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Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
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Author:  bobwilson1977 [ Apr Tue 17, 2018 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

We have found that these very plain white, vanilla or brown plastic sets are almost impossible to sell. So that's why most like these get snazzy paint jobs. I'm sure decades from now some collector will be cursin' my name...

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ Apr Thu 19, 2018 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Another late 50's cheapy-cheap AA5, this time an RCA. As with the previous set this uses hardly any hardware. Its all snapped together. Getting the speaker out was a pain as they used these small friction clips that were difficult to remove but easy to reinstall. Originally a boring white, now painted yellow, which for whatever reason is very popular with folks at the shows.
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Author:  bobwilson1977 [ Apr Fri 20, 2018 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Nothing much to report today. Did this amazingly basic Admiral. It has 4 tubes and is rather dinky sounding. Why I bothered? Maybe I'm going insane.

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Author:  bruce47 [ Apr Fri 20, 2018 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

I don't know about insane , but I like you love to fix anything broken. Sometimes I spend to much on fixing something that is worth nothing.It is just fixing it.

Author:  BillyH [ Apr Sun 22, 2018 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

All your radio restores look awesome. I have one question: What’s the best way to get the chassis and rest of the “guts” cleaned?

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ Apr Mon 23, 2018 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

I usually don't clean the chassis that much. Most were plated with cadmium which is somewhat toxic. So all I tend to do is wipe down the chassis with a rag and some windex , clean the tubes, oil all of the bearings and stuff in the tuning mechanisms and call it a day.

Author:  PJ WALTERS [ Apr Tue 24, 2018 12:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

That 2nd GE is awesome!! That finish looks liquid. Well done!!

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ Apr Mon 30, 2018 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

I had one hell of a time with this radio. Its a RCA model Q30. A heavy sucker with giant transformer, I assume for areas that might have still been using a different hertz rating, as was the case in some rural parts of the US back then.

The biggest issue was that one of the controls has a very long shaft. Its a very particular piece too in that there is a gear that slides over it and is used to operate a hidden on/off volume control. This had been snapped off at some point and finding the correct one would have been an operation in futility. So the desperate last-ditch effort was to take it apart, heat the crap out of it with a blow torch, mend the piece with silver solder and file it down smooth. To my surprise it worked.
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After that it was a general recapping job. I added a bluetooth module, as seen on the back of the chassis. I've started integrating these to be attached to the chassis whereas before they would be attached to the cabinet. That way all of it will come out in one piece making it easier for future servicing.
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The top of the cabinet was water damaged. So that was stripped and refinished. The rest was in good shape and was given several applications of car wax to bring back the shine.
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Novus plastic polish was used to bring back the clarity of the dial.
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Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Tue 01, 2018 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Heeeere we go again!
Its a compact stereo console labeled Montgomery Wards, made by Wells Gardner, which IMHO is a bit better built than the crap Warwick made. That said... you can tell was starting to get into cheap territory. This was brought in by one our newer members and she bought this for $20, which was a score as these are now highly collectible. Anyway I am trying to get her to learn how to work on these but in the meantime I overhauled it for her. Image

I forgot to take a picture of this but whoever designed how the chassis goes in was an idiot. The only way it can be removed easily is by tipping the whole thing on its side. Anyway... not too much to write home about. A single 6BQ5 per channel so not really smokin' but then again the 12" speaker have teeny little magnets and are probably under 5 watts each. The saving grace of it was that most of the caps are ceramic disc. I didn't have the required 60uF caps that this called for in 2 instances so I coupled 40's together which is why there's a billion in there now.
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It also appears someone installed a Pilot brand multiplex adapter. The 6X4 tube was out and it too was recapped. Honestly I can barely tell the difference between it being on or off.
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And lastly,
Another cheapy-cheap AA5... or AAJ in this case as its a Panasonic. I swear the stupid PCB board had 5-6 dry solder joints. A basic recap and a custom yeller' paint job to use of some of the leftover yellow spray paint and its good to go
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Author:  Harbourmaster [ May Wed 02, 2018 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

That Pilot MPX is probably worth more than the console it's in!

Author:  BillyH [ May Wed 02, 2018 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Hey Bob, what wax did you use on the RCA Q30 cabinet restoration?

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Wed 02, 2018 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

How much are we talking for the Pilot? I might let her know and maybe she can just sell it. As far as wax, plain ole' Mcguire's caranuba wax or actually, probably most any other car waxes made of caranuba will work fine. I usually go over it with Old English first though to cover the scratches and discoloration.

