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 Post subject: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 12:17 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 87
I need some advice on what to do to a 60's era rca console before playing on a regular basis, I'm doing up a 1960's room and picked up this rca console. It works and sounds great but has more bass from the left side than the right side. I'm more into the tube radios where replacing the electrolitics, caps and out of tolarance resistors is what to do before playing them. What kind of electrical restoration do these require before playing? I've never delt with solid state transistorised electronics before...
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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 12:25 am 
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Joined: Aug Mon 16, 2010 7:01 pm
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Location: USA
The electrolytic caps tend to dry out, losing capacitance. That could cause loss of bass in one channel, if a coupling cap has lost capacitance. So replace the caps. One at a time, and pay attention to the polarity.


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 12:34 am 
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I will start with the e-caps then, there mounted on a printed circuit board so this is going to be new to me , thanks for the advice


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 1:02 am 
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Location: Pro Tech, Philadelphia Pa.
I've done enough of those RCA consoles to know they usually need a good complete overhaul to perform right.
As with anything - ages takes its toll.

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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 1:17 am 
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Posts: 87
Should I treat it the same as a tube chassis, just go ahead and replace all the caps, test the resistors, lube controls, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 2:02 am 
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radioray wrote:
Should I treat it the same as a tube chassis, just go ahead and replace all the caps, test the resistors, lube controls, etc.?
Learn from another rookie's (read: me) mistakes: printed circuit boards are a different beast from hand wired circuits altogether. Use heat sinks when applicable, don't use more heat than necessary, and apply additional solder sparingly. Otherwise you end up with a charred hunk of green plastic. Don't ask me how I know that.

Good luck!
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 2:26 am 
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Joined: Aug Mon 16, 2010 7:01 pm
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Location: USA
Use care on those old circuit boards. It's easy to lift a circuit trace. Solder wick, which looks like copper braid, is useful to suck up enough old solder to free up cap leads. I think Radio Shack still sells it.

Find some similar vintage scrap circuit boards and do some practice unsoldering on them.


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 3:40 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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thanks for the advice guys, printed circuit boards do kinna scare me, I've used desoldering wick before and I do have a real decent desoldering gun, I'll get a Sams coming and start with the e-caps first. I'll update my progress in the future, anyone with more advice let me here from you.


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 3:58 am 
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For the old through-hole parts, you might also try a good quality solder sucker before the solder wick. You don't want to leave the soldering iron on the printed circuit board any longer than you have to. On just long enought to melt the solder, and then suck the solder out from the back side of the board. Heat from a soldering iron has a cumulative effect on the copper laminations and can cause them to lift.


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2013 6:06 am 
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hi_volt wrote:
For the old through-hole parts, you might also try a good quality solder sucker before the solder wick. You don't want to leave the soldering iron on the printed circuit board any longer than you have to. On just long enought to melt the solder, and then suck the solder out from the back side of the board. Heat from a soldering iron has a cumulative effect on the copper laminations and can cause them to lift.



Describing how to do it is one thing....
It's an "art". :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2013 2:33 am 
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Location: Boston, MA USA
radioray wrote:
I do have a real decent desoldering gun,

I have never found a soldering gun to be good for PCB work. You should have at the least a simple 30 watt soldering iron, better would be a temperature-controlled soldering station. A soldering gun puts too much heat on the board and is also clumsy in the small spaces involved.

I have found 1960s RCA Victor PCBs to be fairly robust and easy to work on, as they go. Perhaps others' experiences may differ.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2013 8:54 am 
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dberman51 wrote:
radioray wrote:
I do have a real decent desoldering gun,

I have never found a soldering gun to be good for PCB work. You should have at the least a simple 30 watt soldering iron, better would be a temperature-controlled soldering station. A soldering gun puts too much heat on the board and is also clumsy in the small spaces involved.

I have found 1960s RCA Victor PCBs to be fairly robust and easy to work on, as they go. Perhaps others' experiences may differ.

-David


David, remember those 1960's-1970's General Electric green-masked PC boards?
Those........ were a nightmare!
Foils lifting everywhere an iron touched.

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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Early PC boards require care when doing repairs, as anyone who has worked on 1950s or 1960s equipment will attest; some manufacturers made boards which were far worse than others. Use a SMALL (low wattage) soldering iron, and don't keep the heat on the traces too long. Also, use 63/37 alloy solder if you can find some; it has the lowest melting point. A soldering gun has way too much heat, and will lift the traces.

If you have a soldering station with adjustable temperature, set it for no more than 700 degrees, and go lower if you can.

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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Boston, MA USA
RepairTech wrote:
David, remember those 1960's-1970's General Electric green-masked PC boards?
Those........ were a nightmare!
Foils lifting everywhere an iron touched.

The only GE boards I have repaired have been older -- mid to late 1950s, and seemed to be pretty decent. But thanks for the tip on the newer ones for when I run across one!

One of the most difficult PCB repairs I have had to do was on a very nice 1958 Motorola Ranger 700 portable radio with a primitive 2-sided board, which had been damaged by previous (and unsuccessful) "repair." I had to rebuild quite a few traces on that one.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2013 3:31 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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This is a follow up on the restoration of the RCA Console, I wanted to thank everyone who chimmed in with their advice, after replacing about twenty electrolitic caps in the tunner, amp and power supply chassis it really came ALIVE! In fact it sounds better then my modern Bose system. The sound is amazing. This was my first pc board restoration and I gotta say it's easier then a tube chassis. I used a Sam's and was able to replace all the values with the correct uf's, I found three that were replaced in the past and done incorretly, a 4.7uf in place of a 10uf with the polarity backwards. I know this is more of vintage stereo then atique radio, what is normally posted on here, but wanted to say thanks for the help.
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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2013 4:10 am 
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Joined: Aug Sun 01, 2010 1:12 am
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Location: Minnesota
That's a really nice console. Thanks for sharing.

PCB's are nothing to be afraid of, as you now know. Just don't overdo it on the heat. Much easier than point to point, once you have the hang of it as long as it's a good board. Some of them are really POS.


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 Post subject: Re: 1960's RCA console NEED ADVICE/ HELP
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2013 9:27 pm 
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radioray wrote:
(snip) ... it really came ALIVE! In fact it sounds better then my modern Bose system. (snip)

And you are surprised?! Sorry, couldn't resist! :-)
Congratulations on the nice repair of a good looking period piece.
Cheers,
Roger

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Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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