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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 22, 2018 12:05 am 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Duplicate

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Last edited by Tommgb on Nov Thu 22, 2018 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 22, 2018 12:05 am 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi Bob,

Being that this Philco was a low budget model, how many tubes does it have? What, if any, cost-cutting was done on this radio?

Tom

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Last edited by Tommgb on Nov Thu 22, 2018 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 22, 2018 12:06 am 
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Duplicate.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 22, 2018 10:14 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
I have a couple of 60's which play well for a simple radio.

Did you fix the grill cloth?

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 5:41 pm 
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The model 80 series come with 4 tubes. The sets work ok in metro areas with closer proximity to the towers but worse in far flung areas. Interesting because something like 75% of the US's population lived in rural areas. There is actually no IF stage. 4 tube sets were always the super-budget models in the US and are about the same in performance. I'm not as good at describing technical details, but this site does a good job of discussing the Model 80:

http://www.tuberadioland.com/philco80Jnr_main.html

Quote:
"The 80B's pricing was facilitated in part by the use of a
new two-toned cabinet that was a simplification of the
Clyde Shuler design in use at the time for the 71B and
91B models. Moreover, although the chassis was an ac-
powered superheterodyne, it too was very much design-
ed down to a cost. Philco had eliminated the IF stage,
leaving it with just four tubes and, like the low-cost mod-
els that preceded it, it had no AVC or tone control. The
engineers made up for the lack of an IF stage, to some
extent, by adding regeneration to the second detector.
Regeneration had been exploited extensively in the
early days of radio and involved coupling the output of
a tube back to its input in such a manner that the sig-
nal would again be amplified, fed back to the input, and
so on, around and around. The process was controlled
to stop just short of oscillation, at which point exception-
ally high amplification was achieved."


So yes, it was a cheap radio with marginal performance but given that the people in the US at the time were in extremely poor financial situations it was a huge hit due to its price and deserves a place in history.


Moving on, a few "stragglers" that have been hanging out in the closet.

1: This AM/FM Motorola. Its been sitting for a year as it was missing knobs, but I found some that at least look believable. It actually worked initially. It features an elaborate, gear-driven slug tuning mechanism. The chassis was crammed full. Its kind of important to keep replacement parts in the same location as the old on FM sets as they are very sensitive.
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There was hardly any room to stick new electrolytics inside. But as the set worked well with no hum and the can wasn't running hot or even warm, after replacing the paper caps and bypassing the selenium rectifier I just let it run all day long. No problems, so I stuck it back together, let it run the next day, thus the can is obviously reformed. It works pretty well on FM for a set of the era.The case was polished with Novus No.2.
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2: This common as can be RCA. They must have sold a zillion of these. I have at least 3-4 that are sitting around, all that were missing this or that, so I've put two sets together out of the 4 and this is one of them.

Image

Its got a sort of cludged together chassis design that looks jerry-rigged. But it works pretty well and even sounds decent. These don't sell for much but at least its not heading to the garbage pile...

Initially the set would come on and then the pilot lamp would start ramping up and get brighter and brighter, meaning something in the output stage was getting shorted... Turns out someone had put in a 35C5 for a 35B5. You don't want to do that! The pinouts are different... Problem solved with the correct tube.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2018 6:11 pm 
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Only a few days before our next sale and this is probably the last radio before the show.

Image

Its a 1957 Grundig zauberklang 5060. I have no idea what that word means. Maybe hi-fi or something. Anyway, its a 9 tube, 5 speaker, somewhat larger sized set with 4 bands and input for phono and tape.

It is in remarkably good cosmetic condition and I'm willing to bet it sat in someone's home versus the garage for its entire existence. There was a thick layer of dust bunnies that all blew off easily with the leaf blower.
Image
Image

Upon receiving it there were a number of issues typical with many German sets.
1: The on/off switch was stuck in the "on" position. The switch is buried under stuff and impossible to remove without some major work. 99% of the time its because the grease used on the toggle mechanism had hardened and seized. Squirting the switch with loads of Wd-40 and pressing the power button repeatedly eventually freed it up. Thank god because the alternative woud've been a nightmare. A major gripe I have with German sets is the way they are built in layers with little to no regard for future servicing, and that switch is a perfect example.

