A real radio drama!

radio, tape, stands and accessories
Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 05 Jan 2017 05:44

I haven't been on here much lately (fighting bugs, illness, hospital visits, major housecleaning, holidays, and currently we all have a very nasty case of the flu), but a long awaited package finally arrived from Bruce today. I pushed myself to finish up a couple things on the second Fairbanks Morse chassis, and then reassemble the radio this evening to send him a picture. I will say that it's not a perfect match, but a huge improvement from the condition it was in, much better than I could have done, or expected. I'm a little less than impressed with the sound quality of the at least twice repaired original speaker (or maybe something else is distorting on weak signals ?), but at least it's back together and again playing. There still may be some more electrical and label work for another day, but I once again have a nice looking complete example of this radio.37100
37101

I also ordered a replacement dial for the Victor from Radiodaze back in November, however it is printed on glossy plastic with a white back, more like the later 30s dials such as the Fairbanks Morse has. 37102

The original was made from light brown translucent celluloid printed in black ink. While the replacement makes the radio presentable, it also makes me think of that dog treat commercial with the doggie dentures, just too bright and clean looking to be correct. As I already heard clear sound come from this set, I'm saving it's restoration for another day, and maybe a proper looking reproduction dial if one turns up

More projects to come when I'm feeling better

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 05 Jan 2017 07:07

Get well soon, Big B! But, that Fairbanks Morse really does look excellent...Bruce did a nice job on the cabinet! =D>

Keep us posted on any new updates, my friend!

Coffee Phil
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Coffee Phil » 07 Jan 2017 05:07

Hi Big B,

It's good to see you back. Get well soon!

I think the Fairbanks Morse looks real good. Hopefully you can get that label.

I think the Victor looks believable. Did you install the new dial?

Phil

Big B5515 wrote:I haven't been on here much lately (fighting bugs, illness, hospital visits, major housecleaning, holidays, and currently we all have a very nasty case of the flu), but a long awaited package finally arrived from Bruce today. I pushed myself to finish up a couple things on the second Fairbanks Morse chassis, and then reassemble the radio this evening to send him a picture. I will say that it's not a perfect match, but a huge improvement from the condition it was in, much better than I could have done, or expected. I'm a little less than impressed with the sound quality of the at least twice repaired original speaker (or maybe something else is distorting on weak signals ?), but at least it's back together and again playing. There still may be some more electrical and label work for another day, but I once again have a nice looking complete example of this radio.37100
37101

I also ordered a replacement dial for the Victor from Radiodaze back in November, however it is printed on glossy plastic with a white back, more like the later 30s dials such as the Fairbanks Morse has. 37102

The original was made from light brown translucent celluloid printed in black ink. While the replacement makes the radio presentable, it also makes me think of that dog treat commercial with the doggie dentures, just too bright and clean looking to be correct. As I already heard clear sound come from this set, I'm saving it's restoration for another day, and maybe a proper looking reproduction dial if one turns up

More projects to come when I'm feeling better

vinyl master
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Posts: 20221
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 07 Jan 2017 06:04

Big B5515 wrote:
More projects to come when I'm feeling better
Can't wait to see them, Big B! =P~

Big B5515
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Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 09 Jan 2017 03:25

Coffee Phil wrote:Hi Big B,

It's good to see you back. Get well soon!

I think the Fairbanks Morse looks real good. Hopefully you can get that label.

I think the Victor looks believable. Did you install the new dial?

Phil
I'm hoping to eventually find or have made labels for both chassis and speaker to complete the Fairbanks Morse cosmetically. I still haven't had a chance to do any troubleshooting on it's now apparent distortion issue, or previously noticed dial discrepancy, but kind of suspect the burned spots between pins I noticed on the socket for the 6Q7G I have not yet replaced could be to blame with the distortion. it is most noticeable at low volume, and\or with weaker signals, hollow or compressed sounding on quieter sounds, loud sounds break through with more volume & fidelity. While I'll likely just use screws, I do kind of wish I had the original style rivets, and knew how to set them properly for this socket replacement.

I did already install the new dial scale in the Victor to make it look presentable in our dining room. Noticed plenty of dust, and 1 stuck tuning roller under top chassis cover while doing this, so I doubt it's been worked on any time recently. I did find a box containing missing pieces of original scale in lamp housing, and that a clear C9 Christmas bulb fit socket, and seemed about the right brightness for backlighting the new dial, even if a bit tall.

