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 Post subject: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 03, 2017 2:33 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
Since Photobucket decided to change their rules my previous year-old thread has become useless since all of the images now show as blanks. So I figured, well that entire thread is now worthless. So That thread is going the way of the do-do and being replaced with this one.

For anyone who comes here and wonders that this might be its a sort of visual diary of the sets I restore for the radio museum I am a member of. Most of the sets you will see are very basic 5 tubes American sets. Many are very common. Many have had damage to their cases and so its a goal to get these back into good physical shape and then sell and raise proceeds for the museum.

So without further ado, here's the first in a line of the "new" diary.

1:
A very basic and common set, A typical late 60's GE AA5. Yes, we've seen a billion of these. One was donated some months ago and I brought it home because well, nobody would ever buy it as it was. It was cleaned, sanded and painted. Recapped, clock lubricated. Maybe the new color will help it sell a tad better.
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2: Also a common set, a GE clock radio. But after polishing it up the plastic looks pretty nice. These are as plain and basic as they come. 30 mins or less and its recapped and good to go.
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3: A very tiny green Emerson. Early PCB board with leads that are fragile. Someone had more recently replace the electrolyitcs but left everything else. So the remainder were replaced and its good to go.
Image

4: Nice little Arvin AA5. The bakelite was totally chalked up. So I gave it the same aquamarine paint job as the GE set. I sort of like this particular blue.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 03, 2017 3:15 am 
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Joined: Mar Sun 19, 2017 11:52 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Memphis, TN
Do you put a Bluetooth receiver in all these?

_________________
GE J-64 first restore underway. GE J-105 awaits.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 03, 2017 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
As far as bluetooth, probably on only 30% of the sets. I am finding that for many of the cheaper quality AA5's that the bluetooth device actually injects nasty interference into the audio. I haven't figured out a way to get it not to do this. But for sets with a transformer or one with better filtering from AC ( like some of the nicer 6-7 tube Zeniths ) the bluetooth works fine.

But for others that a line in is added this is what is done. Yes- these are mostly hot chassis sets. No, the chassis is NOT pure ground in most cases because ground usually goes through a cap. But standards back then were not at all to par with today's safety standards. The permissible level of leakage for a modern portable device like an iPhone is 750uA. For hospital grade equipment its 250uA. For these AA5 sets adding a .01uF cap that leakage level is down to 450uA. So the impedance is very low.

One .01uF cap goes to middle tap of the vol. control, the other to chassis floating ground, the other side of the pot. Then the 3rd leg of the vol pot for the RF section has a switch added in so that the radio section can be turned on and off as to not pollute to incoming signal. Sure- the sound is not as great when sticking these caps in but these sets are not exactly stellar sounding anyway.
Image

Also- you will need to make the incoming signal "true mono" and that means sticking right and left channels together, but you must use a resistor per channel to avoid possibly damaging the incoming device. A small microswitch is added to the rear for the switching off of the RF stage.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 04, 2017 12:27 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
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Location: alameda,CA
Today's project: A German "Metz" set. The quality of this set is a few steps below Grundig. Some of the materials are kind of cheap. The unfortunate thing was that the clutch mechanism which allows you to switch from AM to FM is made out of a sort of plastic that has degraded with age. AM works and so too FM but it will not engage FM. The part is totally un-obtanium and so the set will have to be sold without that function.

The whole thing was "cleverly" built using small PCB boards, meaning while this probably made it a lot easier to assemble its nearly impossible to replace things. As seen here this particular board was actually rivted to the chassis and there was little room to get under it. I snipped the leads of the old caps and carefully left enough of the old leads to the PCB board so the new caps could be attached.
Image

The set isn't a total loss. I added a bluetooth device and an input. Its got a really nice sound. The kinds of people who buy from us tend to not really care if the radio works so long as they can plug something in. So I'll sell this as a bluetooth audio set.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 04, 2017 1:16 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Another round of nice little sets! :D

There are small battery powered Bluetooth receivers which have a line-out which would be perfect for these.
Granted, they need frequent recharging, but there shouldn't be any hum or interference.
Unless you mean when the radio is being used?

