A real radio drama!

radio, tape, stands and accessories
vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 12 Feb 2019 17:45

Just curious, too, B, but what has been your favorite project in all the time you've been at this hobby? What has given you the most satisfaction, if anything, after getting it fixed up and working again? :-k

In other words, your favorite "labor of love" so far... :wink:

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 12 Feb 2019 20:35

I can't say that any single project was a favorite, as all that worked & looked better afterward brought me satisfaction. I would have to say that getting my grandfather's old Fairbanks Morse back up to par, the first radio project I posted has given me the most listening satisfaction even with it's still battle worn cabinet. It still sometimes gets played all night, and if nothing else almost always get's turned on Sunday evening for an hour of old records, around 7.490mhz on the short wave band at 5PM IIRC (try on Friday as well for a different show). Learning better how these radios work and what tends to go wrong has given me the most satisfaction, and the courage to listen to them a lot more often having less fear of an unrepairable breakdown. While I have a more than ample supply of functional, serviced radios, many if not all are still needing one or more issues attended to, or at least finishing touches, as well as several rainy day projects I've yet to tackle, hopefully someday I'll get back in the mood to fix some of them up, or else pass them along to another radio enthusiast.

Coffee Phil
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Coffee Phil » 13 Feb 2019 19:55

Hi Big B5515,

Glad to see you back and apparently OK! I was worried about you and you were missed!

My RCA AA5 restore is the last radio project I've done. The old Radiola and Airline console still sit. One frustration I have is that I have very poor AM reception at my house and playing AM restoration projects is not all that rewarding. Oh Well, that's why we have our phono oscillators.

From you other post I see that you are also something of a gear head. Cars (grandkids, kids, as well as my own) have been keeping me busy as well.

Good that you are back!

Phil
Big B5515 wrote:
12 Feb 2019 06:52
Just to keep this vintage radio & radio project picture thread from dying, I'll add a picture of a couple basket case radios that came my way since my last post, still mostly as found. I was able to tune in a station on the Philco cathedral after temporarily tacking in new filter capacitors and freeing up tuner, however the Delco tombstone is missing it's knobs, many capacitors, and a couple tubes. Both passed the power transformer test, but these two look about as glum as I've been feeling at times lately, will they ever sing and be presentable again??

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To be continued?

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 14 Feb 2019 00:45

Coffee Phil wrote:
13 Feb 2019 19:55
Hi Big B5515,

Glad to see you back and apparently OK! I was worried about you and you were missed!

My RCA AA5 restore is the last radio project I've done. The old Radiola and Airline console still sit. One frustration I have is that I have very poor AM reception at my house and playing AM restoration projects is not all that rewarding. Oh Well, that's why we have our phono oscillators.

From you other post I see that you are also something of a gear head. Cars (grandkids, kids, as well as my own) have been keeping me busy as well.

Good that you are back!

Phil

Glad to see that you're still around as well, After going through some visiting family turned thievery issues, and the resulting credit debt burden, I just haven't been able to think much about these hobbies or forums, however I began to wonder how you and the other guys were doing. I know how you feel about the reception issues, and almost everything causes AM interference these days. One night, a source of interference was driving me to the point I began turning off circuit breakers. The culprit turned out to be an E cigarette charger in the guest room, I can only pray the neighbors don't use anything excessively noisy. I took a 500W (and my must efficient from current measurement comparison) power inverter, deep cycle battery and household LED bulbs & holiday lights to the woods for several of last summer's camping getaways, although ended up settling for the Dietz or Coleman lantern, flashlight, and the fire for the FM radio nights, but somehow, this inverter usually didn't bother AM. :-k Even a phone car charger I bought from Walmart causes substantial radio interference, It is most annoying going down the road to the point I usually must resort to the flash drive containing MP3's or CD if I need to use it.

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 28 Feb 2019 07:40

Couldn't help noticing this radio in the same antique shop as I bought the identical looking one I restored and had refinished a few years back. While the thought of a matching pair briefly came to mind, it still sits there for $125 due to budget limitations this month.
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vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 28 Feb 2019 08:22

Maybe one day, B...But it costs nothing to see the pictures! :wink:

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 17 Apr 2019 08:14

For the first time in quite a while, I had the urge to sit down and work on a radio. As I still haven't completed the work area I'm planning to build in my radio room, I decided to dig into a couple smaller sets mentioned earlier in thread I had ordered the parts for, but they then got set aside for the last two years. The Delmonico, a tiny Japanese AA5 :? only had one 3 way Electrolytic which I restuffed, and a .047uf paper cap across line, all others are ceramic. While it still doesn't have the greatest reception, or sound quality, between alignment, replacing 2 wayward resistors, and a leaky audio output tube, I did manage to make some improvement. I think this one was more of a novelty than a practical radio, as it's tiny antenna is very directional, and 2 rivets attaching a heat shield above audio & rectifier tube to back cover get hot enough to burn your hand, It's just too small for the amount of heat. I then took on the slightly larger and more raggedy Sentinel this evening, which had the expected number of capacitors to replace, and a few out of tolerance resistors & brittle wires as well. While I'm also less than impressed with it's performance, and still need to repaint the cabinet, it does receive and sound a bit better than the Delmonico
an inside view of the smaller radio;
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vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 17 Apr 2019 09:46

