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 Post subject: Fisher 500-S can capacitor replacements
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2007 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 09, 2006 10:02 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Hello all. I own a Fisher 500-S model receiver that was given to me by the original owner 35 years ago along with all of the documentation including service data. Although it runs, it no doubt needs a cap replacement and full alignment to really take advantage of its vintage sonic design. The good news is that it is fully operational, so I'm starting with a known good base line.

While I'm contemplating my restoration options, I was curious as to how to approach the dilemma of replacing the multi-section electro's in the power supply section. The 500-S has 4 cans, three of which are multi-section, and I would normally use modern equivalents under the chassis and leave the cans up top for authenticity. But there's precious little space down under the chassis around this area, which is what led me to RADIO DAZE. They sell a supply of multi-section caps, although in limited configurations and none really match the ratings that I need. Does anyone have a source for these, or am I forced to cram these new electrolytics under the chassis, or restuff the originals?

I'm interested in opinions, as well as your advice on how I should approach this restoration. Although my the 500-S model isn't rare or particularly valuable, It's a fine sounding receiver, and of course, holds quite a bit of sentimental value that I would like to preserve. The dual "tuning eye" tubes for both AM and FM are really cool too! :wink:

I'd appreciate hearing back from the group.

Bryan in Tennessee
"The very best listening is done with your eyes closed"
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2007 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1960
Location: Lakewood, California
Hi Bryan,
Regarding replacement "FP"/ twist-lock electrolytic cans, I recently ran into this problem when re-capping my Fisher 80-AZ amplifier--did not want to go the terminal strip mounting route. Since the cans in this amp are under the chassis, and the space is tight, I needed to be able to specify the finished diameter and length of the cans.

After talking on the phone to Dave of DH Distributors of Wichita, Kansas, I purchased 40/40 @ 500, and 40/40 @ 450 custom made cans from him. The price was very reasonable(less than $15 each), and the cans themselves are chrome plated. You can specify if you want the paper labels on the cans or loose packaged in the box. Fast friendly service and a good source of other capacitors.

I also purchased some replacement "FP" twist-lock electrolytic capacitors for my McIntosh MC-60 amps from him.

I don't believe he has a web site, so you will have to contact him by phone or by mail:

DH Distributors
P.O. Bo 48623
Wichita, KS 67201
(316) 684-0050 (voice or fax)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Tue 06, 2007 2:35 am 
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Location: Lewiston, ID
First of all, a 500-S is actually pretty rare, and reasonably valuable. It's the predecessor to the 500-B, and then the 500-C, which was recently written up in a Stereophile article on vintage gear. It's most definitely worth restoring, and restoring carefully.

Secondly, if it's working now, and sounds good, with no noticeable 60 Hz AC hum, then you really don't need to replace your can capacitors. What is usually replaced are any caps in the bias circuit, the coupling capacitors, and the small electrolytics under the chassis.

If you do decide to go ahead and replace the cans, one of the best sources is www.vibroworld.com. Unfortunately the web site is closed for new orders while they move their business to a new location, but you can still browse the site.

I'm not familiar with the circuit for the 500-S, but if it has a selenium rectifier, this should also be replaced.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Tue 06, 2007 7:29 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1960
Location: Lakewood, California
Clay Nicolsen wrote:
First of all, a 500-S is actually pretty rare, and reasonably valuable. It's the predecessor to the 500-B, and then the 500-C, which was recently written up in a Stereophile article on vintage gear. It's most definitely worth restoring, and restoring carefully.

Secondly, if it's working now, and sounds good, with no noticeable 60 Hz AC hum, then you really don't need to replace your can capacitors. What is usually replaced are any caps in the bias circuit, the coupling capacitors, and the small electrolytics under the chassis.

If you do decide to go ahead and replace the cans, one of the best sources is www.vibroworld.com. Unfortunately the web site is closed for new orders while they move their business to a new location, but you can still browse the site.

I'm not familiar with the circuit for the 500-S, but if it has a selenium rectifier, this should also be replaced.


Thanks for the link Clay, a lot of unique items there.

Another source for a limited selection of new electrolytic cans is Antique Electronic Supply: http://www.tubesandmore.com/
Their cans are the original style of manufacture, where the Radio-Daze, Vibroworld, and DH custom made straight-sided cans are basically the same as re-stuffed cans, but with new barrels, bases, and an attached top. The Radio-Daze cans are blue powder coated and etched, and the Vibroworld and DH ones are chrome plated with paper labels. To my eye, looking at the picture of the Vibroworld "Custom Multi-Section" capacitors it seems like they are identical (including the paper label) to the ones manufactured by DH Distributors.

