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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Tue 04, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hey Bob,

Thanks for the information. If and when I get my set going, I'm going to put it on my Kill a Watt meter to see how much current it is drawing. But what you're saying does tend make sense.

That GE radio sure looks impressive! I wish I had the space for such a monster and was closer to you.

Have you ever shot any pictures of your museum? I'd like to see what it looks like.

Regards, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 5:28 am 
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
That GE is a real dog-bone salad under there! I tried to count them a couple times and gave up...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 8:10 pm 
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Oh boy, Another exciting update...

Last night the recap job was done. All of the wiring used for the higher tension stuff was replaced. While the rest of the rubber wiring is rock-hard, I didn't disturb any of it as it will continue to do its job. Nothing too difficult to get at in there. After replacing all of the caps and a re-test the sound quality and reception drastically increased. I suppose some of the caps were marginal or even shorted. The bad news is that the speaker is blown. The good is that we have a lot of vintage 10" replacements at the museum AND since this is a perm magnet speaker, so much the better as I won't have to either install a compensating resistor for the field coil or have to find a speaker with a field coil with the right rating. So after work I'll get one and see how that goes. Sort of a bummer as I always like the idea of having a radio sound as it came from the factory with its factory speaker. But in cases like these I'll choose a nicer speaker, meaning even better sound than original. The set will get bluetooth and so it'll be a nice sounding system for somebody and thus they should be able to play this with the intention of enjoy the sound quality.

Note: one 1500 volt rated cap remains that I will need to replace. It is a coupling cap between the Two 6V6 tubes. The initial startup voltages in that area can indeed be pretty high so its important to replace like with like.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Bob,

What is the model number of this GE radio? How much do you think it will sell for?

Thanks, Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 11:15 pm 
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I need to remember to see what model it is. Its printed on the label, I just keep forgetting to do that. Not sure of what the price might be as its not done. The issue with extra-large sets like these is that they are often TOO big for most people. So that means we often have a hard time selling them. I assume 2 more days before the set is done and "burned in" so stay tuned...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 4:00 am 
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Re: the Grundig on page 19, 'zauberklang' translates to 'enchanting sound'.
Not so enchanting under the hood, I hear.
Thanks for the entertainment and education. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 5:58 pm 
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It turns out the GE is a 1941 model JE-121. It has an output of 8 watts for audio, which is more or less the same output you'd see for a large console of the era.

After digging around at the museum's parts bins I found a replacement speaker. I'm not familiar with it but its a 40's or 50's RCA 10" speaker with a large magnet. Its also a tad heavy, which is OK because the cabinet and the speaker mounts are fairly heavy and robust.
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As seen compared to the old speaker it has a much deeper cone.
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New speaker grill cloth was cut. As I suck at ironing my wife came out and did it for me. Otherwise I probably would've burned a hole through it.
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The glass was removed and the flocking stuff on the back of the dial plate was cleaned off. That and the glass was cleaned both sides.
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And while there is some rust and blemishes the chassis was also cleaned.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 6:16 pm 
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That is a nice GE!
I bet the speaker has bad leads going between the connections and the voice coil.

Oh, those IF transformers are slug tuned with exposed mica caps in the base. I've heard they sometimes exhibit SMD issues like the later ones do.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 6:25 pm 
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The original speaker works, but something is rubbing BAD inside the voice coil. Last night I installed the replacement and holy crap, you'd never know its an old radio. The RCA speaker must have been a higher end unit because it absolutely booms. And nuttin' wrong with the coils as far as I cans see. reception works well on AM and SW.

The only bummer is that its missing two of the 4 knobs. And the originals are made out of wood and unusual thus no way I can get those. I believe I have some that will suffice and maybe look believable.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Sat 08, 2018 2:06 am 
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Well,
Its done. Heck of a job and in the end its a HEAVY radio. Anyway, I found some knobs even though I had to use a bench grinder to the backs of the large ones to make them fit nicely. Yes- those are RCA knobs... But whatever. The work.

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Image
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Sat 08, 2018 9:23 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Yep! those RCA knobs are also used on 30's Brit HMV sets and are known as "Easy Grip" which they are. Excellent knobs.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Sat 08, 2018 8:49 pm 
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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
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Location: Glendale, CA
Bob,

That radio looks beautiful! Nice job!

