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 Post subject: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Feb Fri 28, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Greetings Antique Radio forums... my name's Ben and I've just come into possession of a cute little console in good condition from an antique shop. It was noted that it just needed a new stylus, though I notice part of the cartridge or something is just kind of hanging out. I'm kind of a noobie to phonographs although I've had a portable one for a few years that's really basic. Anyway, I attached some pictures because I'm confused as to what some of this stuff is/what the words mean (and surprisingly, the internet hasn't been helpful, even with these forums in existence. maybe I'm searching the wrong terms)

I'm sorry this is so long and that my questions are probably extremely novice.

Attachment:
File comment: I have no idea what the "push afc/balance" knob is for besides panning the sound from left to right. It does that in both positions. Also, I notice the only fuzzy sounds this console makes are when I move the function knob, it needs to be in a very specific area to sound clear... I'm assuming that's a wiring thing there. Also, what is FM.S, and there is also a "tape" function, but I don't see a tape player anywhere.
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image.jpeg [ 83.34 KiB | Viewed 3860 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: What are the 7, 10, and 12? Also, do I need a special needle to play 78s? Not that I own any, but I wouldn't want to mess anything up. I noticed when I bought my needle yesterday online it asked if I wanted "LP only" or "All speed", and I was confused.

So the bottom row, "sel aut man off", I'm assuming pertains to the arm and if you want to use it manually, automatic, or whatever "sel" means. I haven't tried any of that because there's no needle on it. But I did notice that if you switch it to manual, it turns on the radio as well, if it's set to AM or FM and not PHO. So turning off the console is then sort of difficult... which was confusing.

image_1.jpeg
image_1.jpeg [ 101.4 KiB | Viewed 3860 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: What is that second metal bar that isn't the tonearm? It just sort of hangs there over the record.
image_2.jpeg
image_2.jpeg [ 85.25 KiB | Viewed 3860 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: This is what the cartridge area looks like. I took the number from it and then found [url]http://www.turntableneedles.com/Needle-647_p_1258.html[/url] <-- that needle which says it should be a replacement. At least the site said so. Anyway, how do I the part that is dangling to be secure again? I can't seem to figure it out.
image_3.jpeg
image_3.jpeg [ 102.81 KiB | Viewed 3860 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Feb Fri 28, 2014 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 20, 2007 3:16 am
Posts: 858
Location: Winter Park, Florida
Looks like you have a 1968 model, maybe 1967.

AFC is automatic frequency control for FM, locks on the station to prevent drift. Balance is just that, left to right,
it is a dual function control.
FMS is FM Stereo.
Tape is for optional tape playback, there are jacks on the back of the console to plug in a tape deck, or now
a CD player or mp3 player.
7, 10, 12, refers to the size of the record being played.
Off, Man, Auto, Sel, is the main control for the record changer, in manual, the turntable will start and you can place the arm on the record manually, in auto, the record will drop to the turntable and the arm will position itself on the
record for play and then shut off when the records are played. Sel is to reject the record playing to play the next
or to just shut off the turntable if only one record is playing.
The other arm, is the overarm or stabilizer, this hold the stack of records to be played level on the top of the spindle,
this model RCA will play six records automatically.

The cartridge is hanging down loose from the tonearm because the small clip is missing. It is a small grey or white
clip with prongs, it clips to the front of the tonearm and holds the cartridge and allows it to float in the tonearm
headshell. RCA called this the Feather Action. The clip commonly falls off when the unit is moved and bumped,
it will almost always be found underneath the turntable chassis or inside the console itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Feb Fri 28, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Thank you so much for the response. That actually answered a lot of my questions, and then raised some more :P So I will attach a few more photos.

Attachment:
File comment: These are three little loose items that were in the record slot when I purchased it. The big object and the tiny one in the middle are the same color. Is one of them the tonearm clip..? I'm assuming the third is a little vacuum tube of sorts
image.jpeg
image.jpeg [ 89.95 KiB | Viewed 3839 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Another clip on the back of the inside of the console that is the same color as the objects in the previous picture, unsure of its function.
image_2.jpeg
image_2.jpeg [ 96.58 KiB | Viewed 3839 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: This is also on the back-inside of the console by the cream-colored clip. It looks like some exposed connector?
image_1.jpeg
image_1.jpeg [ 129.15 KiB | Viewed 3839 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Feb Fri 28, 2014 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 20, 2007 3:16 am
Posts: 858
Location: Winter Park, Florida
Ok, in the first picture, the tiny clip in the middle is the clip that holds the cartridge in the tonearm

The large piece on the left is the 45 rpm stacking spindle, this goes over the regular spindle to allow automatic
playing of six 7 inch 45 rpm records.