-Steve

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-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 04, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
Well, the radios have to be pretty dumb proof so the Bluetooth device is installed with its own USB power adaptor and that connects to the set's switched power so that it isn't on 24/7. The Bluetooth device I got is the size of a flash drive . They are $3 and so I bought 30 of them. I even installed a bunch in my house for some of my sound systems. None have failed so far so I feel fairly confident they should last for a good long while for the people who buy our Bluetooth sets.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Wed 05, 2017 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
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Location: alameda,CA
Here's a few more to add.

1: Red-ish looking Motorola. Its painted either red or orange but the paint has faded. Maybe it sat in the sun. But I buffed it up and it looks kind of nice.
Image

This is a style of PCB board I don't come across much. Basically it appears Motorola wanted to cut out as many parts as possible. The tube sockets are simply a part of the board itself versus actual mounted sockets. There is heavy burn marks under the tubes, thus I wonder what the failure rate was. Otherwise a basic and very easy to restore set.
Image

2: A BIG bakelite RCA. The on/off switch, Vol control was messed up. The set would not turn on. The small pawl inside the switch was broken. The pot was a bit odd as there was another leg for tone control. Our museum has zillions of pots laying about but it took me 30 minutes digging through the boxes of them to find one of the correct size, configuration and Ohm rating. AM works great, FM just so-so but that's not a surprise since many earlier FM sets were not that fantastic anyway. Due to its large size and having a transformer that reduces noise I installed a bluetooth device in this one too.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 06, 2017 12:51 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 17, 2011 8:57 pm
Posts: 570
Very nice!

Can I ask what brand aquamarine paint you used? It appears to be the same colour as a tool cabinet I recently aquired that needs to be repainted. I'd like to use the same as what you used, if possibly.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Fri 07, 2017 12:42 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
Its Krylon brand. I can't remember the name of the color but I'll look at it when I get home. The stuff works great too.

Anyway... last night I overhauled a really odd set. Its a Sylvania AA5 set that also has a Monitoring/communication device. There is a matching speaker that has around 75 feet of cord. If you switch the controls to "Listen" you can place the auxiliary speaker somewhere in the house and listen to whatever might be going on. If you press "Speak" you can broadcast to that speaker. Radio just turns the radio on for both units. Its really crappily made but was a quick and easy job.

Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Wed 12, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
Things are winding down a bit as the colossal supply of sets gets down to the last few. The big show is in 12 days and in 3 months 100 sets were restored. These are the latest few, rounding it up to 100 total.

1: Unusual looking Emerson with large tubular dial. Someone had replaced the electrolytics but nothing else. The speaker also had a tear which needed some RTV.
Image
2:Big Panasonic AM/FM set. The start of when Japanese electronics started to actually get pretty good and thus the start of the end for American radios. This set is very sensitive and sounds great. But it was a boring cream color so it received some complimentary red.
Image
3:Heathkit FM radio. Its built like a tank and has a large 6x9 speaker/ wizzer cone. All caps were ceramic except for the electrolytics, thus not as bad of a job
Image
4: Zenith model ?? Looks like a lady's purse almost. It had been restored but poorly so I wound up redoing most of the work. Its amazing what passed for "restored" in some people's eyes. I've seen some real fire hazards...
Image
5:Silvertone. Someone had stuck a layer of finish over the old. Not a horrible job but not great. Again- someone had been in there before and done a pretty crappy job so I just redid all of it.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 13, 2017 7:16 pm 
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Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
Radio No. 101:
Nice little Lowe-Opta set. The volume, tone and both tuning condensers were frozen solid. I find this happens a lot on German sets. There must have been a brand of lubricant they used that seizes up with age. The solution is to initially douse the control shafts with WD-40, heat the shaft close to the pot with a soldering iron, work it back and forth gently and then when things start to move add a drop or two of 3-in-1 oil, heat again, let it cool and the new oil will soak in, freeing things up. Otherwise it got all-new caps, a crack in the veneer underneath was repaired, new pilot lamp, audio input added. Nice little set!
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Sat 15, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Location: West Point, PA
Attachment:
GEclockRadioEdit.jpg
GEclockRadioEdit.jpg [ 123.12 KiB | Viewed 2716 times ]


30 minutes or less?? What did you polish this with? It looks brand new!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Sat 15, 2017 5:53 pm 
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I have one of those Heathkit GR-21 FM radios. There was an FM Stereo decoder available for it housed in the same size cabinet providing the second speaker.

