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 Post subject: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Jul Fri 03, 2020 4:24 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6580
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Visited an older friend in Kokomo, IN today to help him clean out some old electronic items in his basement that he wanted to get rid of. This radio was one of them. He had offered it to me before, but turned it down since it was so big and dirty... After research, though, changed my "tune" and gladly accepted it even though doors missing and serious battery leakage residue and corrosion. The battery cover was also off, but fortunately found it in some nearby junk. Thought both antennas broken off, but discovered that someone had just jammed the tip of FM antenna down inside swivel fitting and looks like only the upper segment of SW needs replacement. Asked about it's history and he thinks it may have been his Dad's as he doesn't remember purchasing it...

Got it home and was very thankful that it cleaned up so well during preliminary "wipe-down" with damp cloth. Plugged it in and it worked great on FM, but no reception on AM. After cycling push-buttons, everything began to work. Dial-light very good on this set and is always-on during AC mains operation. Volume and tone controls perfect with no noise at all. The sound quality of this set is absolutely fantastic with its separate bass & treble controls and 5" X 7" speaker---and enough clear volume to "knock you off your chair" !!! Definitely a keeper !

Looking forward to detailing this even with its "rough edges".

Am going to try and find a good, clear straight-on pic or scan of right-side door SW frequency chart since GE really "cheaped-out" on this model and only provides a log-scale for all SW bands which requires chart for use---wonder how many people payed attention and realized this before purchase ? Would never even expect such an expensive radio to have something ridiculous as this...

Before pic below. Am listening to some old jazz on FM while typing this---"Wow" is an accurate response to the quality of audio ! Beats the heck out of my Zenith T/O's and Sony CRF-5100... And all electrolytics original ! Wiscojim kindly provided service data...


Attachments:
ARF GE P-2900A  WORLD-MONITOR 8-4-19.jpg
ARF GE P-2900A WORLD-MONITOR 8-4-19.jpg [ 456.26 KiB | Viewed 1034 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Jul Fri 03, 2020 4:33 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1510
Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
Very nice. I came close to buying one of those last week, while I was in Utah visiting family, but ran out of time to visit the seller before we had to leave to get back home. It sounds as though that was a big mistake on my part. Got my priorities wrong again :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Jul Fri 03, 2020 8:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 588
Location: Shiner ,Texas
Well...I was also given a P2900A...the guy said he would look for the folding side doors it came with..never saw him again.I remember reading that a GE engineer ,Conrad Jutson, who helped with the first P780 series said that the P2900 was the last radio he
helped design inhouse in Utica. My P2900a was actually made in Hong Kong...it also played well...but the quality of fittings..trim..knobs..chrome etc. was so poor I shelved it and left it in the farmhouse we sold years back.My P990A ...with it's real stitched two tone leather.."fittings" and all American build ..is something else altogether.


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Jul Sat 04, 2020 3:37 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6580
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Colin---Even with the excellent performance & sound, the need to use the door chart along with log scale on dial to tune SW kinda spoils it... What was condition of the one you were looking at ?

Sperrkreis---I agree that there are issues with trim quality, but works so well I wouldn't want to part with it even with that SW band tuning method issue... The 990 is a good looking set---is it about the same physical size as this ? Haven't seen one in person...

Spent a couple more hours today detail cleaning the outside and knobs. Black paint flaking off around trim inserts... Radio works so well that I haven't even pulled back cover yet, but need to disassemble some day to remove spider & bug residue from inside dial window. The tension mechanism for FM antenna pivot ball is broken so it's loose within socket---another needed repair...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Jul Sat 04, 2020 5:19 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1510
Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
John, it looked pretty good from the photos on Facebook Marketplace. It was untested, so I have no idea if it worked or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Jul Sun 05, 2020 12:56 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 588
Location: Shiner ,Texas
Well...both models P990A ane the P2900 are indeed close in size.My P2900 sounded super...and actually looked pretty good...Raised in Germany,till 15 yrs old .. American officer..German Mutti..all my German relatives had radios...tabletops and portables.I remember the tactile feel of the controls on the German portables...and the superb build quality.Stainless trim..polished brass..etc..even some fine wood bodied portables.You felt you were holding something of precision is the best way to describe it.That feeling may not be understood nowadays...take care.


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Aug Sat 01, 2020 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6580
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Sperrkreis---I fully understand what you mean about the "feeling" (and appearance) of quality and still appreciate well-designed and built items..