The third item on the right is a light bulb and it fits into the socket in the third picture and lights the turntable area
when the console is turned on.

The second picture is the holding bracket to store the 45 rpm stacking adaptor when not in use.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sat 01, 2014 3:31 am 
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Location: Radio Heaven, North Carolina, near Charlotte, 28106-3015
WOW, what an ineradicably rare find.
You are rich beyond your dreams.


.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sat 01, 2014 4:27 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 25, 2010 7:51 am
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Location: Toledo, Ohio
That is the same RCA that my grandfather had when I was just a little kid. I would know that changer anywhere.

You might want to post your location in your avatar and see if you can find an ARF member local to you that might help you go through the paces with this player and help you get a few things straightened up and working.

T

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sat 01, 2014 5:00 am 
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Location: Sedona, AZ/ Placentia CA
hiben, I know you have focused on the record player but does the radio work? This could be a much larger challenge than the record changer.
Jerry

Edit: I noted you did indicate you got some good sound out but touchy on the selector switch. Good news, a cleaning of the switch with some spray contact cleaner could help that. Did you get both AM and FM?

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sat 01, 2014 5:38 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 28, 2014 7:59 pm
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Yes, the radio actually works great! At least on AM... that has my favorite station on it. I haven't tried the FM yet. The static comes only when I turn the radio on, and then comes from the function switch for AM, fm, etc. it just needs to be jiggled a bit and then it settles on both speakers. I would love to have that cleaned though. I'm relieved I have all of the parts for the record player! I might post again on s I get the needle just so I know how to attach it. And it's funny because I have tried to attach that plastic part to the clip and I can't seem to get it to fit!! So is the plastic arm attachment only if I want to play multiple 7 inches? Can that arm still hold like 6 12 inches and switch between them? I'm confused how that works.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sat 01, 2014 2:19 pm 
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Location: Winter Park, Florida
i am not sure i understand your question, but the small plastic clip fits in front of the tonearm, long prongs inside
the headshell, to hold the cartridge.

The large plastic 45 adaptor fits over the slim center spindle to play a stack of 45's. Place the adaptor over the
spindle, then push the bottom part of the adaptor to the left until it snaps or clicks.

The changer will play a stack of six 12" lp's, 10" lp's or 78's or 7" 45's.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sat 01, 2014 10:31 pm 
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Posts: 10
So a little update on the console:

I received the replacement needle today in the mail and was super excited to try it out! It was quite a bit harder to get secure in the cartridge than the old one, which was worrying me until I finally got it to fit. I messed around with several different configurations of the cartridge until I found a position where the back end didn't drag on the record (ugh) and where I could still get the clip secured, so I'm assuming it's the correct way. It was sort of hard to tell how the clip fit with the cartridge, and where this tiny metal piece that is near the bottom of the cartridge by the wiring was supposed to go. Anyway..

Most everything actually sounds pretty great, I mean as far as correct speed and pitch and whatnot (my old portable player plays everything approx. a semitone higher and faster as well. Classical music sounded decent but when I put on some modern music, anywhere from The Beatles to Radiohead, the frequencies which best carry the vocals and drums are almost completely absent on every record.

The thing is, when it plays the radio I get the full spectrum of frequencies seemingly fine, so I'm assuming it must be something/wiring on the phonograph side. Perhaps the cartridge itself?


