A real radio drama!

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vinyl master
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A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 19 Nov 2015 04:53

Hey guys...Well, I was doing some Christmas shopping in advance today...It seemed like one of the last warm days we might have here for some time...So, I thought I would head out and visit my man, Chris, at the same time...I mentioned him on this thread a while back...

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 18&t=78197

Anyway, I have this fine RCA Victor 9-X-561 radio that I plan on pairing with my 9-JY phonograph, and have decided to let him do the reconstruction, refurbishment, and repair of the radio, at least...I went over to visit his collection today, and what he has would literally make you guys salivate! When I pulled up to his place, I knew it was him, because he had tons of old radios on racks in the garage, and plenty of tin car signs on the walls...Boxes of old tubes and parts...Lots of beauties needing restoration work...He even had some EY-2 turntables hiding on the shelves and plastic racks...Inside, he had radios on the countertops, and radios in his living room...In fact, he had two fine Zenith tabletop radios that made fine end tables next to two comfortable old slipcovered chairs...One looked like this...

33984

His whole house system was being piped out through...a beautiful little Grundig Majestic! Sounded great with Nat King Cole playing, too! Similar to this one...

33987

I took a tour of his basement lair, too...In a back room, he had old radios of all sizes and types, plus all of his testing equipment...Beautiful sky-blue Philcos on display, along with old Arvins, Emersons, Westinghouses, Radiolas, etc. He even told me about the time he went to Iowa to pick up a whole cache of old radios, probably $700 worth...The guy kept asking him what this one was worth and that one...In the end, he just decided to sell them in a bundle...The guy actually thought no one would be interested in buying all his old crap...He apparently didn't know about Chris sooner...Chris got it all, though, and packed in as many as he could into his van...I told him he should have brought a wagon! Anyway, he really had some stuff...Even some old Victrolas hiding among the mess...Upstairs, he shows me around some more...In a back room, he had a beautiful, old Regina music box with a bunch of metal discs for it...Another old estate sale find where the daughter was getting rid of her late mother's things...It looked similar to this one...

33985

Wow! The last time I saw one of those was at the Henry Ford Museum here in Michigan!! :shock: In another room, he had a fully operational and stunning Blaupunkt Arkansas with the glass door and bar glasses inside...He got a great deal on it, too (an estate sale find), but it was a pain to move...If you've never seen one, look at this...

33986

In another room, he had some more Zenith and Philco upright consoles and smaller wooden tabletop models on shelves...Never have I seen so many radios in one place!! :o In fact, those weren't even his BEST ones...There is a local library near his house that allows members to put their collections on display...Well, he has several tall glass display cases there filled with his radios that he's lended out to them for a while...I may have to see that when I go back...

In any case, that leads me to my radio...and I could use any advice you "knobheads" can give...Can I call you radio guys that? I want to use the most technical terms here... :wink:

Anyway, it's in a bit of rough shape, but I told Chris...If anyone can do a proper restoration on the radio, you're the right man for the job...In case you haven't seen it, here are the pics again...

33402
33405
33403
33406
33414
33412

He asked what I plan to do with it...It would be nice to have the dial function working again, but I'd also like to be able to play some of my older beat up 45's through it, since there is a phono connection for my RCA Victor 9-JY turntable (seen in the first photo above with the radio)...I think I may have inspired him to do the same thing with one of his...He has a white model 9-X-561, just like mine, that needs work...He also has my exact radio in the garage, but it has a few scratches...The bakelite on mine looks a bit better...He says he may have another one like mine in brown hiding somewhere among his mess, but we couldn't find it today...He said from a distance, you can't really see the imperfections...He said I should have just thrown it out, and got a similar one in better shape...Yeah, I could've done that, but a.) these are beautiful things, b.) I never throw anything away, especially something like this (It has a patina all it's own!), and c. even if I just get it to work good enough so that I can play some records through it, it was a fun project that didn't cost me an arm and a leg...Look closely at these...