It also uses the little miniature Japanese eye tube the 6ME5.

-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Sat 15, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 18, 2016 3:21 am
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Hello there, I've got a question regarding these GE clock radios. My Grandmother and I have one sitting on our kitchen counter that we use. The clock and the radio work flawlessly, no hums, etc. etc. and there has been 0 maintenance done on it (it was purchased in the mid - late 1960s).
So here is my question. I use it when I am in the kitchen cooking meals, getting medicine ready...etc. etc. Now, I heard a long time ago that old clock radios like the GE we have can start fires if left plugged in because of their age.
Because of that, I always unplug the radio when I'm done using it. In fact, I don't even use the on/off knob, I just plug it in and unplug it. The clock works fine etc. and I would LOVE to leave it plugged in so it can keep the time etc.
Is it true that these old clock radios can start fires? Our house was built in 1955 so it would go up like kindling if a fire were to occur :'-(
Again, when I use the radio, I don't hear any capacitor hum etc. It works as designed.
Thank you! And happy to be part of the Antique Radio and Phonograph community!


-Bette


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File comment: Our little GE Solid State radio.
GE Clock Radio.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Sat 15, 2017 11:00 pm 
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Posts: 292
Location: West Point, PA
What would start on fire? The clock?
Here's my GE #518
http://analogdial.com/ClockRadio/ClockRadio.htm

The chassis has a metal plate on the bottom and the clock is also covered with a metal plate.
(I'll have to add pictures of both to the web page)

I don't know how the clock would start anything on fire. The clock on the above was stopped, but since there are no brushes in the motor it didn't even get warm. A little sewing machine oil got it running again.

I Googled "fire started by clock radio" and only found one hit where the clock radio started a fire. They didn't say what kind of clock radio. Another article stated the cord to the clock radio was crimped behind the bed and started a fire.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Sun 16, 2017 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Feb Wed 04, 2015 12:26 am
Posts: 560
Bette,

These don't start fires. However, a set this old does need maintenance, caps replaced, tubes tested, radio lubed, stuff like that. Even then, my early 60's Zenith Am/FM clock radio has also had nothing done to it. Well, with the exception of replacing the 35C5 (talk about not following my own advice :roll: ) and it's been in operation for almost 20 years.

*edit-this is solid state. So no tubes but it still will need caps replaced.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 8105
Location: alameda,CA
The radio that you showing your picture appears to have a TeleChron clock movement. If so, these are extremely robust and reliable clocks with hardly any moving parts. There's just ate her medically sealed drum an electromagnet that wraps around the causes the drum inside to rotate. There is hair thin wire that wraps around the electromagnetic part. So if they were any shorts, the clock would simply just have wire the act like a fuse. I have these clocks all over my House and They keep perfect time and I never worry about them.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
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Location: alameda,CA
5 days to go before the big show. Another set I wish I had taken a "before" pic. This set looked like it had sat in a barn for 30 years and was utterly filthy. The case was dunked in hot soapy water, scrubbed and scrubbed some more. Then it was buffed out with car wax. The thing is that unlike many American manufactures and even some of the European makes Zenith KNEW how to make good FM radios and on top of that the quality was really impressive. Of the late 50's-early 60's Zenith AM/FM sets I've worked on, 75% of them will still work just fine. This one was no exception. So I replaced the lytics, the few wax caps ( the rest were ceramic) and also replaced the sel. rectifier with a diode and resistor. Great little radio!
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 11:31 pm 
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Bob, how'd you get the GE clock radio so shiny?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 11:37 pm 
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Location: alameda,CA
Novus No.2 and then a product called 3m finesse it . It takes some time but they seem to work rather well together. Its not cheap stuff but the museum had a bunch.


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