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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Feb Wed 26, 2020 1:09 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
Posts: 20320
Location: Dayton Ohio
I have one of those Zenith Royal Six radios in black. Looks pretty sharp in blue!

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: Mar Mon 02, 2020 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 10443
Location: alameda,CA
Here's the latest. Probably overkill but we canceled the antique show we were supposed to do last week over concerns of the virus thing. This makes the 3rd show we have missed: the previous two over rain. And now that we seem to be in a drought its the stupid virus. As a result we now have almost 90 sets restored and ready to go. Ultimately these might simply be folded into the Radio Day show. We'll see. But otherwise restorations resume.

1: 1936 Philco "Door wedge".
Not the most stunning looking radio. Initially it worked but poorly. Its clear someone refinished the cabinet in the past. Not the best job but not bad either. It looked to have been partially recapped decades ago with 1950's era electrolytics.
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The wiring to the power transformer uses brittle rubber wiring. In order to stabilize this I soaked it all in liquid tape. Then ran the set for 3-4 hours to make sure there was not any thermal breakdown. The speaker cone was coming lose from the cage and had to be re-glued.

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2: Whittle Pink Granco FM set.
This brand is seriously cheap and dirty but also really simple. This one had a lot of issues. The 19T8 tube had a bad section, the dropping resistor coming off the diode was open and the diode was also bad. Its a actual hot chassis set but luckily the shafts are plastic and the chassis is physically isolated.
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3: Large Telefunken Concertino.
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Belongs to a woman who inherited it from her father. Apparently he used the crap out of this thing for decades. Everything exhibited lots and lots of wear. The keepers for the tone control buttons were all snapped off and as the chassis is all stamped together... no means to really get them to permanently re-attach. But I did overhaul it and got it to work well. She was happy to see it working again.

4: A member donated 35 radios Saturday. So you'll see more of those soon. But in the haul were not 1, 2 or 3 but FIVE Zenith AM/FM sets if the same model. These must have been very well engineered: ALL five worked perfectly on both bands with 100% original parts inside. I overhauled the best of the 5 yesterday. Both of these are in immaculate, nearly pristine condition. Its rare that the bakelite finish is in-molested like that. They are so sensitive on FM you can just barely move the dial and get all stations crystal clear. These would make great "daily driver" radios.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Mon 09, 2020 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 10443
Location: alameda,CA
The office has us working from home these days and since we've been having a steady stream of donations at the museum there's lots of stuff to do. Probably won't be able to setup at any antique shows for awhile but in the meantime the "stockpile" grows. Some of these may become auction items for Radio Day. We are now approaching the 90+ mark on total sets now at the ready. Here are a few more to add.

1: This Crossly "10" model 1018 from 1938.
I really need someone to remind me to take before pics because the set looked like crap. This is after cleaning and waxing.
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The set has had a pretty rough life. At some point something catastrophic must have occurred. The power transformer, output transformer, the RF can and speaker have all been replaced. Underneath were signs of stuff having blown up with soot and tar stains. Whoever did the work did a VERY sloppy job because after replacing the electrolytics the set just sat there and hummed.
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I more or less had to re-work a lot of that work along with the general overhaul. I wish I'd taken before pics because there was some real silliness in there. The previous repairman had for whatever reason taken a flexible wire wound resistor, completely pulled it out and run it all the way from the speaker connection to the ground of tube 6K6. I replaced that with the large gold colored Dale resistor as seen in the left side. Crossly was a cheap manufacture and it showed. ALL of the main power resistors were waym wayyyy off and had to be replaced.
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After that the set worked but the volume was low. The resistor that tied directly to the center tap of the Vol. pot was way off too- the one pictured here- and when replaced volume was restored.
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The rubber friction wheel for the tuner mech was of course completely hardened up and the cord was slipping. I spent about an hour removing that and then installing a new spring and wrapping the cord around the bare shaft a few times to gain traction
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So now it works. Always satisfying when something that was in such bad shape is made to work like new again
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2: This great big Grundig. This was donated along with some American sets. ALL of the tubes were gone. Luckily we have a huge supply of tubes- even the weird ones this one uses though most were American equivalents.
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Initially the volume control was frozen solid. On these German sets the ONLY way to free them up is by using raw, unbridled heat.. from a blow torch. I'll heat the crap out of the shaft and apply oil until it starts to boil. This takes 2-3 attempts before it will eventually break free. There was also considerable garbling in the audio. After a recap this all cleared up. Probably the smaller electrolytics that are attached to the output tubes or a coupling cap to those same tubes.
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I used an orbital buffer and wax. The finish is immaculate. Very attractive radio IMHO...
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3:Weird little Motorola.
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I usually dislike working on these little portables. But this one was a nice challenge. Initially there was zero B+. I then saw that a multi-section power resistor coming off the rectifier was open. As easily seen by the deformation of the left side here.
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After replacing that section and testing it I found out why it'd done that in the first place. Powering it up immediately resulted in the telltale nasty smell of shorted out selenium rectifier. So I put it out in the yard for the "stink" to dissipate. Replacing it with a modern diode solved the issue.
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4: KInd of a ho-hum, not very exciting RCA with AM and FM.
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A real rat's nest of a chassis. But despite that after a recap both bands work great
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5:Custom Zenith.
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We had 4-5 of these donated recently. All but this one had really nice cases. The case on this had a ruined bakelite finish probably from being scrubbed and cleaned. Not much you can do about that. Plus-missing Buyers at our shows like the bright colors. So this one got a custom job.
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I spent some quality time on this one. Full re-cap, replaced a weak 12AU7 and gave it an alignment. FM works as well as any modern set
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Fri 13, 2020 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 10443
Location: alameda,CA
Well... since the office says work from home for the next three weeks and I am probably not going to go to the radio museum for the same reason since we have a lot of older folks there I needed to give myself stuff to do. So here are some recent jobs from this week.

