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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 08, 2019 4:45 pm 
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Been pretty busy over the last week. As mentioned we received a large quantity of Euro sets that were donated.

The latest one was this: A Telefunken 5430 MX stereo receiver and amplifier. This is a BIG table set that requires external speakers. Sadly we don't have the Telefunken speakers it was meant to be used with. We will try and track down a pair that looks decent.
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As expected its a ridiculously over-engineered set that uses 13 tubes, a quad of them being EL95's which are for the output stage.
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There are two chassis: a tuner and an amp and power chassis. This was a tag-team project. As I have a TON of sets to do I handed this set initially to one of our new members who has excellent skills. I'm glad I did too because it had all kinds of problems. The worst was that apparently someone had turned all of the volume and tone control knobs so hard ( probably because they were seized) that they broke the phenolic discs that holds them together. Rajesh- the member who took this in- was able to carefully re-assemble using super glue. I can't even tell where the breaks are! He also replaced the electrolytics, which in itself was insane- this set uses FOUR 100uF, 350DC rated electrolytics. He also fixed a problem with a weird feature the set has- a stereo beacon that gradually glows brighter the closer you tune a station to stereo. There was a defective transistor in that circuit. Other then that it appears the rest of the caps in the set are Mylar and thus good to go.

Its hard to tell from these pics but the overall physical condition was poor. It looks like it has had a rough life with lots of dings, scratches, discoloration and wear.
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So I decided to refinish it. I am BTW, not exactly a wizz at this. But anyhow, the innards were removed and trim either masked or removed as well.
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I used 5 coats of clear water based varathane spray. The stuff goes on milky and at first I thought I had ruined it and was pretty depressed. But when it dries it comes out surprisingly smooth.

Meanwhile as it dried I went in and cleaned all the tube sockets with Deoxit, installed bluetooth, and installed speaker wires. There was also some static and hissing coming over the audio. There are 3 connector jacks on this and they were all pretty dirty and one was slightly bent. This removed pretty much all of the interference.
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Then it was put back together.
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This is the stereo beacon. The back-lit "FM Stereo" glows dimmer or brighter depending on how strong the signal is.
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Even on my beater Yamaha speakers it has a remarkably clean, nicely balanced sound quality. The only thing I'm really unhappy about is that one of the gouges was so deep in the veneer that I wound up sanding almost through the veneer in one spot and that shows up as a bright spot in the finish.

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Next is this small Olympic Opta radio.
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This was after going over the thick, bar-top like glossy finish with Novus plastic polish. This thing came out so perfect we are keeping it for display.

I recalled not really enjoying working on these. As soon as I flipped it over I remembered why: Everything is really crammed in there and its difficult to replace parts.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 09, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Last night I worked on a very small Philco portable, the direct opposite of all the giant German sets I've been working on.

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I've done a few of these and as with most portables its sort of a pain in the ass with little room to work on and loads of capacitors. This one not only still kind of worked but even had a set of batteries in it.

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The recap job was about an hour or so. This has a selenium rectifier and ordinarily I replace them. But these portables usually had very little usage and the B+ tested perfect so I left it alone.

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The case was dirty and scratched up so it was taken apart and the pieces polished with Novus. The handle was polished with metal wadding polish.
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Kind of a pretty little radio. Its a little on the green side though.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 09, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
My first radio was one of those Philcos, with a red case. It was a hand-me-down from my parents when they got something newer. I was in grade school, and just at the point where you start discovering the world outside of the family home, and I used to take that radio under my covers at night to listen to KEWB, and later, KLIV. I still have it! I also have a dark green one that I acquired a few years ago.

I should add, that radio is AC as well as DC, and has a hot chassis, as I found out first-hand in those early days of peeking into radio innards...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 15, 2019 4:35 pm 
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I've been BUSY for the past few days. Only 5 days to Radio Day. We try to have around 200 sets for the auction every year. This year we topped out at a respectable 180. But it was pretty much a sprint to the end and Saturday was the last day we had to get sets repaired and ready. There were several of us taking armloads of sets home and for the last few days I was staying up into the night. Here's the last that were done.

