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 Post subject: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Mon 06, 2020 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4262
Location: Meridian, MS 39307
When you find a battery operated tube radio that looks like it hasn't seen the light of day in decades, keep in mind that someone could have very well connected it wrong and burned out all the tubes. I've seen it happen with several radios, including a 1939 Philco that I'm working on. If the original battery plug looks like it's been messed with or is missing, proceed with caution. The best thing to do is have a small DMM with you and before paying any substantial amount of money for a battery set, pull the tubes and test for continuity across the filament pins (usually 2 and 7, on octal tubes).

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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 1:27 am 
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Joined: Dec Sat 24, 2011 9:17 pm
Posts: 6220
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Right, and that goes triple if the battery connection is a 2-prong plug, like for 32 volt home wiring.

On the flip side, good chance the battery died one last time with the radio still playing pretty well.
All part of the fun. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 3:57 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 07, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 4262
Location: Meridian, MS 39307
I have a 32V DC Philco, with a standard power plug and a warning label on the cord. After checking the radio, it seems that someone ignored that warning.

On a positive note, the circuitry in battery sets is usually minimal and I've ran into many that played somewhat OK, without doing any work to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 7:39 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 30, 2012 3:35 am
Posts: 394
Location: Phoenix, AZ
++ on westcoastjohn's and radiotvnut's comments about 32 volt sets with the 2-prong plug that fits modern receptacles. For this very reason I had to correct widespread carnage in a Tatro cathedral I found years ago ... it seems that someone earlier "just had to" plug it in and try it. Granted, most antique dealers, auction pickers or estate sale buyers wouldn't know any better, but it still saddens me to see such damage happen. OK, end of rant.
R/ John


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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 8:07 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 35154
Location: SoCal, 91387
So what is the worst case scenario with the 32 volt sets, if they had been plugged into 110 volt AC? Anything beyond the tubes and maybe filter caps?

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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 6:24 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 30, 2012 3:35 am
Posts: 394
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Not many filter capacitors in 32 volt sets, as they originally ran on DC. In my Tatro all tubes were burned out, multiple resistors fried, output transformer primary open, speaker field coil destroyed.
R/ John


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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 8:08 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 35154
Location: SoCal, 91387
That doesn't sound too bad then; nothing really unobtanium. FC can be replaced with a resistor, output transformer, tubes and resistors should be NP, so as long as the purchase price is right...IOW, pay for it deducting as if all these have to be replaced.

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 Post subject: Re: Something to keep in mind with battery sets....
PostPosted: Apr Fri 10, 2020 1:17 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 30, 2012 3:35 am
Posts: 394
Location: Phoenix, AZ
True enough, many of those parts would be replaced anyway. I have a soft spot in my heart for Tatro (I'm originally from up in that part of the country), and this set was cosmetically very nice when I got it ... so some farm family had taken good care of it for many years. And then someone plugged it into 120VAC ... we'll never know who, but the damage was avoidable and for some reason the fried field coil particularly angered me. I wanted to keep the set as original as possible, so I disassembled the speaker and rewound the field coil.
R/ John


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