, either. If you couldn't 
use a slide rule, you had to work it out on paper. That was ham radio!

I know I am going to get flamed about this and I don't really care. It is 
just wasted bandwidth, so go ahead and light the fires. I will not dignify you 
with a reply. I got my ticket the hard way and I am proud of it.

73 and have a great weekend,

John,  W4AWM

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