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 Post subject: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 1:07 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
I got an HQ 180 cheaply and when you look at the pictures you will see why. I've wanted one for a long time but with shipping costs being ridiculous I didn't have a lot of choice locally. I normally wouldn't buy one in this condition but it does work (not well) and appears to not have a bunch of mods.
Cosmetically I would rate it poor, but I don't intend to make it into a showpiece. First decision is if I'm going to do anything with the front panel. I do have all the knobs except the bandswitch.
My first question is does removing the front panel present any major pitfalls? Does anyone have any suggestions regarding trying to make it at least usable even if not pretty?

I apologize for the pictures. It is because it is already on my bench and moving it to get a better shot is not possible at present.


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 3:04 am 
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Joined: Nov Wed 25, 2015 9:46 pm
Posts: 92
I have a "parts unit" HQ-170 and can supply the missing knob as well as a clock if you need one. Hammarlund stamped part numbers on the IF cans and I may be able to help in that area. Let me know what you need.

The front panel should be removed to give the unit a good cleaning. I've used Scrubbing Bubbles and they have done a very good job of removing gunk. Give the chassis a good rinse with distilled water. Other Forum members may have some thoughts about restoring the front panel.

John VE3PMA


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 3:44 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
Posts: 3567
Location: Fenton, MI 48430
Paint flake chip on front panel could be brought to Sherman Williams and they will match the paint in a spray can. Sand the edges of flaked paint smooth. Tape off the painted divisions around the two center bottom knobs and rest of print to avoid possible overspray. Sand the bezel in center and then tape off the sanded bare metal. Carefully and very lightly spray paint the areas where paint has flaked off. It will take four or five very light coats to avoid paint build up at the tape edges. After paint dries, I would rub down the entire panel with paint rubbing compound and then wax the front panel. The missing clock could use a blank panel and spray paint grey including screw heads. Radio Daze may have a Hammarlund logo that would look good on the blank clock panel.

Only other option is to find a nice front panel from a Junker radio. The knob offer from other member is a good deal as vintage radio knobs are ridiculously priced.

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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 5:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
Thanks for the replies.

John:
I'm definitely interested in the knob. I have a clock which came with it that has a dead quartz 24hr movement which I'm going to try and replace. The face and plastic cover are in reasonable shape. I will contact you by PM after I have a look at the rest of it.

Jim:
Thanks for the suggestion about the paint. I'm not sure if the rest of the paint can be saved as it seems to lift easily. There is quite a bit of white corrosion around the edges which has affected the paint.

I'm a bit concerned about the removal of the front panel but it seems as though it will be necessary.

best regards,
Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 8:08 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 15, 2019 7:43 pm
Posts: 1108
RadioDaze has a decal kit for the front panel.
https://www.radiodaze.com/hammarlund-hq ... hm-hq-180/

DM


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 21, 2019 3:32 pm
Posts: 320
Location: Upstate NY by the big lake!
I have printer created copy of the clock face if you need it, I printed it on peel and stick label paper.. I'm still working on my 180A alignment.. , almost ready for cosmetics..

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2020 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
Thanks for the info. I'm going to try and order the decals.
Mike: I'll send a PM.


I might be able to make this thing presentable.

best regards,
Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 2:55 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
The plastic covers are still on covering the tuning caps. I thought I had read a service bulletin recommending removing them but no luck finding it? Does anyone recall?

thanks,
Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 7:19 am 
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Joined: Dec Sat 28, 2019 4:18 pm
Posts: 557
Location: Corinth, TX
Sandy, the manual tells you how to remove the front panel. And for owners of other models, I suspect that the process is similar.

And, yes, there is a service bulletin mentioning removing the tuning cap covers, also for removing most of the tube shields.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 10, 2020 5:11 am
Posts: 445
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
Ooohhh, boy... that looks just like the SX-101A I picked up back in July from a local epay seller. The guy had all his electrical and most his musical schtuff out in his garage; and a messier garage, I've rarely seen (although mine used to look as bad as his, oncit upon a time :D ). My SX-101A also had the paint peeling on the bottom of the front panel like yours, as well as white corrosion over most the rest of the panel. The setscrew of one of the knobs was rusted into the bakelite knob, and strongly resisted being drilled out, which task I gave up on after I couldn't find a drill bit that'd cut through the screw, so I wound up breaking off the knob with an old pair of dikes. I know my knobs are bakelite because this one shattered in small pieces as I tried cutting it off to remove the front panel. Finally did get it off, and the splined setscrews of all the rest came loose relatively easily.

