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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 2:28 am 
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Leigh wrote:
This is just a modern phenomenon, where folks seek guidance on social media.
If they don't like the reply, they try different venues until they get the response they want.

Not so modern, really. Certainly it existed before social media. What you describe is known as "confirmation bias."

Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses*... A series of psychological experiments in the 1960s suggested that people are biased toward confirming their existing beliefs. Later work re-interpreted these results as a tendency to test ideas in a one-sided way, focusing on one possibility and ignoring alternatives. In certain situations, this tendency can bias people's conclusions. Explanations for the observed biases include wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. Another explanation is that people show confirmation bias because they are weighing up the costs of being wrong, rather than investigating in a neutral, scientific way. However, even scientists can be prone to confirmation bias.**

Confirmation bias is at least as old as politics. Here are some historical references (Wikipedia):

Before psychological research on confirmation bias, the phenomenon had been observed throughout history. Beginning with the Greek historian Thucydides (c. 460 BC – c. 395 BC), who wrote of misguided treason in The Peloponnesian War; "... for it is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy".[64] Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), noted it in his famous work, the Divine Comedy, in which St. Thomas Aquinas cautions Dante upon meeting in Paradise, "opinion—hasty—often can incline to the wrong side, and then affection for one's own opinion binds, confines the mind"



*Plous, Scott (1993). The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. p. 233.

**Lee, C. J., Sugimoto, C. R., Zhang, G. and Cronin, B. (2013), Bias in peer review. J Am Soc Inf Sci Tec, 64: 2–17; Cognitive Therapy and Research, Vol. , No. 3, pp. 229-238 Psychology of the Scientist: An Analysis of Problem-Solving Bias Michael J. Mahoney and Bobby G. DeMonbreun Pennsylvania State University 1977; NORMS AND COUNTER-NORMS IN A SELECT GROUP OF THE APOLLO MOON SCIENTISTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE AMBIVALENCE OF SCIENTISTS* IAN I. MITROFF University of Pittsburgh American Sociological Review 1974, Vol. 39 (August): 579-595


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 5:10 am 
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the first of the four times this will be discussed this year on ARF...

:P

:D

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 6:45 am 
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Tube Radio wrote:
John Bartley wrote:
Some sets will be less valuable and/or historically correct once repaired and should be left alone (very few, but there are some).


I respectfully disagree.

What's more valuable?

1. A working
2. A radio that doesn't work but has original parts?

Manufacturers knew their radios were going to be repaired when they made them.

I myself would place more value on a radio that works properly.

Notice that he posted, "some sets".
When the chassis is readily visible, this premise is certainly relevant. Take the Regency TR-1 as an example. It's highly collectible, in relatively abundant supply, and costs somewhat dearly. When the back cover is removed, it exposes the chassis, which sports 4 Electrolytic Caps.
It's been a not uncommon practice to replace at least two of them with modern caps, to get the set working again. In my view (and I recap everything), this very definitely lessens the value of the set. When I recap these, I leave the originals in place, and put the new ones in under the PCB, so cosmetic originality is retained (and it functions).

Dutch Rabbit wrote:
the first of the four times this will be discussed this year on ARF...

:P

:D

steve

Quite the optimist, aren't you? I predict at least every other month.

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 12:49 pm 
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fifties wrote:
Notice that he posted, "some sets".


Yes I saw that.


fifties wrote:
When the chassis is readily visible, this premise is certainly relevant. Take the Regency TR-1 as an example. It's highly collectible, in relatively abundant supply, and costs somewhat dearly. When the back cover is removed, it exposes the chassis, which sports 4 Electrolytic Caps.


I myself would go ahead and use modern caps as no one is going to remove the back unless that is the only way to change the batteries.

fifties wrote:
It's been a not uncommon practice to replace at least two of them with modern caps, to get the set working again. In my view (and I recap everything), this very definitely lessens the value of the set. When I recap these, I leave the originals in place, and put the new ones in under the PCB, so cosmetic originality is retained (and it functions).


It may lessen the value of the set to someone who prefers an original set even if it doesn't work.

