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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Mon 19, 2018 4:30 pm 
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Hi Billy,
Sorry to say that the knobs need to stay with the radios. Maybe put up a want ad in the classifieds?

Anyway,
Here is a rather nice Sears Silvertone R-111 from 1940. IMHO one of those sets that really doesn't get a lot of love, probably because the cabinet styling is sort of "meh" but from an electronics and performance perspective is rather impressive. It has a very large transformer that will operate between 25-60 hertz, 11 tubes, 7 bands, and 2 speakers, one being a 12" the other a large oval speaker.

The story I was told was that an old man owned it for years and was using it up until recently when it just quit.
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Whats amazing to me is that it was totally "virgin" with not only what appeared to be all of the original components underneath but also all of the original tubes complete with the exact same style of "Super Silvertone" script. I decided to test all of the tubes first and when I did I found that one of the 6V6's was dead and the rest just barely registered any emissions meaning they had all been used for years and years and years. So I went to the museum to get a set of NOS tubes.
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I've worked on 2-3 of this model and there is a lot of room under there. That and its all easy to get at. I had the whole thing done in an hour.
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After a good cleaning of the cabinet, the installation of a Bluetooth receiver and cleaning of the pots and controls it works perfectly. These are some of the most impressive sounding sets one can find of that era. If you stand in front you can just feel the bass emanating off of it. It will hold its own in terms of sound quality even by standards of today.
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Lastly, a Motorola 6-tuber. It had been left outside in the rain for a week. I took it home, let it dry out in the sun, cleaned and recapped it and also gave it a nice blue paint job.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Tue 20, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Location: Johnstown, Ohio
I saw the picture of your Motorola 6 tuber (last pic) that the tuner had a screw missing that would be used for alignment. I have a Motorola 65X12-A that I am working on and it also has this screw missing. Do you think that was done on purpose by Motorola or is it just a coincidence? I do not know how it would be aligned this way but I am just a rookie at this so who knows. Let me know what you think.

Regards,
Don


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Tue 20, 2018 4:18 pm 
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I hadn't even noticed that! But the set works great without it apparently. Usually if I recap a set and all is well I tend to just let it be unless of course there's something horrifically wrong either from a cosmetic or electrical safety perspective.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Tue 20, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Old Tube wrote:
I saw the picture of your Motorola 6 tuber (last pic) that the tuner had a screw missing that would be used for alignment. I have a Motorola 65X12-A that I am working on and it also has this screw missing. Do you think that was done on purpose by Motorola or is it just a coincidence? I do not know how it would be aligned this way but I am just a rookie at this so who knows. Let me know what you think.

Regards,
Don

That screw is missing because Motorola used a antenna trimmer that is mounted on the back. i guess that Motorola thought it would make it more convenient for it to be mounted there.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Tue 20, 2018 7:45 pm 
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It is nice to see a brass escutcheon on that Sears Silvertone R-111.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Wed 21, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Its actually plastic with a back painted bronze coating. I simply used novus to polish the whole thing so that it shows the illusion of being made of metal as it would look from the factory


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Wed 21, 2018 7:21 pm 
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I really enjoyed the story about the Silvertone R-111 and how loved this radio apparently was. It would be nice if you could contact the original owner and let him know his radio is repaired to like-new condition.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 4:43 pm 
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Here's the latest: this one took 2 evenings to complete. Its an odd Zenith portable with a sort of "trap door" feature: user pushes a button on top and this turns the radio on and flings open 2 front doors and pops a spring-loaded antenna out of the back. Totally gimicky! I assume this is probably either super late 40's or early 50's because it has the awful rotten rubber wiring we all hate. The switch is located in the top next to the release mechanism and the harness going to it was all crumbly and had to be replaced. The internal wiring was ok though. The electrolytic can has 4 sections and was mounted in a far corner. VERY little room to work with and thus required some creative placements.

The case was really scratched up badly and required most of the last evening to polish up with Novus. It works well now. Given that this is a rather unusual set and that there was no damage to the case I chose not to add any audio input and instead have it simply as a collector's radio.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 7:36 pm 
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I have one of those Zeniths. Model 6G801, I think about 1948 IIRC.

They are a pain to work on. In addition to the problems you listed, the chassis is a pain to get in and out of the cabinet and alignment is almost impossible since the dial scale is part of the cabinet and the trimmers can't be reached while the chassis is in the cabinet.

By the way, the knobs appear to be incorrect for your set. It was offered in both black and tan cabinet styles and the black cabinet had black knobs to match.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 9:52 pm 
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I'm not sure the knobs are wrong given that they match the color of the handle wrapping. It looks good IMHO so I won't bother changing them out.

Yeah- getting the chassis back in is a major chore as it was difficult to line up the holes. That and there was a sort of foam rubber stuff that surrounded the dial for the speaker, I assume to cusion any vibrations. That stuff had turned into a nasty goo.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 10:19 pm 
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I hadn't noticed that earlier but the handle also appears to be off the Tan model.