Interestingly, the underchassis was almost perfect, with not a sign of corrosion anywhere.

Yes, you need to remove the front panel. Once I found my frozen knob setscrew, I tried cleaning off the top of my chassis without removing the knob and panel but the dial glass turned out to be filthy on the inside, plus being loose, and you could not see the meter scale at all through the glass. So I decided my panel had to come off. It'll give you excellent access to the front of the chassis, which you don't have, right now.

SteveH


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
Thanks for the responses and yes I have decided the panel definitely has to come off.. I have the manual and it doesn't appear to be too tough.

I've read a lot about the HQ 180 over the last few days and I have a couple of concerns before I get too far into it. One of the things I'm concerned about is T1. There are obvious signs of this set having been exposed to moisture. It seems T1 is prone to failure in this situation. Worse than that a replacement is not likely to be found and some owners consider this to be a deal breaker if it is turns out to be bad.
I have had the set running for a couple of hours and got what I would call normal sensitivity on the Broadcast Band and was also able to receive WWV but nothing on the top two bands. There was a fair bit of noise when listening. There was little or no S meter movement but messing with the AVC switch does cause the S meter to show intermittent signal. The power transformer was barely warm after 2 hours but there was some hum. I have cleaned all the tube pins and sockets.

My question at this point would be if there are some suggestions about some basic checks I could make to see where I'm at before I decide whether to proceed.

This receiver is more complex than what I normally work on but I did manage to get through my NC183D after some struggles. I'm more than willing to have a go at this if I can check a few things first to try and avoid working on something that is a lost cause. If I get that far I'm not worried about alignment, I can get help with that. I don't have a scope.

best regards,
Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 22185
Location: Somers, CT
There are always parts mules out there. That chassis is amazing clean considering the condition of the front panel! Was it stored in a barn or very damp cellar? Since the decals are available repainting the front panel is a definite option!! Please start a thread on how the restoration progresses.

If you are worried about moisture, you could pull the rectifier and let the radio run for several days (FUSED!) to drive out any moisture. I'd let it sit in a dry area for a few weeks first....

There are ways to get the DC off of that transformer using a shunt feed via a 5 mH or so RF choke with a .01 coupling cap to the transformer primary. Similar to what Collins did in the 75A4 to get DC off of the expensive and fragile mechanical filters.

Peter

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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
Hi Pete,
It had been sitting in my shop for a couple of months before I fired it up so I think it is dry now. I don't know about previous storage but it appears lots of moisture got to it at one time. I'm good with redoing the front panel and running down problems. It may take time but that's ok. What I'm trying to avoid is finding something that makes it impractical to repair. I have a specific concern about T1 after reading several accounts where T1 was referred to by different people as "unobtainium" and failure prone.

best regards,
Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
I'm encouraged by how things look underneath. Couple of minor hacks but not bad.
I'm going to stop apologizing for the photos. I blame it on my phone and cramped quarters. :D

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 21, 2014 6:37 am
Posts: 2351
Location: Portland, TN, USA
If it’s any consolation, Sandy, I got a 180A “for free” from a fellow in central Florida that had obviously been stored in a damp place (which in Florida is anywhere not climate-controlled). Though the face is not as bad as your 180, it is pretty rough and would need a complete stripping, repainting, and new decals to be classed as anything but “homely” (that’s just a step or two above “ugly” :D ) The case is so badly rusted I haven’t ever put it back on.

However, I found the 180A easy to work on during electronic restoration with mainly only electrolytics needling to be replaced, most others being ceramics. Alignment, though not trivial, went well.

Next to my Drake TR-4, this old 180A is my favorite to operate, having about every feature an old man needs.

Homely, ugly, or not, I think they’re worth saving!

