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 Post subject: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Fri 01, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Dec Fri 01, 2017 1:07 pm
Posts: 2
Hi all. I recently found a very nice Emerson Aristocrat 400 tube radio on the street that I'd love to get working again. It's the marbleized brown case with brown handle. There's been one repair in the handle and the front took a hit and has a tiny crack - while not perfect, it's not bad for a 78 year old radio! I cleaned up the unit, replaced the power cable with an extension cord end for now. It turns on, the tubes light up and sound comes out of the speaker, though it's just hash with no radio stations recognizable. There are 4 or so brown wires coming out of the rear chassis hole, along with the power cable and one is disconnected - to my newbie eyes, 3 wires wires to the antenna loop are connected - does the loop connect with all 4 wires and, if so, where might this loose one connect?

I'll look it over a bit more today and see if I can take a photo of the loop connections.

Thanks!

Attachment:
radio_sm.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Fri 01, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2017 10:33 pm
Posts: 369
Hello Greg and welcome to the forum!

I would not advise powering up the radio again until you have replaced at least the electrolytic capacitors. This is a very basic radio and should be pretty easy to restore.

Here's a link to the schematic for the radio: http://www.nostalgiaair.org/pagesbymode ... 005092.pdf

Here's a beginning link on capacitor replacement and radio restoration for beginners: https://antiqueradio.org/begin.htm

Also, here's a source of capacitors and other components that you will need for restoration: http://www.tuberadios.com/capacitors

Good luck!

_________________
No matter how smart you are, there is always someone smarter than you.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Fri 01, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 16, 2012 4:15 pm
Posts: 3603
Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
Your radio's actual model number is FC-400. Here is a link to its Riders schematic:

http://www.nostalgiaair.org/Resources/092/M0005092.htm

The above diagram shows shows three loop antenna connections to the radio: one to the chassis ground, one to the tuning cap, and one to the AVC bus. A fourth connection is for an optional external antenna; this connection may have just been a loose wire instead of a formal screw terminal.

As already suggested, it would be wise to replace the main filter caps (C20 and C21) before operating the radio again. However, since you have already plugged it in, and the rectifier tube didn't melt down, the existing caps aren't shorted (yet). But they could go at any time. The nice thing about this set is that if the caps did short out, about all they would do is ruin the rectifier tube. These tubes aren't expensive but they aren't free, either... just something to consider before proceeding.

Cap C26 should also be replaced as one of the first orders of business, too. This is the cap that bonds the radio's B- bus to the steel chassis... if it shorts out, you have a 50-50 chance (depending on the power plug orientation in the wall socket) of having a "hot" steel chassis, which can be a definite safety hazard especially if you are unaware of its condition. C26 needs to be a "safety" cap. You can read about/order safety caps from the Justradios.com website (see ad in right page margin).

Before you invest a lot of labor time and parts money in this set, you might want to first "ohm out" the various coils to see if there's a reasonable chance of getting it working again. An open coil/RF transformer isn't automatically the end of the line for the radio but it might be tough to find a replacement.

After verifying coil continuity, the next piece of low hanging fruit to pluck is tube checkout. Tubes wear out and generally do so long before their heaters open up. I'm not advocating that you purchase a tube tester but perhaps you could hook up with a local tube radio club that could do the job for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Sat 02, 2017 2:03 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2914
Location: Lexington Kentucky
If you're new to the hobby this is a radio you may want to leave undisturbed for a while.

Since this is your first post but you know exactly what this is already; yes it's worth flipping, don't try to prove it works, don't try to restore it or plug it in.


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Tue 05, 2017 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Dec Fri 01, 2017 1:07 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies Radio Guys! Of course, I knew I shouldn't plug it in but I could't resist. It was only on for a short time... hopefully this didn't cause any damage. There was no noticeable change during the time it was turned on. I'll print out the schematics along with your replies and see if it's anything I can wrap my head and big fingers around to accomplish. I agree, it might be best to sell it rather than repair it myself. I'm far better at repairing mechanical things than those electrical, though I did accomplish a feat with an old Thorens TD126 table that knowledgeable souls told me was not possible.

Any further thoughts are welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Fri 08, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 11122
Location: 06457
Past 57 years I always plugged them in for a minute just to see what you have and then address the obvious faults. Eyes, ears, nose and a VT/OHM meter are your best friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Aristocrat 400 radio to repair
PostPosted: Dec Fri 08, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 11122
Location: 06457
gregv wrote:
Hi all. I recently found a very nice Emerson Aristocrat 400 tube radio on the street that I'd love to get working again. It's the marbleized brown case with brown handle. There's been one repair in the handle and the front took a hit and has a tiny crack - while not perfect, it's not bad for a 78 year old radio! I cleaned up the unit, replaced the power cable with an extension cord end for now. It turns on, the tubes light up and sound comes out of the speaker, though it's just hash with no radio stations recognizable. There are 4 or so brown wires coming out of the rear chassis hole, along with the power cable and one is disconnected - to my newbie eyes, 3 wires wires to the antenna loop are connected - does the loop connect with all 4 wires and, if so, where might this loose one connect?

I'll look it over a bit more today and see if I can take a photo of the loop connections.

Thanks!

Attachment:
radio_sm.jpg

Clean the volume control, tuning capacitor and reset the tubes in their sockets, might help to get stations.


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