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 Post subject: A Wire Recorder! ....Questions
PostPosted: Dec Fri 23, 2016 5:38 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
{Moderator note: Several topics about this recorder have been merged into this thread. Please keep all questions and comments about this unit confined to this thread. Multiple topics about the same unit are allowed.}

I just bought a Webster-Chicago wire recorder model 80.. what is the proper way to thread this little monster? Also, is there a way to put in a line-in to record of a record player? How good do these sound? I'm totally new to wire recorders :D


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Fri 23, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sun 23, 2015 6:01 pm
Posts: 305
Location: South Jersey East of Philly
Quote:
How good do these sound?
Don't expect any hi-fi sound..good for voice though.


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Fri 23, 2016 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 18885
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
These links may help:

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/master/mbrs/recor ... corder.pdf

https://www.smecc.org/wire_recorder_care_&_repair.htm

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/webster_wi ... 0_180.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMf1kcdSI-8

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Sun 25, 2016 12:43 am 
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Joined: Aug Sat 01, 2009 2:23 pm
Posts: 1278
Tbirdkid wrote:
Quote:
How good do these sound?
Don't expect any hi-fi sound..good for voice though.


I've been amazed at how good these can actually sound on music. Not hi-fi, per se, but much better than some of the cheaper tape recorders that followed. The wire is moving quite fast, so there is some high frequency content there (provided the head is still good). Wow and flutter isn't that bad because the wire is being pulled along by a fairly speed-stable take up spool.

_________________
John Stone
Antique Radio Club of Illinois


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Sun 25, 2016 1:33 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1204
Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
I have a spool of wire with part of a 1950 Guy Lombardo radio show on it. Very bright and enjoyable. I remember this tune is on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFxjnUPRwx4 BUT without the phony reverb you hear on this You-Tube clip.

Mine is a model 80 too... Plenty of info on it...

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Mon 26, 2016 1:51 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
I just put a spool on mine [fun time threading this beast!] it has some big band music on it
and the sound quality is better than I thought. As good as my tube radio on am. Not hi-fi,
but nice for what it is :D I like it! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Recording to a wire recorder
PostPosted: Dec Mon 26, 2016 1:57 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
Hi! Is there any way to record from a radio or record player to my wire recorder? Mine's a
Webster-Chicago model 80. Thanks!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Recording to a wire recorder
PostPosted: Dec Mon 26, 2016 2:57 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1204
Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
The schematic shows an input for a crystal microphone. So you can hook a crystal pickup directly in its place. Make sure the unit is properly grounded and coupling caps are not leaky.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Recording to a wire recorder
PostPosted: Dec Mon 26, 2016 3:51 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3786
Location: Boston, MA USA
No. A crystal or ceramic cartridge has far higher output than a microphone, and will severely overload the mic preamp in the Model 80.

The Model 80 has a line input. It is on the same Cinch-Jones connector that the microphone plugs into. The microphone input is pin 2 (hot) and pin 1 (ground). The line input is pin 3 (hot) and pin 1 (ground). Use that. Jones connectors are still available from the usual distributors.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: Recording to a wire recorder
PostPosted: Dec Mon 26, 2016 4:17 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
Thanks a bunch dberman51! I know where I'm headed tomorrow!


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 Post subject: Re: Recording to a wire recorder
PostPosted: Dec Tue 27, 2016 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 18885
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Model 80 schematic:

Attachment:
Webster-Chicago model 80 schematic.jpg
Webster-Chicago model 80 schematic.jpg [ 242.3 KiB | Viewed 371 times ]


Dave


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Wed 28, 2016 7:27 am 
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Posts: 821
Location: In the village, 19115
I have a bunch of used recording wire that I got for cheap. I think that they have some boring meeting minutes on them or something. I wish that I could find a junker one for cheap. They are large and heavy. As long as the record and playback heads are okay I could use solid state for the amp electronics.