1: This pretty cool looking RCA transistor portable.
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We decided its too neat and unusual to sell at this point so it will be on display

2: This cute small-ish Grundig. A very late model and everything still worked. I cleaned the pots, polished the case, and added an input cable for audio in the phono pickup.
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3: Helped with testing some Marantz tuners.
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4: A Polish-made radio.
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Kind of a neat design. Its pretty easy to work on as the PCB board is mounted vertically enabling repairs and access from either side.
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5: A teeny little Arvin in a metal case. Man... brings a whole new meaning to the term " Hot chassis". I guess they figured the paint on the case was a good enough insulator? The paint was shot and so it was given a new job.

6: and lastly, this handsome RCA with original paint. FM works great on this, which is nice given many earlier FM sets don't work very well. Full recap, cleaning, replaced selenium rect with modern diode and resistor.
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And that's a wrap! Now its all ready for radio day this Saturday.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 15, 2019 6:17 pm 
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bobwilson1977 wrote:
Last night I worked on a very small Philco portable, the direct opposite of all the giant German sets I've been working on.

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That's the first portable with a ferrite rod antenna, I think the called it a MAGNECOR.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Mon 15, 2019 7:19 pm 
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Really? LOL! Man they sure were good at coming up with some zaney names back then...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Mon 12, 2019 11:36 pm 
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Its been awhile since I posted here.
Truth be known I've been VERY busy. We have a show coming up soon and had a little bit of a dilemma: On a Saturday that I wasn't at the museum someone wound up buying close to 40 sets which had been restored but un-sold at the auction. I'd counted on these to make up about 40% of the inventory for the upcoming show. So that meant we suddenly had a gaping hole in the supply for the aforementioned show and thus left us with 1 month to fill the gap back in. So its been non-stop radio restoration every evening after work and on weekends. I regret to say I forgot to take photos of some of these. But here are a few.

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This VERY large Grundig console.
It seems that about once a year I get some awful project that is truly a bear. This one was it.
Here's the skinny:

Worn out grill cloth that had to be replaced. In typical German style the only way to replace that was to remove the interior panels which of course were inaccessible without dismantling half of the cabinet, which was held together with a billion different sizes, lengths, and types of screws.
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Forgot to take pictures but the chassis had to be restored. The piano keys were filthy and needed gallons of contact cleaner.
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The record player is unusual. When the thing stops playing the arm goes over and drops down into a small plastic sphere which also has a small brush inside. This cleans the needle every single time. Never see that before. It had bad rubber mounts that had to be replaced and the mechanism was gunked up and needed cleaning and lubricating.
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With cover re-attached on phono
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The whole case was machine polished. I borrowed my Brother's orbital car polisher.
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And below are some of the sets that have been restored...
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God is this one weird:
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Here's more of em' waiting to go under the soldering iron...
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Apparently 300 more are on the way!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Thu 15, 2019 6:10 pm 
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Here's some updates.

1: Westinghouse clock radio.
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The clock is one of those national times versions with the constantly spinning flywheel. Somehow the very thin aluminum flywheel had become slightly bent and was hitting the inner coil of the rotor causing a "wap-wap-wap-wap" sound as it spun. It took a good 30 minutes to gently re-shape the flywheel not to do this.

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Its an earlier PCB board type set. Not as bad as some others where the traces will lift off the board too easily.

2: This small but neat looking Silvertone.
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3: A nice looking Silvertone that to me looks like it was made by Belmont. Probably a late use of the design as there is a hybrid of octal and miniature tubes.
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4: A big Silvertone clock radio with the gimicky " 2 speakers" feature. I see quite a few of these 2 speaker models from the early to mid 50's. I assume because since hi-fi was new and perhaps many had no clue what that really was all about that having a radio with 2 speakers would come off as being a sort of stereo versus what it is, which is just a 5 tube generic set with 2 speakers.

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The clock was frozen up badly. That and the rotor was seized and the coil was shot.

So a few people have asked how the Telechron rotors can be freed up. Here's how I do it.

