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 Post subject: General Electric F127
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 2:55 am
Posts: 86
Location: Beautiful Brentwood Bay, BC
So I went to look at this thing, and couldn't resist it for $50. I searched here on the forums, and found that the radio shares the chassis with the RCA 811K. The only difference I see is that my radio has a place that looks like a tube socket, where I would think the remote control would go. Was this common practice, to share chassis? I didn't know that was done with chassis, I knew cabinet were often outsourced. The previous owner said it had been in use, and worked. And it does. I couldn't resist plugging it in either. In fact, the electric tuning works as well. It just needs cleaning and lubing. Other than needing refinishing, the bezel is missing a tiny piece, above the tuning eye.

I am blown away by the sound, and the tuner. I was listening to radio Havana last night, clear as a bell. My dang Gundig won't do that, and its 70 years newer.

Does anyone here have a pic of the remote that these used? Did the remote just allow you to switch between presets, like the front buttons, or did it allow you to "seek".

In the back of the radio was the full sheet of station decals for the presets, missing only those that were cut out and installed on the bezel.

I like the Music, vs. Speech knob. And the giant size! I can't believe how big this thing is.

The antenna I am using right now is just a long piece of wire. Can someone point me in the right direction here? I have NO idea what makes a good antenna -theory wise. If someone could show me a picture of what might be better. Is there some way I could wind the wire up to make it smaller, but still work? I've seen pictures of those ones that look like spider webs, that sort of thing. I will probably spend some time here searching. There is so much info.

I see the radio schematic says 1937, does anyone know the range of dates that these were produced? Further, does anyone know how much this radio cost when new? I am very curious, as it is by far the fanciest radio I own, or have seen in real life, although I know there are members far and wide that have much much fancier sets!



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 13246
Location: Tennessee,USA
Hi Chris,
Nice set.

I couldn't resist plugging it in either.

Yeah, I know the feeling, but a few seconds can ruin a set. There are safer ways to power up a 'just found' set.

I know you have ordered caps for your car radio, but I want to pass this along to you about powering up old sets. (Just in case you didn't know about it :) )

http://www.philcoradio.com/tech/plugin.htm

The dim bulb tester (cheapest) and the Variac should be used to power up sets that have not been on in a while, and those of unknown condition. Of course a basic inspection is in order first to see if there is any obvious burning or bad loking areas under the chassis.

If you are going to recap this one, you might be money ahead to order a capacitor assortment, so you will have enoughm, plus more for your next set. Ordering caps for one radio at a time might not be the cost efficient way to get caps.

Check out Just Radios.com

Good luck on the set,

_________________
Gary Rabbitt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2009 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 2:55 am
Posts: 86
Location: Beautiful Brentwood Bay, BC
I in fact did order a "kit" of orange drips, and of electrolytics, and resistors. Cheaper, and good to have on hand.

The previous owner of the set had it in his garage and was using it, and it had before that come from a house where it was in use. I did know about the dim bulb tester, but this had already gone through that. I am going to recap the set. In fact, waiting for the caps has me going crazy, I've got radios on the brain!
I'm in my shop right this minute, winding wire on a broomstick. See how that works tonight.

Christopher


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2009 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2009 1:40 am
Posts: 2473
Location: Lexington, KY
Nice find Christopher! Hopefully you'll be able to eventually find a new dial bezel from a parts set.

I don't want to beat a dead horse but Gary is spot on about the caps.

As far as your antenna question I usually just use a wire laid down along the wall. If you really want to get extreme you can put up a long wire antenna outside. Otherwise I think you'll find on these consoles that just a short run of wire works fine.

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sun 29, 2009 2:15 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 13246
Location: Tennessee,USA
Yes, the straight wire, 10 to 15 ft long should bring in many stations. Even along the baseboard might do well, or in the basement , pin up along the floor joists.

The bezel may be able to be repaired, glue up the cracks, then use an application of epoxy putty, file, sand smooth then touch up the color. Might be ok until you can (hopefully) find a replacement.

I know what you mean Chris about waiting for parts. As for the cabinet, it looks like the trim may need to be touched up or refinished. The rest of the cabinet, especially the faceboard should do well with a cleanup and paste wax.
(Gojo no pumice works well.)

