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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 6:14 pm 
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Location: alameda,CA
I scrape the pins with a knife, use a pin straightener and then spray the sockets with contact cleaner. Then wiggle the tubes in the still-wet sockets. Loctal tubes are the worst


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 8:11 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Thanks Bob. With all the restoration you do, I was sure you'd have some kind of procedure.

I've used steel wool in a hemostat to scrub the grunge off the pins. When I'm done, I use a strong magnet to pick up any residual steel wool. It works, but it's tedious.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
What we need are tiny wire brushes such as a micro-miniature automotive battery post cleaning brush. :D

-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: Nov Fri 08, 2019 11:42 pm 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Such tiny brushes would be nice. The brass brushes for fiberglass pencils are handy for many radio restoration tasks:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/501998347/ ... eb0927856d

https://www.amazon.com/Scratch-Brush-Fi ... B07X6P2GLN

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many of my radios http://s269.photobucket.com/user/FSteph ... t=3&page=1


Last edited by FStephenMasek on Jan Tue 28, 2020 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 8:23 pm 
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Here's a few more sets that were done over the last week..... yes... I lack any social life.

1: A 1963 RCA Stereo. Probably one of the lower end units. Only has a single 6BQ5 per channel yet believe it or not, sounds pretty good.

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As new as this is by this time most of the caps are either mylar or ceramic thus not as much stuff to replace.
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The record player was gunked up. So it was removed, cleaned, and so on. The old needle was damaged but luckily we had spares at the museum.
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The cabinet was dried out and so I re-oiled it.
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2: Unusual Philco clock radio with a sort of "wedge" side profile. I haven't seen one of these before and I sort of dig it.
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Not much going on inside. Just a few electrolytic caps and a crossover safety cap added.
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But boy is this thing weird. I have no clue why, but after testing every single cap, tested all tubes and resistors the thing for whatever reason spends 5 or so seconds turning "off", as in it turns off, the tubes immediately stop glowing and yet I hear sound for a full 5 seconds afterwards.

3: ANOTHER Packard Bell. But this one OTOH has a really pristine cabinet. Very shiny. Unusual for a bakelite set.
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4: A Westinghouse with an unusual Asian themed design.
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I have sort of mixed feelings about this one. One side of ground is REALLY ground. As in to chassis. The manufacture obviously knew it because the knobs, controls, mounting screws and even the chassis are all insulated. A back cover on a hinge bolts shut.
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5: Another Westinghouse. Again- by this era, not much going on in there service-wise. Lots of ceramic caps. The cabinet was a dull putty color so the rear cabinet was painted.
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6: Another..... surprise! Packard Bell. I forgot to take before pics. But anyway It is really sub-par on radio reception. I will bring it to the museum to see if one of the other techs can improve it.
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7: Kind of a unique Coronado set. Initially it would not turn on. The on/off switch was all gummed up.
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The solution? Gumout carb cleaner. That dissolves the gunk and frees the switch.
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Kind of a bear to recap as many were difficult to access.
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8: Larger Motorola set.
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Man did I fudge it up bad initially. I tried to repaint it, the paint wound up fouling up so it was stripped and again repainted.
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9: Whoops. Forgot to take any good pics.
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One of those early GE radios with a quasi-PCB design things.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 9:17 pm 
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Location: Phoenix AZ
What is this blue cube you have in some of these radios?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 10:06 pm 
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Those are Isolation transformers. We bought a box of 100 from Alibaba. That way we can run audio input cables into the vol pot. This gives you electrical isolation and improves the fidelity


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 10:37 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,
I really like that unusual Philco wedge radio. That one should be saved for the museum.

Regards,Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 7:33 am 
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bobwilson1977 wrote:
Those are Isolation transformers. We bought a box of 100 from Alibaba. That way we can run audio input cables into the vol pot. This gives you electrical isolation and improves the fidelity

What kind of audio are you feeding into these radios? How do you disable the normal audio from the radio?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2019 2:41 pm 
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What I'm doing is adding a 3.5 mm mail plug. That way you can plug in either a smartphone, or at some other audio device. There is also a switch that is mounted on the back of the set that disconnects the RF signal coming in from the RF transformer. that way you can either turn the RF signal off when you run your audio through or turn it back on if you want to listen to the radio only. Audio goes through the isolation transformer and then to the top and negative of the volume pot.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 6:18 pm 
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One week until the big show. Luckily the deficit of radios has been fulfilled. Whatever is done from here on out is icing on the cake.

