THE TV ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR! – hallicrafters dynamic tuner (Oct, 1950)


hallicrafters dynamic tuner

…with the “Precision PRINTED CIRCUIT”

It’s HERE… NOW… ready to bring you the Finest Television in History! A $2,000,000 development!

A PICTURE So Sharp! So Wonderful!…

… so fine in photographic detail, you’ll want it in your home immediately!—right away… you just won’t be able to wait. Hallicrafters, alone, gives you unsurpassed clarity—television’s CLEAREST picture!

FULL STRENGTH on Every Channel!

each channel circuit is “printed” with precision photographic accuracy, and therefore delivers the maximum signal to the picture tube. Channels once considered “weak” or in some instances impossible to get now come in strong and clear!


the dramatic efficiency of the DYNAMIC TUNER brings a new thrill to those who live in fringe areas. If you thought television reception was not possible because of your location, you especially must see Hallicrafters spectacular performance! The DYNAMIC TUNER is a revolutionary achievement.



FIRST with Built-in Electronic Antennas…
FIRST with the remarkable Rectangular Tube…and now
FIRST with the amazing DYNAMIC TUNER!

hallicrafters FIRST in Precision TV!

  1. GaryM says: June 27, 20118:41 am

    Printed circuits are certainly more economical and less error-prone than wired circuits, but this is the first time I’ve seen it claimed their performance is superior.

  2. Andrew L. Ayers says: June 27, 201111:19 am

    @GaryM: I would think that a PCB would be superior in performance to that of a point-to-point soldered wire circuit in the case of a tuner, in that issues like crosstalk and other interference would be lessened. Then again, with proper routing of wires and such, those issues should be minimal even in a soldered wire system. Now, in a system where the chassis would be prone to vibration – wire-wrapped connections are far superior to any soldered connection (but I don’t know of any commercial consumer electronics of the era which were wire-wrapped).

  3. Charlene says: June 27, 201112:15 pm

    Mahogany and blonde oak were popular furniture woods throughout the 50s.

  4. Charlie says: June 27, 20112:43 pm

    I would think that in a situation like this where the circuits were used for tuning, the advantage of a PCB wouldn’t be quality so much as consistency. The elements and traces are all in the same place every time.

  5. Hirudinea says: June 27, 20119:20 pm

    @ Charlene – I liked TVs built as furniture.

  6. carlm says: June 27, 201111:15 pm

    The old rotary tuners were very prone to wear and dirt. Each section in the turret was tuned to a different frequency and was put into the tuner circuit for each channel. It was common for the wires to shift and change reactance values. The printed wiring was more stable. In the 70’s varactor (Diode) tuning started to take over. Remember the thumb wheels you had to set for each channel? The 80’s brought in Phase Locked Loop tuning which was controlled digitally. I have a 1976 RCA console that still works pretty well. I like the old furniture consoles too.

  7. PoppyJoe says: June 28, 20116:26 pm

    Being a bit older, I seem to remember that many TV sets in the late 40’s (just prior to this ad) had continuous tuning in the same manner as radios. In fact, the dial of my old 1948 DuMont was a spiral that went from channel 1 to channel 13, and covered not only TV but the FM band.

    The old continuous tuners were difficult to tune, and were very prone to drifting.

    The “turret” tuner show here represented a BIG advancement at the time, since it let you shift from channel to channel without the imprecise manual tuning.

  8. carlm says: June 29, 201112:37 am

    Poppy- Yeah I saw a few of those original sets. All those late 40’s sets were twitchy. 12″ was BIG SCREEN. The FM band was in the middle of the assigned TV bandwidth so that’s why it was there. As you mentioned, tuning was continuous. It took a few years to kill the radio tuner paradigm. I’m not sure if channel one was ever actually used in commercial TV broadcasting. The government reassigned that frequency band not long after the war.

  9. PoppyJoe says: June 29, 20119:24 am

    Thanks for your comment carlm.

    There is a wonderful discussion of the TV frequency allocation history at…

    which discusses the channel 1, channels 14-19 and the two FM broadcast bands.

    Google is your friend!

  10. Andrew L. Ayers says: June 29, 20113:01 pm

    Hmm – I’m just noticing something about the illustration of the tuner: Notice how along the length of each “row” on the tuner (likely corresponding to a “channel”) there’s a number of elements, but the PCB traces are each different from channel to channel (but the connection points remain the same)? I’m don’t know much about the technology of the time, but these differences suggest to me that the length and style/positioning of the PCB trace, from channel to channel, is changing because the traces themselves are being used as an inductor; changing the length and shape would act as a filter for tuning (combined with capacitors, likely, and other interconnecting components). Ok – this is all a guess, but it does make me want to research it further…

  11. Andrew L. Ayers says: June 29, 20113:03 pm

    Oh – I meant to add in my comment that it assumes that the illustration is accurate, and that the artist reproduced it according to the real device (whether from a photo, or an engineering plan, or the like) – and that it wasn’t just made up on the spot…

  12. PoppyJoe says: June 29, 20116:10 pm

    Each strip on the drum was a different tuned circuit, so each was indeed different. The strips were a maze of bare point-to-point wires, “printed circuits”, coils, capacitors and resistors. Since the different channels were spread over such a wide range of frequencies, the differences in the strips could be striking!

    Some of the turrets had all 13 channels, but some had room for 6 or so. You would specify which channels you wanted to watch when you bought the TV, and they would put the appropriate strips in. Since each geographic region had only a few channels, and there were no UHF stations at the time, this was a fairly workable approach.

  13. PoppyJoe says: June 29, 20116:48 pm

    Almost forgot (its been a while) – in each strip was a coil with a tunable “slug” core. You would use a plastic service tool to tune the slug to maximize the performance of the exact frequency you wanted, and touch it up again when as the components aged and the tuning started to drift.

    Of course if you weren’t careful the capacitance of your hand and body would throw the tuning off!

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