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 Post subject: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 1:29 am 
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Joined: Jan Fri 23, 2009 1:10 am
Posts: 202
I had a Croydon 136 radio on display that I thought would be great to light up and play. My goal was to do this without permanently altering the radio from the as found condition. The radio has a plug in speaker so I was able to remove it and wrap it up to protect and preserve it. For a speaker I chose an automobile speaker that had mounting holes that aligned with those in the radio. The speaker is powered from a small Bluetooth amplifier that sets inside the radio and connects with my Amazon Echo. The amplifier is powered from a 12V computer power supply. Most of these amplifiers have some sort of audio (music,tones or speaking) to confirm the Bluetooth connection. To avoid this I added a small delay board to prevent connecting the speaker for about 15 seconds.

The dial light sockets were the clip on type so I removed them and set them in the radio without disturbing the wiring. To light the dial I taped on 2 warm white LEDs taken from a Christmas light string. The power cord was not an original so I did remove it for safety concerns. The final touch was to plug the power supply into an adapter that can be controlled from the Echo.

Now just saying “Alexa turn radio on” the radio lights up and after 15 seconds(sort of like waiting for the tubes to warm up) the radio begins to play whatever was playing on the Echo. There is an incredible amount of streaming music available to play. I have some OTR mp3 files on a Google drive that I can also play through the radio. My favorite source is Tunein which has thousands of radio stations to choose from including several of my local radio stations.


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 6:02 am 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
That radio is a beauty.

I personally have no objection to what you've done with it to have sound come out of the grill. It reminds me of a radio that was gifted to me. The chassis was a blob of rust, battery radio that had spent time at sea. I installed a speaker and had it playing Top 40 AM radio the next time this fellow came by. It blew his mind and I regretted having to tell him it was all fake. Could have kept the secret. Cheers and thanks for preserving the integrity of that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Tue 20, 2018 6:22 am 
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Location: saint clair shores, michigan
Great idea, beautiful radio. The illuminated dial looks excellent. I like the spread out knob arrangement. Different.

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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Nov Fri 10, 2006 12:24 am
Posts: 1979
Location: Thornhill, Ontario
jimsp wrote:
I had a Croydon 136 radio on display that I thought would be great to light up and play. My goal was to do this without permanently altering the radio from the as found condition...
Nice radio... it looks eminently restorable. Do you have any objections to doing this? I'll admit, I like hearing my radios via the original tubes and speakers of yesteryear... see the heaters glow!
Cheers,
Roger

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Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Wed 21, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Location: Sherwood, Oregon
My main concern is that you have separated the original speaker from the radio. If something happens to you, it may never be matched up again. Just sayin'


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Thu 22, 2018 2:57 am 
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Joined: Jan Fri 23, 2009 1:10 am
Posts: 202
mgrant wrote:
My main concern is that you have separated the original speaker from the radio. If something happens to you, it may never be matched up again. Just sayin'

I mounted cardboard to the face of the speaker to protect the cone so I suppose I could just lay it inside the radio. Unfortunately I think it's clear that a majority of our beloved radios are eventually headed for the dumpster. Anything we do increase their desirability should help them survive. In the future I'm sure radios that have little or no electrical restoration would be considered more desirable. In the past a good restoration could make a radio more desirable but with the demise of AM and especially the SW band I'm not sure that's true anymore. So my little project making an unrestored radio appear to play very well should help it avoid the dumpster. Also this radio helps draw visitor's attention to my other radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Thu 22, 2018 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 27, 2013 5:59 am
Posts: 499
Location: Metzger Oregon
Why do you feel that the majority of our radios are headed to the dumpster? I've saved things that were in someone's "parts" pile, and 30s radios that were free and nobody else in our radio club wanted. You just never know, it only takes one person to give a radio a good home. One like yours has nice style, is small and easily stored/shipped, so I would suspect that as these radios get older and fewer, demand will stay strong. When I'm gone, if nobody in my family wants my stuff, I suspect it will go to a club or some group were there are collectors. My point being, I want to keep my stuff intact and restorable, just in case it happens to be the radio that doesn't go in the trash.


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Feb Fri 23, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Location: Ohio 45177
Well I don't see much young people messing with old table radios. To stay out of the dumpster, they need care and storage if not use, and interest from new people. Then again there are two sides to every argument so unknown things could change the situation at some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Fri 02, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 23, 2009 1:10 am
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I used a similar treatment with a Zenith 4B231 farm radio to use in my workshop. Except for the battery cables that had been cut off and a few missing tube shields the radio was in original condition. As with the Croydon I removed the speaker and wrapped it to protect and preserve it. I taped on some LEDs to light the dial. I used a plywood shelf to mount two 3” speakers and hold the amplifier and power supply. I simply set this on top of the vibrator and IF cans. There is a lot room under the chassis so I pushed the volume control/switch under the chassis leaving all the wiring attached. I then added a switch to turn the power supply off and on.


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Fri 02, 2018 10:34 pm 
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I understand the attraction of at least making the radio appear to work - restoration is hard and expensive in many cases. Many of us don't seem to have enough time to tackle many such tasks, life has demands. And, as the saying goes, it's your Radio - you paid for it! Do as you will - it's a free country. But I'm confused.....

I keep hearing the catch phrase here - "the demise of AM" and am baffled. It is no longer dominant, but it is certainly not a dead band.
I haven't been back to the lover 48 in two years, but here in Alaska, AM is alive and well! We have four local (Anchorage) 24/7 AM stations. Largely talk and sports, but the band is in steady use, with advertisers keeping those stations on the air.