1: 1939 Stewart Warner. The case was unfortunately in bad shape: the finish was ruined. Not much you can do when they get this bad but I didnt want to paint it.
So instead I used a spray Lacquer applied repeatedly in light coats and then buffed out in between. The look gives it a deep gloss to reveal the bakelite pattern nicely. Yeah- I get its not everyone's "thing"...
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2: Federal AA5 with original finish.
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It had a weird issue where it would be on for awhile then shut off entirely. The 50L6 was doing a thing where when it got hot enough the filament would open. After replacing that solved the issue.
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3: Not so common Majestic clock radio.
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Clock rotor was seized and would not work loose even after several heating and oiling attempts. I have a shoe box full of replacement Telechron rotors and so I used one of those. Problem solved.

4: GE clock radio. Another member did the innards, I added the ISO transformer and gave it a custom yellow paint job. This thing too did the same as the Federal. It would stay on, in this case for over 30 minutes and then die. 50C5 had a very insidious short. Arg!

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5:Large-ish GE with weird "ribbon-y" looking front.
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6 tuber so thus more sensitive.
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Original bakelite finish really cleaned up well.
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6: Odd Howard with a silver hammered finish. Was originally pretty dull but car wax brought it out. I can't think of many sets with this kind of finish other than a few Northern Electrics.
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Another member did the electronics. I finished up and added the audio input, replaced the cord, cleaned the case.

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7:Very cute, small little Arvin. Yes- its a metal case and luckily the manufacturer knew that duh- its not a good idea to even think of having a direct ground. So its a floating chassis set. I was fairly liberal with the painting on this one. Was white before. Now fire engine red.
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I don't know why I keep forgetting to take before and after pics...

8: This one is for me: small RCA portable. I am thinking I will do an experiment. I will build a rechargeable battery pack and install a very small bluetooth receiver inside. That way I could have a portable bluetooth enabled tube radio which would be kind of novel.
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9: Westinghouse " Refrigerator radio"
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Has one of those weird plastic chassis. I suppose for safety reasons? Still a hot chassis set but the chassis is plastic.
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Weird construction too.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
What a load......of cool radios! I think I too would have selected that RCA Victor. That's a handsome radio. Is there really a clock in that yellow GE? I'm not seeing it...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 9:59 pm 
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Ah crap. Its not a clock radio. They made another model that looks about the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Fri 06, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Here is the latest.
Disappointingly ( of course ) it hasn't rained here since March and I'll be damned if its going to rain for the Christmas show out on the point. So basically I rushed for 2 months to get enough sets ready and lo and behold the show isn't going to happen. Oh well. The next show will be either January or February.

1: This large 1947 RCA AM/FM set.
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I forgot to take before pics but the finish was dull and faded.
This thing was kind of a nightmare. Someone donated it because FM didn't work. They had partially recapped it. I finished replacing the rest and FM still didn't work. Tested all the tubes, ran a signal through it, all kinds of diagnostics and nuttin'.
I handed it over to one of our more recent members who is more or less a technical genius. He took it home and long story short- there were several incorrect wiring jobs per the previous person and some cold solder joints in the chassis related to FM. It works great now but according to the guy I handed it to the design is pretty fragile. Not nearly as good as the FM Zeniths.
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After I got it back Installed Bluetooth as it has a phono input, is a transformer powered set and a nice speaker. I also spent a few hours with car polish bringing back the finish so that its the proper glossy appearance as it came from the factory.
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2: A similar era AM/FM Silvertone. Also a transformer powered set which is not as common for sets this size. In fact, over the past month I've restored 3-4 of these 40's FM sets and they all have power transformers. My guesstimate is that since FM on these is so sensitive that having a transformer means less interference.
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I am about 90% sure that Arvin was the actual manufacture of this one because the chassis design is the same as many other Arvins of this era. It must be a decent design since most of these seem to work well on FM.
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The 12AT7 tube had a short on the first section and thus killed FM. Replacing it solved the initial issue. I find that the ceramic trimmers on these are prone to slightly getting out of whack which affects FM. Just barely touching it will greatly increase the performance. Thus the tweaks worked well.
The original paint had very few chips. As such I didn't want to paint it despite the fact that plain white radios are not as easy to sell. This one I think looks elegant. I did run the orbital polisher over this one and it brought back the original gloss.
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3: I am pretty sure what comes next will not be pleasing to some. Its a Magestic "Playboy" radio. Someone had done a sort of crap job on repainting it. So I decided to re-paint it. Initially this went well.
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And then... and I didn't take pictures, the paint decided to crack and deform. I've never seen this happen before. Its like the paint was defective or something. I let the case set for a few days then stripped it all off. Went back to the store... got ANOTHER can of cream spray paint and this can ALSO did some weird crap. I began to spray and the paint was shooting out as a partial powder, giving the set a sandpaper like texture. At that point I was pissed. So I had to strip it AGAIN, sand it down and repaint. Went to a different store and they were out of cream spray paint. At that point I had spent days on the set and just wanted it done. So I chose a sort of cranberry type color. This time the paint came out perfect. But yes- I realize this is not an acuurate color at all.
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4: Remler Scotty.
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Someone had dropped this one. There were severe cracks and the previous owner had done an awful job of glueing it together. I wound up sanding the rough areas down and repainting. These are really well-made sets so despite the damage they are great playing pieces.