The other day at the local hospital, I noticed a sign resembling a movie poster titled "Fluzilla", a name which very well describes how we've all felt for the last week or so

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 09 Jan 2017 05:14

vinyl master wrote:
Big B5515 wrote:
More projects to come when I'm feeling better
Can't wait to see them, Big B! =P~
I started on this Zenith G730 a while back. After recapping both AM if transformers in hopes of curing the silver mica disease, I now find it's also present in the first FM if transformer. Somehow, I never got back into it, and it's been sitting as so since mid November cluttering my record room. I'm batting zero so far on AM \FMs, although I guess I should just press on replacing caps, and then try to finally figure out how to do a proper FM alignment. It just seems the more I do, the worse everything looks, although there was a small fire in there before I acquired it.
IMG_1847.JPG
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What silver mica disease looks like, note oxidation around edges of silver plating, in some places beginning to join and cause leakage between capacitor sections, or center screw \ rivet. These 2 were probably just beginning to cause problems in damp weather.
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Coffee Phil
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Coffee Phil » 09 Jan 2017 22:03

Hi Big B,

I was thinking about your labels. If they are not to be had from the antique radio places, you may be able to do something similar to what I did with the panel of my Citation 4. I went to a graphic arts place where they did T-shirts and signs and the lady there generated a file to make the artwork. She recognized the fonts required and produced the file. Her company could not silk screen silkscreen metal so all she could give me was the file. She charged me a pittance ($35). The real money went to the plating shop and the silk screen shop.

You issue should be simpler. If you can find the size of the label and a picture of it, a similarly skilled graphic arts person should be able to generate a file which can be printed with a laser printer.

Phil


Big B5515 wrote:
Coffee Phil wrote:Hi Big B,

It's good to see you back. Get well soon!

I think the Fairbanks Morse looks real good. Hopefully you can get that label.

I think the Victor looks believable. Did you install the new dial?

Phil
I'm hoping to eventually find or have made labels for both chassis and speaker to complete the Fairbanks Morse cosmetically. I still haven't had a chance to do any troubleshooting on it's now apparent distortion issue, or previously noticed dial discrepancy, but kind of suspect the burned spots between pins I noticed on the socket for the 6Q7G I have not yet replaced could be to blame with the distortion. it is most noticeable at low volume, and\or with weaker signals, hollow or compressed sounding on quieter sounds, loud sounds break through with more volume & fidelity. While I'll likely just use screws, I do kind of wish I had the original style rivets, and knew how to set them properly for this socket replacement.

I did already install the new dial scale in the Victor to make it look presentable in our dining room. Noticed plenty of dust, and 1 stuck tuning roller under top chassis cover while doing this, so I doubt it's been worked on any time recently. I did find a box containing missing pieces of original scale in lamp housing, and that a clear C9 Christmas bulb fit socket, and seemed about the right brightness for backlighting the new dial, even if a bit tall.

The other day at the local hospital, I noticed a sign resembling a movie poster titled "Fluzilla", a name which very well describes how we've all felt for the last week or so

Big B5515
long player
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Posts: 1790
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 09 Jan 2017 23:05

Coffee Phil wrote:Hi Big B,

I was thinking about your labels. If they are not to be had from the antique radio places, you may be able to do something similar to what I did with the panel of my Citation 4. I went to a graphic arts place where they did T-shirts and signs and the lady there generated a file to make the artwork. She recognized the fonts required and produced the file. Her company could not silk screen silkscreen metal so all she could give me was the file. She charged me a pittance ($35). The real money went to the plating shop and the silk screen shop.

You issue should be simpler. If you can find the size of the label and a picture of it, a similarly skilled graphic arts person should be able to generate a file which can be printed with a laser printer.

Phil

That was pretty much the idea I had, but our local graphics shop has moved out of town, and I have not yet made it to another with a label to copy, or their new location. I do have almost intact labels on the other 2 chassis, bot no speaker label, only a partial imprint it left in the brown paint. It was likely lost or removed when speaker was serviced previously.

