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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Tue 07, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Location: alameda,CA
Another of the nicer sets, this one was already restored. I just cleaned it up and added bluetooth. The plastic trim and knobs are made of a sort of plastic that hasn't held up that great. One of the knobs was a bit mishapen and I wound up sanding one edge down to make it level again as it was rubbing against the other knob stacked on top of it. Like most Strombergs its a well-built set.

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Lastly, Two crosley AM/FM sets. I already showed one of these. The one in the center is the other completed yesterday. Really good on FM- both of them, and they use the same chassis. The case on the right is a Silvertone you will probably see finished tommorow.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Wed 08, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Here's a neat little Silvertone. It has what must be one of the most torturous dial cord setup I've seen in awhile and whadaya' know it was snapped.

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To repair the broken string the speaker has to be removed and then as seen here it goes up and then behind the speaker and then gets inverted to go around the tuning condenser pulley. It took time and a beer or 2 to figure this out.
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Anyway... The rest wasn't that bad. Once done it plays pretty well and is sensitive.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Wed 08, 2018 4:36 pm 
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Hey Bob,

That dial string replacement job must've been a deal breaker for someone. Maybe that's the reason it was donated to the museum. The cabinet looks really nice. Is it bakelite? How did you get it so shiny? Did you buff it out?

Regards, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Wed 08, 2018 5:57 pm 
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The cabinet isn't perfect and is missing a small piece from the back. As far as getting it shiny... car wax. A few applications and it'll generally do a good job of bringing back the shine.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Here's a few more updates.

1: This Panasonic probably from the mid to late 50's. I know these aren't super popular with the radio collecting crowd, at least in the US, but some of the earlier US-market Panasonic sets are actually pretty decent. For one, this one already worked. I did replace the electrolytics but the rest were either ceramic disc or mylar, so not as bad of a job.

Someone had decided to spray the case with some sort of flocking material, which looked awful.The case had the front areas consisting of the dial background plastic-welded together. I've found its better to use a small chisel to break off the welds and the parts will come loose easily. The case was brushed with stripper. The stripper removed the flocking but also dulled the finish. So it was painted. Fire engine red.

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2: Next is a 1932 Philco model 71. Like always I of course forgot to take before pics. But the finish was faded and worn. One of our members who is a lot better than me at woodwork rejuvenated it. He showed me a technique where you take stain and steel wool to blend the areas that are worn back to being more uniform. After that dried I used wax to bring back the shine. The old grill cloth was shot too. So I found some replacement stuff in our museum supplies.
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I know many people like to remove the bakelite blocks, melt all of the nasty old tar out and restuff them with new caps. I am way too lazy to do that. So my sacrilegious method is to use a drill with a drill bit just barely small enough to fit through the rivets that the original cap leads come through, then drill these all the way out. The leads will then be disconnected automatically. New caps and resistors- if one or more has one- are attached up top. Sometimes I mess these up because its not hard to mess up the order of where what cap goes where. In fact when I was done the set worked but made an AWFUL squealing sound when volume was turned up. One of the bakelite caps involved in the IF section I got wrong. Fixing the mistake solved the problem.
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Bluetooth was also added. As seen nothing was really done physically to the set. No new holes were drilled and all can be removed easily in case a future owner wants it to be more original. But personally I think its kind of cool to have a set this old have the ability to play whatever one wants versus AM radio which around here is just talk and religious stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Wed 15, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Another to add to the growing horde. Only 11 days left before the next big show and this will make radio No. 70 or 71. Its a very small, compact RCA clock radio. The clock movement is embedded in the center of the chassis with the rest of the innards carefully surrounding it. I suspect the original selenium rectifier had fried as it looked pretty burnt and the resistor coming off pos. was open and burnt too. This wasn't the easiest set to rebuild with very little room. As there is a metal cover that closes over the chassis coming close to the innards I wound up putting a bit of glue over the electrolytic caps before closing it up after I took the photos.

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It doesn't sound amazing: It has a teeny speaker. But it doesn't sound horrible either.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Wed 15, 2018 10:25 pm 
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OK, I'll bite.

Where exactly is the radio dial?

-Steve

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Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 16, 2018 2:25 am 
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oh yeah well the knobs for the volume and the stations are on the sides. Unfortunately all the numbers are totally worn off so you just kind of have to listen for the stations


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 17, 2018 5:31 pm 
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Nothing out of the ordinary today. Just a Silvertone in a Plaskon case. These are pretty common radios and this is probably the 5th one I've done. But the plastic is sort of unusual looking. I'm not sure if its from age but it has a sort of swirly marbled pattern to it.

Recapped, new cord, ect etc etc...

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Tue 21, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Well,
Here's the last 3-4 months worth of restored sets. All are now being tagged, given a final polish, and made ready for a BIG show on Sunday. I'm taking a few days off of working on radios to concentrate on preparations for the event.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Tue 21, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Wow Bob, that sure is impressive! I hope the folks at the Museum know how lucky they are to have you.

