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 Post subject: New member with first radio
PostPosted: Apr Sun 24, 2022 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
I love restoring old equipment, whether it be electrical or mechanical. I'm so sick of all the injection molded disposable crap this world has to offer. Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi and share that I just picked up my first antique radio. Well, I haven't actually picked it up, but it should be here in a week or two. It's a Siemens M57. Yes, I know it's a handful for a first timer, but I think I'm up for it. The cabinet and chassis are extremely nice and will require very little attention. I'm anticipating a re-cap and possibly an alignment. I might just throw in a Bluetooth module to make it more acceptable to the wife. If she can enjoy listening to her Bee Gees on it, she may enjoy looking at it too.

I may be posting some pics when it arrives and possible be sharing pics of the restoration process. I may also have some questions along the way. Although I have spent many years working on tube guitar amplifiers, tuners are a completely new area to me. I will appreciate any help that I can get and will try to return the same in any way I can...

Jeff


Last edited by JHanko on Apr Mon 25, 2022 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: Apr Mon 25, 2022 4:01 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 01, 2012 9:55 pm
Posts: 13888
Location: Seattle, WA
Welcome to the forums, Jeff!

You're right, that is definitely not what most of us would consider a beginner radio! But if you're experienced working on amps... A radio is basically the same, except the amp stages don't all operate at audio frequencies, and in between amp stages, there are frequency converters. No big whoop really.

The thing people often talk about on those sets (and I haven't done a big European radio myself) are the piano key switches and the crazy dial strings. Take an extra dose of patience on the days you're working on those parts.

Good luck and feel free to ask questions... There are lots of people here who are excited to help and to follow along with your progress!

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Rodney -- KG7EPW
Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with a chainsaw.


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: Apr Mon 25, 2022 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
Thanks for the welcome. Mechanical issues like the piano key switches and dial strings are challenges I look forward to. Learning tuner operation, repair and optimization is what will test my patience.


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: Apr Tue 26, 2022 10:11 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 629
Location: Shiner ,Texas
Well...you have picked up a fabulous radio to start.Siemens cabinet radios of the 1954-57 P48,M57,H42 are the epitome of German luxury radios.None of my relatives in Germany had one...I was a lil one...but I would have remembered .I was fortunate enough to get a H42...the baby one that had a really well done electronic restoration done 30 years ago.Do your research on the chassis..Plays like a million dollars..I am sure you will do the routine check out...I will not bore you ..with my experiences with my German radios...you sound up to task...but will mention two things..only the P48 had a rectifier tube..and the Siemens selenium rectifiers of the H42,M57 are still available...and the EABC80 & ECH81 tubes split some of their duties between AM & FM.


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Sun 01, 2022 1:24 pm 
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Posts: 1159
Location: Yukon, OK USA
Welcome! Sounds like a good project. One thought; rather than modify it with bluetooth you can build a simple transmitter and send what ever programming you want to it. I use a Google Home device to stream Pandora to my transmitter. The advantage is that once you rebuild several sets you won't have to modify all of them. While I did it with the Google Home you could also use a cheap bluetooth receiver to feed the transmitter and connect via your phone. There are quite a few good transmitter projects on this board. Check in if you run into any issues. There is lots of expert help available.

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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 3:33 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
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Location: Joliet, IL
Well, looks like I should find a new hobby. The radio arrived today. Cabinet broken in pieces. Bent chassis. Broken voltage selector switch. Broken antenna. Some things are just not meant to be...


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 4:01 am 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Well don't give up yet. There are thousands of radios waiting for rescue. Go get one that you can pick up personally. Choose one made in the USA for starters. Put the Seimens away for now and you will learn quicker on one that's easier to restore.

Sadly, we see destruction like that on a regular basis, a risk you take when shopping online from careless sellers. Get your money back and move on.

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Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 7:49 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: SoCal, 91387
westcoastjohn wrote:
Get your money back and move on.

Exactly! You were buying a complete radio I presume, and the seller sent you a parts set. Get all your money refunded.

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\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins/////////////////////////


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
Yes, it was listed as complete and working and I believe it was. I will get a refund, but will have to wait for eBay's lengthy process. The seller did pack the radio extremely well in a double walled box. I have never seen so much bubble wrap in one place in my life. The mistake he made was packing it with the back down, instead of bottom down. The weight of the chassis was being supported by the sides and all the bumps from the journey were trying to separate the two (successfully). If he would have packed it bottom down, the weight of the chassis would have been supported by the packing material with no load on the cabinet. He should have also supported that antenna somehow too. I'm really heartbroken about this. It is now just one less beautiful piece of gear (electrically, mechanically and aesthetically) in the world. What's also upsetting is how much time I wasted translating the schematic, users manual and service manual in preparation for its arrival...

