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 Post subject: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Sep Tue 05, 2017 2:17 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Just got this radio on worktable---appears to be shorted DS501 output, but out of time to verify...

There is a long story behind this radio, so stay tuned !

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Sep Wed 06, 2017 3:16 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Well--all is basically okay now... Thanks to service info that Meade generously provided, found that problem was due to my not being aware of how to connect the crazy thing---both power (initially), then speaker ! Will elaborate later when time allows... Radio works great now other than a slightly erratic volume control. Was fun DX'ing by Wonderbar for a little while tonight with chassis on worktable ! Always intrigued by that electro-mechanical action...

Four projects now on bench and table---gotta get busy !

More to come...

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Sep Wed 06, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Oct Wed 28, 2009 1:17 pm
Posts: 2015
Location: Kingston Ontario
I have a Wonderbar radio out of a 56 Olds around here somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Sep Thu 07, 2017 1:44 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey Bruce---that's an all-tube vibrator-equipped set with a separate chassis for P-P audio and P.S. (I think).

This one's still working... It was part of a truckload of items an older friend of mine in Waukesha, WI gave to me Sunday. Made the 800+ mile round-trip that day (longer route through Illinois to avoid Chicago area) to visit he and his wife. He's a retired Delco Radio engineer who had bought this set as a parts unit for the escutcheon which he modified and attached to a home-made chassis containing the "workings" of an '80's ETR set to install in his '63 Cadillac which had belonged to his Dad. It was one of the first things he showed me around 35 years ago when I stopped by to purchase an NOS '57 Pontiac Wonderbar radio from him for a '57 Star Chief I had at the time. When he sold the car after his retirement, the buyer wanted the original radio installed, so he saved his "project" along with the parts radio in a box which was among the items he passed on to me. Since he had disassembled the chassis because something wasn't working right, I decided to "reclaim" the escutcheon and return the Caddy radio to original---but saved the chassis and pieces to possibly use someday with a "plain" '60's AM Delco set front panel...

Below is a pic I took the other day after temporarily reassembling his home-made enclosure to send to him for his project "files" and to post here... I've since removed the plastic pieces and carefully scraped the glue off of inside of escutcheon for reinstallation onto original chassis. He had even saved the original dial glass in an envelope, thankfully... Now on a search for original knobs since I couldn't find them in the parts "haul"...

John


Attachments:
DONS 63 CADDY ETR PROJECT  9-6-2017.jpg
DONS 63 CADDY ETR PROJECT 9-6-2017.jpg [ 228.76 KiB | Viewed 1216 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Sep Fri 08, 2017 2:24 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Treated the volume control with DeOxit Faderlube this evening and it's now fine. The Wonderbar mechanism wasn't continuing across dial once resetting to left end of dial, so adjusted P.S. up one volt to 14.5 (I know Delco recommended 16V with bench supply, but I was using 15A regulated) and it worked normally again for a moment, then began scanning repeatedly across dial until shut off. Checked voltages at 12AL8 trigger tube and it looks like it died ! Arghhh... Is this radio really worth building a solid-state replacement circuit or buying another tube which may not last very long ???

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Sep Sun 10, 2017 5:47 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks once again to Meade (MAG) who sent me the Delco '64 Cadillac Wonderbar radio service data, discovered that the same tuning relay and critical 2nd IF transformer were used both years so that now I can duplicate the '64 transistorized trigger circuit and replace that darn 12AL8 ! And that circuit uses silicon NPN transistors which are more easily available !

Had already reassembled the radio and was ready to "stash" it away before this good news---guess it'll get another chance...

More to come !

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Oct Tue 17, 2017 2:33 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Just received the 2nd knob-set (a story itself) needed for this radio today, so it will be returning to the bench soon !

Since I'm going to build a small solid-state module (based on the later Delco circuit) to replace the 12AL8 tube, need to find a data-sheet for the DS-47 trigger transistor to see if any of the NPN silicon transistors I have will be a good sub. It isn't available on-line and can't find anything in my Delco literature other than that it was originally developed specifically for the Wonderbar trigger circuit... Has anyone subbed one with success ???