1. There's people who would pay high dollar for a radio that is all original even if it doesn't work.

2. Then there's people who wouldn't touch the radio for high dollar thinking it isn't worth the price if it isn't fully working and would pay more for the radio if fully working to manufacturer specs even if modern resistors and caps have been used to replace the originals.

I myself don't understand why rare items sell for so much money other than that the seller knows there's someone out there who will pay the price.

I am #2

I would much rather pay $150 for a radio working to manufacturer specs versus paying the same price for the same radio that is not working.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 1:50 pm 
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It seems to me, as a casual observer which I am regarding radios, that most of the "theme" of this and other similar threads all boils down to "what is it going to be worth".

I guess I break down this equation into a few groups; those who collect, those who buy and sell, and those who do restorations or repairs for a living. If you are a collector, what YOU like is what counts. If you are in the other two categories, you have to look into the crystal ball and decide what OTHERS will like. For example, if a would-be buyer looks into the back of an old radio and sees a bright shiny electrolytic can in there among the rest of the aged metal and glass, is that going to be appealing or not? If not, perhaps taking the "restuffing" route is best, or putting the replacement electrolytic underneath, will suffice. If said would-be buyer does not like replacement parts under the chassis, ... well .. how do you KNOW that beforehand?

There is an easy answer from my perspective to "recap or don't recap" and that is to recap. The issue as it appears to me, is by what method this is done. As mentioned any number of times, these little time bombs are either failed, or going to fail, and in short order. The purist can restuff old cans, and even tubular wax or other type caps and maintain the original, or nearly original, appearance. Perhaps not quite so straightforward with Micas, Ceramics, Oil filled etc ... but the bottom line remains ... will it be fixed, and will it STAY fixed.

my 2c .... costs less than 2c ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Location: Near Newcastle NSW. Australia.
Greetings all.

A friend of my family passed away and his collection of radios was sold at auction to raise funds for his widow.
I was short of money so I passed on all but the most desirable items for my workshop.

Another fellow I was familiar with purchased a large AWA radiogram that was not common and made in the mid 1940s. Worth keeping in as original condition as possible for historic reasons.
This particular radio was in excelent condition and worked a treat. Good bit of gear.

The person who bought it was a "shotgun cap changer" on sight. Went right through the whole radiogram and changed every cap he could find. Used good quality modern components. Lots of pretty orange drops as well.

He was most upset when I mentioned to him that the gentleman who passed away was an accomplished radio engineer and had gone right through the set himself and had replaced all of the doubtful components with modern ones and had spent countless hours re-stuffing electrolytics and replacing old paper wrapers on the new components to make them look the same as the original wax papers.

The set was already at it's best and did not need to be touched. Obviously the new owner was a fool.

There was so mant tell tales that the set had been restored.

What a waste!!

Be observant and really check it out even gently power it up. Lamp limiters, variac, yada yada yada. You all know the deal.

Just my 2d worth.

Cheers all.
Robert.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Barry H Bennett wrote:
For example, if a would-be buyer looks into the back of an old radio and sees a bright shiny electrolytic can in there among the rest of the aged metal and glass, is that going to be appealing or not?


A lot of buyers would be glad the radio works good or would not know the cap isn't original. Collectors and us restorers would know.

Barry H Bennett wrote:
If not, perhaps taking the "restuffing" route is best, or putting the replacement electrolytic underneath, will suffice. If said would-be buyer does not like replacement parts under the chassis, ... well .. how do you KNOW that beforehand?


Usually I will install a new can cap or install the caps under the chassis.

If a would be buyer doesn't like the parts under the chassis they don't have to buy the radio, but then again how many of us are going to remove the chassis of a radio and show it to a potential buyer.

