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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 12, 2019 9:35 pm 
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Location: Lexington, KY
Still watching also Bob..... it's interesting how many varieties, colors, models, etc. you work on.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 13, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Location: Arlington, VA USA
Yes Bob, always look forward to your posts! Love that Japanese "RCA". Any pictures of the Canadian RCA dial lit up?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 13, 2019 4:56 pm 
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Last night's project.

This 1946 Zenith 5D011Z Consoltone.

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Whoever bought these thinking they sounded at all like a console must have been very susceptible to marketing lingo because there's nothing remotely "console" about it with the typical 4" speaker.

Before I continue, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that Zenith probably made some of the best consumer grade radios. Why? Because over the past 2 months I've worked on around 10m Zeniths and pretty much ALL of them still actually worked. The same was true with this one AND everything underneath the chassis was 100% original. That suggests the company used better than average components for the time.

But it was recapped anyway since counting on 75 year old capacitors is never a great idea.
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These cases are notorious for cracking around the red indicator light. To reinforce it I will usually fill the void where this exists with epoxy.
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The speaker had a tear that was fixed with gasket maker stuff.
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The case was polished with car wax. These days I no longer use cleaners on bakelite: that will strip the finish right off. Mequires caranuba cleaner wax does a pretty good job of both cleaning and waxing.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 9:01 pm 
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Location: Muscletown, USA
Yes we're watching......and humbled!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Mon 24, 2019 4:34 pm 
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Here's the latest batch of radios. We are now in full swing, "factory" setting mode for the July 20th radio day event. While this decision wasn't mine, the museum decided to offload some of the large consoles in the collection over concerns of space. The following set was tagged for auction. But I voiced my opinion that it should be retained due to its condition and unique design. Its a RCA 110k.
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When I first got into it I thought it had been infested with mice.
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Turns out that in the past a capacitor had blown up in dramatic fashion. I can only imagine the sound and smell...
It reminds me of one of those late 30's early 40's " Tube war" sets where having gobs of tubes was seen as a plus. This one has Four output tubes, which is totally unnecessary. Regardless the set wasn't hard to overhaul.
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The finish was originally dull and faded. It got the ole' Old English and Caranuba wax treatment to bring it back.
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2:This Zenith with what IMHO must be the most pristine, original finish I've seen on ANY radio, especially of this vintage. Someone else had restored the electronics years ago so I went in and gave it a tune-up and refresh. These sets sound really good! I added bluetooth to it as these are rather pleasant to listen to. The finish was also kind of dull but 3 applications and buffing with car wax made it look like it just rolled off the factory floor. Whoever owned it must have taken insanely good care of it.

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3: This ho-hum Airline. Case was cracked in several places. Missing knobs, non-op. I forgot to take innards pics but there was a ton wrong with it. Anyway.... embarrassed to say but after I was done with it it would only pick up one station. Hours were spent measuring, testing, and whatnot. After discovering that I had accidentally installed a cap that was shorting against a resistor the set- after having been combed over repeatedly- works fantastically well with very good sensitivity. Yes- those are Emerson knobs...
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4: This Philco. It had already been done but I simply cleaned the case.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Mon 24, 2019 11:31 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,

Such a variety of radios. I'm always seeing something I've never seen before in your postings.

How much do you think the RCA console will sell for?

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Mon 24, 2019 11:45 pm 
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I'm going to suggest we retain the RCA because its pretty unique, style-wise. Its hard to tell value wise what these go for since there is an overall slump in the console market.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 25, 2019 1:30 am 
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Location: Kingston Ontario
I love that RCA.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 26, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Here's another console. This time a 1937 Silvertone somethingoranother.

Like the previous set the finish is in pretty good shape.
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The plastic lens was yellowed and faded and buffed out with Novus No. 2

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I can't take credit for most of the electrical work. Another member did the innards. I simply finished it up, polished the woodwork and added bluetooth.
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It has a large baffle around the speaker. The idea being that once its against the wall it sort of makes a enclosed space around it. Amazing how close to having an actual enclosed speaker some manufactures came...
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Its a very robust sounding set with deep bass and decent highs.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 27, 2019 3:15 pm 
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The next radio was one that I was intending to take to the office. I was asked to present how I work on and restore these and thus took more pictures of the process. I wound up catching a cold, which was unfortunate: I rushed to get this done in one evening. So much for that.

Anyway... its your typical Philco Transitone, made by the billions. I suspect this is a post war set.
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As seen the finish is pretty much gone. White or brown radios do not sell for us. So this will get a custom paint job.

