Hallicrafters T-54

Al Dolgosh al.dolgosh at HAMRADIO.ORG
Fri Dec 4 20:12:46 EST 1998

I hope the subject got your attention.  I just acquired a Hallicrafters
T-54 television set (circa 1947) and am about to embark on restoring
it.  It is a 7-inch TV set and only the second T-54 I have ever seen,
with push-button channel selections from channel 1 (yes, there was a
channel 1) thru channel 13.  I saw the other one in 1957, and it was
then just an interesting oddity to a new ham like me!

What makes this really rare is that the T-54 was the one they packaged
in the hinged lid HT-32 type tabletop cabinet.  The cabinet and chassis
are in great shape.  I already know where to get the materials to
restore the cabinet, but I could use a little help in two areas.

First, I need to replace a lot of capacitors - starting with the
electrolytics.  Then, there are a lot of paper/wax capacitors that
probably should go.  Other than the gold-plated places like Surplus
Sales, where is a good place to find reasonably-priced axial lead
electrolytics (it has no can capacitors, making restoration look more
original)?  Also, ditto on the tubular paper caps - what is the
recommended replacement type?  This is my first restoration project of
something that old, so my source knowledge is a little limited.

I also need to replace two knobs that were unique to this TV set.
Luckily, there are others that are the same as the missing ones, so I
may be able to make molds and cast the replacements.

By the way, this set is the transformerless design that was popular in
the early days of television.  That means one side of the AC line goes
to chassis ground!  I may get an isolation transformer before I spend
much time with it powered up.  That's also why there are so many axial
lead electrolytics - with all the voltage doubler, tripler and
quadrupler circuits in it.

I hope to have a real collectors item when I am through - looking as if
it just came out of the Hallicrafters box.

Any thoughts from the wealth of experience will be appreciated.


Al - K8EUR

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