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 Post subject: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 08, 2016 1:19 am
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Location: mapleton sd
Im frustrated with the bad documentation on the HQ180A put out by Hammarlund as well as
third party sellers.Ive bought several off the internet and every one is different.Yesterday I started going through the alignment based on a thread I had printed from a guy named Locklear. In that thread he answered a similar complain on another blog and said that his procedure was the correct one. When I started going through his it made no sense and followup posters to him had asked him for clarification and he side stepped the question saying he had sold his hq180a that morning and the manual went with it. Bad information is worse than no information.
Is there such a thing as a correct alignment procedure on this receiver? Couple years ago I aligned an hq180 and used whatever was available and the alignment went very smoothly. But the 180a seems to mix and match the 3035 and 455 IF procedures. In one of my manuals it says to peak transformers T3 T4 and T5 on 3035. Then later in the 455 IF procedure it says to peak T5, T4 and T3. The only thing they seem to agree on is starting with the 60kc IF. But then some have you do the 3035 first and others have you do the 455 first. Something isn't right and I have tried it both ways and it doesn't seem to be working very well.
Not that it probably matters all that much but my serial number is the 307XXXXX series.
Anybody got a source for a workable alignment procedure for this beast?


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 5:00 pm 
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I would suggest using the manual entitled "The HQ-180 and 180-A Series of Communications Receivers" (Hammarlund publication 52787-1) and using the schematic "HQ-180A." The HQ-180AX is a somewhat different receiver and has its own schematic in that manual.

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 5:02 pm 
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Quote:
Couple years ago I aligned an hq180 and used whatever was available and the alignment went very smoothly.
Well, do THAT again and all should be ok.

Most alignment processes follow the same general procedure, starting with the lowest/last IF strip and working your way backwards through the radios filters/notches, to the higher I.F. (s), and finally to the L.O, and front end.

I had an HQ-180 years ago and I don't remember any difficulties following the procedure in the owners manual. I also recently, maybe last year, rehabed an HQ-170 following "the book" without any hickups.

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 6:04 pm 
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Todd,

I think this is one of the better copies of the manual: http://www.atwaterkent.info/Images/Manu ... HQ-180.pdf but the alignment instructions from any of the series should work fine.

The most critical part is making sure that your signal generator is accurately set at 60 Khz. and note that some of the lower cost frequency counters aren't very accurate in this range so double check. Once you get the 60 Khz. IF strip properly aligned you have the hardest part done. Some of the procedures have you align the 455 Khz. first with a 455 Khz. signal while others have you go directly to alignment of the 3035 Khz. IF and either process is fine BUT make sure you are on a higher RF range where the 3035 Khz. IF is in play if you align 3035 first (range starting from 7.85 Mhz. upward if you start with the 3035 Khz. alignment and/or to do the 3035 Khz. alignment). The alignment of the 3035 IF isn't critical since its bandwidth is measured in 10s of Khz. and the 455 Khz. IF strip is not much more selective than a typical broadcast receiver but do align it and particularly the 455 Khz. slot filter carefully for best performance.

In general the procedure is align the 60 khz. carefully then apply a 3035 Khz. signal and set the third conversion oscillator (L4) so that the 455 Khz. IF signal is converted to 60 Khz. T1 is a dual frequency transformer and only the top slug is adjusted for 455 Khz., this adjustment should be made on the broadcast band. T3, T4, and T5 are the regular 455 Khz. IF transformers and can be adjusted on any band. The bottom slug of T1 along with T2 are the only 3035 Khz. IF transformers and these must be aligned on a higher frequency band (7.85 Mhz. or higher) where the HQ-180 is operating in triple conversion mode.

On the ranges from .54 to 7.85 Mhz. the HQ-180 operates in dual conversion modes with IF frequencies of 455 and 60 Khz. and the HFO operates 455 Khz. above the signal frequency. For the ranges from 7.85 Mhz. and up the HQ-180 is a triple conversion receiver with a first IF of 3.035 Mhz. and the HFO operating 3.035 mhz. above the signal frequency; this is what provides excellent image rejection in the higher bands.

