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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Thu 19, 2019 9:41 pm 
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Thanks guys. I have literally a garage full now. Parts were running out but they have arrived. Full steam ahead for both an October and December antiques show.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 24, 2019 5:03 pm 
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Here's the latest in adventures of restoring old electronics.

1: Late 70's Toshiba clock radio. I love these old flipper clocks. This one was seized up so after taking it apart and oiling the mechanism and motor it worked fine. I brought it to the office today to see if it keeps good time.

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The neon bulb was badly carboned up so a new one was installed.
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2: I finally bought a buffing machine. All the plastic polishing is starting to make my hands sore. This is a Porter Cable orbital buffer. I used it on a few especially scratched up radios including this black Capehart clock radio.
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As seen it really does a good job and it takes just a few minutes versus an hour.
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The Capehart turned out well. A recap job and a polish. 12BE6 was shorted and replaced.
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3: This great big Montgomery Wards.
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A straightforward set, after recapping there was no audio. Even though all tubes tested as good I was suspicious of the 6V6 tube. I've found that its not unusual for a 6V6 to test "good" but to actually be bad or shorted. I swapped it out and tada... problem solved. Audio input added. Nice sounding set.
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It too was given a orbital buffer polish.
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4: This large Arvin set. I like these things as they resemble the front of a car.
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Initially filthy and had issues with the grill cloth. It was taken apart, grill cloth cleaned and re-attached.
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These are sort of a pain to work on: The PCB board is bolted to the metal base and needs to come off. There's tons of wiring that makes turning the board over to service difficult. An ISO transformer was added for audio input.
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5: One of those RCA " Dual speaker" radios. Whoopee. They probably fooled people into thinking two speakers meant stereo.
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But its a nice sort of watermelon color.
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Buffer works great on polystyrene.
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6: Another Zenith Hi-fi table set. If I had a job just working on these I'd be happy. These are really well designed and sound great. I had an issue where there was a short in the socket of the 19T8 tube. I could NOT figure out how or what was shorting there so I handed it off to another member. A small piece of wire I'd snipped while re-capping got lodged somewhere. Stupid.. Image

Recapped with replacement silicone diode and compensating 50ohm resistor.
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And another salvaged wall-wart was used for the ISO for audio input. The smaller Chinese transformers are now in transit.
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7: Lastly a Bulova AM/FM set. This was in sorry shape. The entire front grill had been gold but that was almost entirely worn-off. Another member replaced the electrolytics it worked fine. I removed all the trim from the front and painted it.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 24, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,
Did the dual tweeters (electrostatic?) work on your Zenith AM/FM? If they didn't, what did you do to get them working again? I've got a similar Zenith and I think there's some kind of issue with the tweeters.

Thanks, Tom

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


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 24, 2019 7:01 pm 
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The tweeters work, yes. But I'd say they tend to not work around half the time. If they don't I don't try to fix them as I have no clue. We have a bunch of random small tweeters downstairs so in that case I just screw in a replacement. Sure makes a difference in the sound quality. Brings out the bass better.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Tue 24, 2019 7:11 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Thanks for the information, Bob.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 30, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Here are a few more sets done over the past week or so.

1: A large, high tube count GE. Massive chassis with 10 tubes and an impressive array of coils.
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Recapping wasn't that bad. Everything is neatly laid out on boards.
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Last week a shipment of 100+ small ISO transformers came in from a Chinese supplier. These are used ordinarily in welding machines ( not sure what they would do ) but anyway these enable us to do a few things:

A: Boosts the incoming audio signal which is beneficial for some sets, especially older ones like these.
B: For hot chassis sets provides electrical isolation and gives a richer sound over using ceramic caps.

These are small and easy to simply glue in place.
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Primary winding goes to the top end of the volume control. Incoming audio goes through the secondary. If there is any DC voltage on the pot, add a 10uF capacitor- negative of cap to leg of top side of pot.


The cabinet had slight damage and was re-glued. The whole thing was wiped down with Howards, then Old English, then car wax that was applied with an electric buffer.