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sun 02, 2014 12:22 am 
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Location: Sedona, AZ/ Placentia CA
Hiben, your getting there. I will leave this up to people expert in your changer and cartridge. The only thing I will say is there a couple of key items when mounting the cartridge and the first is position on the tone arm and angle that it sets at. The stylus need to contact the record at the proper angle. The second is the tracking force on the stylus, which should match closely for the cartridge being used.
It is possible that your cartridge is showing some deterioration of parts inside but I wouldn't write it off until such time as some experts chime in.
Jerry

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sun 02, 2014 12:46 am 
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I seem to recall this tone arm had a floating cartridge and there was a white piece in the front-middle of the head shell which had a small felt pad that rode on the record. Can anyone confirm this? I remember my grandfathers being like that and folks talking about it on here. Sorry I can't help more but I will look around...

T

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sun 02, 2014 3:43 am 
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bastardbus wrote:
I seem to recall this tone arm had a floating cartridge and there was a white piece in the front-middle of the head shell which had a small felt pad that rode on the record. Can anyone confirm this? I remember my grandfathers being like that and folks talking about it on here. Sorry I can't help more but I will look around...

T

You are correct bastardbus. RCA had a floating cart similar to the Zenith Microtouch except the RCA's headshell rode on the record via a felt pad and the cartridge floated within; the weight of the cart is what sets the VTF or stylus pressure so there is no adjustment that I am aware of. I remember someone saying this design introduced a lot of skating error but I never checked that out. That being said, make sure your cartridge is mounted correctly. It should float freely within the headshell with little side play. There should be a felt pad on the bottom of the front of the headshell. The connections should be clean and snug. Post some pictures of the tonearm, headshell and cartridge so we can make sure we are talking about the right set up. RCA had various changers and tonearm configurations and we want to make sure we are talking about the same model.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sun 02, 2014 5:52 am 
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hiben wrote:
So a little update on the console:

but when I put on some modern music, anywhere from The Beatles to Radiohead, the frequencies which best carry the vocals and drums are almost completely absent on every record.

The thing is, when it plays the radio I get the full spectrum of frequencies seemingly fine, so I'm assuming it must be something/wiring on the phonograph side. Perhaps the cartridge itself?


Did you have to re-attach any wires to the cartridge? I had a similiar issue when I once not only wired a cartridge out of phase, but mixed up the left and right grounds to boot. Try playing a mono record. If there's a phasing error, the record will sound thin lacking bass and vocals will be way down, if not outright missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Sun 02, 2014 11:54 pm 
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Here are some updated pictures (the forum uploaded some of them upside down I think):

Attachment:
File comment: This is how I attached the clip for the cartridge. It fits best this way, so I'm assuming it doesn't go upside down of this.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg [ 102.76 KiB | Viewed 3647 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: This is when I have everything together and the cartridge is floating in its place. Does the needle look a little strange? When I replaced it, the new one was VERY difficult to put in -- I almost stopped because I didn't want to break anything. It seems in the same position as the old needle.
image_3.jpeg
image_3.jpeg [ 92.6 KiB | Viewed 3647 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: This little bronze clip by the wires at the bottom of the cartridge makes it very hard to insert everything correctly. It is always in the way.
image_1.jpeg
image_1.jpeg [ 83.74 KiB | Viewed 3647 times ]



Also, I would really like a rundown of the proper way to play the records. When I flip the switch to manual, the turntable starts spinning, but if I move the changer arm and put a record on, I can't drop it to the table (apparently the machine only does this?) If I press downward a little bit, however, the record will drop. Is that okay?

If I set it to automatic, nothing happens. The record will still stay suspended above the turntable, and the table continues to move.

If I press to the left for "select" or "sel", the record will drop down, and the needle arm will rise up, move to the RIGHT (which I don't think it should), and then drops down onto nothing >_< So is there a way I can just drop the records and put the needle on myself?


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Mon 03, 2014 2:14 am 
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Posts: 30
Looks like some of the felt pad on the front of that clip might be missing. That little bronze clip looks like it might be shorting some of the cartridge leads. It seems like it needs to be positioned differently, but I've never had one of those changers and I can't make out the inside of the headshell to guess how (my vision is terrible).

The basic way to play a record on a drop changer.

Auto

Lift the overarm at its pivot point and swing it to the right.

Place one or more records on the spindle and while supporting the record(s) with your left hand, carefully move the overarm back over the stack and gently lower it onto the records (grasping it by it's pivot point makes this easier and prevents bending the shaft).

Set the speed and size using the controls at the front of the table.