Barry H Bennett wrote:
There is an easy answer from my perspective to "recap or don't recap" and that is to recap. The issue as it appears to me, is by what method this is done. As mentioned any number of times, these little time bombs are either failed, or going to fail, and in short order. The purist can restuff old cans, and even tubular wax or other type caps and maintain the original, or nearly original, appearance. Perhaps not quite so straightforward with Micas, Ceramics, Oil filled etc ... but the bottom line remains ... will it be fixed, and will it STAY fixed.

my 2c .... costs less than 2c ;-)


Agreed. Micas usually don't fail, but I have seen one or two bad ones and others have seen bad ones. Ceramic caps rarely if ever fail unless they are the early Zenith ones. Oil filled are usually good provided they are not leaking oil.

QQV06/40 wrote:
replacing old paper wrapers on the new components to make them look the same as the original wax papers.

Cheers all.
Robert.


Was there any documentation with the radio stating that had been done?

If not then it is understandable he may have thought the components were original.

If I restuff a capacitor I will make a note somewhere on something kept with the radio that it had been done so a future owner is aware.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 3:59 pm 
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QQV06/40 wrote:
Greetings all.

A friend of my family passed away and his collection of radios was sold at auction to raise funds for his widow.
I was short of money so I passed on all but the most desirable items for my workshop.

Another fellow I was familiar with purchased a large AWA radiogram that was not common and made in the mid 1940s. Worth keeping in as original condition as possible for historic reasons.
This particular radio was in excelent condition and worked a treat. Good bit of gear.

The person who bought it was a "shotgun cap changer" on sight. Went right through the whole radiogram and changed every cap he could find. Used good quality modern components. Lots of pretty orange drops as well.

He was most upset when I mentioned to him that the gentleman who passed away was an accomplished radio engineer and had gone right through the set himself and had replaced all of the doubtful components with modern ones and had spent countless hours re-stuffing electrolytics and replacing old paper wrapers on the new components to make them look the same as the original wax papers.

The set was already at it's best and did not need to be touched. Obviously the new owner was a fool.

There was so mant tell tales that the set had been restored.

What a waste!!

Be observant and really check it out even gently power it up. Lamp limiters, variac, yada yada yada. You all know the deal.

Just my 2d worth.

Cheers all.
Robert.



When I restore a radio I usually attach a tag to the chassis that describes what work I did. If capacitors were re-stuffed then I always mention that fact. This a good practice that everyone should do. That way when a radio leaves your hands whether it was a gift, you sold it, or your family is selling your estate; then there will be no confusion as to what repairs have been made.

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 4:24 pm 
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QQV06/40 wrote:
The person who bought it was a "shotgun cap changer" on sight. Went right through the whole radiogram and changed every cap he could find. Used good quality modern components. Lots of pretty orange drops as well.

He was most upset when I mentioned to him that the gentleman who passed away was an accomplished radio engineer and had gone right through the set himself and had replaced all of the doubtful components with modern ones and had spent countless hours re-stuffing electrolytics and replacing old paper wrapers on the new components to make them look the same as the original wax papers.



If it was not possible to tell it had been recapped, the original worker was a magician!

Doing that is practically impossible! Of course, if the checking is just a quick look, sure.
But there are telltale signs.

Last, and almost definitive, is to check to see whether ALL the solder joints
involving wax-paper caps and electrolytics are done with 50-50 or even 40-60 solder.
How many restorers will carefully avoid the use of 60-40 (or even 63-37) solder?
How many really old radios or TVs used 60-40 solder, other than expensive military
boatanchors? Its easy to check the original by testing joints that clearly are
to parts that would not be replaced.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Jeremy S wrote:
When I restore a radio I usually attach a tag to the chassis that describes what work I did. If capacitors were re-stuffed then I always mention that fact. This a good practice that everyone should do. That way when a radio leaves your hands whether it was a gift, you sold it, or your family is selling your estate; then there will be no confusion as to what repairs have been made.



Agreed.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 6:35 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
John Bartley wrote:
Some sets will be less valuable and/or historically correct once repaired and should be left alone (very few, but there are some).


I respectfully disagree.

What's more valuable?

1. A working
2. A radio that doesn't work but has original parts?

Manufacturers knew their radios were going to be repaired when they made them.

I myself would place more value on a radio that works properly.


I am glad that the thread has progressed past the "only idiots don't recap" stage. The context of when it is or is not appropriate is an important part of the discussion.

