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 Post subject: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Wed 15, 2014 8:37 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA
I've had this nice Emerson coat pocket transistor radio for about two years. It played well when I bought it, so all I did was give it a good cleaning and tack in a 4AA battery holder as the original was missing. However, the radio has been losing volume for some time now, so I decided to recap it today.

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Recapping was easy and pretty straightforward. Disassembly is conventional. Pull off the on/off/volume knob, unscrew the center boss of the tuning knob and pull off the knob. The PCB is held in place with two screws at the bottom and a plastic nut in the center above the mid-line. Someone replaced the .1uF paper cap before I acquired the radio. Note the huge speaker. These radios have pretty good audio. The radio is slightly larger than the Zenith 500's.

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There are five electrolytic caps. Two 50uF's in a can, which tested good on my ESR meter, so I didn't bother it. The other three, a 47uF, 15uF, and 5uF all tested high ESR.

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I replaced the 10v, 45uF cap with a 47uF of higher voltage. I didn't have an axial, so tacking in a radial was a little awkward. The 5uF cap, rated at 6v was replaced with another 5uF of higher voltage. The closest cap I had to the 15uF was a 22uF, so I used that.

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The radio again is playing well with good volume and audio quality. I also have the same model in black with the Vanguard missle design on the front. It is still all original and going strong, except it also need a new battery holder. The four AA holders in these radios were apparently not well designed, as both of mine either had them missing or not working.

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Update May 31, 2017:

Here are three photos showing how I modified the battery compartment to fit a new AA holder:

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Ed


Last edited by Ed Morris on May Wed 31, 2017 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 12:23 am 
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Location: Gormley, Ont., Canada
Nice work, Ed. The original battery holder setup was iffy at best. When loaded, it put pressure on the plastic case, causing the black one I own to crack at one corner. Other fun annoyances was chrome flaking off the central knob on the tuning dial. It's now polished brass. The " Nevabreak " plastic case is resistant to polishing techniques. It took me ages to buff out scratches with a machine, the results far from perfect.

It appears both our Emersons are missing the company's treble cleft logo.

Bruce

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 12:45 am 
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Emerson used the same chassis on at least three different cabinet styles.

Ed, I'm surprised that you didn't replace the dual 50mFd caps regardless of how well they tested. Damn things are 55 years old, and I would bet the set would have better volume if they were swapped out.

Personally, I don't even have an ESR meter; simply SOP for me to change all E-Caps on anything 40 or more years old.


^ Just the ravings of an old man... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 12:55 am 
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Thanks, Bruce. I can see a faint outline on mine where the cleft symbol used to be.

Fifties, just a combination of laziness along the ok reading. Not sure I would notice any improvement in volume, it will run you out of the room as it is. I'm sure I will eventually end up replacing them, though. Probably should have done it now.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 1:02 am 
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Location: N.E. Florida
I've got one of those and never even opened it up. Ed, you are making me curious what is inside mine.


Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 1:31 am 
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey Ed,

Two really nice looking Emersons as well as another great presentation ! Good to see the "insides" of one of these... Have heard that they are pretty good performers even without a tuned RF amp stage---what do you think ?

Wonder if the Nevabreak plastic formulation is the same on these as it is on the 911's ? My charcoal "911" shined up fairly well hand-polishing with Novus-2...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 1:42 am 
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John, neither picks up as many stations as my 8 transistor Zenith 500. But the audio quality is quite good, no doubt in good measure due to the big speaker. The cases cleaned up pretty good with Novus, but I don't put as much effort in it as you do.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 2:45 am 
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Ed,

Nice work on that set, I have the same version of that model in the same color. I can tell your 888 Pioneer is one of the earliest versions because it had American capacitors and it has the large solid brass thumbscrew holding the dial on (later sets have a smaller brass plated one that is often in bad shape). As others have said, the original battery holders on these sets were easily broken and are annoying to load, but I am happy that mine still has the original holder.

Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 2:55 am 
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Thanks for that info, Matt. I didn't realize there were variations in this model.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 10:48 am 
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By golly, speaking of the retainer screw, it seems to closely resemble the ones that Emerson used on their 4 toob 747 and hybrid 838 models;

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Now I know why I haven't touched my 888. I know I couldn't have paid much for it. I got it because I knew at the time (many years ago) that it was a collectible model. Ugly gray case and some one had a bad sense of humor with that on-off switch also missing battery holder. At least they didn't cut a hole in the front.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 7:35 pm 
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A little J-B Weld to plug the switch hole and fix the crack, and some Novus and it will look like new! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 7:48 pm 
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Ed,

Do you think JB will stick to the nylon case?


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Thu 16, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Jay, not sure, but you could test a little on the inside of the case, maybe start with just seeing if you can reinforce the cracked corner with J-B Weld from the inside. I've used it quite a bit on old plastic radios, but I don't remember if any were nylon.

If it seems to do well stabilizing the crack, you could glue a small piece of very thin styrene to cover the switch hole from the inside, then fill the void with J-B Weld, or even Squadron Putty used in models, then paint the patch to match the rest of the case. It would be noticeable close up, but would leave the rest of the case in its original condition, and be the least obstrusive way to repair. Just make sure you have clearance inside for the PCB and the cover.

Perhaps others will have other suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Fri 17, 2014 12:01 am 
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This is what I use, to fill chips in plastic cabinets;

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Fri 17, 2014 1:57 am 
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Mixed some JB and filled in the two small holes in the top. Almost the same color gray. Will see how it sticks to the nylon tomorrow.

I hate it when the tuning dials turn yellow with that while residue.

Fifties, I am going to look for that.


Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Fri 17, 2014 2:07 am 
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Hey Jay,

I've used Novus-2 on that Acetate "fungus" and it did well... Can't get rid of the yellowing, though... Just remove as much of the white residue as possible with mild detergent and water first before polishing.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Fri 17, 2014 6:58 am 
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fifties wrote:
This is what I use, to fill chips in plastic cabinets;

Image

This stuff will attack existing plastic, so when using, be sure to mask off at least the outside of the cabinet.

What I do when repairing chips, is to run a strip of tape over the outside of the cabinet, then apply a small piece of Magic cellophane tape sticky side out, against that tape, from the inside. This gives a smooth outer barrier against which the Plas-T-Pair can be poured to. The granules are applied first, then moistened by the liquid with an eyedropper.

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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Fri 17, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Just ordered it from MCM. Got some battery holders and other stuff since radio has no battery bolder.
Funny how Amazon was twice the cost.

Ed,
JB Weld seems to hold onto the nylon just as good as other plastics.


Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Emerson Pioneer 888 Recapped
PostPosted: Jan Fri 17, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Good. Anxious to see it when you finish. Is it really gray, or will it be black when it is cleaned up?

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