Move the function switch all the way to the 'SEL AUT' position and release it.
The changer should drop the first record in the stack, the arm should move over to the lead in, set down and play. At the end of the side, the arm will lift up, and move back over its rest. If there is another record in the stack, the cycle will repeat until the last record is played. Once the last record ends, the arm should return to its rest, set down and the turntable will shut off.

If the tone arm is missing the lead in groove, even when set to the correct size, than the set down point needs adjusting.

Manual Play

I personally always use the auto function even if I'm only playing one record, but if you'd rather do it manually,

Lift and swing the overarm to the right.

Place a record on the spindle. You'll notice one side of the spindle seems to protrude and taper downward towards the platter. That's the pusher that pushes the records off the spindle shelf in auto mode. Gently push that inward while working the record down with your hands. (Many changers allow the user to remove the auto spindle and insert a short one that doesn't have a pusher on it for manual play).

Swing the overarm back over the turntable and gently set it down. If you don't, the changer will continue to play the same record over and over again.

Set the speed with the front controls.

Move the function switch to MAN.

Lift the tonearm from its rest and place it on the record.

At the end of the record, the tonearm will lift up, return to its rest and the turntable will shut off.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Mon 03, 2014 5:48 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 20, 2007 3:16 am
Posts: 858
Location: Winter Park, Florida
That little bronze clip that is in the way is the common ground and should be plugged into the center receptacle
of the cartridge, should have a black wire attached to it, this is probably why you are missing sound. If you look
at the cartridge closely you will see rgw which stands for red ground white.

also, the cartridge should have a small piece of foam on the top of it to damp the float, it always disintegrates,
it can be replaced with a small piece of foam weather strip.

It looks like you have the cartridge and stylus installed correctly (except for the black ground wire), you did
place the cartridge hinges on the little metal bar in the rear of the headshell, correct?

The tonearm is supposed to move slightly to the right when the record drops. If it is not landing on the record after the drop, the lube in the changer may be hardened and will need to be cleaned and lubed, but i can't exactly
tell if you are using the changer correctly, follow the previous post. If you are playing LP's, be sure the size
selector is in the 12" position.

Also a good idea to replace the electrolytic caps in the amp/preamp. RCA's of this era used many small
electrolytics that are almost always bad by now.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Mon 03, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Thank you for the tip about the ground. It took forever to plug it in, but I eventually got some leverage and got it in there. Unfortunately, the sound is still the same. I'm probably going to take it in to a shop that (supposedly) works on antique electronics and radios and see if there's anything they can do for it -- I really like this piece! The record volume is probably at like 1/4 of what the radio volume is, and hardly has any main vocals (it's actually mostly all background noise and keyboards and stuff). I'm not sure what a shop would usually charge to open up something and clean it or (hopefully not) replace some parts, but hopefully it's nothing catastrophic :|

The thing about the tonearm... so when I push the switch all the way to the left, "sel", it will drop the record, and the switch will move back to the "aut" position. Then the tonearm will rise, move to the right, and drop down onto nothing, which is obviously not what it should be doing :P That's not that big of a concern, because I don't mind using the manual function.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Mon 03, 2014 6:09 pm 
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It sounds to me like you may want to take this to a professional. I am thinking your changer needs a thorough cleaning and lubrication and yes it does look like part of the felt pad is missing. Also, they can determine if your cartridge is wired correctly or if it's shot. I'm betting it's just improperly wired.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a console I just purchased
PostPosted: Mar Wed 26, 2014 5:00 pm 
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A little update and further question on the console:

I've taken it in to a reputable shop in my area for all sorts of electronics, including antique phonographs. They are preparing to clean and lube all of the parts, but have let me know that I will need a new cartridge, and they're unable to get a replacement through wherever they get their parts from (so it would be under warranty). So that leaves me to find a cartridge myself on the internet... which I'm actually not having very much luck with. Every site that I've gone to has been out of a replacement for the 115277 cartridge, but this website has a link to a "sub" for it, which looks like it is generally the same shape, just slightly different. Also has a different output:

http://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog/ ... ategories=

Do you guys think this would be doable? Don't worry, you're not liable if it's not ;) It's just a lot cheaper than what the other cartridge was listed for as well.....



Ben


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