What appears to be a WW1 era Western Electric wall phone.
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Its all there but was pretty grimey. All I did was clean it up some and oil the crank mechanism. When I was a kid my uncle gave me the magneto out of one of these and man did I get one hell of a jolt when I was playing with it one day.
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I say its probably WW1 era. Might be right after. Here's a little tag that alludes to that era.
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2: Very sad Westinghouse. Nobody tends to give radios like these the time of day. This one had some cabinet damage that needed to be repaired.
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Wasn't able to 100% get the dent in the front out but its stable now.
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Good performing little radio though.
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3: Another one of those Westinghouse fridge radios.
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This is the case after buffing with Novus No.2
Features one of those weird Bakelite chassis that click together. I've worked on a few of these and the first time I could not figure out how to remove the bottom of the chassis. There's a slot in the front that you insert a flat blade screwdriver, twist and push the cover back.

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And this is some of the other "loot" I brought home to keep my occupied.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Mar Mon 16, 2020 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 08, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 10443
Location: alameda,CA
Here are a few more projects I worked on over the weekend. As I'm not sure how long we will be locally on "Lockdown" around here I'm taking my time on these. Spending just a bit more time rebuilding the chassis as well as working on the cosmetics. A few of these I've put off for awhile since some are a real pain to deal with.

1: 1948 Philco model 48-482.
Very large AM/FM table set that uses an uncommon tube in the FM circuit simply called "FM1000".
Not sure why but I have ALWAYS had a difficult time getting FM to work well on these. But for whatever reason FM worked great even before I started working on it. Amazing given it was 100% all original inside. It only hummed slightly. Anyway, a real rat's nest.

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The FM chassis is separate from the rest and is isolated. I assume to avoid interference.
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The finish was in remarkably good condition. All I did was give it several applications of car wax.
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Now completed, its a very nice sounding, very sensitive set on all bands

2: Motorola portable, also from 1948.
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Always thought these were unique looking. The case is made out of some kind of woven material that's then embedded in clear epoxy. Whatever was used holds up well, especially given this is 1940's plastic we're talking about here.
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The tuning mech utilizes a sort of fabric ribbon that slides under the clear handle. They uses some sort of dressing on the spindles and that stuff had dried out. All I did was apply a little "liquid tape" which when dry leaves a sort of rubber film.
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After recapping the set worked but there was a lot of garbling and distortion. B+ was only at about 30% of spec. The Selenium rectifier was pulling way too much current. That replaced with a modern diode and compensating 50 ohm resistor. That resolved the B+ issue and restored good audio quality.
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3: Admiral TV. Image

Nuttin' like a nice, fire engine red TV set from the 50's.
It worked perfectly. As these tend to be bought as decoration and it already works I simply gave the paint a once over.
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