As to when not to .... as I said "(very few, but there are some)". Some years ago I came into a set that I considered to be in the "care for, do not repair or if needed, service only such that it can be reversed" category. It was a Marconi, Canadian built, CSR2 receiver that had provenance of having been used in the NWT as part of the communications equiment installed in the 1930's to facilitate the development of air travel across northern Canada. I had the receiver, power supply and speaker, all with their rack mounts and untouched other than alignment since new. I carefully disconnected the filter caps, subbed in a couple of caps in a fashion that allowed for easy and invisible reversal, then used the set intermittently for several months before donating it to the RC Sigs museum at Kingston Ontario. I couldn't think of a better place for it and I sure didn't want it ending up in the general marketplace.

That would be my example of when to NOT repair a set.

cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 6:41 pm 
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John Bartley wrote:
Tube Radio wrote:
John Bartley wrote:
Some sets will be less valuable and/or historically correct once repaired and should be left alone (very few, but there are some).


I respectfully disagree.

What's more valuable?

1. A working
2. A radio that doesn't work but has original parts?

Manufacturers knew their radios were going to be repaired when they made them.

I myself would place more value on a radio that works properly.


I am glad that the thread has progressed past the "only idiots don't recap" stage. The context of when it is or is not appropriate is an important part of the discussion.

As to when not to .... as I said "(very few, but there are some)". Some years ago I came into a set that I considered to be in the "care for, do not repair or if needed, service only such that it can be reversed" category. It was a Marconi, Canadian built, CSR2 receiver that had provenance of having been used in the NWT as part of the communications equiment installed in the 1930's to facilitate the development of air travel across northern Canada. I had the receiver, power supply and speaker, all with their rack mounts and untouched other than alignment since new. I carefully disconnected the filter caps, subbed in a couple of caps in a fashion that allowed for easy and invisible reversal, then used the set intermittently for several months before donating it to the RC Sigs museum at Kingston Ontario. I couldn't think of a better place for it and I sure didn't want it ending up in the general marketplace.

That would be my example of when to NOT repair a set.

cheers


Agreed. IN a set like that that is historically significant especially if donated to a museum who likely will never power it up definitely don't repair or repair in such a way it looks original.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 8:39 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
fifties wrote:
Notice that he posted, "some sets".


Yes I saw that.


fifties wrote:
When the chassis is readily visible, this premise is certainly relevant. Take the Regency TR-1 as an example. It's highly collectible, in relatively abundant supply, and costs somewhat dearly. When the back cover is removed, it exposes the chassis, which sports 4 Electrolytic Caps.


I myself would go ahead and use modern caps as no one is going to remove the back unless that is the only way to change the batteries.

fifties wrote:
It's been a not uncommon practice to replace at least two of them with modern caps, to get the set working again. In my view (and I recap everything), this very definitely lessens the value of the set. When I recap these, I leave the originals in place, and put the new ones in under the PCB, so cosmetic originality is retained (and it functions).


It may lessen the value of the set to someone who prefers an original set even if it doesn't work.

1. There's people who would pay high dollar for a radio that is all original even if it doesn't work.

2. Then there's people who wouldn't touch the radio for high dollar thinking it isn't worth the price if it isn't fully working and would pay more for the radio if fully working to manufacturer specs even if modern resistors and caps have been used to replace the originals.

I myself don't understand why rare items sell for so much money other than that the seller knows there's someone out there who will pay the price.

I am #2

I would much rather pay $150 for a radio working to manufacturer specs versus paying the same price for the same radio that is not working.

Yes, the back has to be removed to change the battery. Here's a scan of a "restored" (presumably to working condition) set;

Image

Notice the modern caps flanking the battery, and the "Top Hat" Transistor replacement for the Converter. While ancient in it's own right, it's still not an original.

Now here's an unrestored chassis;

Image

Tubular wax capacitors, and notice the color coding on the four Transistors, green for audio output, black for IF, and yellow for the converter. On the first commercially available "pocket" Transistor radio, if that ain't historically significant I don't know what is.

