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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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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 10181
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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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
Posts: 1489
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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Radio Interests
-Zenith
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-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: Nov Fri 08, 2019 11:42 pm 
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Posts: 11211
Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Such tiny brushes would be nice. The brass brushes for fiberglass pencils are hand 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


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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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Location: alameda,CA
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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Joined: Nov Wed 08, 2017 11:52 pm
Posts: 259
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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Location: alameda,CA
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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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
Posts: 1489
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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Location: Phoenix AZ
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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Location: alameda,CA
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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Joined: Feb Fri 13, 2009 5:09 am
Posts: 562
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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