_________________
I like things that light up, tubes, bulbs, LEDs, whatever, and things that make noise.


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder!
PostPosted: Dec Wed 28, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1204
Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
Someone sent me a dozen or more spools that I had agreed to dub off. Almost all of it was a evangelical preacher sermons and rehearsals of sermons and a little bit of piano practice. The only interesting part was a thanksgiving family gathering where they were talking about moving from town to town trying to set up churches. The general impression I gathered was that these people were not successful in building viable churches.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Recording to a wire recorder
PostPosted: Dec Sat 31, 2016 9:59 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
Thank You, Dave! :D That's just what I was looking for! You guys are awesome :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Webster-Chicago model 80 wire recorder question
PostPosted: Dec Sat 31, 2016 10:03 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
Is there supposed to be a felt pad of some type on the spool side of this monster? There's
a small arm-like thing there..is that for the brake system?


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder! ....Questions
PostPosted: Jan Mon 02, 2017 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1219
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
I used to play with these things and the first thing I learned is it is super easy to break the wire somewhere out in the middle of the spool. The fix is to tie a knot which will break again.

My recollection is the take up side turns at 78 RPM. Threading was easy just put the leader string under the clamp on the take-up.

I also learned to never stop rewind until the leader string has gone through or until the wire breaks :)

It seems that most of the spools I got hold of either had preaching or a funeral recorded.

Jim


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 Post subject: wire recorder bug
PostPosted: Jan Thu 05, 2017 6:32 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
Ok, my wire recorder has some sort of arm thing on the supply [left] spool side...it moves a little bit, but I
haven't a clue as to what it's supposed to do, also is there supposed to be a felt pad of some kind on it? I'm
stumped!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: wire recorder bug
PostPosted: Jan Thu 05, 2017 8:32 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 15939
Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
Brake or tensioner?


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder! ....Questions
PostPosted: Jan Sat 07, 2017 6:25 am 
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Joined: Feb Mon 06, 2012 7:24 pm
Posts: 1762
Location: Beautiful Gold Country California
Also make sure not only is both reels cleaned and lubed up on their shafts, but that you send the rubber rollers out for rebuilding - as this is one MAJOR cause of wire breaking from sudden stops or else being tangled up halfway through the reel or on rewind.

Same with the helix-wind mechanism which is part of the traveling head. I always send out to have new posts machined as the ones they have are not only A) almost always flat on one side, they often have B) burrs that will split the wire.

So I have mine made where they are hollow inside the tops like the metal threading posts in a VCR tape when you open it for repair - and then have them threaded so I can install a nylon sheath and nylon washer underneath a screw which holds it in place times 4 - two for the supply side and two for the takeup side.

Since the nylon sheaths roll with the wire there's less chance of developing burrs and flat sides on metal posts and greater ability to maintain the necessary helix wind onto the takeup spool or back to the original spool upon rewind.

As far as speed - the only wire recorders that have a 78 speed is the combination radio-phono-wire recorders - since the wire was wound around the bottom of the large 78 platter in a special groove. Wire-only recorders with their smaller takeups ran them at +/- 120 RPM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMf1kcdSI-8 to get the required +/- 2 feet per sec linear speed.

I say +/- because as we all know the format was angular or rim drive therefore as more wire went onto the takeup being driven at the same RPM, the more wire went by the head in later revolutions than early revolutions. Meaning a spool might start off as slow as 20 IPS and end up as fast as 28 IPS especially on a one hour or 75 minute spool.

90 minute spools were made, but if you thought the wire strand size was thin on a normal 30 minute or hour spool - you could literally breathe wrong on a 90 minute spool and break it just like a C-180 cassette MC-90 cassette or T-210 VHS.

_________________
2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: A Wire Recorder! ....Questions
PostPosted: Jan Sun 15, 2017 6:12 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 23, 2012 5:25 am
Posts: 124
Okay. I've looked all over for No. 8 thread for a leader....no luck.. can No. 6 nylon thread be used or will it jam in the head? :)


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