My Maine Coon says howdy.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jan Tue 28, 2020 12:57 am 
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Nice work on all those sets! I enjoyed reading all the posts along with the detailed pictures :D

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Feb Thu 06, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Its been awhile since I updated this. I've been really busy at work and for whatever reason I've had issues uploading images to Imgr. I am also toying with the idea of starting webcasts which would have more visibility. But anyway, here we go. I have actually forgotten to photographs of some projects. Sorry...

1: This enormous Grundig stereo console. We got a call from a man who said the console had belonged to his wife's father that he'd bought when in the service in Germany.
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Its close to 6.5 feet long and probably around 250-300 pounds. Its probably the most complete and optioned out set I've worked on. It has all of the original manuals, microphones, dust cover, cables and even the original packing materials. It features a slide out drawer with a removable stereo reel to reel deck.

Its has 4 chassis units:
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The reverb unit chassis
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The power supply and amp chassis ( removed the expensive Ell80 tubes while restoring )
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The weird, box shaped tuner chassis
And then the reverb unit.

The original speakers were totally shot. I;ve run into this before: Grundig sometimes used really bizarre sizes of cones for their speakers. Whereas everyone else will go with a 8,10,12, or 15" speaker size the ones in this were something like 10.5" or some random size. The original foam surrounds were made out of very thin highly flexible foam that had dry rotted. It was impossible to fine replacement surrounds. So I did find a vintage set of 10" woofers at the museum. And as luck would have it... they fit perfectly AND on top of that, the hole in the cabinet was just the right size to allow the cone to reverberate forward versus hitting the wood.

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The reel to reel had lots of crappy pot metal parts that had started to disintegrate. I firmed those up with epoxy, cleaned and oiled the mech and go it to work properly.
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2: A HUGE 1952 Saba
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Someone randomly dropped this and a Telefunken off in a garbage bag on the front porch. Both still had their 220 euro plugs and both were still set to 220. So its clear they've probably been here for a long time and have not been used since they were brought over.
It still had the original owner's manual
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Typical, very OCD style construction with most caps bolted down.
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One of the best sounding table sets I've heard. So nice we are keeping it for display

3: A Farnsworth console. Forgot to take before and during pics. The speaker had a HUGE hole in it that I reconstructed using paper and glue
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4: Remler Scotty I restored for a friend
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5: Can't take credit for this one as someone else did the innards. I just cleaned it up. But its another Remler. This one is unusual: It has a HUGE speaker inside. Its more like someone decided to design a small radio and cram a console sized speaker inside. As a result it sounds a lot better than it looks.
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6: Nice RCA with original finish
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7: VERY green Philco. This is another museum keeper
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8: Not a radio but a crazy looking fan. It was a pain in the ass to take apart but now its back together. It extends up to 7 feet tall.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Feb Sat 08, 2020 12:22 am 
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Those were two challenging German projects, congrats on their completions!

Does the second Remler have a model #?

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Feb Thu 13, 2020 5:43 pm 
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Here's the latest in drama, comedy and intrigue in the world of radio restoration...

