A real radio drama!

radio, tape, stands and accessories
Post Reply
Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 08 Sep 2016 21:17

My spare (third) Fairbanks Morse chassis arrived last night, but was by far, in worse electrical condition regarding resistors and power transformer. It didn't include another speaker, but will finally provide a working original volume control I was still lacking, 2 more tube shields, and the 2 original capacitors (for appearance) that are now missing from my old radio. I was able to power it up briefly, and confirm reception on all 3 bands, however one side of it's power transformer secondary is 55V lower than other, and overheats after 20 minutes, even with no load. There was also leakage from primary to chassis, and most resistors measure 20% - 100% high. As best I could tell, this one had previously been aligned with a 10khz error at 600khz as well - but corrected by repositioning pointer before start of dial. It's circuitry is also the same as my other 2, but the serial # is 29,000 lower which nixes my previous theory of a recent circuit change. Regarding the condition, no modifications, or extra holes drilled, but several more rust spots (mouse puddles) hiding under dust layer than showed in listing. I do, however wish I could somehow remove and reuse, or scan & have reprinted it's almost fully intact chassis sticker, since I now kind of doubt I will be repairing this chassis as I had hoped to, short of an appropriate size and affordable power transformer turning up. At least, it appears to have a good antenna coil and so on, if other one I recently acquired proves to be damaged. I just don't look forward to disturbing the original 80 year old wiring and sometimes brittle phenolic terminals any more than necessary.

My repaired speaker also arrived today safely, now just waiting on the cabinet.

Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 23 Sep 2016 21:14

I may as well post my latest purchases and keep this radio thread going. I decided to bid $20 on a Working Zenith G730 radio on ebay with awful pictures, and was pleasantly surprised with what arrived. I've yet to peek inside, but it works and sounds fairly good on both bands, and cabinet is nice other than a small water ring, loose grill cloth and a couple nicks & scuffs. It also has a phono input on rear.
I also ordered a well used but working $20 VIZ Isotap II WP-27A 400W isolation transformer. This along with the bag of silver mica capacitors was purchased for dealing with such radios, and hopefully curing 2 others I have of that most annoying silver mica disease.
36262
36261
36260
36259

Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 25 Sep 2016 17:39

When it rains, it pours. A visit to a radio swap meet near Columbus OH brought 4 more radios to my collection. This time, all small, or battery operated ones. I was very tempted on a 12 tube 30s Crosley floor standing radio, but have no space for one right now.
36287
36286
All are presently working, but probably need some TLC. I decided to pass on that Zenith "Trans-Oceanic" 600 at a local shop, and try RCA's "Strato-World" version of it since I found one for a more reasonable $50. The red Sylvania one may have been a bad choice, but was said to work, and I always wanted to try a battery tube radio, but never had a functional one. Aside from brittle leather case, it's in nice condition other than a small crack near center of plastic dial, and one broken tab on on inside top of back cover. It requires 67.5V (7-8 9V batteries) and 1.5V for heaters. The RCA can also run on a battery pack consisting of 90V worth of 9V batteries, and 6 D batteries for heater supply I was told. Pickings were slim, so I finally offered $5 on the Zenith pocket radio. It does work, but has a thin spot in volume control and a persistent high pitched whistle. The tiny Sentinel table radio needs repainting but has no cracks in case, and seemed a fair buy at $10. I thought maybe I finally had a "normal" AA5 here with 7 pin tubes, but later noticed it uses a 50B5 audio tube. Seems I've got 6 new projects lined up now to keep me busy.

Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 16 Oct 2016 05:57

There was supposed to be another swap meet this morning, so my mother and I left at 3AM and got their bright and early. Unfortunately, no one showed up for the swap meet, but a auction was scheduled for 12:30. After viewing museum, and debating whether there was anything I wanted for a few hours, I decided to wait for the auction. I missed, or was outbid on a few radios of interest, however took a chance on a few others as price was more than reasonable. My mother also bid on 4 clock and novelty radios, the raccoon radio for her one eyed dog dog that sat through the auction A few preliminary pictures:

Small (and mothers) radios
36503
ugly radios of intrest
36502
A $27 Truetone fixer upper
36501

A $40 Zenith (missing a knob)
36499
A $10 Victor (missing 12 dial scale, and 2 expensive 245 triodes #-o )
36500
I've yet to identify, or test any of these radios yet, but should now be fairly well stocked up on radio projects for the winter and then some. I may have gone a bit overboard this time.

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20249
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 16 Oct 2016 06:35

By the way, Big B...I've never seen a raccoon radio in person! It would be strange to hear this coming out of it...