1: remove the rotor- the copper drum I'm pointing at. Remove the 2 screws on either side that hold the electromagnet around it. These will flay open. Just use a screwdriver to gently pry them open and pull out the rotor.
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2: Turn the rotor over. Use a short length of clear plastic tubing that snugly fits over the rotor's output shaft. This makes a seal. Squirt in a bit of WD-40 and then add some 3 in 1 oil. Heat the bottom of the rotor until you start to see bubbles coming out of the output shaft, boiling through the oil in the tube. Let this go on for a minute or so. Then set aside and allow it to cool. As it does it will suck the new oil in through the shaft.
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Some of these clock radios are a mess with everything daisy-chained together. I usually just remove it all versus trying to de-solder everything.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 16, 2019 1:14 am 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi Bob,
Thanks for showing how to free up a rotor that's gummed up. That's something I'm going to try one day.

A small thing: A sort of typo, if you will. Number 3 is an Airline radio rather than a Silvertone. :-) Other than that, I'm hugely impressed with the sheer number of your radio repairs for the Radio Museum's sales.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 16, 2019 7:47 pm 
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bobwilson1977 wrote:
2: Turn the rotor over. Use a short length of clear plastic tubing that snugly fits over the rotor's output shaft. This makes a seal. Squirt in a bit of WD-40 and then add some 3 in 1 oil. Heat the bottom of the rotor until you start to see bubbles coming out of the output shaft, boiling through the oil in the tube. Let this go on for a minute or so. Then set aside and allow it to cool. As it does it will suck the new oil in through the shaft.
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Which 3in1? The regular 3in1 becomes gummy. They also sell electric motor oil under that brand, and turbine oil is excellent for both the motors and the gears and bearings.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 16, 2019 8:02 pm 
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I usually use Zoom Spout oil for motors. I found mine at Lowe's. It's formulated especially for electric motors. I know 3 in one oil also makes a special oil for electric motors. The can is blue rather than red like typical 3 in one oil. The 3 in one stock number for that oil is 10045. It's also found at Lowe's.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Aug Fri 30, 2019 11:17 pm 
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Been awhile... I was totally worn out from last weekend's antique show where we sold out almost of everything. 60 table sets and 4 consoles. It was a looooong day.

So now its time to start over and start overhauling more radios for a future show. Probably December.

1: A rather nice ELAC Miracord turntable. After taking it apart and oiling the mechanism and cleaning it up it actually works. As in the changer does what its supposed to do. You press one of the record size buttons and it comes over and puts the arm down for you. A nicely made, heavily built machine.
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2: An initially nasty Zenith. The thing had been in someone's basement and was very grungy. It got a recap, fully taken apart and cleaned and painted.
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3:Very cute, very small crossly. It looks like a cartoon radio. Very nice condition on the bakelite:
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4: Emerson clock radio. Forgot to take before and innard pics:
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5: Westinghouse clock radio.
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These are sometimes a pain in the ass as its all "daisy chained" together and thus is a hassle to remove the chassis.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Fri 06, 2019 9:46 pm 
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Hi Bob,
Nice job on all those radios!
What do you think the Elac Miracord 10H turntable will sell for?

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 09, 2019 5:57 pm 
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Here's more recent projects.

1: Zenith Transoceanic in a genuine leather case. Initially grubby and stained. As its actual leather saddle soap was used to clean it and then a neutral shoe polish to finish it up. I don't know tons about TO's but I assume this was probably their top-of-the-line model because its got a number of additional features others lack. For one it can operate on either 120 or 220 volts, it has a dial light which for some odd reason is via a flashlight battery, and as seen- a leather case.
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Someone had already overhauled it and it works well. They had also replaced the 1L6 with a solid state unit. Very nifty.
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2:Doesn't look like much... a typical small AA5. Originally battleship gray, painted blue. But this is a first in what will be a transition from using ceramic caps to input audio into the set to using transformers instead.
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Ceramic caps on both the pos and neg leads of the incoming audio rated at .01uF effectively lowers the current levels to well below the threshold that will trip a GFCI but it also reduces the levels of bass coming through the speaker.

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But adding a small power transformer in the mix, which in turn works the same as an ISO transformer not only eliminates current getting through the line but also makes for much better audio quality. We have a bunch of tiny transformers on the way but for now we're simply cracking open generic wall-wart cases and getting the transformers out.