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Oct Wed 18, 2017 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2261
Location: Lakewood, California
My NTE cross reference guide lists their 123AP (NPN Silicon amp/driver, audio to VHF frequencies) as a replacement for Delco DS-47.

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Meade


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Oct Thu 19, 2017 1:13 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Meade...

Have you ever replaced a DS-47 with that NTE part ?

I found that cross-reference awhile back, but still want to find the actual specs for the DS-47 to compare since Delco seems to imply that it's a critical part for that Wonderbar trigger circuit. If anyone has successfully used a substitute, please let me know... Will post a schematic snip if anyone interested to see how it's used...

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Nov Sun 12, 2017 6:34 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
This radio now back on the bench...

Took a look to see what was involved to replace the electrolytics and saw that one had split and had crusty dried electrolyte residue on it---so gotta get that done !

Been looking for a junk 64-65 Delco Wonderbar to pull the PCB and remove the trigger section to adapt to this radio---gettin' a bit lazy, I know...

Can at least start cleaning and polishing chrome...

Was thinking of building some type of chairside cabinet for it to set beside my recliner in family room if I get it working well...

john


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Nov Mon 13, 2017 2:08 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Pulled the PCB after removing some of the wiring and replaced the electrolytics today to see what difference it might make since one was physically cracked and leaking. Mounted all replacements except for the 1000 uF (used two 470 uF in parallel) on bottom side of board since they're so small. Only thing I noticed afterward was that the audio quality seemed a bit better... The signal-seeking action worked perfectly at first with the 12AL8 trigger tube, then progressively got worse both before and after recap. As mentioned earlier, am going to try and find a junked 64-65 Wonderbar set to extract the transistorized trigger circuit section from PCB to replace the flaky 12AL8...

Now to remove escutcheon to polish all chrome and install dial window glass...

Some pics below...

John


Attachments:
ARF 63 CAD PCB BEFORE.jpg
ARF 63 CAD PCB BEFORE.jpg [ 239.59 KiB | Viewed 562 times ]
ARF 63 CAD PCB TOP BEFORE.jpg
ARF 63 CAD PCB TOP BEFORE.jpg [ 216.37 KiB | Viewed 562 times ]
ARF 63 CAD ORIGINAL CAPS.jpg
ARF 63 CAD ORIGINAL CAPS.jpg [ 226.55 KiB | Viewed 562 times ]
ARF 63 CAD PCB AFTER RECAP.jpg
ARF 63 CAD PCB AFTER RECAP.jpg [ 234.02 KiB | Viewed 562 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Nov Thu 16, 2017 4:42 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Spent a few hours today carefully polishing all the chrome including buttons and escutcheon today using Q-Tips with Mothers Chrome Polish. The tuning dial itself just looked dusty and was afraid of damaging paint, so wiped it very gently with pieces of damp then dry cotton cloths---turned out it was dirtier than expected, so repeated process until no more dirt was visible on cloth. Cleaned the glass dial window with Windex and wore cotton gloves to install it to avoid any fingermarks. Reassembled temporarily until I can find that junk 64-65 PCB for the transistorized trigger circuit. The 12AL8 tube works perfectly at times, then not at all or intermittently. Will make the transistor trigger circuit mod "reversible" in case a future owner wants to take radio back to original state...

Still have the cabinet "design" to work out---may take awhile ! Won't start construction, though, until trigger circuit sub-project complete...