DH can also supply any of his custom made cans with clamp mount or the old stud mount style for vintage radios.

No, I don't own stock in DH Distributors, just a satisfied customer.

Looking at the Sams folder (588-10) for the Fisher 500-S, it looks like the coupling caps might be mylar, but it would still be a good idea to lift one lead and check them for leakage. The 500-S used 2 silicon diodes instead of a tube rectifier, and did not use a selenium rectifier for bias on the output tubes.

There is also a nice write-up of the Fisher 500 series in the magazine "Vacuum Tube Valley", issue 6. I recently inherited a "500" from a friends estate, gonna have to check that baby out!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Tue 06, 2007 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 09, 2006 10:02 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Thanks Clay and Meade for providing good sources for the cans. I'm inclined to leave them alone for now. The last time I fired the Fisher up it was clean with no audible hum. The bias and coupling caps are definately on the list for replacement, and easy to access. You are correct that there isn't a selenium rectifier in this model. Diodes! I was wondering why this particular model had them while many of the same vintage had the former. Another challenge is finding an original AM ferrite antenna, as the one for this receiver was lost many years ago. Other than that, it's complete and "unmolested". Finding the fuse lamps has proved to be difficult, but I've been keeping an eye on an aution on e-pay from a fellow that apparently builds solid state equivilents that look pretty interesting. Probably will buy a couple just to see how well it illuminates the dial. I'll post pictures as I progress. Thanks again.

Bryan in Tennessee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mar Tue 06, 2007 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7804
Location: Minnesota
Clay Nicolsen wrote:
Secondly, if it's working now, and sounds good, with no noticeable 60 Hz AC hum, then you really don't need to replace your can capacitors. What is usually replaced are any caps in the bias circuit, the coupling capacitors, and the small electrolytics under the chassis.


If this is going to be a daily driver and not a shelf queen the electrolytics should be replaced. The high ESR in these 40 yr old caps will put a lot of stress on the transformer and rectifier tube.

Dave


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 Post subject: DH Distributors
PostPosted: Apr Mon 07, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Apr Mon 07, 2008 10:52 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Oregon
Re: DH Distributors......$15 for a multi-section is a wonderful deal. Thanks for posting I lost his info years ago. Dave is a great guy I delt with him about 6 years ago. He sent the multi-can before I paid for it and charged me only $15. He has 15 years making can replacements and 30 years in electronics. Why he doesn't have a website I don't understand. Best kept secret.


Last edited by vrcimino on Apr Mon 07, 2008 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 07, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Location: Oregon
ok


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 08, 2008 2:57 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
The people at Antique Electronic Supply (Tubes and More) have the largest selection, by far, of any other place I have seen.

http://www.tubesandmore.com/

However, different places have different things, so it pays to check several:

http://www.radiodaze.com/capsMS.htm

http://www.vibroworld.com/parts/tech15.html

http://www.tubeampparts.com

http://store.triodestore.com/

http://www.hi-endstore.com/CanCapacitor.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 08, 2008 3:10 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5735
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
In the end, get your new can caps wherever you like, but you owe it to yourself to check out AES. I've bought a LOT of their FP type caps. Very good quality, and look just like original. Lots of choices. They might not have precisely what you need, but they are likely to have something that you can add together to make what you need.
I.E. If you need a 200 ufd, you can buy a 100/100 or a 50/50/50/50. The 50 X4 can also be used for a 150.
Pick the physical size you need.
If your caps are bare aluminum, then these are fine the way they come. If your cans are covered with a cardboard sleeve, they also might have hot cans. Assuming they're mounted on the insulated wafers, two of four caps, for instance, in a voltage multiplier supply can be hot compared with chassis ground. These need to be covered with sleeves to keep from putting your lights out.

These caps from AES are made new in the USA.
Mark D.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Sat 10, 2008 4:27 am 
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Location: Burbank, CA USA
Great sourcing info here, thanks. One comment though, I have gotten a couple of faulty can caps from tubesandmore and they were not especially helpful about exchanging them. They do have a good selection, though.

