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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 4:33 pm 
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Not meaning to hijack this thread into a Bing discussion, but this Grunow console was Bing's "go-to" radio in his dressing room at Paramount from the time he got it in 1934 (the date of this publicity photo) until 1946 when he left the Kraft Music Hall and traded in the cheese for Philco radios.

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As to why he has another phonograph in his dressing room, it's anyone's guess. Possibly he used the console for transcriptions or other recordings that had multiple tracks so that he could easily go from one track / song to another. With the 1201 you'd have to listen to the record until you got to the portion you wanted to hear.

And westcoastjohn, seeing that you live in Canada, you might be interested to know (or possibly know already) that the movie I referenced before, The Emperor Waltz, was partially filmed on location in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies in the province of Alberta in June 1946.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 4:59 pm 
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Rob,

To cheer you up a bit -- we all suffer from losing our minds from time to time over electronics gone mad. Back in the day I repaired countless VCRs and Stereos (80s and 90s) and, while most repairs were relatively simple to trace out, there was always the occasional "thing I hated" that crossed the workbench. The Photofacts be damned -- it wouldn't behave. I remember pouring hours of work that I'd never really get reimbursed for into some of those beasts from hell for one simple reason: I didn't want it to defeat me.

Anyway, having fought many of those battles and (usually, but not always) having come out the victor, I can share an electronics repair truism with you: there's always a reason. Always. What often saved me was to go back to the beginning on a badly behaved unit, assume I hadn't really learned anything yet about that make and model, and trace out voltages and signals from birth to death. Peel back the onion until you find the rotten layer -- don't jump into the middle.

Right now I'm refurbishing an HRO-60 that I'm convinced was owned by an evil mad scientist at some point. Returning this unit to something the factory intended has become more than I bargained for. However -- I try to look at this stuff as a puzzle that needs solving. It may, or may not, kick my behind. But the journey is fun and there's so many opportunities to learn along the way I can't pass it up. Try looking at your Philco-from-hell as an opportunity -- and when you finally tame the beast and it's running as it should you'll have a great story to tell.

73, Steve - KW4H


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 9:08 pm 
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That's good, Steve. Cheer him up for the next challenge of getting it to play a record. :x
BTW, those are 78's, mostly one song per side, but we get the drift of your theory, and you are right, access to the tone arm would have been 'paramount' for Bing (sorry, had to do it).

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 10:32 pm 
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The bulb in your dim bulb tester looks excessively large. Start with one about the same wattage rating as what you are working on, probably 40 or 50 watts would be good for this set. When the radio is turned on, the bulb should light but only partial brightness. The radio may or may not play. The goal is to protect it from disastrous faults. If it is OK, you can gradually step up the size of the bulb until you can plug the set directly into the line.

A dim bulb tester won't protect the set against small faults. Neither will a Variac. Anything in a low power circuit can still burn up so you still need to watch for smoke or other trouble signs.

Sorry for the bad link.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2021 1:47 am 
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Thanks for the great input Guys. The new rectifier tube came today so I will be giving it another go after I finish checking all the guts. I’m definitely not going to give up! This time it’s personal.
Jim The bulb I have is actually a 300 watt so of I will heed your advice and use a smaller one.

Tonight I’m finishing up on my K60 chassis which hasn’t given me a lick of grief. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2021 2:39 am 
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robroot61 wrote:
Thanks for the great input Guys. The new rectifier tube came today so I will be giving it another go after I finish checking all the guts. I’m definitely not going to give up! This time it’s personal.
Jim The bulb I have is actually a 300 watt so of I will heed your advice and use a smaller one.

Tonight I’m finishing up on my K60 chassis which hasn’t given me a lick of grief. :)


We're all here to be helpful, and I doubt that there's anyone here who doesn't relate. I totally understand the "personal" thing. Right now I'm working my way (slowly) though an 18 tube receiver (HRO-60) that has to be virtually rebuilt before power can be applied. It's gone from "challenging" to "personal". When I'm ready to apply power I will be asking for prayers. LOL.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2021 6:09 am 
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Right, as the great Winston Churchill said, "We must endeavor to persevere".
We do have the option of putting it all in a box and setting it aside.
I like to have the chassis on a cutting board, chunk of plywood that can be moved to another bench.
Or the chopping block.

In this thread that I started in 2017, I itemized in the last post on page 3, highlights of my most enduring Philco project. No, it's not finished yet, but it's finally playing. 8)

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=315644&p=3393879#p3393879

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Mon 21, 2021 12:33 am 
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OK guys I think I need to take a break from this evil thing. I have traced every wire, checked every solder joint, every resistor, capacitor, tube and I still cannot find the problem. I've been through 2 rectifier tubes and I'll be darned if I'm gonna burn up another one (my last 50y6).
I have to walk away before I set the thing on fire!


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Mon 21, 2021 4:47 am 
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robroot61 wrote:
OK guys I think I need to take a break from this evil thing.


From personal experience, that's actually sometimes a good tactic. You can work on an electronic device for so long, and stare at the components and the schematic for hours, and lose track. Happened to me so many times over the years I've learned to see the cues and know when to call it quits for a while. And then -- sooner than you think -- a light will go off in your head at 3am and you'll run for the workbench and, voila!, problem solved. There's always a reason for a radio not working right -- finding it is a treasure hunt.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Mon 21, 2021 6:53 am 
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Agreed; walking away for awhile, even months if necessary, is a good thing. Done that many times.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Mon 21, 2021 2:17 pm 
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It is often difficult to see ones own mistakes & that it why I have on several occasions said "Walk away". Revises the methodology & gets the mind out of the rut.

