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 Post subject: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 7:49 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 21, 2017 9:16 am
Posts: 60
Location: Ste. Genevieve, Mo. 63670
Greetings All:

Has anyone had any experience in restoring a RCA Model K80?

Shared a photo on here of my Dad laying in a chair next to the old family radio and it was identified by Rodney KG7EPW, thanks Rodney!

I am wanting to find one and restore it for Dad to surprise him.

Just wanting to get some insight from anyone who may have already restored one.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 8:38 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 16, 2012 4:15 pm
Posts: 4108
Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
I've restored similar RCA models from 1939/40 and they are not difficult to work on- with one exception: the dial scale is fixed to the cabinet and when you align the chassis on the bench there is no normal readout of frequency. RCA tried to compensate for this by riveting a cardboard "degree wheel" to the backside of the main tuning cap pulley; this allows the job to be done but is somewhat annoying, too.

This model uses a few different chassis (RC-415x) with varying characteristics. One chassis is set up only for a longwire antenna, and another supports a built-in loop. Another chassis has a tuning eye and another does not. So, it's helpful to know what features you are expecting when you search for examples of the K80. I'm not sure why RCA did this- it seems odd for a radio with a given model designation to have different features, but that appears to have been the case for it.

None of the K80 chassis variants seem to have an RF amp tube, which I consider to be a useful feature, especially if you live in "reception challenged" areas with low broadcasting station density or mountainous terrain, or enjoy listening to the shortwave bands.

Sound-wise, these units sound OK but IMO aren't in the same tone-quality league as similar-spec radios from Zenith. But that just may be personal bias.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 627
Location: Walden, NY USA
I have restored 2 of these. I too searched for the radio from a 1939 picture of my father relaxing and listening to one. Although all K80's I have seen had eye tubes, the 8 in the model number denoting 8 tubes. The K60 that looks similar does not have the eye tube. There are however, as the previous poster mentioned, different types of K80's. The one with the built in antenna has the speaker off to the left of the cabinet to accommodate the placement of the antenna that can be rotated. The broadcast band on this model stops at 1500 KCS. The K80 that needs an external antenna has the speaker in the center. The broadcast band on that type stops at 1700 KCS. Who knows why?

My main problem is that the tuning knob uses a rubber clutch system to disengage the manual tuning when using the push buttons. Mine has worn so that the tuning knob is not working. I will attempt a repair in the spring. This console was my first antique radio.

To answer your question, this is a fairly straight forward radio to restore. There is plenty of room under the chassis to replace the caps, and the wiring is usually in good shape.
Enjoy!
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 6:43 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 21, 2017 9:16 am
Posts: 60
Location: Ste. Genevieve, Mo. 63670
Thanks for the insight Gentlemen, and Mike awesome pic! Now I just have to find one local here...


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 Post subject: Re: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Sat 24, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Feb Fri 16, 2018 11:01 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Maryville, MO
Regarding the tuning rubber drive wheel: I purchased a tapered solid rubber stopper for 29 cents at a hardware store, cut it off at the correct diameter and length and drilled a small hole to insert it on the tuning shaft. The length is critical so that annoying lever on the band selection switch which disengages the wheel works correctly. The user is expected to push in on the tuning knob to engage the rubber drive wheel when the broadcast band is selected and with the tuning wheel disengaged. This is to reduce the drag, allowing for using of the tuning push buttons. It is very annoying to get it adjusted correctly but it works very well.
Oldstick


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 Post subject: Re: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Sat 24, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 627
Location: Walden, NY USA
oldstick wrote:
Regarding the tuning rubber drive wheel: I purchased a tapered solid rubber stopper for 29 cents at a hardware store, cut it off at the correct diameter and length and drilled a small hole to insert it on the tuning shaft. The length is critical so that annoying lever on the band selection switch which disengages the wheel works correctly. The user is expected to push in on the tuning knob to engage the rubber drive wheel when the broadcast band is selected and with the tuning wheel disengaged. This is to reduce the drag, allowing for using of the tuning push buttons. It is very annoying to get it adjusted correctly but it works very well.
Oldstick


Excellent idea. Thank you. I will give that a try.
Mike

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 Post subject: Re: RCA K80 Restoration
PostPosted: Mar Fri 02, 2018 4:24 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 29, 2009 9:10 pm
Posts: 527
Location: central wisconsin, 54449
You can google all of craigslist, and there are several websites that will let you search all across the country and with your area for one of these sets


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