3: One for me: A teeny-weanie little Ward's set:
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Since its for me I did the bare minimum to get it going. This is a 4 tube, 1 IF transformer set with slug tuning. You'd be amazed at how well it works! Surprisingly sensitive.
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4: A pair of kind of grubby looking German sets. The one on the left is a "Brun" which I think means "Brown" in German. That and a early 50's Grundig with UCH style tubes as well as 3 rimlock tubes.
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The Brun was water damaged. The case was coming apart and the finish was gone as well as the front fabric. It was sanded down and glued. Refinished with water based satin poly spray. Yeah I know... booo! But it works well.
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The Grundig had issues. Audio was working but no reception on any band. Unusual design too: its sort of a hot chassis set. See rear where there's a stack of giant power resistors to "soak up" the excess current.
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I am not familiar with these tubes and have no means to test them. I handed it to another member who has a rig to do so and found that UCH-15 is shorted. A replacement would cost us $100 shipped from Europe. So instead this member will remove the top part of the tube, keep the base and solder in leads and a 9-pin base for its 9 pin equivelant.

Both sets cleaned up:
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 09, 2019 7:25 pm 
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Nice save on those German sets.
I really like the Zenith TransOceanic and its leather case. It's surprising that someone would donate a really nice working radio.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 09, 2019 7:31 pm 
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We think its nice too. We're going to save it for the museum as an outstanding example of the Trans Oceanic. We have two of these but this one is in much better condition. So we will keep this as the better of the two.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Thu 19, 2019 5:15 pm 
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Here's some more recent updates. Sorry as its been awhile. I guess its because I feel like I'm talking to myself here but anyway... here it goes.

1: What I wound up calling the "Cow manure radio" because it was filthy inside and out. It was so gross I sat it outside in the sun for a few days to kill whatever might have been growing inside.
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Recap was basic but once again I made an amazingly dumb mistake of wiring one of the caps backwards. The set kept blowing the pilot lamp. Duh... Once the problem was solved it worked.
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The original antenna back was toast so I dug up one that was almost a direct match. Transformer added for audio input thus proper isolation. 150 small ISO transformers are on their way from China as we speak. Until then I've been pulling wall warts from a bucket full of them at the museum.

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As the bakelite was utterly ruined I painted it a forest green.
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2: Stewart Warner AA5. Another member did the electronics. I polished the case. This set has an outright ground to chassis connection. So a polarized plug was added but since that means nothing when the set turns off I also covered the set's back screws so that there's no means for someone to touch them.
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3: Very nice little late model Telefunken.
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Knobs were totally sized and unremovable. So the chassis AND the front were pulled. It worked but I replaced the electrolytics anyway.
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There was an infuriating short in the chassis and I was not able to pinpoint it. So I wound up re-soldering most of the points underneath the PCB board. After several attempts whatever it was I must have found because it stopped shorting.
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4: This sort of large Admiral.
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Interesting that it has what looked like the "Star Trek Enterprise" logo.
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Forgot to take chassis pics but it was just a matter of installing new caps.
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5: Sylvania portable.
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Also forgot chassis pics but like most portables it was VERY cramped inside. Th case was trashed so it was cleaned, sanded down and re-painted
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6: Early 50's "Artone"? No clue what brand that is. Probably something made by a contract manufacturer. Has a cool looking case.
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Not much to it. Just another AA5 with a handful of common value caps. It had a HUGE .47uF grounding cap meaning the chassis would give someone a punch of touched and grounded. A ceramic .02uF cap was used instead. No change in sound quality.
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7: Another one of those super long Japanese radios.
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Over time I've grown to have more respect for post war Japanese radios. To be honest many use better, more durable components than their American counterparts. Whereas your typical American set of the era used paper caps these rely heavily on ceramic and oil filled caps. Thus usually all one has to do is change the electrolytics and call it a day. It also works very well on FM. The ONLY thing I hate about these is you have to detach the tuning indicator because its permanently stuck to a slide attached to the front of the case,
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I have a huge pile of sets right now so more shall come soon...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Thu 19, 2019 5:51 pm 
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I enjoy your posts. They are not in vain!

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Thu 19, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Even though I do not comment on your thread, I still read through your new posts every time I log in.

Keep posting! We are here , even if you can't see us.... 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Thu 19, 2019 7:37 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,
I view, read and enjoy every single one of your radio restoration posts. I've learned a lot from you and would encourage you to keep doing what you're doing.

Regards, Tom

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"A challenge to be met, rather than an obstacle to avoid." - Mr. Data


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