Hallicrafters SW-500 General Communications Receiver
  • Power:105-125 volts - 50/60Hz
  • Wavebands: tuneable from 540KHz to 31MHz across 4 switched bands
    • 0.540 - 1.65MHz
    • 1.7 - 5.1MHz
    • 5.0 - 14.5MHz
    • 13.0 - 31.0MHz
  • Sensitivity: not known
  • Valve lineup: 4 total
    • 12BE6 (converter);
    • 12BA6 (IF Amplifier);
    • 12AV5 (AF amp and AVC);
    • 50C5 (AF output);
    • solid-state selenium rectifier
  • Released 1961
  • Original price: c.$60

A strange nomenclature for a cosmetic variant of the all-popular S-120! The S-38 series ran it's course by 1961 and the S-120 replaced it. The SW-500 is identical to the S-120 apart from the case colour scheme (go figure!)

Last updated 17th March 2002

Return to The Boatanchor Collection

This is a variant of the S-120 and cannot be considered a worthy successor to the venerable S-38 family. Bill Halligan's attention must have been elsewhere the day he approved this design. The build quality of the S-120 is nowhere near as good as the S-38E. The cabinet is lightweight, the knobs are press-on, the chassis is thin. I understand these sets were competetively priced as entry-level units but the sad fact is, it shows.

However, the set features a built in speaker (although very small) as well as headphone sockets, variable BFO, internal ferrite rod and external whip antennae. Also featured are the ubiquitous (for this era) 'CD' tuning marks at 640KHz and 1240KHz to show where the listener should tune for 'official civil defense news, instructions and information' as the manual puts it. Although, by this time, American invincibility and self-confidence should have put paid to such doom-laden sentiment.