2: The volume control knob was also seized. This too happens frequently on both Grundigs and Telefunkens. Whatever grease used solidifies. I've found the only way to really get it to free up is to repeatedly heat the shaft and apply Wd-40 and later some machine oil. The old grease will eventually soften and bubble out. I
Imagef worse comes down to it... use a blow torch but don't apply the heat for too long over the possibility of causing damage to the pot.

3: The dial string had come off. I've restrung this model before so it wasn't as bad.

Anyway, the following pics don't do justice as to the difficulty of accessing the capacitors. Many were buried deep inside the chassis or in really tight spots. This process was time consuming and took the better part of a Sunday to do.
Image
Image

the set was full of the German equivalent of "deer turd" caps. They are encased in a very thick plastic material. I cut one open and they're still just basically paper caps. Albeit probably many were still good but all were replaced anyway.
Image

A bluetooth module was added to the tape input function. I've had better luck with a particular power cube manufacturer from China that produces less AC interference and hum.
Image

Then it was all put back together and tested. Its a pretty great sounding set. Nice deep bass thanks to the large oval speaker and clean highs too as the tweeters are still good and working.
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2018 6:46 pm 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Excellent cabinet condition on that one from the pics. Bet that one flies away.

thanks for posting (I have never worked on one of those so its good to see)

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2018 6:53 pm 
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They are sort of fragile radios. I've always found them to be interesting to work on for the challenge. But they take a lot longer to restore due to the philosophy that seemed to be used to make these over the typical American sets I do. Whereas a real attempt was made by US manufactures to allow the sets to be serviced easily a set like this one is the total opposite and trying to fish some of the old components in and out was really problematic. When these work they are fantastic. But when something goes wrong it can turn into a nightmare real quick.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2018 8:34 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,

Thanks for the advice for working on these German radios. I've got a mono Olympic Opta AM/FM set that needs an overhaul. Only the AM band works. Hopefully, it won't take too much to make it live again. It's not as big and fancy as what you just showed, so maybe it'll be easier to get to all the components.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Hi Tom,
Check out the ECC85 or similar tube in your Opta. For whatever reason, and according to other folks I know a lot of German sets wind up "poisoning" their FM-related tubes. I'd say at least 40% of these sets I get in have either very weak or even dead ECC85's.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2018 1:12 am 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,

Thanks so much for this tip! I just checked and found my radio does indeed have an ECC85 tube. I seem to remember my tubes all lighting up, so I'm thinking I'm good there. However, as to whether my ECC85 is weak, I don't know. I just looked this tube up on eBay and found it's also known as a 6AQ8. I guess that's the American version. The good news is that my tube tester can check this tube.

My radio is also known as a Belia Luxus 5700W. Loewe Opta. Olympic Opta. I'm not sure what is the actual model and/or manufacturer is. The ID name plate on the front of the radio at the very bottom is missing. By chance, do you have a parts set with the proper name plate I could purchase from you?

Thanks again, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2018 9:32 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Maybe the German sets and those from Philips were made so well and they didn't expect any failures in the early years. By the time it started to go wrong you were ready for a new one. Good marketing maybe :)

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2018 7:46 pm 
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Hi Tom,
We don't have any Lowe-Optas at the moment. Just a few clunker Grundigs. And yes- I would definitely test your ECC85 tube first before getting another.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 30, 2018 2:43 am 
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bobwilson1977 wrote:
Image

There was hardly any room to stick new electrolytics inside.
Easy - remove the cardboard cover on the old aluminum can, then saw through the old can just above the bulge on the bottom. Drill small holes through the remaining piece to connect the leads to the terminals which are still in place with all of the resistors and such connected. You can keep the aluminum or just put the cardboard cover over the new capacitors.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 30, 2018 5:14 pm 
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We did a test of the Motorola at the shop and the original electrolytic seems to have reformed fine. Its been run for several days, no problems so we're just going to leave well enough alone.

Anyway... Here's last night's project: a Canadian GE with a nice art deco design.

Image

This was a tag-team effort. It had been refinished sometime in the past but was missing knobs, grill cloth, and the dial pointer. It had been recapped but upon initial power up there was a problem that for whatever reason I could not figure out. As I like to keep the "flow" of radios going along I handed it to another shop tech. Turns out someone in the past had really messed up in replacing caps and mis-wired a bunch of them. So that fixed I found some grill cloth, knobs, and fabricated a dial pointer out of some scrap brass. Whether its the right style who knows... But it looks ok. The cardboard form was missing for the grill cloth. I dabbed tacky glue on the interior and gently placed the grill cloth over and then spread it out.

