Update: Hallicrafters Tear-down, Ownership History


The 1940 Hallicrafters radio restoration project has barely started and it’s already been quite interesting. First, I’ve learned that my Uncle Walt only received this radio in 1975. The radio originally belonged to Nelmar W. Zellmer, Carol’s father-in-law. Therefore, it was likely that Mr. Zellmer, not my Uncle Walt, made the modifications to the radio. Mr. Zellmer was an interesting person and a short-wave radio hobbyist.

Speaking of modifications, I’ve learned that the toggle switch at the upper right of the radio was added. It appeared to be wired to simply switch off the speaker. That, combined with the slight rust in a few spots and the numerous scratches that are now apparent on the front of the unit, have caused me to switch plans and repaint the unit. I’ve ordered a reproduction set of lettering for this exact unit, and will sand, prime and repaint the unit in the original color. The hole that was drilled in the case for the non-original toggle switch will be filled with a steel-based epoxy to return the case to it’s original appearance.

There are roughly 50 small electronic components that will need to be replaced, including all electrolytic and paper capacitors. Some wiring will be corrected and replaced with period-correct cloth-insulated solid wire. I’ve noticed tiny hand-written paper tags on many of the wires, presumably from Mr. Zellmer. That adds a bit of charm and is a direct link back to the original owner, so I will retain those tags.

The chassis was quite dusty, so I removed as much dust as I could using compressed air. I’ll clean the chassis with a small brush, which will be tedious work. I’d like to avoid touching the dial cords and pulleys as much as possible.

I’ll begin ordering parts this weekend.