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 Post subject: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 12:40 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 03, 2012 12:40 am
Posts: 875
Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
I have always wanted a really high end console radio that I could actually afford. The 1000Z, Baby Strats, and Scott sets were pretty much out of my range. I got lucky back in October 2017 and I purchased a 38-690 locally here in CT from an ARF Member! It was only a 2 hour round trip and my brother in-law helped me get it home. The radio was sold in operating condition, but there were issues. Knowing that I was planning on a full restoration, I would tackle each item one at a time.
I did a post in the refinishing thread when I was working on rubbing out the finish, but I figured I'd show the complete radio project from start to finish.

Here is a list of what needed to be done.

Repair the previous electronic restoration. Many bad solder connections were found, and caps were missed. Also many out of tolerance resistors, and 2 candohms that will be replaced
Note: There were no paper caps left for me to restuff, so I left it alone and stuck with modern caps.

Stuff the electrolytic cans with 630 V film caps.

Rebuild the RF sub chassis. Only two caps were replaced and all the rest were original.

Paint the rusty main chassis, sub chassis, and power/amp chassis.

Repair the cracked dial. It was spinning loosely.

Repair the audio muting switch.

Perform an Alignment.

Refinish the cabinet. A not so great attempt at refinishing was made which left me with a layer of polyurethane to remove. The front panel had a run and it wasn’t up to how I would want the radio to look.

Here are the before pictures.


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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.
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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 12:44 am 
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Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
Here are some pictures of the restored chassis's with new caps and candohms. I like the look of everything freshly painted.

While I was in the amp chassis I found that the tweeter wiring needed to be corrected so that the speakers were in phase. I followed the post that Ron Ramirez from the Philco Phorum made to correct this issue. In addition, I found the audio Transformer wires reversed, or at least the colors did not match the schematic. Once corrected I had much more volume. To top it off, I replaced the coupling cap with a 4.7uF film cap which really gave the tweeters presence.

I threw in the sub chassis photo, as I had it out to replace caps, resistors, and clean the switches.

Edited to add Sub Chassis photo.


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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.
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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 12:51 am 
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Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
Here is the finished product. Thanks to the input I received in the refinish post, I was able to get the nice finish I really wanted. It took pretty much all winter and half of spring to get this done. I had to learn how to use a spray gun, properly color the radio, and rub out the finish. This takes a lot of time as you know, then add work and household chores in the mix, and it takes even longer.

I really love how this radio turned out. While it was a learning experience, the process has quieted many fears I had working on such a big complex project. It's going to be a pleasure listening to it every morning before work. I can stream music to my transmitter as well, and when winter comes, I'll hear Zoomer Radio live again.

Thanks again to all who had input in my project.


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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.
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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 12:54 am 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Wow, that is breath-taking scenery back there, too. That radio needs a mirrored wall behind it. Did a great job on it/

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 12:55 am 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
Very nice!! How long did this take?

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 1:03 am 
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Location: Central VA, 23005
pixellany wrote:
Very nice!! How long did this take?

+1

I was wondering the same thing!

BR,

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 1:08 am 
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Joined: Jul Fri 14, 2017 12:43 am
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Location: Spokane, WA area
You did a great job! I'd be proud to own that set- enjoy it!

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 1:21 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 03, 2012 12:40 am
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Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
It took about 2 months, October and November, to finish the electronic restore. That includes many days tied up with fall chores and work, and everything else.

I started the cabinet late February of 2018 and finished this June. There was a lot of time where it was just too cold to do anything. I had it stained, grain filled, and sealed by May, and just waited for warm weather to spray lacquer. I let the lacquer cure a month before I rubbed out the finish.

So 8 months in total including life’s interruptions.

My favorite so far.

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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 1:53 am 
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Joined: Nov Sun 04, 2007 6:01 am
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Location: Redding, CA
We won't remember how long it took for you to restore it!

Norman

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 2:25 am 
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Nice job Tony! I wish that my refinish skills were as good as yours. I am still trying to sell my American Bosch 450.

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 2:29 am 
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Thanks Sam. If you ever want to do one together someday, let me know.

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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 2:32 am 
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Location: Grantham, New Hampshire
Looks beautiful! How did you get the chassis so clean?


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 11:18 am 
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Hi JBL_1,

Chassis was cleaned and painted with Rustoleum Satin Nickle Metallic spray paint. The Tube Shields were painted with a chrome spray paint, and Krylon Super Max was used for the transformers and chokes. I try to use paint and primer all in one spray paints where I can to save steps.

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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Tony,

Excellent work, impressive!

How does it sound?

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
Bosch's Fault wrote:
Tony,

Excellent work, impressive!

How does it sound?


Simply put, the sound quality is terrific.The bass is clean with no boominess. There is more bass than you would ever need. I cracked the volume up 1/4 turn while listening to a ball game in my garage and you could hear everything like you were there. Not to mention so could the neighborhood.

This will be our daily driver.

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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 4:51 am 
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Location: NorthWest TN.
Nice work!


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 6:55 am 
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Philco made some amazing sets, and you do very nice work.


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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 11:55 am 
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Location: Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
Very nice restoration, kudos to you!

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 Post subject: Re: My 38-690 Philco Project
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 12:51 pm 
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Location: Cromwell, Connecticut
My thanks to everyone for your nice comments. I have mentioned at some point before, but I can’t stress enough how much this forum has influenced me since I’ve joined. Had it not been for this and all the other resources out there, I would never had tried something like this. We’ve got something good here, that’s for sure.

Also, there is a post somewhere about members who don’t like to work on Philco’s. I was one of those members, but not any more. Sorry Dutch Rabbit :D. I still do know what you’re talking about though.

My next project is Philco 53-690 refinish. This one will be a lot easier in comparison.

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Tony

People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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