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S - 22 R Skyrider Marine

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überarbeitet am 31.12.2010

The Skyrider Marine S-22 R is a AC/DC powered single conversion receiver which appeared in 1940, it's circuitry is based on the S-22, the lower edge of the longwave range is found at 110 kHz.
The S-22 R is technically a standard communications receiver as found in the early fourties, one peculiarity is that it is AC/DC powered, the external appearence with the steering wheel knob and the art deco molding remembers of the radio's "big brother", the double conversion superhet SX-28.

Single conversion, i.f. 1600 kHz

Analog dial

AM, CW with BFO

RF gain, Bandspread tuning, Tone control

The S - 22 R Skyrider Marine is quite similar to the older Sky Champion S - 20 (this one still came with the round metal dial typical for classic Hallicrafters receivers) and the Sky Champion S - 20 R, which already has a more modern dial with the round transparent dial rotating behind a dial window. In contrast to these receivers, the Skyrider Marine covers the longwave band from 110 - 410 kHz, in the USA this is not used for broadcasting bur for navigation beacons. The intermediate frequency of the S - 22 R is 1600 kHz and so much higher then the standard i.f. of 455 kHz as found with the Sky Champion, the shortwave range 15 - 44 MHz is lacking on the Skyrider Marine.

The AC/DC Skyrider Marine can be powered from 110 - 125 Volt mains, there has been a special export variant for Europe with a resistance line cord which could be directly conected to 220 V mains. Before you consider connecting the receiver to a mains outlet, make sure the specified operation voltage which is usually 110 V for U.S. gear. In case You manage to find a export model for Europe with it's dropping resistor line cord, do not replace this with a standard mains cord and connect to 220 Volts! In any case, AC/DC receivers should be powered from a variable isolation transformer!

The receiver comes in a rugged metal case with a hinged lid giving you access to the chassis to exchange the valves, it's dimensions are 47 x 21,5 x 28 cm and it's weight 14,1 kg.

On the left side of the front panel, you find the rotating backlit main frequency dial, in contrast to the metal disc dials on older Hallicrafters models, only a part of the dial is visible behind the dial window. Just below, you find the R.F. gain control, the bandswitch in the middle and the A.F. gain / volume control at the right.
Below the typical Hallicrafters "steering wheel" tuning knob which is mechanically coupled to the fine tuning and main frequency dials, you find the switches for AVC (which activates automatic gain control) and the BFO used for single sideband and CW reception.
At the right, below the speaker grille with the Hallicrafters "h" logo, you find the tone control coupled with the mains switch, the BFO pitch control and at the right the Send / Receive switch and the headphones jack.

When You have managed to apply the correct power to the receiver, it's operation scheme is straightforward: Use the tone control below the speaker to turn the radio on (yes - that's typical Hallicrafters), turn the R.F. gain to the maximum setting clockwise and the A.F. gain somewhere in a middle position and select the band 4 (band 1: 110-410 kHz / band 2: 400-1500 kHz / band 3: 1,7 - 5,9 MHz and band 4: 5,3 - 18 MHz) to look for stations broadcasting in the 49 m shortwave broadcast band. The AVC should be activated (switch to the left) and the BFO should be turned off, make sure, the SEND/RECEIVE switch is in the RECEIVE position. You can try to catch some morse code transmissions in the 40 m ham band above 7 MHz with the BFO turned on, sometimes, You get better results in copying CW or single sideband signals with manual R.F. gain control.

The Skyrider Marine is a nice looking collectors item which fits in your collection of Hallicrafters radio, in the U.S. it is said not to be very rare, in Europe, it cannot be found often.
If You can cope with the power supply (use a variable isolation transformer as the Skyrider Marine is a AC/DC radio mad keep in mind, most S - 22R are wired for operation on 110 Volts as found in the U.S.), You can use the radio for some long- and mediumwave Dxing, the dial markings on the shortwave band dials are too coarse to find a station on a known frequency.

© Martin Boesch, 31.12.2010