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This unit uses a kind of gimmick. The speaker is bolted to a frame that is attached to two wooden boxes on either side. This causes the cabinet to slightly resonate. The result is it sounds a little too boomy.
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It cleaned up nicely. Now had bluetooth added.
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2: Nice Bakelite GE. Not much to say. Basic and with just a handful of caps to replace

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3: This one is for me. Its a top end Saba Wildbad. I won this on Ebay sort of accidentally. I bid my max which was well below the set's value and wound up winning. These are probably the finest radios made... IMHO. Very sensitive and amazing sound quality.
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Has the infamous Saba green speakers. This set is 100% original and works perfectly. As such and since its mine I will leave it as-is.
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4: An earlier Grundig. This one has had everything done. Another member built a replacement tube, by hand, out of one of the existing UCH style tubes which are insanely expensive. He used the base of the defective tube to retrofit it with an appropriate 9-pin. It also had defective grill cloth which I replaced.

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5: This smallish Westinghouse with an oddball bakelite chassis. I supposed the idea might have been with regard to safety: No need to worry about people touching the chassis since its non-conductive.
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6: This small Firestone 4 tube wonder. I had lots of issues with this one. Power resistor to 50C5 was off by a factor of 2 and thus not enough voltage getting to the string. After replacing that B+ was restored but no sound. Output transformer was bad. After that it worked.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 30, 2019 6:58 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,
Congratulations on winning your Saba. Is your radio from the 60's? That's pretty interesting and impressive that it's 100% original and doesn't need anything done to it. Must be absolutely full of quality components.

Tom

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Last edited by Tommgb on Oct Tue 01, 2019 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 30, 2019 10:02 pm 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Nice to see a GE M106 (RCA 262) in your restorations! :D

You might open up those "tone boxes" and take a look inside.
They could be a nice place to stash money during the depression. :wink:

-Steve

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Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Sep Mon 30, 2019 10:54 pm 
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I am imagining the GE was not cheap for its day. I'd wondered whether RCA had anything to do with it: Its construction is almost identical to some of RCA's upper end lineup from 1934-35


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Tue 01, 2019 12:14 am 
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Yep, the chassis is identical with the RCA 262.
I have a 262 I restored in the mid 1980s. I was impressed with the build quality!

-Steve

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Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Wed 02, 2019 4:32 pm 
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Here is the latest radios, as done via my typical OCD desire to constantly work on them...

1: Now this one is kind of special. Its a top of the line Zenith Transoceanic. Yes, I worked on one a few weeks ago. That one still worked fine and its a museum display item and since it worked I didn't bother to overhaul it. It replaced another we had that was in slightly less perfect condition even though in reality it was just sort of dirty and also cleaned up well.
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The case was cleaned with Simple green which removed the grime. That was followed up by saddle soap and leather conditioner. These were covered in actual real leather and so leather products work best.

It was all going so well. Recapped. Aligned. Even the selenium rectifier tested great.
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And then... when testing it I realized the damned speaker was blown! Ohhhhh Noooo! The worse radio to have this happen since the speaker is a very specific size and has a specialized mount for the chassis. So I went to the museum and luckily did find the exact speaker but it had a different mount.

I figured no biggie, just drill the spot welds out off the blown speaker's mounts. Turns out the mount was almost entirely welded to the speaker frame which required hack-sawing the thing off.
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Some JB-weld was used to stick the mount to the replacement speaker. JB Weld is great stuff BTW.
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The set came with a phono input which was used via our new ISO transformer setup.
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All plastics were polished with Novus No.2
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All in all a very nice example:
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And now for a series of "boring " radios most people wouldn't bother to deal with.
Your run of the mill GE clock radio.
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Made probably at the tail-end of the tube era, the whole radio chassis fits on a 4x4" square of PCB board.
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Set has zero screws. The speaker, chassis, and clock all "snap" into place via plastic indentations on the case.
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Case was sanded, cleaned with alcohol, masked and painted.
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Forgot before pic but this is the case of a Packard Bell. The paint was trashed.
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Was missing the back but a new one was made out of leftover beer cartons...
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Lastly, this really nasty Firestone with what looked like sprayed on dog crap or something
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Wed 02, 2019 7:50 pm 
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You do a really nice job rejuvenating these radios Bob!