Let us know how it comes out :)
Gary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Sun 29, 2009 4:34 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5071
Location: Ortonville, Michigan
Verrrrry nice set! And this is the smallest of the four models for 1938 that RCA made. There was an 812K,813K, and 816K. I was surprised th see that RCA furnished GE with this chassis.

The top line for 1938 RCA was the U-109; a phono combination that also used the motor driven tuning system.

The remote control is a bakelite box, with 8 push buttons on it that lock in when pressed. It only operates the motor driven tuner. It does not have on-off or volume adjustment on it. They don't appear very frequently, but keep an eye open for one.

Once the chassis is out, best to lubricate the tuning clockwork thoroughly. If you use it very much without doing this, you might be crying for replacement parts. They're hard to get, too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 2:55 am
Posts: 86
Location: Beautiful Brentwood Bay, BC
Alright, I cleaned 'er up. Boy was there ever a lot of crud on this, especially on and around the knobs.

Behind that "Harmonic Balancer", is of course the mighty speaker. Boy, its big. So, what's with that black thing attached to it? Is that the output transformer? I haven't pulled out the chassis, but on the top, I don't see an output transformer. Is this transformer, adjustable? What I mean is, is this where the change from music to speech happens? Is this what RCA called the magic voice? When set to music, it rattles the plates in the kitchen when listening to bluegrass, Big-Band, and anything that has an upright bass.

I've been using a broomstick antenna, which seems to be an improvement over the eight foot wire, and it fits behind the radio in the corner too. I had a spool of about a hundred feet of #28 magnet wire, and wound that around a dowel, and used an old saw blade for the "hat". It's ugly, but that's all I had laying around. Can I just run my ground from the chassis to the ground on the electrical plug? The set has the original two wire power cord. I have seen old power outlets in houses, that had an antenna ground on them, I assume this was back when houses were just two wires, no ground.

Does any one have a Phonograph hooked up to something like this? I assume the connections are a plus minus, and a ground? This would be before RCA plugs were standard? This Radio is ten years older than anything else I have. This phono graph would be a magnetic type? I see the two of the connections are bridged on the phono input, do these get separated when the phonograph is installed? How does the radio switch between phono and radio? Is this one of those, tune to a quiet place on the dial deals?
Boy, I've gottah move that TV!!!!!!

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Close-up of the transformer looking thing:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Nov Thu 22, 2007 10:25 pm
Posts: 4579
Location: Moline Illinois
Image

I have the RCA 811K version of yours. The plastic bezel looks identical to my eyes so you may find a good replacement by looking for an RCA set for parts.

ALSO, on mine, the 3rd photo connections as seen in this photo, on mine, has a wire connected to it that disappears under the chassis to places unknown. Mine has the speaker cover on so can't tell you if I too have that thingie on the speaker but I would guess they are similar or perhaps yours was upgraded at some time.

I really like 1930's RCA's. I also have the 813K and a few others and that 813K can really rock the walls.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 02, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 1377
Location: Ennismore, Ontario
Chris

I am currently working on My F-127. Have it cleaned and recapped.

Here is the thread I started when I asked about the schematic.

http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=106880

The cousin is not the 811K but the 812K. There are a few differences.

Mine sounds great also, The largest Console cabinet I have. I need to refinish it this summer.

Brian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 02, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 1377
Location: Ennismore, Ontario
christopherlang wrote:


Close-up of the transformer looking thing:
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Here is a shot of the transformer on my F-127 speaker.

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Brian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 30, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 2:55 am
Posts: 86
Location: Beautiful Brentwood Bay, BC
I never even thought about it, but I'll bet my transformer has been replaced, it has vinyl wires after all!!

I am going to look at the schematic tonight and see how the phono works.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Tue 31, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 2:55 am
Posts: 86
Location: Beautiful Brentwood Bay, BC
So,
looking at the RCA 812k schematic, where the phono input goes. I see that the third terminal is for ground, boy they loved to ground things!!

On the diagram, it says to remove the link from #1 & #2, and connect the phono to that. So, I can plug my TV or what have you in there? I would imagine this is set up for a crystal cartridge player, so a modern line level will be lower voltage than this right? Is this one of those, just tune the dial to a dead spot? Without the link in place, will the radio still be happy? I imagine so, but again, I have no idea about this stuff. But I have to admit, after reading a million posts here, and seeing the diagram, and the chassis, things are much more clear than before! I think I'll try it tonight.

Christopher


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