Tag Archives: Hammarlund SP-600

Dan spots a Hammarlund SP-600 in “The Shape of Water”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Did anyone ever notice this [in The Shape of Water]?

I have not seen the film yet, but how could we miss that classic Cold War rig?! Very cool–thanks for sharing, Dan!

I’ll add this post to our archive of radios in film.

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“The Shape of Water” features a benchmark Cold War receiver

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins, who writes:

The Academy Award for Best Picture of 2018 goes to Guillermo de Toro’s “The Shape of Water.

This celebrated shortwave radio appears several times in the move as a prop for the Cold War-era control room of Richard Strickland (played by Michael Shannon).

Oh what a celebrated shortwave radio indeed! How could it be a Cold War without this benchmark boat anchor?!? Thanks for this fantastic addition to to our growing archive of radios in film, Dan!

Post readers: Anyone recognize or–better yet–own this amazing machine? Please comment!

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Dan sheds light on various Hammarlund SP-600 models

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Daniel Hawkins, who leaves the following comment in reply to our previous post about the Northern Radio SP-600 and discussion about diversity operation. Dan writes:

Diversity operation: two or more receivers and antennas used to copy CW or RTTY from one or more transmitters.

Most of the Hammarlund SP-600s were models built for diversity use including the well-known JX-17, the most common SP-600. Diversity models can be used as single receivers. In this eBay example Northern Radio has modified a SP-600 J-11 for diversity use.

SP-600 nomenclature: J means joint army/navy (JAN) mil-spec components. L means low frequency. X means crystal frequency control in addition to VFO. My SP-600 is a JX-21, which is not a diversity model. Higher model numbers do not necessarily mean later production dates. All SP-600s use the same serial number sequence regardless of model. Somewhere between serial numbers 15,000 and 17,000 (mid 1950’s) Hammarlund stopped using molded black beauty capacitors and switched to installing ceramic capacitors.

The two-digit model numbers indicate model types. JX-1, 7, 10 and 21 were similar non-diversity receivers. SP-600s built for military contracts will have an additional tag showing the military model number(s).

Here is a great page showing Northern Radio modified SP-600s in action with accompanying Northern Radio RTTY gear.

http://www.navy-radio.com/rcvrs/frr28.htm

Thanks for the primer, Dan! I believe I have one of the X models with crystal control, but I’ll need to verify once back home. Any other SP-600 owners out there in the Post readership?

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Exceedingly rare Northern Radio modified SP-600

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

Those of us who still use SP-600s, and those of us who once did but can’t deal with them in retirement, lust after some of the rarer versions of the radio. This is one of them, the Northern Radio modified SP-600.

Click here to view on eBay.

Wow! Many thanks for the tip, Dan!

I must say that when Dan finds these rare treasures on eBay, they usually carry a very hefty price.  In my opinion, this is a good deal for a rare SP-600. Best of all, it has a BuyItNow price, so first-come, first serve and no bidding up the amount.  The shipping price is a bargain considering this radio probably weights upwards of 80 lbs.

This SP-600 may need some electrical restoration and possible re-capping. It’s listed as: “For parts or not working.” If you’ve been looking for an SP-600 to restore, this might be worth consideration. Thanks again, Dan.

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Video: Dan listens to RNZI’s Sunday Night with Grant Walker on a Hammarlund SP-600

DanH-SP-600

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Daniel Hawkins, who writes:

One of my favorite Radio New Zealand International programs is Sunday Night with Grant Walker. This program is heard on RNZ in New Zealand from 8:06-10:00 p.m. and is run at the same time on RNZI. Sunday Night features hit oldies and one interview. Each program highlights oldies from one year. Last Sunday was 1977 and the week before was 1955. My video from last Sunday includes a favorite that I haven’t heard for many years.

The RNZI broadcast of Sunday Night is 0806-1000 UTC Sunday on 9700 kHz. That’s 1:06-3:00 a.m. Sunday, PDT. Definitely a show for night owls. West Coast reception is nearly spectacular for the distance: 6,600 miles from my location in Davis, CA, USA. The radio used for the video is a Hammarlund SP-600 JX-21, built in 1956 or 1957. Yes, the tuning dial is a little off on this band. I’m using the 8 kHz selectivity setting with fully advanced AVC. The antenna is a 106’ outdoor random wire. The speaker is antique as well: a 10” Jensen PM-10C with matching transformer connected to the 600 ohm audio output on the SP-600.

DanH

Click here to view on YouTube.

Wow! Thank you for the program recommendation, Dan!  I, too, have an SP-600–there are few valve receivers that can rival it for both audio fidelity and sensitivity. What a beauty of a rig you have there!

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