Are the radios all priced individually or are they put into groups with a sign that says, this group is $25.00 each and this group is $35.00 each?

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Tue 21, 2018 6:52 pm 
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We are pricing them now. They are all priced depending on their quality, style and so forth. Most of these sets have no collector value seeing as how many of the plastic cases were cracked and painted. They are priced from the experience we've had with customers. Brightly painted plastic sets are pretty popular. The prices range from $35 and up for the plastic and 5 tube sets and more for the nicer table sets, most of which have bluetooth.

Last year when we went to this antique show we nearly sold out. This year we have greater variety and more radios overall. So I'll be curious what the outcome will be.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Its been awhile since I posted anything here. Basically I was worn-out from our last week's sale and took a few days off of radios. But here's two I did over the last week.

1: This large Philco Model 116X, an 11-tube console with an impressive push-pull audio good for 7 watts total output.

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The set was pretty rough when received with badly worn but salvageable finish, rips in both the speaker and the largest "audio clarifier" cones.
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As seen the speaker is pretty impressive and has a huge steel frame that houses a equally impressive field coil.
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Someone had been in there before me. The date codes on the sprague "atoms" caps were 1978. Most of the bakelite blocks were re-stuffed too and were all Vitamin Q caps, which were when new, very costly and for good reason: They stay good for a VERY long time. So I left them alone. But mixed in were a variety of older caps from the 40's and 50's, of which all were replaced along with the other sets of electrolytics in what appeared to be 1950's era replacement cans.
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One of the 6A3 tubes was shorted, the rectifier tube was marginal, and the 78 tube was barely registering. So those were replaced.
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The speaker was patched with glue and filter fabric. That and a few cracks in the surround were repaired using clear RTV gasket material.
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I could NOT find anything like the original grill cloth. But I do have stuff that is kind of generic. I handed the owner the old stuff in case he wants to delve deeper. Image
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The original finish was salvaged via applications of howards, stain, beeswax and last several applications of car wax.
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Lastly, the owner wanted bluetooth installed. The set did NOT like the typical USB power cubes I use to power the bluetooth. So one of our members helped me conjur up a simple "clean" power supply. This was mounted to a board and installed inside. It is vert clean audio and we have bought more parts to start making these, perhaps a bit neater than this one. I let this one run for several hours to make sure it was reliable.
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In case anyone is curious, this does sound really nice. Deep, booming bass but not overpowering. Just a nice sound quality made more impressive given the age of the set ( 1936 ). The owner was very happy to see it done and working.

2: Now.. here's something few of you guys have seen. The first for me anyway. Its a 1950's era Spanish-made Marconi radio. Interesting given that at the time Spain was under the rule of military dictator Francisco Franco. The radio is weird, having a mix of what looks like European and American styling treatments, a bizarre elongated speaker, and somewhat crude, brittle construction. We intend to keep this in the museum. As such, I did not want to do anything other than get it working and retain as many of the original components. After replacing the electrolytics it worked fine. How this got here? Who knows...

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Beautiful restoration on the philco console. What is the “Howard’s” you mentioned in your post?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Howard's refers to a product called " Howards Restore A Finish. Its basically stain, oils, and cleaners that helps fill in scratches and blemishes on wood finishes. Its good stuff!
http://www.howardproducts.com/product/restor-a-finish/


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 5:58 pm 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Why did you want to make the Spanish Marconi work? All the Museums I know about never switch them on, just static display.

Was looking forward to the radio sale results so if you can post?

Doing the hobby a real service finding so many radios new homes

thanks Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 6:12 pm 
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The eventual goal is to have all of the radios, test gear, tv sets, and other devices fully functional and working. As of now about 65-70% of what we have does work. Plus its just interesting to work on something different versus the millions of common US-made radios. Always neat to see how other manufactures from other countries put things together.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Bob,

That Philco 116X looks fantastic! I have two of these console radios, both needing restoration. I have read other reviews about how nice the bass is in these radios. Is that deep bass possible because of the very large field coil? Was this a fairly straight forward restoration or is there anything else you'd like to pass along?

Thanks a lot, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 7:06 pm 
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The deep bass I would attribute to the design of the speaker. It shares more in common with a modern speaker than ones from that era. It has a heavier, stiffer inner cone that is suspended on a separate surround made of some kind of more flexible material. So the cone moves a lot and so there's greater movement overall. The restoration wasn't bad. Its basically a typical 30's Philco on steroids with loads of bakelite blocks. Whats nice is that the tuning mech doesn't use belts or string. It uses a metal ring that rides against a spring-loaded shaft , so its friction and nothing else. It took a good 2-3 days of work to perform the job.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 04, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Bob,

Thanks a lot for the information.

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