33409
33410
33407
33408
33401

On the cracks, he thinks he might be able to glue some of the cracked bakelite back together...He's had radios that were broken in seven or eight pieces, and he was able to stitch them back up that you can't even tell where the seams are, unless you look very, very close...I asked what he uses to repair missing pieces, and he said Bondo! But, when you look at the finished product, you can't even tell...Usually with these restorations, he replaces all necessary capacitors as a precaution, and makes the inside new, while keeping the outer beauty intact...He says he could paint the front ring a gold color, but the sheen of the fascia wouldn't be there, and he thinks it would be better off left alone...Part of the nameplate, as you can see, is missing, too...He thought I could try to find a similar radio (maybe just the plate? :-k) in beat-up shape online, and see if I can't just glue that on...I was wondering if any of you have ever fashioned something like this from a mold of another intact one, or is that too much work? Anybody have a lead on nameplates like this I could look at? Of course, if I'm going to go through all this trouble, I could always get another one like it, but I thought this could be a good challenge for him...Buying another radio is the easy way out...This will take some ingenuity...But, I really want to see what he can do...I'm inspired by his craftsmanship...Plus, he thinks he can do something with it within the month...probably next week, he'll take a closer look at it...Yeah, it's in sad shape now, but I see possibilities! So many options, a lot of drama, and I could use some advice...If any of you have any more restoration tips, I'll be sure to pass them on to Chris...Here's the kicker, though...We worked out a deal of $40 for the repair work...If he can't get it working properly at all, it won't cost me a dime! :D I know it lights up, but I didn't want to play with it too long, in case there were some issues...Plus, I have full confidence in his repair abilities...I have seen some amazing restorations today! =P~ Maybe I could even trade it to him as a parts radio for something else...In a month, he is going to have an estate sale, selling some of his aunt's old belongings, and there will probably be many of his radios for sale, too...He said he just moved into this new house after dealing with a flood at another house he owned...Fortunately, the radios all survived the damage, but other parts of the old house didn't come out so well...He had to move his mom into an assisted living complex, so some of her stuff will also be for sale...I'm thinking of heading back there when he has his estate sale...There could be something of note...He says the last time he had a sale, he was offering some of his extra radios...The cream of the junkpile...The stuff in REALLY rough shape! And every single radio he had for sale sold like hotcakes...Even some heavy console models! I told him to look for good Duals and Garrards...Those are the hallmark of a good console, and highly coveted, too...You know what? He said that every single one of his Zenith consoles sold just like that instantly...They were lining up for his sale! People apparently are nuts about Zenith stuff...Any of you guys ever experience this?

When I go back, I might have to get some pics for you guys, but his collection was just stunning...the breadth of it all! :o

Before I was to leave, he showed me this Marantz 1530 receiver he had acquired from a friend...He asked me about it, but I was unsure...He doesn't really go for the 70's vintage like me...He's a young guy into much EARLIER stuff! =D> Any of you guys ever own one? Is it one of their good ones? What would you pay for one of those?

I may have to raid his stash a little bit when I go back...He should have the radio repair completed and ready by the 10th of December, which is about when he said he'll be having the sale...He says he'll probably have a few more items to sell this time, as he has to make room for more projects...Anything I should look for when I go? In any case, I am happy I finally got to see his stuff...I am still bugging out over it! =P~ =P~ =P~

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 19 Nov 2015 05:43

Sounds like Chris has a nice collection. The cracks in the case look similar to the condition of my Firestone, except there are no missing pieces, and they are not visible from front. Mine has a long crack on underside, and a 2' crack on top. I was planning on carefully gluing it with epoxy, and leaving well enough alone. Further work would require a new 2 tone paint job. Mine worked (aside from dried up filter capacitor) when I got it, but since it was so simple, I went a bit overboard and changed most of the resistors as well as all the capacitors. Everything is now within 5 percent tolerance. Your radio appears to be a similar design with likely the same tubes. Providing the coils and IF transformers are ok, getting it working should be simple. Really don't have much advice otherwise, but would appreciate knowing how Chris repaired the cracks, and what glue he prefers.

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 19 Nov 2015 07:24

If you want to see more of my man's work, check out these videos...








Nice, eh? That's only the TIP of the iceberg...

He mentioned he had more pics on Facebook, so here are a few more of his finds, restorations, and projects, if you're interested...

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He restored a "Five" along with this "Super Six" model Crosley...
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He did the paint job himself!
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Here's a 1932 Emerson he got from a guy in Florida, with a custom-made case for it...
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Here's a nice Silvertone he fixed up...
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A Trav-Ler that was also his handiwork...
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This is a rare one! Any of you guys ever saw a Radiobar?
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Here are three more beauties...
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Check out the paint job...
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And a Zenith Stratosphere that makes me want to ascend into one! Another work in progress, though, among many...

