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Author Topic: What I've been doing all winter.  (Read 2960 times)
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mowinmachine
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« on: February 03, 2012, 01:20:34 PM »

 My "other" hobby is restoring old radios from the 20's-40's. This involves replacing all the capacitors, some of the resistors, somtimes rebuilding power supplies, re-wiring and other electronic refurbishment. I did a lot of them this winter. Here's some of them after restoration:

1: 1940 GE HJ-1005. Big sucker. sounds great too.


2: 1939 Crossley


3: 1938 RCA T-80


4: 1935 McMicheal. British. Real oddball. I got a transformer to power it since its a 220 volt set


5: 1948 Emerson. "Midget" radio. tiny radio fits in the palm of your hand


6: 1938-39 Sachenwerk. German set.


7: 1937 Zenith 12-S-266. I didn't restore it, but bought it restored. This thing is amazing. It has a motorized dial and has "shutters" that open and close for the different bands.



 The cool thing is that many have RCA jacks in the rear and I can actually plug in my iPhone and listen to MP3's.
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GRUBDIGGER
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 01:47:06 PM »

I HOPE THAT HOBBY PAYS. lol
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JOHN HERRING
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 02:04:23 PM »

How about some inside pictures. I've always been interested in the old stuff like that but I know nothing about electronics. Can the capacitors "bite" if your not careful?
Do you do the finish work on the exterior?  They look really nice.
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Dennis Bazzett
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 02:04:23 PM »

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mowinmachine
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 04:55:05 PM »

Quote
I HOPE THAT HOBBY PAYS.

well... sorta. Ain't that true with all hobbies? Luckily its a cheap hobbie. Most of these radios were less than $50 a d the capacitors are dirt cheap.

Here's a shot of the "guts" of one of the radios. The Top one. Its the underside of the chassis. This one had been struck by lightning or something because it was totally ruined. had to replace basically everything. As far as refinishing, I don't unless they're in pretty bad shape. Most of these have their original finishes.

Yes- you can get a jolt from the capacitors. Tube sets require tons of power for some of the tube filaments. Most capacitors I work with are rated at 630 volts or more. Just did a set that had 1,500 volt capacitors. 


here's a top side view of the tubes and chassis.



And here's the innards installed and the set "lit up"

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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 07:22:30 AM »

THATS WAY TO MANY THINGS IN THERE FOR ME TO BREAK. doh
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JOHN HERRING
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 06:17:02 PM »

Are you self taught or is the field you work in?  Looks like a super fun hobby. Bringing back the past. Good thing is I bet they sound really good.
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Dennis Bazzett
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 07:43:58 PM »

AT ONE TIME WE HAD A 39 CROSLEY CAR. BROUGHT IT BACK TO LIFE WITH A 25HP KOHLER. RAN GREAT.
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mowinmachine
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 12:32:53 PM »

 I am sort of self-taught. There's actually a lot of forums out there ( sort of like heymow bust for old radios instead) and a lot of the people on those forums are retired radio and TV repairmen along with a few people that are like me and just into old electronics. Its sort of like anything else. There are guidelines and techniques that once you learn you can do it. Most of what I do is replace the old capacitors and check the tubes. Sometimes the wiring is shot. About 75% of the time I'll get a set like these and they will only make a loud hum. Its because the old capacitors were made out of wax, foil, and paper. They deteriorate and will screw up the proper power inputs for the transformers and tubes. So you can download a schematic and it will show all of the parts. Most of the parts have markings to show what they are rated at. So for example there might be a capacitor ( we call em' caps) and it will say something like: " 25 uF, 250 VDC"-or- " 25, 250 VDC" Basically that means 25 Microfarads and 250 volts DC.  The rules for capacitors is that you can always replace them with caps rated the same or higher as the original. So you could stick in a 450 volt cap if you wanted to. There are a few different kinds of capacitors, resistors, and coils. For example there are large value electrolytic caps and you can just replace those with whatever as long as the Microfarad and voltage ratings are the same or higher. But for the smaller, non polarized caps you need to stay within 20% of the original Mircofarad rating but can go higher in voltage if you want.

 It took me awhile to figure it out because a lot of it from the outside makes no sense. But once you do its not that hard of a hobby and its pretty cheap too.

 Speaking of Crossly cars, we had one of those in our car club. Cool little car. I wish they made cars like that now. It was little more than a go cart. Nice and simple.
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