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 Post subject: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 12, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Toledo, Ohio
I have a Hammarlund SP-600 JX. I have sat on it for over 20 years. It does power on, but needs a full restoration. It also has a couple of broken RF section fingers. I have reached the point of restore it, sell it or part it out.. Cosmetically the unit looks great and I am only missing the bottom shield for the turret access. I have two grade school age kids so spare time for old radios or ham radios is at a premium. Considering selling it and buying a used modern HF rig from a friend for the ham shack. Not 100% sure what I want to do. Thoughts?


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 04, 2010 5:49 am
Posts: 578
Location: Albany, NY
Would this HF transceiver would be your only transceiver in your radio room? Do you feel that you derive more enjoyment from talking to people on the radio or listening to broadcasting on older equipment?

If the former then perhaps that modern transceiver might be the way to go.

If it's the latter then perhaps selling this SP-600 and purchasing a receiver that has already been restored or needs very light restoration work might be a better idea. I have often found, however, that even when purchasing radios that have been "restored" that I always need to do something in order to bring them up to good standard in terms of wiring and implementation of the restoration efforts. So, make sure if you are looking at a restored radio to ask for many different photos especially those showing the underside. It's no fun having to redo someone's subpar soldering or lead dress work.

If you do wish to restore something then maybe something a bit simpler might be more manageable? Perhaps a smaller Hallicrafters, Heathkit or go really back to basics with something like a Knight Star Roamer?


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 12, 2009 6:26 pm
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Location: Toledo, Ohio
This would be a significant down size and modern multi-band TX/RX. Worked so hard to get my General yet I am not on any of the HF bands. I also have several broadcast radios from the 40's waiting restoration too.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 04, 2010 5:49 am
Posts: 578
Location: Albany, NY
It sounds like the transceiver might way to go as it may add an additional dimension to the radio hobby for you. It can also serve as a nice break from restoring radios as you will have something that will require a minimum amount of fuss to get running. You'll be able to jump right into making contacts with people.

Also, congratulations on achieving your general class license!


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Warminster, PA
Steve.Pietras wrote:
This would be a significant down size and modern multi-band TX/RX. Worked so hard to get my General yet I am not on any of the HF bands. I also have several broadcast radios from the 40's waiting restoration too.

Steve


Sell the SP-600 and go for the HF xcvr. A couple reasons make this an easy decision (for me at least - not being in your shoes.... :D ). One- maybe sometime down the line your kids will become interested in ham radio. It's a lot different seeing Dad make a contact with a station overseas then it is to just listen to a station overseas. Two - when you are ready again there will still be SP-600's (and others) in various conditions available to buy.

I trimmed my hobbies when my kids came along. Sold the racecar and some radios. My philosophy was that as long as the kids were awake that was their time with me. Once they went to bed I could have my play time. As they progressed toward the teenage years and became more independent my free time increased and I started back into radios and cars as time allowed.

Now that they are grown and out of college I have lots of time to play. My radio and car collection has grown again......

Tom
W3TA


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
I hear ya with the kids and all. I have 4 of my own from 10 to 22, plus a business and a wife now working full time which now requires me helping out more around the house. It is tough to find time these days for projects. My SP-600 sat for a dozen years and I recently sold it. If I want another one in the future, they are out there and I can probably get one that was in better condition.


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 10:40 pm 
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Location: 08033 Cherry Hill Jersey
Quote:
If I want another one in the future, they are out there and I can probably get one that was in better condition.

+1

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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 1:24 am 
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Joined: Jul Sun 12, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Thanks guys,

Lots of good points here. I never thought of having them in the shack to see contacts being made. This could be a good way to build educational interest in technology VS just "wrenching" on stuff that won't transmit.

My oldest saw me turn a pen on a lathe and now she's turning Pens and bottle stoppers so I think your on to something.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 2:27 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 1453
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Just last night I completed the restoration of an SP-600, JX (no
suffix). I've restored a few of these in the past but had forgotten
how challenging they are. But its done and very happy with the
results.

If you've got the time and patience my suggestion would be to
restore it. Selling yours with the problems you mentioned may
mean you won't get much for it.

There are many excellent older ham transceivers on the market now
for very reasonable prices. The Kenwood and Yaesu hybrids as
well as the Heathkit HW and SB series radios come to mind. Use those on the ham bands
but keep the SP-600 as a general coverage receiver. These are excellent
receivers in all respects and worth the effort IMO.

My $.02 anyway.
Steve W6SSP

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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 13, 2019 12:07 am 
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Joined: Oct Thu 20, 2016 3:54 am
Posts: 285
Location: Missoula mt
ANY MODERN RECEIVER WILL OUT PREFORM THE SP 600, I know I am a sob now but it is true, find a r5000, or a Icom 300 to 500 buck cost range. I like the sp 600 better than a r 390 but in 2 of my 3 ham shacks they are no sp 600, or r390 no room, but there are r5000 and Icoms. only the big shack outside has room for the boat anchors....WA7OPY


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 13, 2019 1:04 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5463
Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
wa7opy wrote:
ANY MODERN RECEIVER WILL OUT PREFORM THE SP 600,

No arguments here.

My little early 2000's Grundig portable beats most tube radios I have. Just like the muscle cars of the 1960's are easily beaten, rather blown away, by modern muscle cars. The technology that goes into modern stuff was only a dream decades ago.

But we don't restore these vintage radios to get the very best performance that is possible in this modern era, rather we do it for reasonably good performance, nostalgia and the love of what it took to make these at the time.

There is something about a vintage tube radio that warms the soul.


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 Post subject: Re: Restore or Sell SP-600
PostPosted: May Mon 13, 2019 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 04, 2008 3:20 am
Posts: 1071
Location: Coopersville, MI 49404-9643
I have restored several SP-600's for other people, including the 2 of the famous (infamous) JX-28's. Can you say PITA?? I found them to be a mediocre performance radio. If given the choice, I'd take an HQ-180A over an SP-600 any day. Internal noise floor is way too noisy for me. Add to that the sensitivity (or lack of), i.e. 1 microvolt needed for an S-9 signal, and it becomes an anchor when trying to use it to talk to somebody, or even weak signal SW. In my book, it's basically deaf. The 180/A has the same sensitivity specs as a Collins 75S3B and a noise floor that is almost the same. It also doubles as a shortwave radio and a broadcast band receiver that is without equal. The only complaint that one might have is the audio passband. That has a fix.

The only thing about an SP-600 that cool is being able to grab the main tuning dial and give it a GOOD spin and go from one end of the band to the other. When it hits the tuning stop, the friction drive just slips and no damage is done. Its heft will probably keep it from moving in a earthquake too! :-)

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