Shouldn't the Green one with the new back now be branded as a Packard Beer? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Wed 02, 2019 9:15 pm 
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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,
Your first radio, the GE, went from being downright dowdy to a good looking radio.
I also like all the work you did to the TransOceanic. Looks really nice now. Maybe that one should be in the museum as well.

Tom

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


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Wed 02, 2019 9:22 pm 
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Thanks Tom!
As far as Packard Bell, well its amazing how many beer bottles I've accidentally knocked over on the bench. The wood is probably now totally picked in spilled beer. What I need is a beer holder fixed to the edge. Yeah- next job...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Wed 02, 2019 11:49 pm 
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Location: Kingston Ontario
Beautiful job done on those radio's. I enjoy watching restoration diary.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Tue 08, 2019 4:54 pm 
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Here's further adventures in obsolete electronics!

1: This somewhat large-ish Arvin AM/FM set from the late 40's.
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I've worked on several of this model. Arvin isn't one of those brands we talk about much but IMHO they built better than average sets compared to the larger players. Especially given that their FM tends to work pretty well. This is a transformered set too.
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They are kind of a rat's nest underneath though.
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Has a very cool backlit effect for the dial.
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2:Bulova clock radio. They seemed to want to accentuate the whole watch and jewelry aspect of their brand in their radios. Lots of gaudy chrome and glitz. The case was heavily abraded and required a buffing job.
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The electronics are pretty sparse. A very typical AA5.
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3:Large Silvertone clock radio. It must have been dropped: A lot of the internal screws mounts and stuff were broken off and required being re-tapped or re-glued.
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Its a 6 tube set thus a tad more sensitive. All mounted on a flimsy PCB board.
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I wasn't paying attention. While drilling a hole for the RF/radio switch for aux input I drilled right through the antenna loop. Luckily I had a loose ferrite rod and after some tweaking of the RF cans it was back to normal.
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The clock assembly was comprised of 3 different layers of stuff that was held together with friction clips... which are annoying. I usually use a small screwdriver to pry up one corner to work them off.
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4: An unusual Crossly with a kind of "bubbling bubbles" grill.
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I forgot before pics but it looked like someone had stuck a pencil through the grill cloth and into the speaker, which had been crudely repaired and sounded awful.
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That was replaced with another 4" speaker.
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After a few sets with the ISO transformers I've come to the conclusion mounting them as close as possible to the volume control eliminates interference into the audio.
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5: This kind of fugly Silvertone. Why I bothered? Not sure. Guess I was bored. I just took it apart, cleaned it, put it back together.
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6: A CBS clock radio. Someone else probably made it for them.
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The front looked pretty awful. originally a gold paint that had chipped off. I had half a can of yellow spray paint. Not sure why but the ladies just looove yellow radios...
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Tue 08, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,
Nice bunch of radios there. I'm glad you cleaned up that Silvertone. It certainly looks different. You never know who'll see it and what memories it might trigger. Do you know who your customer is for all your radios? Is it older people, collectors, youngsters into it for the novelty of owning a vintage radio or a little of everything?

Tom

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


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Tue 08, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
It took me a while to figure out how to read the dial on that Arvin...for AM, the pointer moves past the numbers, while for FM, the numbers move past the pointer. I have never seen a two-scale readout that operated that way. How does it indicate which band is in play?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Tue 08, 2019 7:03 pm 
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The dial on the Arvin is unusual. Not exactly easy to read really. Its a case where the designers probably won out over user interface design. Oh well. It looks cool at least...

As far as people buying these I'd say at least 75-80% are non-collectors, tend to be younger and simply want a neat looking thing in their house or apartment. Plastic sets with interesting styling seem to do better with this group than the wooden sets. These days we will tend to reserve the more collectible sets for auction, ebay, or swap meets. This works out pretty well. Besides- most of these 50's sets don't have much going on and in most cases its a simple recap, cleaning and addition of aux input and they're good to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Oct Tue 08, 2019 7:11 pm 
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Location: Petaluma, CA
Hello Bob,

When using your orbital buffer are you using any specific polishing compound? Thanks!

Craig R.


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