Would you really pay more for the restored version? FYI, my Bunis Transistor Radio guide ascribes the increase in valuation for a working (no mention of restoration) Transistor radio (of any kind in the guide) to be about 10% more than non-working.

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
John Bartley wrote:
Some sets will be less valuable and/or historically correct once repaired and should be left alone (very few, but there are some).


I respectfully disagree.

What's more valuable?

1. A working
2. A radio that doesn't work but has original parts?

Manufacturers knew their radios were going to be repaired when they made them.

I myself would place more value on a radio that works properly.


I think this comes down to the person purchasing the set. I will always pay more for a radio that is completely original than one that has been "restored". But that is just me. I have seen way too many horrible restoration jobs. I am sure on E-bay the general public pays more for a working and "restored" radio. The value is in the eyes of the beholder.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 10:36 pm 
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at any given moment, i want to be able to turn on my sets and enjoy them in their finest condition. my sets are all restored and ready to play.

i now own around 30-40 sets, downsized from hundreds. i only kept the ones that i could not live without.

i've become bored with the hobby after nearly 40 years and now am reaping the rewards and enjoying my radios every day. my they are in restored pristine museum quality condition, both technically and physically.

if anyone takes my radios apart and sees the tip-top restoration job under the chassis, oh well. they deserve to see what they see. why ? because it is my radio and i want it to work perfectly :wink: .

the only set that is untouched is the transistor table set from Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) and it will stay that way.

steve


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 12:17 am 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:

the only set that is untouched is the transistor table set from Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) and it will stay that way.

steve

OK, I'll bite. What's the story behind that particular set?

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 1:03 am 
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I think it’s time for a FAQ section. It could be the first section you see when you log in with a link to the main page.
On the FAQ page there could be links to the most popular topics that have the most pages, this one being an example. All the work is done, so no rewriting everything.

:wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 2:39 am 
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Scott wrote:
I will always pay more for a radio that is completely original than one that has been "restored".


With me it depends on the radio. If it is one I must have such as the mid 50's Zenith console or the Magnavox CR-198C console I will pay the price even if I think it is a little much for an unrestored radio.

Scott wrote:
I have seen way too many horrible restoration jobs.


I've seen a few myself which is why I treat every purchase as unrestored even if it is said the radio is restored properly or even if it is working properly at the place I buy it from and proceed to remove the chassis and inspect the work done after I get home with the radio. Now if the radio was restored by someone from the forums here or by a known good restorer from elsewheres I'd be way less inclined to remove the chassis and inspect the work.

Scott wrote:
The value is in the eyes of the beholder.


Agreed.

Dutch Rabbit wrote:
at any given moment, i want to be able to turn on my sets and enjoy them in their finest condition. my sets are all restored and ready to play.

if anyone takes my radios apart and sees the tip-top restoration job under the chassis, oh well. they deserve to see what they see. why ? because it is my radio and i want it to work perfectly :wink: .

steve


Same here.

Most of the general public who see a radio if they even pay it any attention will only care that it works and a lot won't even care about that.

fifties wrote:
Notice the modern caps flanking the battery, and the "Top Hat" Transistor replacement for the Converter. While ancient in it's own right, it's still not an original.


But the radio does supposedly work as the manufacturer intended.

fifties wrote:
if that ain't historically significant I don't know what is.


I can maybe see a few being kept original and in a museum somewhere if there was more than one color or case style.

I myself won't keep any radio that is not going to be restored to full working condition as it would serve me no useful purpose while taking up space and I would sell said radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 3:17 am 
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fifties wrote:
Dutch Rabbit wrote:

the only set that is untouched is the transistor table set from Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) and it will stay that way.

steve

OK, I'll bite. What's the story behind that particular set?

the rabbit has been around...and has connections...

I have to dig the thing out someday and post pics of it.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Public obsession with replacing capacitors
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 5:01 am 
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Yeah, my stuff is older than 70s...
There's a guy posting on QRZ about using his collins 32v transmitter, and after each post, it gets worse and worse...finally his PS problem is "permanent." D'oh!

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