The innards were pretty filthy and it was missing the 50L6 tube. I don't like the rinky-dink way Philco designed the antenna: Just wire loops glued to the interior and most of the time this comes loose.
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The speaker was ripped in a few places. I find that the best stuff to use is a highly elastic, clear glue called Lexel.
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Because I wanted to get this done in one evening I reversed the steps I usually take. Ordinarily I will replace the electrolytics and see if the radio has life. If it does, then proceed with painting. But as I needed the paint to dry I first removed the chassis and dial glass, scrubbed it down with Simple Green, sanded and then cleaned with alcohol.
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Initial inspection showed someone had been in there before. Its truly amazing people did't burn their houses down. I see ridiculous repairs like this ALL THE TIME, where components are wired in and left dangling about.
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It was recapped, new power cord, and audio input cable added. There has been debate about this and how its unsafe to have a line in on a hot chassis set. If you simply wire the input directly to the audio section then yes- that is a problem. The issue of course is the level of current that would come through the cord if nothing further was done. The grounding cap on this set was rated at .2uF, meaning that while yes- One side of the chassis is not directly attached to the power cord, the grounding cap, at that value would mean you would get a nasty, albeit most likely non-fatal shock if you touched the wrong thing. The concern is over what level of current does it take to cause a heart to fibrillate. The desire is to get that level of current down to a lower level, generally under 5 milliamps, which is lower than what it takes to trip a GFCI outlet. This level of current can be adjusted via adding capacitors: both for the positive and negative leads of the incoming cable. By using 2, .01uF, 3k rated ceramic caps this lowers that level down to around 2 milliamps. In other words at that level it won't even trip a GFCI and just for kicks I have a GFCI on the bench and will short out the cord to ground to make sure it won't trip it. The only downside is that this will affect the bass response slightly. But since we're talking about dinky little 4" speakers.... its not like it matters.

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Upon electrical restoration the set would blow the pilot light as soon as it warmed up. Since the pilot comes off the 50L6 that's usually a good place to start for a problem. Sure enough the 50L6 was shorted. Note to self: when finding a bad tube in my stash... throw it away so this doesn't happen again...
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And here's all the sad old capacitors before they go to the landfill in the sky. Yes- I know this is boring but again- I did this for people at the office who know nothing about these things.

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And lastly, its all put back together. I have found that both Krylon and Rustoleum spray paint for plastics works great. While Philco never made a baby blue version of a transitone this seems to look nice on the design.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 27, 2019 3:28 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi Bob,

Well, it's not boring to me! I really appreciate that you made the time and effort to go into the extra detail. Especially when you're under the weather. I glad you survived and hope you're feeling better.

Regards, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 27, 2019 8:06 pm 
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Location: Sandusky, OH usa
Years ago I did one of those Philco sets in the same baby blue color you used on yours with the white knobs they look great. I sold mine and have regretted it ever since. Nice job on your restoration of this set. BTW I agree with you , keep that RCA! It is beautiful to say the least.

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Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 27, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Location: Appleton, WI 54914
Bob, Your work is always interesting and amazing in the way you knock out the quality work. Thanks, CJ


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jun Thu 27, 2019 11:09 pm 
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Hey Dan,
These Transitones are very common. So maybe next time you're at a radio show grab one or two. These have hardly any value so its not really a big deal to paint them some other color. Worse comes down to it, someone can always repaint it to the cream color it came from the factory.

Thanks for the kind words CJ~!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 02, 2019 6:08 pm 
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Here is the latest. It was a real basket case, literally dumped on our front steps of the museum. It was missing most of the knobs, the speaker, the output transformer, three of the tubes, and was as seen here pretty nasty looking.
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Its a heavy set. Westinghouse used the same chassis in tabletop and console radios. Whats weird is that it has two 6Y6 output tubes, but they aren't push-pull but simply parallel.
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As seen a new output transformer was found. Ordinarily I will use a 1k, 15 ohm power resistor to tie off the B+ to the former field coil speaker. This one was weird and I could not figure out the math. I brought it to the museum. Another member helped me out and determined the correct resistance.

You can see the resistor here along with the recapped chassis.
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A permanent magnet speaker was installed. This radio has a kind of internal speaker chamber.
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Knobs were found. I need to find the one last pushbutton and I am sure one is at the museum somewhere. The cabinet was cleaned, Old English was applied and then 4-5 applications of car wax to bring back the shine. Some of the finish was badly scuffed and needed Novus plastic polish to remove the scratches.

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Audio input was added. It actually sounds nice!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Tue 02, 2019 8:44 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi Bob,
You really saved that Westinghouse. Nice job! I hope you're able to find another push button knob.
I've got the exact same heavy Westinghouse, but the finish on mine is a lot lighter. What I've heard is that these radios can really pump out the volume, but the speaker usually self-destructs and a lot of these radios have missing or damaged speakers. I was lucky and got a good speaker with mine. One thing that surprised me was how many watts this 8 tube radio uses. When I found my radio at a radio estate sale, it had two 6L6 output tubes rather than the two proper 6Y6 tubes you mentioned. I replaced those with a couple of 6Y6's to fix that.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 04, 2019 11:32 pm 
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Bob-

I just spent the last couple of days going through this entire thread - please keep it up! Great work!

David


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Thu 04, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Location: Kingston Ontario
I love this thread. I LOVE THE FINISHED PRODUCT.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Fri 05, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words folks.

Anyway, we got a donation of GOBS of big German sets. There's 7-8 in my garage right now. Luckily..... most of them actually still work and just need recapping, tuning up, cleaning, etc.

The first one is this VERY nice, freakishly pristine Grundig:
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Even the innards look like you could eat off of it.
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Overhauling was easy.
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Anyway... this one is so nice we aren't selling it. It will be a display piece in the museum.

The 2nd one isn't as nice but its not a common brand in the US. Its a sort of pedestrian looking Braun. I forgot to take pics of the innards. But it was also just a recap job. Someone decided to crank the tone controls so hard that the stops are broken so you have to adjust by sound. Annoying.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jul Fri 05, 2019 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Oct Wed 28, 2009 1:17 pm
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Location: Kingston Ontario
I like that Westinghouse.What a difference .


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