Today's pics below...
John


Attachments:
1ARF CAD BUTTONS-CHROME CLND POLISHD.jpg
1ARF CAD BUTTONS-CHROME CLND POLISHD.jpg [ 153.88 KiB | Viewed 480 times ]
2ARF CAD BOT CVR CLN INS.jpg
2ARF CAD BOT CVR CLN INS.jpg [ 198.46 KiB | Viewed 480 times ]
3ARF CAD ESC CLN-POLISHD-GLASS INSTLLD INS.jpg
3ARF CAD ESC CLN-POLISHD-GLASS INSTLLD INS.jpg [ 120.14 KiB | Viewed 480 times ]
4ARF CAD ESC CLN-POLISHD-GLASS INSTLLD OUT.jpg
4ARF CAD ESC CLN-POLISHD-GLASS INSTLLD OUT.jpg [ 134.19 KiB | Viewed 480 times ]
5ARF CAD BOT.jpg
5ARF CAD BOT.jpg [ 236.64 KiB | Viewed 480 times ]
6ARF CAD FRT COMPLETE.jpg
6ARF CAD FRT COMPLETE.jpg [ 146.92 KiB | Viewed 480 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Nov Sat 18, 2017 12:26 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks again to Meade (MAG) who sent pics & measurement of an original, was able to "cobble" together a dial-lamp socket with a clip from a GM wiring harness connector and instrument panel lamp socket. Cleaned surfaces to be mated with 2000 grit sandpaper, tinned, and "tied" together with a large component lead clipping for soldering. After removing flux with Isopropyl alcohol, put a small piece of black heat-shrink over the "ugly" so it would look better. Fits and works perfectly... BTW---did put the correct 1891 lamp in socket before installation...

Turned out the lights in shop-room last night and did some DX by "dial-light"---there's just something about those old car radios when they're lit up...

John


Attachments:
ARF CADDY DIAL LAMP SOCKET.jpg
ARF CADDY DIAL LAMP SOCKET.jpg [ 174.79 KiB | Viewed 432 times ]
ARF CADDY DIAL LAMP SOCKET INSTLD.jpg
ARF CADDY DIAL LAMP SOCKET INSTLD.jpg [ 159.75 KiB | Viewed 432 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Nov Sat 18, 2017 1:00 am 
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Joined: May Wed 01, 2013 10:05 pm
Posts: 1375
Location: Rayleigh, BC, CANADA
Very nice John, I don't know how you find these old GM radios in such nice condition.
All I ever see around here are old rusted out ones with heavily pitted chrome and parts missing, not worth restoring.

I'm still hunting for a radio out of a 63 Chevy, maybe one day I'll get lucky.

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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Nov Sat 18, 2017 4:21 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Rocco !

If I'd known around 25 years ago before I got rid of a bunch of 'em, I'd saved a '63 Chevy radio pulled out of an Impala SS that some friends offered to give me when I was in high school. I had a '63 Impala 4-dr. HT at the time and kept radio as a spare---the car itself I passed on since it had a rusted out section in frame (came from NJ) and it went to a mechanic at a neighborhood gas station. Man, that Super Sport was restorable and would be worth a fortune today...

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Dec Sat 09, 2017 2:03 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Finally found a reasonably priced '66 parts set and it arrived today !

Was amazed when I connected speaker and antenna and applied power---it worked perfectly except for some mechanical binding issues with tuner !

Seems to perform and sound better than the '63, so am going to combine the best of both sets to make one good one since chassis are very similar---and eliminate that flaky 12AL8.

Just need to get the tuner mechanics cleaned & lubed and come up with a detailed "plan of action"...

Man---the bench and worktable are filling up again !

John


Attachments:
arf 66 prts set.jpg
arf 66 prts set.jpg [ 110.71 KiB | Viewed 191 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Dec Sat 16, 2017 5:14 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Began last night to dig into this project seriously---removed the tuner from the '63 chassis and found that the governor weights had a bit of crud on them causing the intermittent but frequent slight "shudder" while seeking. Cleaned carefully with Isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips, reassembled & installed, and seek motion now continually "smooth as silk".

Tonight removed the '66 tuner which has a lot of oxidation/corrosion to start cleaning and combining the best parts into one. Pretty much decided to use the later seek relay and switch mechanisms as well as the tuning coil/core assembly on the very clean and now functioning '63 tuner chassis.