And unfortunately, Vibroworld has been "temporarily closed" for a long time now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Sat 10, 2008 4:06 pm 
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David Kulka wrote:
...One comment though, I have gotten a couple of faulty can caps from tubesandmore and they were not especially helpful about exchanging them....



I got a card from AES (tubesandmore) stating there was free shipping. I placed an order online and they charged shipping. I called and they said that the free shipping didn't start until a few days later. I pointed out that the card did not state any date. At the time, they told me "Sorry, that's the policy". I told them that that would be the last order from me (it was) and that there were other vendors out there. Two day later, they did refund the shipping, reluctantly. So, I don't really like their attitude and will go elsewhere when I can. Just passing on a comment...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 13, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Replace any out of tolerance resistors along with any paper caps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Mon 19, 2008 8:26 am 
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[quote="easyrider8
If this is going to be a daily driver and not a shelf queen the electrolytics should be replaced. The high ESR in these 40 yr old caps will put a lot of stress on the transformer and rectifier tube.

Dave[/quote]

This is excellent advice, as I have a Fisher KX-200 int. amp that "blew out" it's original electrolytic capacitors one time while I was listening to it. Not a very pretty thing to watch. It needs to be restored, and I still haven't got the guts to try to fix it. This happened about 5 years ago, and the sound, smoke, and smell that the caps made when they blew, still scares me to this day. One day, I am going to try it. This is one sweet sounding amp!!!

John S.

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RIP:Curt Reed, also Bill ("oldradiospook") & Larry ("Bigbandsman").


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Mon 19, 2008 2:18 pm 
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johnS. wrote:
...This is excellent advice, as I have a Fisher KX-200 int. amp that "blew out" it's original electrolytic capacitors one time while I was listening to it...


John,

I have one too. Very nice amp. Haven't done much to it yet but I am having a hard problem trying to find a hum that started about a week after using it...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Mon 19, 2008 9:21 pm 
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Location: Burbank, CA USA
Another source for can capacitors is Magic Parts, www.magicparts.com


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 Post subject: Hello all
PostPosted: May Fri 30, 2008 2:51 am 
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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum. I just acquired a Fisher 500-S off of E-Bay tonight. I own a 500-B which I am almost finished re-capping. I was curious to learn a little bit more about the 500-S because I have had a hard time finding information about it and this is one of the few websites I found talking about the model. I understand that the FM is mono, but the everything else on it is stereo? I assume it should be worth quite a bit of money, as it seems to be rarer than the other Fisher models I see on e-bay all the time (500B/C, 400, etc). I am excited and can't wait to get my hands on it and start re-capping.


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 Post subject: Fisher 500-S
PostPosted: Aug Tue 05, 2008 7:15 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 05, 2008 7:01 am
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Location: San Jose, CA USA
Hello all,
I am a new member, with a suddenly ill Fisher 500-S. I've had it for a number of years and it's a daily driver, and the output failed yesterday for the first time in over 20 years of operation. (I originally bought it at a thrift shop for $20, and it had a smashed tube, which I replaced to make it fully operational. It's the only repair or tuber replacement in all this time.)

Anyhow, I took the case off tonight, and most of the tubes light up, and I get one small click through the speakers when I turn the volume up or down. The green AM meter seems to be receiving something that I can tune in (but cannot hear).

I immediately noticed that all the 12AX7 tubes were stone cold. I have not done any troubleshooting yet, but imagine I've lost the 12 volt supply to those 12AX7's...perhaps the transformer? I ordered a Sam's Photofact a few minutes ago, and will check out voltages when it arrives.

No hum from this sweet little receiver ever...just lots of rich, clean sound....until now.

Any ideas before I start poking around?

Many thanks,
Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Aug Tue 05, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Location: Marietta/Moultrie GA
Ken, sounds like you lost the bias supply... which also supplies heater power to some of the 12AX7s. Possibly a dead selenium rectifier, in the back of the unit, underneath.

If it were mine, I'd replace that selenium rectifier (even if it's not dead yet) and the associated electrolytic caps in that supply. Could be all that's wrong with it... but you won't know for sure, until you know that part is working properly. It's unsafe to use the unit without that supply in good order!

Regards,
Gordon.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Aug Wed 06, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 09, 2006 10:02 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Ken, PM me about your Fisher 500-S. I posted the original subject in this thread months ago, and have owned mine since 1973.

Bryan in Knoxville

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