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Thu 10, 2018 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

I was away for a few days and so nothing was really worked on until yesterday. The latest is this Crossley.

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The case had a few cracks and was repaired, sanded down and repainted. The set was re-capped, pots cleaned, a 35W4 was replaced.

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Author:  Tommgb [ May Thu 10, 2018 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

The Crosley looks really nice! Good job!

Tom

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Mon 14, 2018 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

First up:

A 1937 RCA 87X.
Interesting set in that its actually a large hot chassis set using a ballast tube. This was a tag-team effort with me doing the initial recap job, running into issues that I could not figure out, handing it off to another member who did, and then I getting it back to finish it off, clean and wax the original finish and add a line in through the existing phono input. Because it is a hot chassis I was concerned about this. Even though the set had been designed to isolate the input I still installed two .01uF ceramic caps on both pos and neg inputs for the auxiliary. That drives impendence down to today's acceptable safety standards.

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Lastly: 50's era Westinghouse clock radio, Recapped and the rear of the case painted.
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Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Tue 15, 2018 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Here's another very basic radio. A pre-war Silvertone in stamped metal case. Originally it was kind of rusty with some brown paint. I sanded it down, gave it the fire engine red treatment. Its basically a TRF set with 4 tubes. Not a bad performer though...
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Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Thu 17, 2018 4:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

And another lil' 4 tube TRF set. This must have been a popular radio: I've restored at least 5-6 of these so they're becoming old hat. Its got a absolutely tiny chassis and everything is crammed inside. But I'm used to it and had it rebuilt in an hour. The case had a crack on the side and a chunk missing out of the back. That was repaired, sanded and painted.
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Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Fri 18, 2018 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Last evening's radio was this 1938 Emerson BA-199. Yet ANOTHER 4 tube wonder with a ballast tube. Amazingly there were no cracks in the case.
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Now... there are hot chassis sets and then there are HOT chassis sets. This one is probably an earlier example of one and the level of safety is not to par with the more typical, later AA5 designs. Whereas in most hot chassis sets the B+ uses a floating ground in this set its actual chassis ground. So too are most of the rest of the connections to ground. As such the set has a very secure back with no access to the chassis.
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Its amazing how well some of these very basic radios work too.

Author:  mgrant [ May Fri 18, 2018 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Yeah, those early bakelite Emersons are usually cracked. Wish I would have bought one 10 years ago when they were cheaper. Real nice!

Author:  bobwilson1977 [ May Mon 21, 2018 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)

Here is something you don't see here in this country hardy ever: Its a large Matushita ( Panasonic ) stereo console. It was made for the Japanese home market and runs on 100 volts. Anyway a couple brought this by Saturday. They simply wanted for us to have it and also get some credit for a future console we may get in the future. According to them it would run for about 30 seconds and then start making a god-awful racket.

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As seen it uses sort of weird output tubes, 15MP-19, of which I cannot find any for sale anywhere. LUCKILY they all tested very good. All of the tags and paper labels are in Japanese, but luckily there were illustrations that showed how to remove the chassis and so forth.

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Both the tuner and amp chassis are made out of yellow cadmium plated steel and seem to have been kept somewhere dry as there's no corrosion.
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Anyway... both chassis were re-capped. The tuner chassis was a real bear: 6 electrolytic caps in ONE can with hardly any room to install the new ones. The amp chassis wasn't as bad.
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The roster of problems were that:
A: the pot that operates the weird reverb function was dirty and causing a bad contact inside to create a lot of noise.
B: all three 12AT7 tubes used were bad.
C: There were dry solder joints going to the large resistors mounted topside of the amp
D: Wire leads going to aforementioned resistors were actually melted and shorting to chassis- probably because of the dry solder joints creating too much resistance.

After all that stuff was sorted out it works fine.

One feature that's unusual is a sort of visual indicator for the reverb function: A small light moves forward and back on a slide mechanism and causes different patterns to appear on a piece of textured plastic lens. It really doesn't do much of anything useful but it does look neat.
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Due to the fact that this is an unusual piece we are keeping as a part of the museum's collection.
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But wait! There's more!

Why I chose to restore this is beyond me. I guess I was bored: Probably mid to late 60's GE AM/FM radio. A recap and it works.
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And an Airline suitcase record player. It had bad caps in the simple, 1-tube amp and the cartridge was bad.
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And here's some outdated advice from the past pertaining to record players...
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