Colin’s Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

Hammarlund-HQ120X

Many thanks to Colin Snow for sharing the following photos and commenting on his Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration. I originally noticed his photos in the Extreme Shortwave Listening group on Facebook and he kindly wrote up descriptions for each image to be published here on the SWLing Post:


Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

by Colin Snow

Hammarlund HQ-120X

Purchased on eBay March, 2016. Hammarlund HQ-120X (1939 restored) and PSC/10 speaker (1939 original). The radio was frist restored by KE7RD, the collector who owned this unit for years. This was a late production version. It has 6K7’s instead of 6S7’s (good). The O/P TRANS has been replaced and an SO-239 added. It was recapped and aligned both IF + RF and works well on all bands.”

Hammarlund-HQ120X-2

I had the cabinet repainted locally at NRI Sandblasting and Coating with a black semi-gloss crinkle powder coat paint. I cleaned the chrome part of the handles with Quick Glo and stripped and painted the two shoulders with black gloss enamel.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-3

I had the speaker enclosure stripped and painted at the same time as the cabinet with the same black semi-gloss crinkle powder coat.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-5

The original 1939 speaker was a 10″ Jensen. It worked, but I wanted the best possible sound. This current production model Jensen fit exactly.

HAmmarlund-HQ120X 6

White lines for the knobs were done using white out. The lines are grooved so I just gobbed it on and wiped off the excess.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-Faceplate

I had the faceplate rescreened by Adam’s Precision Screen Printing, Inc. San Leandro, CA. They created a film positive first, then a negative screen.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-9

It was a perfect job. The color and sheen matched original. This should last longer because it is an epoxy ink that has been baked to harden.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-knobs

The lettering came out clean. Even though they made a 1.5X negative they still had to create artwork for the fonts. The original letters were just etched into to aluminum. It looked like it was done by hand.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-8

Funny how words change. We now say “megahertz”, not “megacycles.”

Hammarlund-HQ-120X-DialLight

I refurbished the dial windows myself. They were easy to strip and I used a flat black enamel spray. The S-meter glass was dirty so I disassembled it and cleaned with Quick Glo.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-10

Still works after all that!

Hammarlund-HQ120X-12

Its final resting place is my office and looks pretty good next to an original Tiffany’s lamp. I have a second listening post.


Colin, I can see that you spared no expense to restore this Hammarlund HQ-120X and it has paid off–an absolutely gorgeous job! I love how its “final resting place” is in a part of your office that gives it an appropriate amount of space–a place to be admired and, more importantly, enjoyed.  I bet the 120 sounds simply amazing!

Thanks again for sharing these photos and your commentary, Colin!

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5 thoughts on “Colin’s Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

  1. DanH

    What an excellent job of restoration! I also have a special place in my heart for these radios. I own two Hammarlund RBG CHC-46140 sets, the WWII military version of the HQ-140. One is a parts radio. The front panels of the RBGs have raised lettering, opposite from what is found on the earlier SP-200s and later SP-600s. The RBG S-meters are the same as found on the SP-200 series. Although single conversion only, the 140/RBGs are excellent performing radios with very good sound for voice and music.

    I still have an original 10-inch Jensen speaker from the 1940-s or 50’s. These permanent magnet speakers were introduced in 1937 but were available for many years after WWII. The model is Jensen PM-10C. There are different Jensen stock numbers for PM-10C speakers. These reflect the choice of matching transformer included with the speaker. Thus, my Jensen speaker is a PMC-10C with the adjustable “Y” transformer and has the stock number ST-246Y. I have it set for 500 ohms impedance. The PM-10C was also included with some Hallicrafters radios.

    Reply
  2. Walt

    I’ve seen some really impressive restorations of the venerable Collins R-390A. The result is a silky-smooth tuning and gorgeous front panels. It’s fabulous to see what started as a rust-pile turn into a thing of beauty!

    Reply
  3. Edward

    Some good ideas for restoration. I have a HQ-140x I picked up at curbside rubbish collection a few years ago. Just a workhorse and a precision piece of equipment that works for a living. Not ready to retire it but lot of tips and pointers.

    Reply

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