[Hallicrafters] SX-15 Magic-Eye Tuner

Rich Oliver Rich.Oliver at lowell.edu
Thu Feb 12 10:35:52 EST 2004

I agree with John.  These sets were built in the mid-30's when all radio 
manufacturers were living on the edge and there was a great deal of 
"making do".  Hammarlund probably did this more than anybody; I have an 
SP-110 variant with a panel that was originally punched for an SP-10. 
The SP-10 holes that were not used have been professionally plugged and 
you can't see them at all from the front.

Hallicrafters is known to have substituted parts and made other changes 
in the middle of production runs.  It is a small step from that to 
building variants such as this one to avoid scrapping parts unnecessarily.

73, Rich, KC9GQ

kiyoinc at attglobal.net wrote:
> W4AWM at aol.com writes:
>>In a message dated 2/11/2004 1:19:26 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
>>iluznst at yahoo.com writes: 
>>>Here are my conclusions about the possibility of the 
>>>SX-15 having the magic-eye tuner... Taking into 
>>>account W4AWM's comments last month compared with my 
>>>own SX-15, reviewing Chuck's book &LA5KI's 
>>>Hallicrafter site (which shows internal pictures of 
>>>the models that DID come with magic-eye tuners), I'm 
>>>about 98% positive that they did not come from the 
>>>factory that way. 
>>>Eventhough the modification on my set looks OEM and
>>>the mod is as old as the set is, there are two things
>>My SX-15(ME) has the same magic eye escutheon as shown on the SX-10 on  
>>LA5KI's page which you referenced. It has the same mounting screws too, which 
>>the case of an OEM installation on some SX-15s more than valid in my opinion,  
> ..
>>SX-15(ME) since I thought it had beed modded and I only want unblemished recei 
>>vers in my collection. Boy, am I ever glad that I never got around to it!
> Two SX-15's with a "nicely" done, but homemade mod from the dawn of
> time. 
> or 
> Hallicrafters did a production run with a varient.
> My take is that Hallicrafters did a small run for some unknown reason.
> They might have wanted an upgraded model.  They might have made a
> mistake in the sheet metal shop and rather than pitch out the few dozen 
> mispunched panels, covered up the error by producing the varient.
> Most mods are crude and you almost never see two that are the same.  
> I suspect that the Hallicrafters factory made the magic eye varient and
> you have a rare piece.  
> This is like my SX-100 with the non-standard Notch Freq and Depth
> knobs.  These knobs resemble the other knobs on the radio but are
> "different".  It's not just that they don't have the calibration marks.
> They are non-standard but look close to factory.
> I did a USENET websearch and found several inquiries from folk
> looking for "factory notch knobs" because their SX-100 didn't have the
> factory knobs.  
> I really, really doubt that anyone has ever pulled the notch knobs and
> replaced them with "looks real close but are not factory" varients.
> First, the Hallicrafters Bristol/spline setscrews would defeat the
> novice, "I don't know why I'm subbing this but I'm doing it" mentality.
> Second, the notch feature is not an everyday user.  My main radio
> was SX-101A for years and I almost never used the notch feature.  It
> would not pop into someone's head that "I gotta make this more
> ergonomic, different, or better." 
> Third, the notch knobs are centrally located on the front panel and
> smaller than the other knobs.  They are less likely to be damaged than
> the S-meter, power, RF gain knobs,  unless you flipped the radio upside
> down and then lifted it from the back.
> Finally, how did someone subbing the Notch knobs find a pair that look
> so factory?
> I believe that the factory did varient runs.  The SX-15 magic-eye and
> the SX-100's with look-like notch knobs are rare, minor varients.  Not
> a big deal in the grand scheme of things but for historians an
> interesting side note.
> For those who have them, it's worth preserving and noting.  If these
> are true factory varients, it increases the value.  How much, only eBay
> and time will tell.
> de ah6gi/4 www.kiyoinc.com/heathstuff.html  
> _______________________________________________
> List Administrator: Duane Fischer, W8DBF **for assistance**
> dfischer at usol.com
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