1: Once again I forgot to take BEFORE pics of this. But anyway it was a FILTHY Grundig set. The case exhibited some serious water damage with the veneer splitting apart on all sides. I wound up using a long knife to shove wood glue down between the layers and then clamped it all back together.
The interior of the case had some really weird looking stuff growing on it. I'm not sure what it was. Some sort of mold? It was powdery, white, and dry. Either way I wore a respirator and cleaned it all off with a damp cloth.
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Initial recapping yielded a humming noise. The set uses a few rimlock tubes which I can't test. I assumed the output tube was shorted. But after bringing it to the museum and having some extra eyes look at it the issue was a cap that was hidden that I missed that had shorted to the grid of the output tube.
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The steel wire that slides the AM/SW indicator across the dial had snapped meaning an hour of delicate re-stringing.
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The finish was pretty bad on this one. I wound up using old English, beeswax, then Novus No.2 plastic polish and then several applications of caranuba wax to restore the piano finish.
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2: Little RCA that has an unusual, very subtle mint-ish green coloration. Another member did the recap. I replaced the .1uF grounding cap with a safer .01uf Safety cap, added the audio input and polished the case
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Feb Fri 21, 2020 5:52 pm 
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Here we go with.... more radio restoration jobs. yay!

Anyway....
Numero Uno:
This rather nice 11 tube Stromberg Carlson console with the infamous "Acoustical Labyrinth".
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As an idiot as usual I forgot to take before pics. The set has been a part of the museum collection for years. It was restored electrically in the 90's. As we are sort of overrun with consoles this along with a few others are being considered surplus. The main reason was that before I got ahold of it the finish looked awful. Lots of really faded, cracked and worn finish. So I took it home and did the process I have been using and need to share with you all someday. But here's the basics:

1: Scrub down with Howard's and steel wool
2: Rub down with Old English, Dark Walnut
3: Let Old English " Soak in" for a few hours
4: Using an orbital buffer, apply a large quantity of MQuire's liquid caranuba cleaner car wax. Apply as many applications as it takes to bring back the shine. This also seals the finish
5: Finish up with Mquire's hard caranuba paste.

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The electronics were fine. But I did clean the controls and tighten up the slipping dial belt. This thing sounds incredible. I am bringing it back to the museum to let the board decide if it stays or goes. If it goes the price should reflect the quality.

2: This dandy GE portable. I cannot begin to state what a royal pain in the ass this thing was. It went back and forth between me and another tech for a month. What it boiled down to was that for whatever reason the thing would blow the tube filaments. The initial surge current was a bit too high. Ultimately it was due to us having replaced the selenium rectifier with modern diodes and even though a dropping resistor was added, the set seems to have been designed with basically zero tolerance for surge current. So the other tech added another diode to suppress this surge. Very neat looking radio though and we wound up selling it to our volunteer who does our cabinet work.
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3: Very plain-jane, bland boring white Zenith clock radio. Given to us by one of the folks setup at a swap meet at the end of the day.
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And here it is after a makeover:
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4: Another sad radio probably most people would not give a second look at. But one evening I was bored so I gave it a once over.
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It has one of those General Time movements with the constantly spinning flywheel. I've never understood why these were chosen over Telechrons. They have way more rapidly moving parts and often times the worn gear coming off the flywheel is worn out. This one wasn't. Usually you have to spray down the flwheel to clean out the gunk, then apply new oil. Initially the thing made a knocking noise but after letting it run for an hour it became quiet. After 2 days it keeps good time too.
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5: Great big Silvertone. I'm about 99.9% sure its a Philco as it looks like one of their "tropic" sets.
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Initially worked albeit poorly. It had a new cord and so I assumed maybe it had been restored. But I've learned to never assume anything. It was 100% factory original minus the cord.
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Not difficult to overhaul and once done its a very sensitive set with a BIG speaker and good sound.
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It too had a really faded and worn finish but was given the same treatment as the Stromberg above.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Feb Mon 24, 2020 7:05 pm 
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Well well well... Over the past several weeks we have a few TV sets come in as donations. We don't really have room or need for these sets but I figured they would be a nice change from working on radios. So I got them working again.

1: One of our members bought a Crossly at an estate sale for $10. Initial testing resulted in a loud hum and only about 50% of the needed high voltage and somewhat weak raster.
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After replacing the caps the CRT was tested. Initially weak. We brought it up on a B&K tester/rejuvenator. There is an in-between setting before "rejuvenate". This simply "roasts" the filament and burns off all the crap from the cathode material. Believe it or not the tube went from weak to good with only a few applications of this.
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Its a pretty nice looking set. I don't mind 50's TVs as much because by then they had become a little more standardized. This and the next TV are hot chassis sets.
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2: A 50's era Zenith in a metal cabinet.
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Initial test yielded a nasty screeching sound and messed up raster that only displayed a narrow slit.
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Initially replaced several of the electrolytics which solved the issue. Then the rest of the caps were replaced.
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CRT appears to be a replacement and tests very good. Cosmetically its nearly perfect.
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I'll take these to the next antique show which is in a week


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