Here's a before and after, too, of a repair he did for a customer's Crosley!
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Talk about a quick turnaround!

fscl
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by fscl » 19 Nov 2015 08:45

LOL, V_M, got me with the title of this topic..... :)

Just add a digital front end for these 5 tubers along with this site:

http://radiolovers.com/

Or something more contemporary:

http://serialpodcast.org/

And you've got some real radio drama <-----cue theater organ...... :) =D>

Fred

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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Squiffything » 19 Nov 2015 09:42

Hi VM, lovely write-up and some beautiful sets he has. If Chris is a computer user then get him to sign up on here and share some of his knowledge and skills. I'm sure there are plenty of guys who would love to converse with him about his collection and interests.

If he needs advice on some of his projects then the best place I can think of to visit are the guys over on this site

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/index.php?

An absolute wealth of knowledge and a good place to find all of the little bits and bobs that he may be missing for his projects. The guys collect everything from badges and dials to old, hard to find, tubes. Like here the members are very helpful and always willing to share their knowledge.

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 19 Nov 2015 15:44

fscl wrote:LOL, V_M, got me with the title of this topic..... :)

Just add a digital front end for these 5 tubers along with this site:

http://radiolovers.com/

Or something more contemporary:

http://serialpodcast.org/

And you've got some real radio drama <-----cue theater organ...... :) =D>

Fred
Well, his restorations are quite dramatic! :wink: I'll have to check out those other sites, too, fred...In fact, I actually have a couple cases here full of old cassette tapes that I won in my local library's auction a few years back...The tapes feature all old radio shows like "Richard Diamond, Private Detective", "Our Miss Brooks", "Fibber McGee & Molly", "The Great Gildersleeve", and many more!

Coffee Phil
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Coffee Phil » 19 Nov 2015 20:02

Hi Vinyl Master,

Those are some nice radios which you have pictured. I noticed something interesting (to me at least) in your RCA radio. There are octal small signal tubes and "K-tran" mount IF transformers on the same chassis. Of coarse it has been a long time but I don't remember seeing that combination. Most radios old enough to use octal small signal tubes in my memory used IF transformers a bit larger and with threaded fasteners. I'm not sure when the "K-trans" came out but I think it was the early '50s. I have my aunts old RCA 5 tube AC/DC radio squirreled away awaiting restoration. I'll have to dig it out and have a look.

Phil
vinyl master wrote:Hey guys...Well, I was doing some Christmas shopping in advance today...It seemed like one of the last warm days we might have here for some time...So, I thought I would head out and visit my man, Chris, at the same time...I mentioned him on this thread a while back...

https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 18&t=78197

Anyway, I have this fine RCA Victor 9-X-561 radio that I plan on pairing with my 9-JY phonograph, and have decided to let him do the reconstruction, refurbishment, and repair of the radio, at least...I went over to visit his collection today, and what he has would literally make you guys salivate! When I pulled up to his place, I knew it was him, because he had tons of old radios on racks in the garage, and plenty of tin car signs on the walls...Boxes of old tubes and parts...Lots of beauties needing restoration work...He even had some EY-2 turntables hiding on the shelves and plastic racks...Inside, he had radios on the countertops, and radios in his living room...In fact, he had two fine Zenith tabletop radios that made fine end tables next to two comfortable old slipcovered chairs...One looked like this...

33984

His whole house system was being piped out through...a beautiful little Grundig Majestic! Sounded great with Nat King Cole playing, too! Similar to this one...

33987

I took a tour of his basement lair, too...In a back room, he had old radios of all sizes and types, plus all of his testing equipment...Beautiful sky-blue Philcos on display, along with old Arvins, Emersons, Westinghouses, Radiolas, etc. He even told me about the time he went to Iowa to pick up a whole cache of old radios, probably $700 worth...The guy kept asking him what this one was worth and that one...In the end, he just decided to sell them in a bundle...The guy actually thought no one would be interested in buying all his old crap...He apparently didn't know about Chris sooner...Chris got it all, though, and packed in as many as he could into his van...I told him he should have brought a wagon! Anyway, he really had some stuff...Even some old Victrolas hiding among the mess...Upstairs, he shows me around some more...In a back room, he had a beautiful, old Regina music box with a bunch of metal discs for it...Another old estate sale find where the daughter was getting rid of her late mother's things...It looked similar to this one...

33985

Wow! The last time I saw one of those was at the Henry Ford Museum here in Michigan!! :shock: In another room, he had a fully operational and stunning Blaupunkt Arkansas with the glass door and bar glasses inside...He got a great deal on it, too (an estate sale find), but it was a pain to move...If you've never seen one, look at this...