Here are comparisons of the two. One had a tan and brown color scheme and the other had a silver and black color scheme.

Attachment:
6G801 Black.jpg
6G801 Black.jpg [ 24.66 KiB | Viewed 2561 times ]


Attachment:
6G801 Tan.jpg
6G801 Tan.jpg [ 123.42 KiB | Viewed 2561 times ]


The knobs used on these also seem to have an issue with discoloration over time. I'm not sure whether its outgassing from the plastic or some kind of fungus but it gives the knobs a white oxidation look.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2018 10:45 pm 
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The ones on the one I did were totally white. I guess the plastic outgasses with age. Anyway I've found that to get rid of that stuff and to clean up nasty knobs you can stick them in warm water with a cap full of amonia. Cleans them up like new every time.

Anyway... This one is going to another antique show and as it looks fine I'm going to leave it as-is. Next time I see one of these... I will run away as it was not fun. That said the next item up for restoration is another weird portable, a Philco that has a strange plastic alligator case. I imagine it too will be awful


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Wed 04, 2018 4:54 pm 
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I had to take a sort of "Pit stop" and spent a week working on my truck. Replaced the water pump, cap, rotor, wireds, shocks, tires, and just gave it an overall major tuneup. Now that its back in good condition... time to get back to more radios...

The latest is this really large Siemens set. Its a non-export model that comes with a Polydore record player in the top.
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Whomever owned it took really good care of it. The finish had no scratches and even the chassis was very clean.
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That said... this was one of the biggest pains in the rears to restore. And why? Because for whatever reason they chose to GLUE all of the capacitors to the chassis! Now why is beyond me but it meant that all of them had to be scraped off and whatever the glue they used was strong stuff.
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The record player is the most basic, simple unit I've seen. There's hardly any moving parts. The whole thing is made out of very thin stamped steel. I wouldn't call it a high quality unit but amazingly the rubber was in great shape, which was good as I can't imagine where one would get parts for it.
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Anyway its all up and running now with one exception: The phono motor is a 50 Hertz unit and so I will need to find a way to slow it down around 20%. Perhaps with a large power resistor. I'll have to experiment with that later


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Thu 05, 2018 4:25 pm 
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And here we have another nearly pristine German set, this time a Lowe-Opta. Its yet another German market set that somehow made it over here. The recap job was basic but the set had problems when tested: no sound. But whats funny is that I was actually able to see the problem: A large resistor mounted to the ouput transformer was kind of "sparkling" in the dark and when tested was open. That was replaced and then I got sound, but on AM only. And again I was physically able to see the problem: ECC85 was dead with no filament. After its replacement all was well and FM was once more operational. I love easy fixes!
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Thu 05, 2018 5:06 pm 
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Hi,

That Lowe-Opta is a pretty good looking set. I'm glad you were able to get it up and running so easily. After reading about some of your heroic efforts, I'm glad you had an easy one.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Thu 05, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Its certainly better for self esteem when one of these isn't such a big pain for sure!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Fri 06, 2018 1:27 pm 
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My brother has the same Lowe-Opta radio. Great sounding unit.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Tue 10, 2018 2:23 am 
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Here's a few more sets done over the last week or so.

1: Nice 6-tube Zenith. The finish is in good shape and is original. Someone put in the wrong grill cloth so I might need to track some down. I had a lot of issues with this one. Someone had been in there to hack in a phono hookup and whatever they did was done in a way that indicates they had no idea what they were doing. There was awful feedback coming through the audio. I removed all of that mess and looked at the schematic to get it back to normal.I added one of the small bluetooth recievers I add to these. Cheap and easy to install.

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2: Unmarkable RCA AA4, using the weird 100 milliamp tubes towards the end of the tube era. It was recapped, back of the body repainted something "exciting".
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3:Another plain-jane AA5. Made more interesting with a new paint job.
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4:Bell mono amp. As basic as they come, 6V6 push pull. It looks nice when lit up. Actually has decent sound.
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5: Big GE kitken clock radio. Because... why not?
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6: Really beat-up Zenith. Someone came by and said they liked the way it looked and could I restore it. These are good radios. Sure- its not the prettiest thing but it works really well on both bands, especially FM.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Tue 10, 2018 6:37 am 
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I like both Zeniths in your pictures. Lucky for that first Zenith, you were there to fix the messed up wiring. Without your help, someone would have gotten frustrated with it and eventually put it at the curb for trash pickup.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Apr Thu 12, 2018 5:26 pm 
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Last night I restored this Ampex 620 amp.
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We've had a stack of these things at the museum for years and finally they decided to sell a few. Some in the organization always made a big deal about them but I never understood why. A guy at work plays electric guitar and I mentioned we had these and he wanted to buy one. So I went and got one and did a recap job. Very basic construction with a simple design employing a pair of 6V6's. Anyway... these sound great! They use heavy iron for the output and a nice 8" JBL speaker. I can see why guitar players like them: you can really crank them up and there's no distortion at all. Very clean, solid sounding unit.
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