Or maybe the theme song to this Canadian cartoon...


vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20249
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 17 Oct 2016 00:58

OK, you guys...I had a conversation with my man, Chris, recently...He just came home from a long trip...He bought a huge collection of mid-century stuff from a guy in California, and recently, he took a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania to see the car show there, and came home with another 82 radios! As of now, he has just OVER 750 RADIOS in his collection! If you guys want to see his latest finds, check out these two pics he was so gracious to share with me! They will blow your mind!! :shock:

Here are all 82 of his recent radio finds in his kitchen...

36505

And then, here is what his garage looks like now! Yes, those are Predicta sets...

36506

Chris says, "Go right ahead and share any pictures you'd like, I have just over 750 Radios now. I just got my first predicta working and back home last week. The second one is almost done being repaired now. I started with 13, sold one of them and gave two away. I'm hoping to get one more of them working, keep one set for parts and sell the rest."

How many of you guys would love to have a working Predicta? =P~

Tinkaroo
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Canada
Posts: 7474
Joined: 04 Feb 2011 20:00
Location: Pixie Hollow by The Bay

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Tinkaroo » 17 Oct 2016 01:03

vinyl master wrote:OK, you guys...I had a conversation with my man, Chris, recently...He just came home from a long trip...He bought a huge collection of mid-century stuff from a guy in California, and recently, he took a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania to see the car show there, and came home with another 82 radios! As of now, he has just OVER 750 RADIOS in his collection! If you guys want to see his latest finds, check out these two pics he was so gracious to share with me! They will blow your mind!! :shock:

Here are all 82 of his recent radio finds in his kitchen...

36505

And then, here is what his garage looks like now! Yes, those are Predicta sets...

36506

Chris says, "Go right ahead and share any pictures you'd like, I have just over 750 Radios now. I just got my first predicta working and back home last week. The second one is almost done being repaired now. I started with 13, sold one of them and gave two away. I'm hoping to get one more of them working, keep one set for parts and sell the rest."

How many of you guys would love to have a working Predicta? =P~
I'm glad to see he can still get to the microwave if he gets hungry!

If I had a Predicta I would watch videos of the original series of The Outer Limits on it.

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20249
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 17 Oct 2016 08:53

Tinkaroo wrote:
I'm glad to see he can still get to the microwave if he gets hungry!

If I had a Predicta I would watch videos of the original series of The Outer Limits on it.
Just for you, Tink...



And I'll go you one step beyond...


Tinkaroo
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Canada
Posts: 7474
Joined: 04 Feb 2011 20:00
Location: Pixie Hollow by The Bay

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Tinkaroo » 17 Oct 2016 11:16

I don't recall watching One Step Beyond, but I remember watching first runs of The Outer Limits as a child and probably having nightmares about alien creatures as a result!

I remember my dad used to fix up old tube TV's and radios since we couldn't afford new in those days. My dad had a bad heart condition, so I had to accompany him to the tube testing machine at a local drug store and then later on take tubes needing testing for him since he had trouble walking.

We had some really old black and white TV's in those days and either rabbit ears or sometimes my dad rigged up some switching between that and an outside antenna. I was part of the remote control system in that I would have to get up to change the channels or adjust the antenna when my dad asked me to. I do remember watching many a classic film on the late show with my dad on those TV's however, and his stereo tube radio provided lovely sound even after he was gone too soon.

Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 27 Oct 2016 02:29

I haven't posted much lately, but did have a chance to check a lot of the radios I bought. All solid state radios, and the 2 newest AA5 radios (smallest one Japanese) are still working ok. Only the raccoon didn't play when first tried, it had a loose speaker wire, and it got a bath in the washing machine while apart, the rest just needed controls\ tube sockets cleaned. The older AA5's are yet to be tested. The Hallicrafters and NRI kit radios both play, however the kit radio has low volume. The Trutone doesn't look too promising, but may not be a lost cause, at least once wiring is sorted out and AF output transformer replaced. The Zenith needs attention before I can say further, as it only hums loudly when brought up. The 1929 Victor R-32 works and still sounds very good, however it's phono input was dead, hopefully not the input transformer. I have read mixed opinions on replacing \ restuffing it's capacitors, supposedly they used very high quality Vacuum impregnated rice paper caps in this model. It will however need some cleaning \ lubrication \ adjustment, as it only had reception in center part of band. It uses a fairly sophisticated 4 gang lever operated "Microsynchronous" tuning mechanism. a rear view (2 output tubes I since acquired missing from amp in picture)
36507

The first radio I started fixing up is the Hallicrafters S-38A It seems to work very well, aside from weak reception on highest band (14-30mhz), an issue I'm still working with.
IMG_1791.JPG
(261.83 KiB) Downloaded 298 times
The orange capacitors were already present, the rest I replaced, but I still need to order a few capacitor and resistor values I was lacking to properly finish the job, and was going to rewire it so the chassis does not become electrically live when switched off. The paper cap in center (AF circuit) was left in place, as it is touching a position sensitive capacitance wire for the C.W. switch, with ungrounded outer foil and of unknown significance.