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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 12:23 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 10, 2020 5:11 am
Posts: 445
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
Also for consolation: I picked up another HQ-129X along with a HQ-110C from an audio guy up in Big Bear Lake (here in SoCal). When I got there, they were both sitting outside his double-wide converted mobile home on the porch. Before he picked them up to show them to me, he swept away a pile of leaves, twigs and other yard/tree debris that was just about covering both radios. He'd only lifted the lid on the -129 to salvage the tubes for, he thought, his "audio junque"; thus, some debris had also fallen inside the -129. (He did relent and gave me the metal tubes, though.) When I got them both home, I looked over the -110C first, as it was lighter and I was tired. The clock is a goner, rusted completely up. The tuning cap wouldn't rotate due to corrosion. All the screws came out nicely, and I pulled out the chassis. The underchassis was sparkling clean.

The -129X went onto the bench the next morning. First impressions were correct: it (and the -110C, I suspect) had apparently sat outside through at least one, maybe more, winters before he finally decided he wanted to be able to sit at his porch table once again (under which the two had been sitting) and got rid of the two. At first, though, that didn't really register with me... the fact the transformer may have been covered with melting snow and/or ice, etc. I finished recapping it then installed a new line cord on it and fired it up. Wonder of wonders, it worked fine, even picked up WWV on 15 Mc. I tuned it to 10m and after awhile, found the two local 10m CW beacons; they sounded nominal strength. So it seemed the -129 had not really suffered severely even stowed outside in ice and snow over a winter or two. The -110C also turned on but I'll probably have to remove the tuning cap to really get it working again nicely. And the clock, of course, is completely kaput.

So a wet winter doesn't necessarily spell doom for these boatanchors, surprisingly.

SteveH


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 12:31 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
Posts: 3567
Location: Fenton, MI 48430
SteveH wrote:
Also for consolation: I picked up another HQ-129X along with a HQ-110C from an audio guy up in Big Bear Lake (here in SoCal). When I got there, they were both sitting outside his double-wide converted mobile home on the porch. Before he picked them up to show them to me, he swept away a pile of leaves, twigs and other yard/tree debris that was just about covering both radios. He'd only lifted the lid on the -129 to salvage the tubes for, he thought, his "audio junque"; thus, some debris had also fallen inside the -129. (He did relent and gave me the metal tubes, though.) When I got them both home, I looked over the -110C first, as it was lighter and I was tired. The clock is a goner, rusted completely up. The tuning cap wouldn't rotate due to corrosion. All the screws came out nicely, and I pulled out the chassis. The underchassis was sparkling clean.

The -129X went onto the bench the next morning. First impressions were correct: it (and the -110C, I suspect) had apparently sat outside through at least one, maybe more, winters before he finally decided he wanted to be able to sit at his porch table once again (under which the two had been sitting) and got rid of the two. At first, though, that didn't really register with me... the fact the transformer may have been covered with melting snow and/or ice, etc. I finished recapping it then installed a new line cord on it and fired it up. Wonder of wonders, it worked fine, even picked up WWV on 15 Mc. I tuned it to 10m and after awhile, found the two local 10m CW beacons; they sounded nominal strength. So it seemed the -129 had not really suffered severely even stowed outside in ice and snow over a winter or two. The -110C also turned on but I'll probably have to remove the tuning cap to really get it working again nicely. And the clock, of course, is completely kaput.

So a wet winter doesn't necessarily spell doom for these boatanchors, surprisingly.

SteveH

You got more 'guts' than I.

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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 1:16 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
Cleaned the band switch. Lots of activity on the broadcast band. Still nothing on the top 2 bands. Lots of whistles and noise on the other SW bands.

best regards,
Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 2:50 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 1965
The local oscillator may not be oscillating on the highest frequency bands. A common problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Acquired ugly HQ 180
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 4:03 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2977
Location: N. Vancouver B.C. Canada
I'm thinking I may need to buy a bunch of 6C4 tubes. I did switch it out but I can only find 1 in my tube stash.
I can't decide whether to buy a new can capacitor or replace with individual caps. I'm going to try and make things reasonable electrically before I remove the front panel.

Thanks for the comments,

Sandy


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