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 Post subject: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:44 am 
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I'm referring to radio-related repairs or troubleshooting.

I recently restored a Philco 37-93, and was very pleased with the way it turned out. Tonight I decided to get it down from the shelf and give it a listen. It picked up plenty of stations as usual, but every few seconds there was a loud crackling sound, like something was arcing. My heart sank, as this is one of my favorite radios in my collection...I thought "Ok, back to the drawing board".

But then I noticed that the sound occurred when I rapped on the cabinet, so I thought maybe a tube had a loose element. I have used tubes kicking around for it, so I was going to swap them in--that's when I noticed that the grid cap for the 6A8 was off, and just laying loosely against the grid. The cap connector spring fit loosely, so I tightened it by squeezing it with my fingers and put it back on---problem solved.

As I type, I'm dx'ing to a 40's/50's standard station, been playing for over an hour.

I'm sure you guys have come across simple solutions like this, and I'd like to hear about them. What story do you have where you were prepared to dig in, only to find out it was something simple?


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:55 am 
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Location: Stephenson County IL. 61032
What is "Dx'ing?"

YES, These situations are the best. Only sucks if you've been looking it over for an hour (or whatever) and then notice the simple problem. Then ya go "man im dumb, I should have seen THAT in a minute, not an hour!"

1st one that comes to mind right now is my late 60's Realistic 8 track player. When I got it, I took a look inside the door (to make sure it wasn't gunked up), plugged it in and pushed the switch to activate it. Nothing. Opened it up like a month later and found that the belt had slipped off! :lol: Don't know how that happened... Maybe a stuck tape. :wink: All I know was that got it going. The motor in it is so silent, I didn't even hear it going when I initially tested it.

I'm sure I have more but my memory is terrible and I'm not thinking up stuff at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 7:52 am 
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dx'ing---picking up stations from far away. This is done at night, when signals travel much farther than they do during the day

Putting the belt back on definitely qualifies as an easy fix :)

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 7:57 am 
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Quote:
dx'ing---picking up stations from far away. This is done at night, when signals travel much farther than they do during the day


oh. Didn't know that. I've done that before plenty of times....Just never thought much of it. Learned something new :idea: 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 8:40 am 
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tubes4life wrote:
that's when I noticed that the grid cap for the 6A8 was off, and just laying loosely against the grid.

I had exactly the same occurrence with my Zenith 8S463 after recapping. I had the chassis out of the cabinet on my bench, went to fire it up, and it wasn't working right. Then I noticed the grid cap (can't remember which tube, converter or IF) laying alongside the tube. Boy did I feel like a dummy, lol, in not having noticed it before powering the chassis up.

There's been a few other instances, just can't recall them now. But you always feel like you got away with something when the fix is dead-easy. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 3:20 pm 
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You asked about finding easy fixes--relatively soon in the troubleshooting process.
Never or rare.
Only after a lengthy process is an easy fix found :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 4:51 pm 
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I can't recall which radio, but it was a AA5 that had the 12SQ7 and those style tubes. Didn't work, and found out someone (not me!) had a couple tubes swapped. Played after repositioning. And then the usual recap.
RW

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 5:17 pm 
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You are lucky. I finished up an extensive restoration on a Zenith 8S129 this weekend and the set was playing fine, but the oscillator dropped out a couple of times. Now the oscillator is not working at all. It looks like my 6A8 needs replacement and I have none on hand :(


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 5:21 pm 
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I hate to admit this, but.... It's been more than once that I've been puzzled by the apparent lack of reception of a particular radio, only to realize after 15 minutes of puzzling that I had forgot to connect the antenna. :oops:

-Bryan


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 5:27 pm 
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radiowizard wrote:
I can't recall which radio, but it was a AA5 that had the 12SQ7 and those style tubes. Didn't work, and found out someone (not me!) had a couple tubes swapped. Played after repositioning. And then the usual recap.
RW


That happened to me twice. I'd like to be able to say I realized the mix-up right away, but the reality is that one of those took me many hours before I realized it :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:51 pm 
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Old Rad Lab wrote:
I hate to admit this, but.... It's been more than once that I've been puzzled by the apparent lack of reception of a particular radio, only to realize after 15 minutes of puzzling that I had forgot to connect the antenna. :oops: -Bryan

:lol: ...Yes...I know it well. :oops:
I have seen radios for sale on EBay in which the caveat is included: "No reception".
but lo and behold I can see that the antenna is not connected to anything -I suggest
maybe try hooking one up? Yep..."works". :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 10:11 pm 
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I recently restored a Philco 37-93----
That looks like a 37-84 I used to own. How much different is it than an 84?


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 11:40 pm 
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Ahhhhhh. The no antenna trick. My very first radio was a Zenith 600. After doing my thing inside, Only 1 station and it was very week. Days of checking my work. Google found ARF and that was the day I joined. I started a post here and the second response was (Did you plug in the antenna?). I put my tail between my legs and responded with a No and Thank you. Now this is something simple, but at that time it wasn't. I didn't have the street smart I've learned here and am still learning.

Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 12:14 am 
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Soon after I began playing with old radios I recapped a chassis- I don't recall what brand but it was out of a console. I went through carefully and, I thought, thoroughly, but it made no sound at all. I spent over an hour troubleshooting until I happened to notice a little black slide witch on the back, of course unmarked. I clicked that switch and almost blew the speaker out. It helps to have the switch in "radio" and not "phono".


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 12:18 am 
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Tonight I spent ages still trying to find why my 1960 project radio continues to go dead. To date I haven't found the cause. Then I pulled on one wire and the radio was back on. I had tapped at stuff before but now it does seem the wire and a resistor are the problem. I had the diode pop off before. I will now try shortening the lead and resoldering.


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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 1:00 am 
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doc612 wrote:
Soon after I began playing with old radios I recapped a chassis- I don't recall what brand but it was out of a console. I went through carefully and, I thought, thoroughly, but it made no sound at all. I spent over an hour troubleshooting until I happened to notice a little black slide witch on the back, of course unmarked. I clicked that switch and almost blew the speaker out. It helps to have the switch in "radio" and not "phono".



Been there done that,

Or spending a hour trying to figure out why it has no power, only to discover that it was unplugged........

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 3:03 am 
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I can't recall any specifics right now, but I too have had the heart sinking feeling when something did not work or work correctly.

after 10 seconds, the problem was found and fixed. I have had a few of those in my life.

it is such a great feeling.

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 7:21 am 
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Heathkit "Mohican" - it worked yesterday, but this day, when I had visitors who wanted a demo of this fine looking radio - deaf as a fence post, dead as a door nail. Plenty of others to demonstrate so honour was intact.

Dug around the back of the Mohican to find that the 'mute' wire had come loose from it's terminals.

"DX" - D = distance, X = the unknown quantity.

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 Post subject: Re: Isn't it nice when it's something simple?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 8:46 am 
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Art Hoch wrote:
I recently restored a Philco 37-93----
That looks like a 37-84 I used to own. How much different is it than an 84?


Chassis-wise, quite a bit. The 84 is a 4-tube chassis (possibly using regeneration?), and the 93 is a conventional 5-tuber

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