33986

In another room, he had some more Zenith and Philco upright consoles and smaller wooden tabletop models on shelves...Never have I seen so many radios in one place!! :o In fact, those weren't even his BEST ones...There is a local library near his house that allows members to put their collections on display...Well, he has several tall glass display cases there filled with his radios that he's lended out to them for a while...I may have to see that when I go back...

In any case, that leads me to my radio...and I could use any advice you "knobheads" can give...Can I call you radio guys that? I want to use the most technical terms here... :wink:

Anyway, it's in a bit of rough shape, but I told Chris...If anyone can do a proper restoration on the radio, you're the right man for the job...In case you haven't seen it, here are the pics again...

33402
33405
33403
33406
33414
33412

He asked what I plan to do with it...It would be nice to have the dial function working again, but I'd also like to be able to play some of my older beat up 45's through it, since there is a phono connection for my RCA Victor 9-JY turntable (seen in the first photo above with the radio)...I think I may have inspired him to do the same thing with one of his...He has a white model 9-X-561, just like mine, that needs work...He also has my exact radio in the garage, but it has a few scratches...The bakelite on mine looks a bit better...He says he may have another one like mine in brown hiding somewhere among his mess, but we couldn't find it today...He said from a distance, you can't really see the imperfections...He said I should have just thrown it out, and got a similar one in better shape...Yeah, I could've done that, but a.) these are beautiful things, b.) I never throw anything away, especially something like this (It has a patina all it's own!), and c. even if I just get it to work good enough so that I can play some records through it, it was a fun project that didn't cost me an arm and a leg...Look closely at these...

33409
33410
33407
33408
33401

On the cracks, he thinks he might be able to glue some of the cracked bakelite back together...He's had radios that were broken in seven or eight pieces, and he was able to stitch them back up that you can't even tell where the seams are, unless you look very, very close...I asked what he uses to repair missing pieces, and he said Bondo! But, when you look at the finished product, you can't even tell...Usually with these restorations, he replaces all necessary capacitors as a precaution, and makes the inside new, while keeping the outer beauty intact...He says he could paint the front ring a gold color, but the sheen of the fascia wouldn't be there, and he thinks it would be better off left alone...Part of the nameplate, as you can see, is missing, too...He thought I could try to find a similar radio (maybe just the plate? :-k) in beat-up shape online, and see if I can't just glue that on...I was wondering if any of you have ever fashioned something like this from a mold of another intact one, or is that too much work? Anybody have a lead on nameplates like this I could look at? Of course, if I'm going to go through all this trouble, I could always get another one like it, but I thought this could be a good challenge for him...Buying another radio is the easy way out...This will take some ingenuity...But, I really want to see what he can do...I'm inspired by his craftsmanship...Plus, he thinks he can do something with it within the month...probably next week, he'll take a closer look at it...Yeah, it's in sad shape now, but I see possibilities! So many options, a lot of drama, and I could use some advice...If any of you have any more restoration tips, I'll be sure to pass them on to Chris...Here's the kicker, though...We worked out a deal of $40 for the repair work...If he can't get it working properly at all, it won't cost me a dime! :D I know it lights up, but I didn't want to play with it too long, in case there were some issues...Plus, I have full confidence in his repair abilities...I have seen some amazing restorations today! =P~ Maybe I could even trade it to him as a parts radio for something else...In a month, he is going to have an estate sale, selling some of his aunt's old belongings, and there will probably be many of his radios for sale, too...He said he just moved into this new house after dealing with a flood at another house he owned...Fortunately, the radios all survived the damage, but other parts of the old house didn't come out so well...He had to move his mom into an assisted living complex, so some of her stuff will also be for sale...I'm thinking of heading back there when he has his estate sale...There could be something of note...He says the last time he had a sale, he was offering some of his extra radios...The cream of the junkpile...The stuff in REALLY rough shape! And every single radio he had for sale sold like hotcakes...Even some heavy console models! I told him to look for good Duals and Garrards...Those are the hallmark of a good console, and highly coveted, too...You know what? He said that every single one of his Zenith consoles sold just like that instantly...They were lining up for his sale! People apparently are nuts about Zenith stuff...Any of you guys ever experience this?