Nice, B! They should be cool mid-century exemplars once you get done with them...Maybe this could be the start of something...Remember, if you start to accumulate too many of these, you can always take a few with you to the Radio Fest up in Pittsburgh when the time is right...Otherwise, they can be fun projects and you're saving this history from the landfills, so I applaud your efforts! =D>

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 04 May 2019 03:12

Being FM night, I decided I wanted to try out something different. Having bought a small Eric 357 FM tuner to use with AM radios with a audio input and after finding it had bad sound quality and no service info online, then allowing it to collect dust for the last 2 years, I finally got into it this evening and replaced some capacitors, a shorted IF tube, and the dial lamps. After finally noticing and replacing the failed ratio detector 2uf electrolytic, it now sounds very decent, and stations are back were they should be. Rather than restuffing the filter can, I simply disconnected it, and added a new terminal strip for filters with new resistors, leaving the old parts in place. I still need to order more .047uf safety caps, but the original is still in spec and not leaky (yet), and I'll see how the original selenium rectifier holds up for now too
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vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 04 May 2019 04:33

Looks like a fun project, B! Sometimes, we just need to give these models a chance! =D>

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 11 May 2019 06:41

vinyl master wrote:
12 Feb 2019 17:37
To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, only YOU can prevent...Delco decay!
I made the first step towards doing just that tonight with this $15 model 1106. While cosmetically, it has a very long way to go, and I still have not found the same model to know what it's knobs look like, I decided to raid my capacitor box and tack in all the snipped out capacitors for a test run, and replace a couple others that were hard to get at and checking leaky. This radio also had a small battery to bias preamp tube which I was able to replace with a common LR44 button cell with the aid of some shrink wrap and a acorn nut. While there are still a few resistors checking ~50% high, and a couple old capacitors left to change, I was surprised to find this raggedy relic now sings like a bird after replacing the 6D6 IF tube with broken off top connector and missing 80 rectifier. Having not yet tested the 3 remaining tubes, or even tried to align it, it sounds and receives excellent.
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Tinkaroo
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Tinkaroo » 11 May 2019 11:12

Big B5515 wrote:
11 May 2019 06:41
vinyl master wrote:
12 Feb 2019 17:37
To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, only YOU can prevent...Delco decay!
I made the first step towards doing just that tonight with this $15 model 1106. While cosmetically, it has a very long way to go, and I still have not found the same model to know what it's knobs look like, I decided to raid my capacitor box and tack in all the snipped out capacitors for a test run, and replace a couple others that were hard to get at and checking leaky. This radio also had a small battery to bias preamp tube which I was able to replace with a common LR44 button cell with the aid of some shrink wrap and a acorn nut. While there are still a few resistors checking ~50% high, and a couple old capacitors left to change, I was surprised to find this raggedy relic now sings like a bird after replacing the 6D6 IF tube with broken off top connector and missing 80 rectifier. Having not yet tested the 3 remaining tubes, or even tried to align it, it sounds and receives excellent.
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Great job Big B! =D>

I'm sure it sounds sweet now!

Big B5515
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Big B5515 » 09 Jul 2019 12:40

I finally got around to gluing down the loose veneer and cleaning up the cabinet on that Delco radio. While I ended up stripping and staining the sides and top, I tried to preserve some of the painted on graining I uncovered, and patina on front panel under a layer of fresh lacquer. While I'm not so sure if I'm satisfied with front yet as some lighter spots tend to stick out in photo, I did have some success darkening a couple spots to blend in better with black paint lightly applied and then mostly wiped off, followed by another coat of lacquer. Now to find some grill cloth, knobs, and some fresh rubber grommets & chassis cushions so I can get this one put back together.
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Tinkaroo
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by Tinkaroo » 09 Jul 2019 22:01

Big B5515 wrote:
09 Jul 2019 12:40
I finally got around to gluing down the loose veneer and cleaning up the cabinet on that Delco radio. While I ended up stripping and staining the sides and top, I tried to preserve some of the painted on graining I uncovered, and patina on front panel under a layer of fresh lacquer. While I'm not so sure if I'm satisfied with front yet as some lighter spots tend to stick out in photo, I did have some success darkening a couple spots to blend in better with black paint lightly applied and then mostly wiped off, followed by another coat of lacquer. Now to find some grill cloth, knobs, and some fresh rubber grommets & chassis cushions so I can get this one put back together.
IMG_2210.JPG
Looking good so far Big B! =D>

Looking forward to seeing the finished radio in all its glory.

vinyl master
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Re: A real radio drama!

Post by vinyl master » 10 Jul 2019 05:02

All I can say, B, is that you're a master craftsman when it comes to radio resuscitation...To get it from where it was to where it is now takes a real genius and you've got some talent there...Very nice work! 8) =D>

Be careful, though...If they start looking too good, everyone in the neighborhood will want you to do their radio repairs! :-k

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