The HQ-180 is effectively a HQ-160 coupled with the Hammarlund HC-10 SSB converter while the sister HQ-170 is effectively a HQ-110 with the HC-10. The HQ-170 and HQ-180 share much of their circuitry in common but of course there are differences in the front end due to the general coverage vs ham band only nature of the two sets. The circuitry between the first and second mixers of these two sets is very different but from the first 455 Khz. IF on they are very similar.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Location: mapleton sd
Thank you so very much Rodger. Oh how I wish you would have been involved
in writing Hammarlund manuals. This afternoon I will busy myself with appending
notes from your posting to my manual as well as a printout of this thread.
You struck upon one of the questions marks I had penciled into my manual and that
was distinction between dual and single conversion which the manual seems to omit. By
stupid luck I has discovered that I needed to be on a certain band for one or the other IFs
but I wasn't sure and now I am.

I use my HP signal generator with a counter so I am confident in my 60 kc signal. And Dale,
you and Rodger agree on the same version and you both have never led me astray. I do not
have version 52787-1 but tomorrow I am off to the copy place to print it out as my go to
manual.

You guys are great.


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Todd Electron wrote:
I do not have version 52787-1 ...

I neglected to post a link because the Hammarlund.org site (which originally provided the scan that I have and that Rodger linked to) is long gone. I concur with Rodger that the scan he linked to is a good copy of 52787-1 (some are atrocious).

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 8:28 pm 
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rsingl wrote:
I think this is one of the better copies of the manual:
http://www.atwaterkent.info/Images/Manu ... HQ-180.pdf
Thanks Rodger,

Glad the site is useful.

- Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Leigh,

I forgot that this was your site! For some reason I just don't mentally link you with Atwater Kent :)

Thanks very much for constructing and maintaining the site.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 08, 2016 1:19 am
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Location: mapleton sd
rsingl wrote:
r 455 Khz., this adjustment should be made on the broadcast band.
Rodger WQ9E


This was the key that unlocked the door Rodger. Thanks. It would have been nice if the
tech writer at Hammarlund could have mentioned this. I had been stumbling
but after switching over to the BC band for the 455 IF it all came together and the alignment
has been completed successfully.


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Mon 18, 2017 12:05 am 
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Todd,

Congratulations and now enjoy a very nice receiver!

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Mon 18, 2017 2:00 am 
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Todd, glad you have it up and running. As Rodger said that is a very good receiver.

I sold mine several years ago, but bought the 170 because of the similarities of the two receivers.

Rodger, Leigh, that is an excellent version of the manual.

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Mon 18, 2017 4:13 pm 
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I just aligned my HQ-180A (about 5 times before I think I got it near "perfect") and one annoying thing was that when switching the bandwidth filters (say 3 kc to 1 kc) I would lose signal (more than the "2 S units max"). I think I found on the web (I will confirm when I get home and share) that this is due to the BFO being slightly off frequency. When all is "perfect" and S meter reading drops a lot when switching from say 3 kc to 1 kc (or going from Both to USB to LSB) a TINY nudge of the BFO alignment trimmer makes all the difference in the world. After a little bit of fiddling you can be zero beat on WWV and go from 3 to 2 to 1 kc with almost no change in S meter reading and similarly from BOTH to either USB or LSB with no change in reading. Then everything is dead on. I will confirm when I get home. (I may be using the wrong terminology, the link will help).

I just absolutely love my HQ-180A, having tons of fun BCB DXing with it nowadays.

paul


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Tue 19, 2017 2:57 am 
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I found the note from Pete, K7PP. It is what you do if you find that switching from USB to LSB you LOSE your signal. I did this, and now everything is working great.