And the reason for rewiring it to eliminate hot chassis. When turned off, the chassis becomes hot, limited by the resistance of tube filaments ~150ma The chassis is connected to cabinet through a .25uf capacitor, although isolated from direct contact with rubber grommets. This could pass enough current to trip a GFCI, and probably light someone up as well if they contacted it's case and a grounded object.
IMG_1792.JPG
(160.7 KiB) Downloaded 300 times
It seems that this is the first radio I've acquired with both short wave, and good AM reception in this impossibly noisy corner of bathroom, at least whose wood cabinet won't be ruined by repeated hot showers. I could just imagine someone sitting there after a shower with leg touching radiator and leaning back with wet hair and radio turned off :electric: . As much as I want our guests to go away, I don't want to be responsible for electrocuting them, or put that much faith in a GFCI alone. I normally only take baths, but both our guests are in there almost daily steaming it up, and turning off my radio, if I left it on. I did see that a decal kit is available for this model, should I decide to strip and repaint the cabinet.

And , while done a while back, in the Sylvania radio, I decided to only replace 1 electrolytic cap, glue on a metal tab to repair back cover, and non destructively fit modern battery connectors. It could stand 4 1\2 more volts on the B battery (maybe an eighth 9V), but worked well this way, and played 16 hours before a single D cell for heaters was depleted, 2 in parallel should last at least 24,or more hours, as should the 7-9Vs from my measurements. Who says a battery tube radio is only good for a shelf ornament? This one still works well after 62 years.
IMG_1794.JPG
(242.03 KiB) Downloaded 296 times

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20249
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 27 Oct 2016 03:28

Still working after 62 years, eh, Big B? It's amazing how long some of this equipment can last!! :shock:

Which is why I say all the time that vintage just gives you more bang for your buck...Of course, I'm talking about features and durability, and not the hair-raising kind of "bang"... :wink:

By the way, your technical prowess continues to inspire me...You really do have a knack for these restorations...The Museum should be glad to know that these radios are in the right hands now...Yeah, you might have to wait, in some cases, for the right parts (tubes, caps, resistors, etc.) to come along, but at least in the end, you'll be able to take pride in a job well done! Besides, the nights are getting colder, and when you're stuck indoors on those bitter winter nights, can you think of a better pastime than to work on a few projects? At least, if not the body, it's still good exercise for the mind! :-k

Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 27 Oct 2016 03:50

vinyl master wrote:Still working after 62 years, eh, Big B? It's amazing how long some of this equipment can last!! :shock: :-k
I think the $10 Victor holds the record, LOUD and clear after 87 years, and I've yet to even touch it with a screwdriver, or peek inside :mrgreen: .
36500

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20249
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 27 Oct 2016 04:02

Big B5515 wrote:
vinyl master wrote:Still working after 62 years, eh, Big B? It's amazing how long some of this equipment can last!! :shock: :-k
I think the $10 Victor holds the record, LOUD and clear after 87 years, and I've yet to even touch it with a screwdriver, or peek inside :mrgreen: .
36500
Really? I would have thought that your Edison machines were much older, and they still work, right? Just curious, Big B, but what do you think IS the oldest piece of equipment in your collection? :-k

Big B5515
long player
long player
Posts: 1807
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 27 Oct 2016 04:46

I was referring to radios. With a strong signal, the 1929 Victor could almost pass for a Hifi in sound quality as found (+ the 2 tubes). It's amplifier has been described as powerful enough to send it's 9" speaker cone flying across the street.

My oldest model A Home "suitcase" Edison phonograph dates between 1896-1899, at least 117 years old, however I likely have an even older musical box or so around here.
Last edited by Big B5515 on 27 Oct 2016 05:06, edited 1 time in total.

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20249
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 27 Oct 2016 05:05

Big B5515 wrote:I was referring to radios.
I know... :wink: I was just thinking of your collection as a whole...But, I must say that your Victor does look quite stately in the room...It will be interesting to find a dial plate for it...Even if not an original, maybe there are reproductions out there...I would keep my eyes open, in any case...

Post Reply