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 3:59 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
There's no orientation as far as shipping companies are concerned. Boxes are commonly dropped on any corner and can end up traveling on any face. The mistake is assuming there is an orientation and packing with the hope that a box will stay "upright." It won't. A radio that can't be packed to travel safely upside down or on its face, simply shouldn't be shipped. However, nearly 100% of radios can be shipped successfully with careful preparation and appropriate packing. It's just that very few sellers give the task the necessary thought to be successful. Sorry your radio got busted up. We've all been there, you're not alone.

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Rodney -- KG7EPW
Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with a chainsaw.


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 1:27 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11684
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
I have been lucky; it hasn't happened to me yet. I do try to avoid eBay, and pick up stuff locally. I once drove 100 miles to pick up a Philco 16B; it rode home in the passenger seat. The last radio that I had shipped was bought from a Forum member; thanks to careful double-box packing, it survived a journey all the way from the Pacific Northwest with no damage. It can be done.

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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Fri 20, 2022 2:40 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 08, 2007 6:47 am
Posts: 5784
Location: British Columbia
I've seen worse, if the dial is intact the rest can be repaired, too bad about the ferrite rod in the antenna, but replacement rods can be found, those are often poorly anchored in these West German sets, or the rubber mounts have perished, some were only held in with rubber bands! Seek a refund, then put the set into dry dock until you have enough experience to work on it.
Regards
Arran


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Sat 21, 2022 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
If I were to decide to tackle repairing this, where would I start to look for a replacement antenna? Would it have to be from a similar radio?


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Sat 21, 2022 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 12168
Location: alameda,CA
I have restored this model twice. They are.... a PAIN IN THE ASS. Not trying to dissuade you, but the biggest challenge with these is that they were probably built in layers and a lot of the capacitors are fairly difficult to access. And I say this as someone who has worked on a ton of German sets.

Anyway, here is a video I made showing how the set is restored. Pay attention to how the chassis comes out as its not straightforward. You need to remove a metal plate that covers a complicated switch and volume control mechanism attached via a sort of umbilical cord.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNM8RcoIv_A


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Sat 21, 2022 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
Thanks for that video. It will be very helpful, if and when I decide to work on it. That is a different model than mine, but very similar. This one just has one more speaker and double the power output. Just curious how you repaired your broken ferrite...


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Sat 21, 2022 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Nov Tue 18, 2008 8:34 am
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Location: Hutchinson,Kansas
This has happened to everyone of us! Dont give up on the radio unless you can get a refund!


Todd


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Mon 23, 2022 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
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Location: Joliet, IL
Well, I decided to tear into this and see what I'm dealing with. The chassis came out without any surprises. The good news: The radio came to life without any complaints using a variac. FM reception is very good. With the exception of a little hum (that I'm sure a cap job will fix), the radio sounds amazing. An unbelievable amount of bass coming out of an open back cabinet. I'm really impressed with this. The bad: The chassis is twisted more than I thought it was. When the radio arrived, The tuning knob was hard to turn. I figured it just needed lubrication. It turns out he chassis bent so much that the flywheel shaft was so angled, the flywheel was hitting the chassis. At this point I realized that I couldn't straighten out the chassis with the glass face still attached. I'm amazed that the face didn't break. Time to tear it apart.


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Mon 23, 2022 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
Definitely a lot of over-engineering on this set, but I really enjoy seeing different and unique ways people can come up with to execute an idea or solve a problem. One thing for sure... it's not a boring radio. I'm almost glad that the chassis got bent. If it didn't, I probably would have never noticed how dirty it was. A deep cleaning will definitely make a difference in the finished job.


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Mon 23, 2022 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
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Location: Joliet, IL
Attached to the inside of the cabinet was an envelope that contained the Schematic and alignment procedures (in German, of course). Also in the envelope was a spare fuse and a couple tubes of black stuff. What is in these tubes and what's it for?


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 Post subject: Re: New member with first radio
PostPosted: May Mon 23, 2022 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 24, 2022 3:18 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Joliet, IL
Speaking of over-engineered, here's a little video showing the elaborate treble control system. Why is this so complicated, instead of a simple pot, cap and resistor you would typically see nowadays?

https://youtu.be/LWCa-_VEtuM


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