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Mon 03, 2018 1:21 am 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hey Bob,

I was able to test four of the six tubes my Olympic Opta. You were right about the ECC85: both sides were on the reject scale. For that matter, the other three tubes that I could test were either weak or reject as well. I'm guessing that this radio must've been played a lot, back in the day. Or, could your comment about German radios "poisoning" their tubes have something to do with the rundown condition of my tubes? I'm only guessing, but could an older radio that needs a recap and using out-of-tolerance resisters cause these tubes to prematurely weaken?

Thanks again for your help, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Mon 03, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Location: Arlington, VA USA
bobwilson1977 wrote:
... and fabricated a dial pointer out of some scrap brass.


Nice job on that dial pointer! Looks right at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Mon 03, 2018 11:07 pm 
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Hey Tommgb,

I too have a Olympic Opta Bella luxus. How did you go about removing the chassis from the cabinet? Did you have to desolder wires? When I tried to remove the chassis, I found it was hardwired to the speaker, tweeter, and eye tube socket.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 12:38 am 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi,

I'm trying to remember if I took the whole chassis out or just removed it partially to get at the tubes. I think I did disconnect the speaker wires from the center of the upper chassis. I was able to slide it partially out for sure. I do remember the chassis is a very tight fit, though.

The more I think about it, I seem to remember the speaker wires were cut (not by me!).

Regards, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 5:57 pm 
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So in regards to cathode poisoning in the ECC85's in these sets, whether this is true or not I can't really confirm, but there seems to be an awful lot of excessive current being run through them on these sets, I assume to increase their performance. But the end result is a shorter life expectancy. Others who are more technically proficient can chime in.

Moving on.... We had the sale and all of the radios sold except for a few stragglers. So back to the very beginning of what will probably be another 4-5 months of slog. Only problem? We're running low on good radios. As such, we had ONE donation last week. I nickname this set " Big Bertha".

And its not your typical radio either. Its a YUGE General Electric table set. To get an idea, I put a larger sized can of WD-40 on top of it.
Image

I'd say all GE did was stick a console chassis in a table top cabinet. Its a 10 tube set with a 10" speaker. 5 bands, push-pull 6V6 output, built-in choke with permanent magnet speaker, gear-driven tuning, indicators for volume, band, tone, and log. Probably a higher end set at the time of its manufacture. At initial intake, marginal to somewhat poor cosmetic shape.
Image

Its a mixed bag inside of cloth and rubber coated wire, with the rubber having turned into a "solid". I will need to replace a lot of that, especially stuff that's under higher tension.
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Image

So.. I forgot to take pics of the progress for the innards but will do so later, but I tend to like to at least get radios to work, even if poorly, before spending time on the cabinets. If something horrible is wrong then I will want to ensure it cane be fixed instead of spending hours on a cabinet for a non-working radio. But anyway, the electrolytics were all replaced along with a lot of the wiring pertaining to those. Of the 10 tubes, two were totally dead. Both 6J5's were lifeless and so too was a 6SK7. Interesting that this is sort of a "Noah's ark" of tubes with 2 each of everything: 6V6, 6SK7, 6J5, all in pairs. After replacing those the set works but the replacements I had were pretty weak. So when I take it in this weekend to the museum it will get fresh tubes. Even so, its an impressive sounding set.

So with that taken care of it was time to move to the cabinet.
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Via trial and error I've learned how to bring back some of even the worst looking finishes. The key is if the old finish is still there and not worn off, it can usually be brought back to a glossy sheen as it came from the factory. But the process is time-consuming.

A: Clean the whole thing with Old English.
B: Wipe down with beeswax ( Howards or in my case some old furniture polish with beeswax in it ) Let that sit for an hour.
C: Lastly... and the most time consuming, Caranuba cleaner car wax.
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Take your time and slowly buff on layers of car wax, buff them off, and re-apply. With each and every pass you'll see your rag will initially show lots of dirt as a result of years of grime on the surface. With each pass that rag will get cleaner and cleaner.
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Eventually you'll start to see the gloss and the shine come back. Prepare to spend several hours to get this result.
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So... stay tuned for the next, amazingly exciting adventures in radio restoration. What will happen? Will the radio burst into flames? Will capacitors get installed backwards? Who knows?
Image


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