I have seen some rather obscure shorts and that is part of the reason I built a stepped voltage reformer into the bench PSU. Which is current limited (LR8). What I have done is removed all tubes and used it to gradually ramp up the "B" voltage from 25V (its start point); Monitoring with a voltmeter. If there is an electrolytic or something on "B", breaking down, that normally pings it.

One obscure one manifested only when "B" developed. That turned out to be a cut filament wire (5Y3), which would not show until there were sufficient volts for it to flash over. Sometimes new dud eCaps will get to a certain voltage & then start drawing current at a hyperbolic rate. This method as noted should catch them.

There is a 1K resistor in series with PSU B+. The voltage across it (DVM) will give an indication of current draw.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Mon 21, 2021 10:50 pm 
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Is there someone else living near you that could look at it? Another pair of eyes can frequently spot something that you consistently overlook.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Tue 22, 2021 12:53 am 
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Jim Mueller wrote:
Is there someone else living near you that could look at it? Another pair of eyes can frequently spot something that you consistently overlook.

Jim I'm not sure if there is anyone close by. I live in Lady Lake Florida so if anyone knows a guy around here, I would definitely go camp out on his/her doorstep. LOL
I put the project away for now, I'm back to work on my RCA K60, refinishing the cabinet.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Tue 22, 2021 1:19 am 
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Hello Rob,
We have all be there and just hang in there .
You did nice job on that dim bulb tester !


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Tue 22, 2021 7:58 am 
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I think moving to another set a reasonable idea. One hopes that the new one got photographed before it got attacked. I don't care if they are wired wrong.

I would recommend a paint marker. Like some factories and useful on the other radio. As I physically inspect a node, or leave a cap in that tested ok I will put a dob of paint on that connexion, or the lead of the cap, if its going to cause confusion.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Wed 23, 2021 12:01 pm 
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radiorich wrote:
Hello Rob,
We have all be there and just hang in there .
You did nice job on that dim bulb tester !


Thanks radiorich. I’ll be using this tester on every project from now on.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sat 26, 2021 7:07 am 
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Does it still have the same problem described earlier, the rectifier lighting excessively bright and burning out? Or has it changed somehow?

If the problem is still the same, when does the excessive brilliance occur? Is it when power is first applied before the tubes would normally warm up? To put it another way, is it the heater that is lighting too much. If so, the problem is in the heater circuit.

If the tubes warm up and it's the plates that are glowing, then the trouble is in the B+ circuit.

Either way, a problem this serious can probably be located with your ohmmeter without having to apply power to the set. If not, I would downsize the bulb in your DBT again, to 15 watts or possibly 25 watts but no larger. This will prevent tube burn-outs and allow you to measure voltages. They should be VERY low compared to the schematic and there may not be any B+ at all but it will let you check out the heater circuit under reduced power.

You are using an isolation transformer aren't you? Connecting test equipment to a set like yours without one can cause problems like you describe.

BTW, if this set has a 120 volt pilot light, they normally are very bright.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sat 26, 2021 10:44 am 
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Jim Mueller wrote:
Does it still have the same problem described earlier, the rectifier lighting excessively bright and burning out? Or has it changed somehow?

If the problem is still the same, when does the excessive brilliance occur? Is it when power is first applied before the tubes would normally warm up? To put it another way, is it the heater that is lighting too much. If so, the problem is in the heater circuit.

If the tubes warm up and it's the plates that are glowing, then the trouble is in the B+ circuit.

Either way, a problem this serious can probably be located with your ohmmeter without having to apply power to the set. If not, I would downsize the bulb in your DBT again, to 15 watts or possibly 25 watts but no larger. This will prevent tube burn-outs and allow you to measure voltages. They should be VERY low compared to the schematic and there may not be any B+ at all but it will let you check out the heater circuit under reduced power.
You are using an isolation transformer aren't you? Connecting test equipment to a set like yours without one can cause problems like you describe.

BTW, if this set has a 120 volt pilot light, they normally are very bright.


Jim the first time the rectifier was glowing as I applied power and I foolishly did not have the dim bulb tester to plug it in to. After replacing the rectifier I applied power (yes slowly and yes I have an isolation transformer on it) it looked like it might light up normally but then it sparked inside the tube and there goes another rectifier. I have one last rectifier tube and I’m not willing to put any power to it until I am sure everything is right.
At any rate, I have so many projects, I decided to put it away for another day. I know I will figure it out sooner or later.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sat 26, 2021 2:18 pm 
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This might be a long shot, but in "Mac's Service Shop" (Radio & Television News, January 1956) every time Barney turned on a radio he was working on, two tubes burnt out. There was a heater to cathode short in a DIFFERENT tube that didn't appear till after the filament in that tube got hot.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing my mind with this Philco
PostPosted: Jun Sat 26, 2021 3:05 pm 
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It is not unusual to get a short that only manifests when HT develops. That is why I have a "protected" HV supply doubling as a reformer. You can power "B" from it with a range stepped through from 25V to 400V. You can start at LV with tubes out & power "B" and that will catch a cap getting to a certain voltage & shorting (had them) and often wires etc that want to flash over.

Marc


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