When I go back, I might have to get some pics for you guys, but his collection was just stunning...the breadth of it all! :o

Before I was to leave, he showed me this Marantz 1530 receiver he had acquired from a friend...He asked me about it, but I was unsure...He doesn't really go for the 70's vintage like me...He's a young guy into much EARLIER stuff! =D> Any of you guys ever own one? Is it one of their good ones? What would you pay for one of those?

I may have to raid his stash a little bit when I go back...He should have the radio repair completed and ready by the 10th of December, which is about when he said he'll be having the sale...He says he'll probably have a few more items to sell this time, as he has to make room for more projects...Anything I should look for when I go? In any case, I am happy I finally got to see his stuff...I am still bugging out over it! =P~ =P~ =P~

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 20 Nov 2015 03:30

OK, am I dreaming here??? I just saw this...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-VICTOR-RP16 ... 5d5dcd0cd0

Is that REALLY the price??? :shock:

Almost exactly like mine, and I paid nowhere NEAR that for both!

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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by ehtoo » 20 Nov 2015 03:58

vinyl master wrote:OK, am I dreaming here??? I just saw this...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-VICTOR-RP16 ... 5d5dcd0cd0

Is that REALLY the price??? :shock:

Almost exactly like mine, and I paid nowhere NEAR that for both!

Seriously?! And six people are watching this. Heck, if he gets that much, I'll put mine up for sale.

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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by ehtoo » 20 Nov 2015 04:23

V-M
He said that every single one of his Zenith consoles sold just like that instantly...They were lining up for his sale! People apparently are nuts about Zenith stuff...Any of you guys ever experience this?
Not surprised V-M, Philco & Zenith tabletops and cathedrals are highly sought after. Consoles less so - at least up here - as they obviously take up more space and it is generally hard to gain the Mrs' approval. Most guys I know have one or two consoles but, hundreds of the tabletops, "All-American fives" etc.

Myself, I'm planning to make a mini AM transmitter so that I can broadcast to any of my radios in the house from my laptop. I think it would be neat to play Orson Welles War of the Worlds on my 1939 Philco.

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 20 Nov 2015 04:51

ehtoo wrote: Myself, I'm planning to make a mini AM transmitter so that I can broadcast to any of my radios in the house from my laptop. I think it would be neat to play Orson Welles War of the Worlds on my 1939 Philco.
Now, THAT would be cool, ehtoo...I'd like to hear that in action...Maybe you could even make a video of it...

If you build the transmitter, make sure you show us how you did it...Could be a fun project for someone! 8)

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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by spittenkittens » 20 Nov 2015 06:09

Chris Cuff was the man who rebuilt my RCA, I took out the chassis and sent it to him. He only charged $50.00 for caps and labor. I Rebuilt the rest and a new crystal cart watching his utube video's. If anyone can fix anything electric including new hard to fix stuff Chris can.I would love to see his stuff.

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 20 Nov 2015 06:54

spittenkittens wrote:Chris Cuff was the man who rebuilt my RCA, I took out the chassis and sent it to him. He only charged $50.00 for caps and labor. I Rebuilt the rest and a new crystal cart watching his utube video's. If anyone can fix anything electric including new hard to fix stuff Chris can.I would love to see his stuff.
Looks like we have two experts named Chris who can fix these things...It's highly unlikely, but imagine if they worked together...Just think, the amount of goodies in both of their collections must be staggering! :shock:

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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Coffee Phil » 20 Nov 2015 17:49

Hi Vinyl Master,

Here is a little AM broadcast transmitter which I built for a semester project in ~ 1960.

[img]33209[/img]

I'm sure I can find the written report which went with it which will include a schematic and maybe even the drawing of the chassis if you want to build one. In those days we called them "phono oscillators". This one can be received by a typical for several tens of feet.

Phil


vinyl master wrote:
ehtoo wrote: Myself, I'm planning to make a mini AM transmitter so that I can broadcast to any of my radios in the house from my laptop. I think it would be neat to play Orson Welles War of the Worlds on my 1939 Philco.
Now, THAT would be cool, ehtoo...I'd like to hear that in action...Maybe you could even make a video of it...

If you build the transmitter, make sure you show us how you did it...Could be a fun project for someone! 8)

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 21 Nov 2015 08:37

I've been thinking some kind of small transmitter like that would be nice, as there isn't much in the way of daytime AM music in my area, a distant country station (750), and a classic rock & hits (1300) which is usually blocked by some mystery dead carrier. When I was young, I had a nice military grade signal generator with an audio input that would broadcast a mile or so with the right antenna.

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