FM is stereo - but FM has always been only for short range use. And the Internet is big, but requires each user to have a paid for connection. I would argue that the government should be lobbied to permanently keep AM broadcast available for the lower income folks that can't/won't afford that extra $90 a month just to stay informed.

I was disappointed years ago when AM Stereo did not catch on - long range AND Stereo would be ideal.
So, enlighten me - is AM totally gone on the US Mainland??

Count me in the "A Dead Radio will eventually find the dumpster" category. A working radio from seventy years ago is at least an INTERESTING novelty. Nobody is going to take your chassis out of the radio to see if the Capacitors are original - EVER. (Although I do intend to restuff the paper capacitors in my 7G605 "just because".

But a dead radio is just a TV prop - it's soul has left it. And if these rare, valuable radios do not get restored by us while parts and knowledge are still available - well, I don't see any Millennials buying soldering irons any time soon - they have to buy the latest iPhone every year! The HAM guys recruit younger people to keep their movement alive - maybe we need to do a little of that, too! But a dead box is just a piece of old junk, guys.
Col. Colt


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 6:29 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 10, 2006 12:24 am
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario
+1, Colonel! Keep the old 'uns playing! I get a greater kick out of firing up an old restored AM radio than clicking on a "now playing" icon on a radio station's website, even if it is Hi-Fi stereo. I also do it with refurbished essentially scrap (no cabinet) radio chassis just to see the lit-up tubes while I listen... state certification will surely follow!
Cheers,
Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 6:52 am 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Yes, at least in Canada, as long as we have taxes, we will always have the CBC, on AM as well as FM.

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Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 7:05 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
In central Michigan there is even an NPR station on AM (870, Lansing) but we have about 8 strong stations in the Detroit area including a very good all news station (pioneering station WWJ 950) and one that features famous "Tuesdays with Morrie" author Mitch Albom (WJR 760). Two other major sports talk stations ( 1270 and 1130) a gospel station (1400), an urban topics/ jazzy light (1200) , an oldies station from Windsor(580) and a country music station (630)So AM is alive and fairly well here.
Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 7:09 am 
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Col. Colt wrote:

I keep hearing the catch phrase here - "the demise of AM" and am baffled.

So, enlighten me - is AM totally gone on the US Mainland??


I think the fact that all that seems to be left on the medium wave band are political and sports talk programming, along with a smattering of religious and news, is the gist behind the demise opinion on the board.

AM totally gone? Geez, better let the 4700 or so operating CONUS AM stations know that! :wink: Some of them also have internet streams, so some do indeed "keep up with the times".

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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 23, 2009 1:10 am
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Many of us don't have much of a choice when it comes to AM radio. Even with my modern Grundig radio during the day I can only get my local AM station. They call themselves the “Adult Choice” and it is fine for local news but is not "My Choice" for music. Before adding the Echo connection I rarely listened to any of my restored radios but now I listen to one daily even though it may only be a speaker cabinet disguised as an antique radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Location: Leo, IN or Zellwood, FL
jimsp wrote:
Many of us don't have much of a choice when it comes to AM radio. Even with my modern Grundig radio during the day I can only get my local AM station. They call themselves the “Adult Choice” and it is fine for local news but is not "My Choice" for music. Before adding the Echo connection I rarely listened to any of my restored radios but now I listen to one daily even though it may only be a speaker cabinet disguised as an antique radio.


I notice you don't have your "Location" in your profile so we have no idea of where you are located? You mention your Local Station is the only radio station you hear on another radio. Difficult to diagnose the issue with no stated or in your profile your location.

I would suggest that many of us when we do restorations to the old radios today also add to them a small switch and a 3.5mm stereo jack on the back of the chassis. No one objects to those modifications to the radio. So think this way restore the entire radio is it was originally built to operate. Then add the Jack and switch. Now you have a Low Level Audio Input that you can connect an I-pod, Bluetooth receiver, Stereo cord from your computer sound card, MP3 player, CD-player or any other low level audio device. So in your case you plug in the bluetooth or whatever the Echo connection gadget is? Leave the switch in that position and when you tell Alexa to turn on the radio ... it comes on and whatever is inputted into the jack is playing. And the radio is also still a radio which will find a home elsewhere when your done with it.
John k9uwa

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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Why this instead of restoring it and using a transmitter so that it and other radios may receive whatever you want?

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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 9:36 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
The OP said in his first sentences that he wants the Croydon radio left as he found it. In other words, unrestored and original. We assume it could all be put back as it was, screws were saved, etc.

Not everybody has the time, patience or skill to refurbish one of these, and a hack job would be a shame.
Maybe in time, these radios will get restored nicely. In the meantime, he gets to enjoy them instead of having them sit in storage or on a shelf. Not what everyone should do, just another way to consider if you can't rebuild it.

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Watch the doughnut, not the hole.
Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
[:l>)


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Mon 05, 2018 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Jun Wed 21, 2006 1:56 am
Posts: 887
Location: Katy, Texas
As time goes on this will become more and more popular to do. However, i don't think you can call removing parts from a radio "preserving" it. That's more akin to "restification".

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Preserving as found condition – playing through Echo
PostPosted: Mar Tue 06, 2018 3:19 am 
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Joined: Jan Fri 23, 2009 1:10 am
Posts: 202
I have not melted a single solder joint on this radio so when I plug in the original speaker and mount it using the original screws and nuts the radio will be as I found it. Sometime in the future someone will probably be happy to find such a radio.

I have electrically restored many radios but I really don't see the point of restoring all my radios. Actually those in the worst shape are the ones I enjoy restoring the most.


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