After working on this set little by little, finally have it as "complete" as I plan to unless I find original "front doors" for it.

Detail cleaned inside and outside of cabinet once chassis pulled without complete disassembly. All battery contacts were rust covered and took a lot of effort with small pieces of Scotchbrite and brass "toothbrush" with Windex... Carefully cleaned all surfaces of both inside and outside clear plastic dial covers, dial background, and polished outside with Novus-2. Push-buttons carefully cleaned in place. Carefully removed what was left of the badly chipped black paint around lower-right control panel. Went over grille MANY times with Windex dampened inside-out white cotton sock until no more dirt noticed on material.

Noticed that the tuning shaft dial-cord pulley wasn't in proper position, so removed assembly and pressed it further down towards flywheel with piece of pipe and vise so that string was now properly aligned and "wound" better.

Removed the separated FM antenna base and it appeared that it had never been properly assembled as the tabs which held the spring-loaded support in place were barely bent ! Was able to press it together in vise using a small piece of proper size pipe and then bent over tabs enough with hammer and flat-punch to get it to stay together. Afterward, placed it vertically on flat surface and used hammer and flat-punch again to get all four tabs bent over tightly on base. All now fine, so reinstalled...

Removed the battery leakage damaged areas of inside cabinet bottom cardboard and sealed edges with watered-down Elmers wood glue.

This chassis is no fun to remove and when reinstalling, had a very difficult time "dressing" the bundle of audio cables so that dial-cord wouldn't bind or rub on them. Seems like it took over a dozen attempts, a couple hours, and a lot of frustration until I finally got it !

Checked AM alignment and was amazed that all IFT's AND trimmers (ANT & RF) appeared to be dead-on as they were !

Tack kindly provided "straight-on" pics of inside door graphics from his radio. Noticed all SW selections were "spread-band" and even though frequency range was noted for each at edge of chart, the frequencies weren't included on the log-to-station "conversion" lines ! What were they thinking ???

As mentioned earlier, the radio is an excellent performer with great sound quality and even with it's shortcomings, am glad to add it to collection...

John


Attachments:
ARF 2900 BK PCS CLND.jpg
ARF 2900 BK PCS CLND.jpg [ 557.05 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 FM ANT PCS.jpg
ARF 2900 FM ANT PCS.jpg [ 174.96 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 FM ANT BASE REPAIRED.jpg
ARF 2900 FM ANT BASE REPAIRED.jpg [ 409.94 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 INS CLEANING1.jpg
ARF 2900 INS CLEANING1.jpg [ 475.35 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 INS CLEANING CMPLT.jpg
ARF 2900 INS CLEANING CMPLT.jpg [ 479.74 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 CMPLT INS.jpg
ARF 2900 CMPLT INS.jpg [ 732.53 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 CMPLT BK.jpg
ARF 2900 CMPLT BK.jpg [ 560.66 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
ARF 2900 CMPLT FRT.jpg
ARF 2900 CMPLT FRT.jpg [ 836.84 KiB | Viewed 663 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Aug Sun 09, 2020 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1238
Location: Earth
No one bothered to comment on the “after pictures”??

Ok, I will.

That looks great, really cleaned up nice!

I think that “see log” system for shortwave was yet another GE cost savings design between the engineers and bean counters to reduce parts and tooling costs.


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Aug Sun 09, 2020 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6580
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, Joe !

That "log to station" chart on inside of removable right-side door still amazes me---really do wonder how many people who bought these didn't realize this until they got 'em home ! And were disgusted after spending so much money on the radio...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Aug Sat 15, 2020 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 06, 2008 3:28 am
Posts: 4331
Location: Richmond, VA
Nice work, as usual!

_________________
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Aug Sat 15, 2020 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6580
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, Ed---having been using it regularly on garage workbench...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Rough and dirty GE P-2900A World Monitor "gift"...
PostPosted: Sep Fri 11, 2020 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6580
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Have been using this radio regularly for a long while now and it's really "drifty" on AM---have to adjust tuning every few minutes to get it back on station ! Doesn't shift far---just enough to hear noise in with signal. Seems to get more stable after long period of operation...

This is first radio I've had with this type of issue---it has an "air-variable" tuning cap, so assume that's not problem. Probably a bad cap in oscillator circuit ? All silicon transistors except for audio. Trimmers are high-quality ceramic type.

Not an easy radio to work on, so hope someone will know if this is common with this model---perhaps design flaw ???

Thanks for your input !

John


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