Big B5515
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Posts: 1790
Joined: 04 Nov 2012 01:27
Location: West Virginia

Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 28 Jan 2017 04:13

Big B5515 wrote:
vinyl master wrote:
Big B5515 wrote:
More projects to come when I'm feeling better
Can't wait to see them, Big B! =P~
I started on this Zenith G730 a while back. After recapping both AM if transformers in hopes of curing the silver mica disease, I now find it's also present in the first FM if transformer. Somehow, I never got back into it, and it's been sitting as so since mid November cluttering my record room. I'm batting zero so far on AM \FMs, although I guess I should just press on replacing caps, and then try to finally figure out how to do a proper FM alignment. It just seems the more I do, the worse everything looks, although there was a small fire in there before I acquired it.
The attachment IMG_1847.JPG is no longer available
What silver mica disease looks like, note oxidation around edges of silver plating, in some places beginning to join and cause leakage between capacitor sections, or center screw \ rivet. These 2 were probably just beginning to cause problems in damp weather.
The attachment IMG_1848.JPG is no longer available
It's Alive!!
IMG_1863.JPG
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Just yesterday after a tube I needed arrived, I finally got back into that Zenith that was constipating my work area \ record playing area. After all the procrastination, and other distractions such as about every bug & ailment floating around (or crawling), the holiday usual, and helping my mother after her surgery, it was a easy fix. After disassembling and inspecting the FM IF transformer, there was a very obvious blackened spot connecting the 2 capacitors on disc. Fortunately, it came apart undamaged, and a little rubbing with a sharpened pencil style typewriter eraser removed almost all traces of connection Upon reassembly with original cap disc It's been playing the last 2 days without further issues or needing alignment, aside from dial being a little off on FM(1mhz), and maybe a misbehaving tube. While not my Pioneer and MMGs, I'm listening to NPR on it now, decent sound quality and does have some bass. I kind of suspect something got bent, or chassis flexed when tightened down, as dial was correct before reassembly, still, at least it's back together and working well enough to use. I think possibly a IF tube may be acting up, as at a certain point, a varying strong AM station will break through loudly, or even distort if close and strong enough.

As I located a couple of the knobs I needed to complete my second Fairbanks Morse, I also ordered one from the same seller to complete an ugly Emerson I picked up a while back. While it still has some nicks, blemishes, and a couple cracks, it looks a lot more presentable cleaned up a bit with correct knobs. I started to repaint knob centers gold, but after repainting one, decided they looked better just cleaned of old paint. While still no beauty queen, I didn't have much hope for it other than a workshop radio in previous condition.
IMG_1866.JPG
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vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 28 Jan 2017 04:28

I think you were wise on keeping things original...Very nice work on both of those, Big B! 8)

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 28 Jan 2017 04:45

As I had to remove speaker baffle to reattach fabric, I did touch the Zenith cabinet up with a stain marker, wash with mineral spirits, sand lightly with 800 grit wet\dry, and apply a couple light coats of semi gloss lacquer. While not refinished, it had a bit too much wear and tear showing to leave as it was. Looks a lot better than it did, but still has plenty of "character".

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 06 Feb 2017 09:14

Big B5515 wrote:.... I'm a little less than impressed with the sound quality of the at least twice repaired original speaker (or maybe something else is distorting on weak signals ?), but at least it's back together and again playing. There still may be some more electrical and label work for another day, but I once again have a nice looking complete example of this radio 37100
37101
....
I got back into this radio this weekend and first addressed the burned tube socket. After examining it, I don't know if the original power switch caught fire, or as I had previously cleaned away a lot of flux, contaminated flux may have caused the burning, or maybe someone just brushed it with flux and tried to solder a wire with a blowtorch in the past :shock:. Bottom wafer of socket was over half blackened, and crumbling around 2 pins, yet no signs of burning between wafers, or on top where tube (6Q7) plugs in. The old socket;
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Between replacing this socket, and cleaning away yet more flux on a terminal strip, distortion of weak signals was eliminated, however speaker still distorted at low volumes. After some experimentation, I came to the conclusion that the phenolic "spider" was warped, as pressing on one side best eliminated rubbing. I loosened the nut securing the more accessible end of spider and sound immediately cleared. A shim cut from a index card with a notch to fit half way around screw, and placed under side of spider that needed raising seemed to eliminate problem once tightened down,
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I am once again hearing that familiar great sounding radio I remember from many years ago, no more distortion, it now sounds very much like music :D \:D/