This is from K7PP. I found it on the web, but cannot find the website. This is what I printed out (and copied here):

“Turn SSB to Both and mode selector to AM
Turn on CAL and find signal, peak for max. Then adjust RF gain for S7 reading on meter (not saturating signal).
Put BFO kHz to ZERO (even though BFO is off)
Switch “select kHz” switch to 0.5

Switch your “sidebands” switch back and forth between USB and LSB while adjusting the frequency knob (I used vernier) until you find a spot where there is no change in S meter reading between USB and LSB. This might take a while.

When you are on that spot, turn on BFO and adjust T28 for zero beat. This will put your filters in a position to provide equal sideband detection on either side of the received signal.

Repeat.

This is the easiest way I can think of to determine if it’s an alignment or component failure. It might just be that your BFO and 60 kHz IF and Product Detector are not lined up. This should fix that.”

paul


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Tue 19, 2017 3:20 am 
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Paul,

You have highlighted the one real weakness of the circuit used by Hammarlund because both sideband selection and bandwidth are done by manipulating circuit constants in the IF strip. When everything works perfectly (and probably sometimes it did at the factory) response on either sideband is identical but as circuit elements age you will generally find some bandwidths no longer provide equal response. Usually this is not too bad but in some receivers it is to the point you will need to go in and measure and sometimes experimentally replace some of the switched values. I think it was back on the original boatanchors mailing list where someone documented their adventures in this area and spent months getting a HQ-170 perfect. I wonder if it stayed that way...

The approach used by Hallicrafters (and copied by Heathkit in the Mohawk) uses either high or low side injection to the final mixer for sideband selection so all that has to be done in the IF is to change coupling and Q to change bandwidth but unlike Hammarlund there is no need to pull the frequency. With this injection controlled method response on either sideband will always be the same, regardless of bandwidth setting, as long as the IF is aligned properly to the average frequency difference between the two conversion oscillators.

The Hammarlund system works fine but it is more complex and I am surprised they didn't use the simpler method.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Dec Tue 19, 2017 6:18 am 
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I agree with Rodger regarding the simple, and straight forward approach of the Hallicrafters side band switching scheme. Why Hammarlund chose such a complex approach is puzzling at best.

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sat 13, 2016 5:14 am
Posts: 11
Hi all. Now its my time for help.
I have a Hammarlund HQ180A that I just put a new power transformer into.
The problem I have is that I just can't seem to get the diel calibration correct.
I can line up the mid part ok but when I cet to each end of the band spredd it's miles out.
Where am i going wrong???

Kind regards.
Paul.
HS0ZLQ/G0MIH


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 3:41 pm 
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Paul, this is a zombie topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 4:58 pm 
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Paul,

Start by making sure that the main tuning and band spread dials are properly indexed to their respective variable capacitors. How is the dial calibration of the general coverage dial from end to end?

Make sure someone didn't try to "knife" (bend) the plates in the oscillator section severely which often happens when someone makes an alignment setup mistake and tries to correct it via bending parts of the plate. Many capacitors are set up so that they can be knifed but the adjustment required should be very minor and if you see severely bent plates then it is a good sign that someone before you made a mistake. In those cases I start over by bending the plates back to straight and then make minor adjustments while doing a careful alignment.

And make sure that your calibration source is accurate. An old friend used the internal 100 Khz. calibrator to align the HFO on a receiver he owned and ran into all sorts of issues; I had him double check and someone had put a 110 Khz. crystal in place of the correct crystal which creates quite an error as it is multiplied up into the shortwave range.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Definitive alignment info for the Hammarlund HQ-180A
PostPosted: Nov Fri 27, 2020 7:27 pm 
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Hi @Paul,

Where did you get the power transformer for your HQ180? I have acquired one recently; it works, but there's a frying sound coming from the power xformer. I haven't cracked open the chassis yet, but am figuring that it might be worth beginning the search for a new xformer. I want to find a new replacement rather than another one that's 60 years old. I can keep the old one in case I should need to restore the rx to stock condition, but for now just want to use it!

Thanks

JC


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