The '66 is a "mid production" set and the "better" trigger circuit design isn't fully evolved. The Delco manual states that the early production sets used the '65 circuit, where the later models incorporated the "improved" version---and after "reverse engineering" this PCB, see that it matches neither schematic and has features of both and am probably going to fully update it during project...

More to come...

John


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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 7:12 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
A lot done today !

The '66 Wonderbar tuner had been wet/damp at some time and had a lot of oxidation and corrosion, so transferred the following parts to the very clean 63 frame: Stopping relay, treadle position switch, tuning coil deck, dial pointer (better condition). Didn't want to risk damage removing the '63 chrome Wonderbar bar to swap the sensitivity switch, so connected the '66 wires together for maximum until I can see what can be done with modifying the '63 switch. Cleaned all parts carefully before assembly...

Once together, adjusted the governor and stopping relay position carefully per Delco service manual info. Replaced all electrolytics and did a bit of cleaning on PCB surface. Since it's going to take some time and effort to decide how to update the trigger circuit to latest revision neatly, went ahead and installed PCB and connected wiring. Radio and Wonderbar now work excellent and seek motion smooth, steady, and consistent. Front of radio is same as shown previously (when '63 cosmetic cleaning/polishing completed), but since I'm now using the rear section of '66 chassis, the top cover is different and not yet pictured (and need to get another dial lamp holder).

Now can begin thinking about cabinet design !

Today's project pics below...

John


Attachments:
0ARF 63 CAD W-B PRTS HRDWR.JPG
0ARF 63 CAD W-B PRTS HRDWR.JPG [ 134.04 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
1ARF 63 CAD W-B TUNER MECH CLND.jpg
1ARF 63 CAD W-B TUNER MECH CLND.jpg [ 216.39 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
2ARF 63 CAD W-B GOV PRTS CLND.jpg
2ARF 63 CAD W-B GOV PRTS CLND.jpg [ 132.59 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
3ARF 63 CAD W-B GOV TOGTHR CLN.jpg
3ARF 63 CAD W-B GOV TOGTHR CLN.jpg [ 138.59 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
4ARF 63 CAD W-B GOV INSTLLD.jpg
4ARF 63 CAD W-B GOV INSTLLD.jpg [ 221.35 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
5ARF 66 CAD W-B STPPNG RLY SOL SWTCH .jpg
5ARF 66 CAD W-B STPPNG RLY SOL SWTCH .jpg [ 195.82 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
6ARF 66 CAD W-B TUN COIL DECK CLND.jpg
6ARF 66 CAD W-B TUN COIL DECK CLND.jpg [ 197.7 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
7ARF 63 CAD W-B TUNER COMING TOGTHR.jpg
7ARF 63 CAD W-B TUNER COMING TOGTHR.jpg [ 215.84 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
8ARF 63 CAD W-B TUNER ONTO 66 CHS.jpg
8ARF 63 CAD W-B TUNER ONTO 66 CHS.jpg [ 219.33 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2017 7:13 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4975
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Here are the remainder of project pics, please see previous post for first group...

Please note in last pic that I simply "tack soldered" the wiring onto PCB since I might remove it again for trigger circuit update one day...

John


Attachments:
9ARF 66 PCB BEFORE CHS.jpg
9ARF 66 PCB BEFORE CHS.jpg [ 173.4 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
10ARF 66 PCB ORIG CAPS.jpg
10ARF 66 PCB ORIG CAPS.jpg [ 173.99 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
12ARF 66 PCB NEW CAPS CLND CHS.jpg
12ARF 66 PCB NEW CAPS CLND CHS.jpg [ 174.35 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
13ARF 63-66 COMBO CMPLT.jpg
13ARF 63-66 COMBO CMPLT.jpg [ 209.86 KiB | Viewed 47 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: '63 Cadillac Wonderbar surprise radio project...
PostPosted: Dec Mon 18, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1223
Location: Mount Pleasant UT 84647 (from Coventry, UK)
Interesting project! In the early 70s a friend of mine in England had a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado with a radio that had similar capabilities. I was very impressed!


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