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 26 Feb 2017 10:29

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to looking at that Zenith 10-S-567 standing radio I picked up, and was greeted by a band switch with 2 damaged wafers, one missing its center commuter and both hardwired for AM.
36499
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IMG_1869.JPG
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After several days thinking about it, I decided I may as well try to get it playing again, as it appeared lightly used otherwise. Replacing the filters and 4 capacitors in AF output stage had it working and at first sounding very decent, however after later hearing suspicous noises, and finding all 4 paper caps I replaced leaky, I decided to go ahead and change the remaining 15. All resistors I checked were within about 10% so I left well enough alone. I also patched up the deteriorated rubber wire insulation with liquid electrical tape, Added 2- 1N4007 diodes before the notorious 6X5GT rectifiers (this radio fortunately has separate rectifier heater winding), added a fuse, and remade a missing tone switch wiper with plastic cut from a CD tray & a strip of copper foil. It now receives fairly well with only it's built in antenna, and I have yet to do any alignment. I may add a line in jack if nothing else to make up for the non functional band switch, although I hope to find parts and restore functionality some day. I also would like to find the correct volume control pot, as it appears to have been replaced with one of 3.75 megohms (should be 2.5M with 2 loudness taps, replacement has 3 taps)and is involved with tone switches. It does work, but the tone varies significantly with volume. At first, I thought the short wave bands were disabled by a repairman during WWII, but now I'm not so sure. Whether or not I ever find a switch to get the short wave bands and tuning presets working, at least it isn't sitting around silent anymore. Now to polish up the cabinet some and find a place to put it.

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 26 Feb 2017 23:49

Nice job, Big B! =D> I'm guessing that cabinet might be too big to send to Bruce, though, no? :-k Still, she should be another looker, once you get her all fettled! 8)

Coffee Phil
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Coffee Phil » 28 Feb 2017 03:28

Hi Big B,

It looks Good! From what I can see it the picture, I'd leave it rather than re-finish it.

Bummer about the band switch. If there was a prohibition on having a working shortwave receiver during WW2 I didn't know about it. We had the Wards Airline right in our living room working. We rarely if ever used the shortwave bands but they did work. We lived in the East SF Bay area (Albany) and my dad was a civil defence volunteer. We had periodic drills where we had to turn off all of our lights. He would walk the street checking for compliance. We had a lighted address number on the front of our house. Early in the war someone buggered the light bulb in the socket so as to make it difficult to replace. I was too young to remember that but I do remember my dad having to clear out the remains of the smashed bulb after the war was over to install a new one.

I was thinking that maybe the band switching can be restored with a bunch of tiny relays and a simple rotary switch to control the relays. It may actually be more RF sanitary.

Phil


Big B5515 wrote:A few weeks ago, I finally got around to looking at that Zenith 10-S-567 standing radio I picked up, and was greeted by a band switch with 2 damaged wafers, one missing its center commuter and both hardwired for AM.
36499
IMG_1870.JPG
IMG_1869.JPG
After several days thinking about it, I decided I may as well try to get it playing again, as it appeared lightly used otherwise. Replacing the filters and 4 capacitors in AF output stage had it working and at first sounding very decent, however after later hearing suspicous noises, and finding all 4 paper caps I replaced leaky, I decided to go ahead and change the remaining 15. All resistors I checked were within about 10% so I left well enough alone. I also patched up the deteriorated rubber wire insulation with liquid electrical tape, Added 2- 1N4007 diodes before the notorious 6X5GT rectifiers (this radio fortunately has separate rectifier heater winding), added a fuse, and remade a missing tone switch wiper with plastic cut from a CD tray & a strip of copper foil. It now receives fairly well with only it's built in antenna, and I have yet to do any alignment. I may add a line in jack if nothing else to make up for the non functional band switch, although I hope to find parts and restore functionality some day. I also would like to find the correct volume control pot, as it appears to have been replaced with one of 3.75 megohms (should be 2.5M with 2 loudness taps, replacement has 3 taps)and is involved with tone switches. It does work, but the tone varies significantly with volume. At first, I thought the short wave bands were disabled by a repairman during WWII, but now I'm not so sure. Whether or not I ever find a switch to get the short wave bands and tuning presets working, at least it isn't sitting around silent anymore. Now to polish up the cabinet some and find a place to put it.

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