Hallicrafters Skyrider SX23


  This pre-war american set harks back to 1938 and this example has a particularly flashy finish looking like a Cadillac dashboard.

In many ways, Hallicrafters and Eddystone are similar manufacturers, providing sets based on a standard tried and trusted mechanical design. The US company used a circular dial which I don't like as much as the open Eddystone linear display, and in this example, where the majority of the dial is hidden from view, one needs to be familiar with the frequency ranges in order to choose the correct wavelength range.


 Comparing my example of the SX23 with others, I can see that the original "steering wheel" tuning knob has been swapped. Also the dial is missing its backing glass so there's no pointer for tuning. Hopefully this can be easily remedied by inserting a shaped piece of transparent plastic in the dial escutcheon. Unfortunately the front panel does not seem to be engraved and the markings are just painted, consequently these are now worn. There are good points: for example the original internal pantwork is in excellent condition and a bonus is the mains transformer is wound for UK mains (which you'll note below cost an extra $5, although the meaning of "universal" seems to differ from it's UK meaning).


 Above the dial missing its glass and below fitted with plastic sections. I used a packing piece from a drum of CDs as this type of plastic cuts easily without shattering. I marked the position of the centre line scored it and filled it with black ink. You can see someone has had to resolder the lugs, presumably these were pulled off at the time the old glass was broken? Comparing my escutcheon with those on other examples, it looks like the original paint has been removed, and only the horizontal fluting and model name were in a bright finish? Maybe the high temperature need for resoldering the broken lugs burnt the old paint?



 The receiver fitted with the repaired escutcheon. The knobs for wavechange and mode are distorted and gain a cloudy coating and remain to be treated to restore a decent finish. The right hand part of the dial escutcheon has an illuminated waveband indicator, and on the left an S-meter which uses an ordinary circular meter. Below is an example in original condition


 Above you can see the chassis is in excellent condition marred only by rust on the various screw heads.

If you look at the various wavebands you'll see that the SX23 is slightly odd. There are standard wavebands (continuous tuning from 550Kc/s medium wave through three short up to 34Mc/s) plus a set of four amateur bands, 10, 20, 40 and 80m (15m is missing from this pre-war receiver because this was only released to amateurs after WW2).. The latter four bands share the top scale on the dial which provides about 15 inches of dial markings covering 1MHz which is about 60KHz per inch. 160m (top band) is covered but not bandspread. I imagine that alignment will be tricky. You'll also perhaps have noted that the dial reads the opposite way round to most receivers in that the frequency goes down as both the knob and dial turn clockwise.


 The rear cover and under-chassis cover are in one piece and here's the view after it detaching it; then after lifting off the centre cover you can see the coilpack from the front then the side. The coil-pack design must have been a trifle tricky and alignment certainly not for the faint-hearted.



  Not as heavy as the AR88 from the same era but, at 56 pounds, the SX23 would make a respectable boat anchor.

Click to see SX23 Technical Data 

Return to Communications Receivers