I did a search to look up this General Electric JE 121 but found nothing. I guess there were not very many made.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Mon 10, 2018 5:13 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
That JE-121 would probably work and sound even better with the resistors changed, and some are most might be far off from the proper value. Mark or one of the other know specialists probably could supply the knobs. Yes, I know these are just for quick sale...

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Mon 10, 2018 5:38 pm 
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The resistors were actually mostly within spec. I find that dogbone resistors are often fairly stable when it comes to retaining their correct values. Besides- with the replacement speaker the set has a somewhat unbelievable sound quality. The bass it produces sounds more like a modern set.

Knobs? I doubt they would be at all easy to find. They were made out of wood with an ornate design pattern. The set will likely be difficult to sell. While I personally think its a marvelous piece of engineering the design is sadly a bit on the plain side and as far as what we tend to sell well, its sets with strong styling. That and with the large size and weight will also be a detraction. Knobs wouldn't make that much of a difference, sadly...


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Thu 27, 2018 5:02 pm 
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Its been slow during the holidays. Not many incoming donation and what has come in has either been too far gone or just not good enough quality. But I did get a few things done.

1: This Sentinal AM/FM set. This is the 3rd one of these I've done and its clear several brands used it because the last one I did was a Knight and I've also worked on an Olympic marked one. This one is a Sentinal.

Image

Let me just say that this will be the last time I work on one of these. Even with careful alignment FM is not all that great and its a huge time suck to restore since there's 10,000 capacitors in there. I guess the theory was to filter every damned little thing in there?
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Someone else had refinished it in the past.

2: Neat little heathkit stereo amp. Uses a set of four ECL82 tubes in the output stage.
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There was very little vertical height underneath and as I couldn't find replacement NOS cans at the shop I had to cram them underneath. They all fit nicely. That said I did have a little too much "holiday cheer" the evening I rebuilt it and for one 50uF cap that was supposed to be 250 volts I instead installed one that was rated 50 volts. And so it was nice to power it up and have the cap violently explode near my ear... After the correct value was installed it works well. Neat little unit.
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3:

And here is a pretty interesting thing.
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Its is a 1936 Pilot model 304. A HUGE tombstone with 11 tubes, a 10" speaker, input for phono AND an additional jack for a permanent magnet speaker. I forgot to take before pics but its been sitting at the museum for months. As seen the grill is damaged and someone with better woodworking skills ( my wife ) will need to make pieces to fix whats missing from the grill. The finish looked dried out and poor but with an application of howards, old english, beeswax and then car wax it all came back nice.

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Once I got inside I found that this is a WEIRD radio. First of all there are 4 tubes in the output stage in what appears to be 2 tubes per side of a push-pull configuration. Secondly and most surprisingly... Its a hot chassis set! No kidding. It has a huge power resistor and two rectifier tubes stuck together. The engineers clearly knew that a hot chassis isn't the best thing for safety and unlike most hot chassis sets I run across at least made an effort to install a safety cap for the grounded side of the plug. In the below pic you'll see a metallic can. That's a .01uF cap rated for 1000DC. That's precisely what you want with a set like this where the level of current on the ground will be so low as to not shock the user. Most of the time I'll see values that grossly exceed this safety threshold.
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Due to the importance of that cap it was replaced with true safety caps rated for 1KV DC, 250 AC. These caps are $1 each but well worth it for peace of mind and safety.
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Otherwise recapping was not difficult. Image

The set features a neat "dual clutching" tuning mechanism where either normal or fine tuning can be used by pulling out or pushing in the knob.
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As seen from the back they shoved the largest speaker that could fit in there.
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A audio line-in was run through the phono jack. Upon testing this is a seriously great sounding set with a lot of really good fidelity and tons of power. This is perhaps one of the most unique and nice looking sets I've done in awhile.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Dec Thu 27, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi Bob,

That Pilot looks like a really special radio. Maybe the museum should hang onto it. Some of those special features that you mention I've never heard of before in a radio that old.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jan Wed 02, 2019 5:16 pm 
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As I have zero skills in woodwork, my wife who has lots of patience cut out a new piece for the grill using a box cutter blade. She then stained it for me. So now its installed in the aforementioned Pilot. I did refinish the damaged top and did some touch-ups in the areas where the finish was scuffed. New grill cloth as well. Its now totally done. The museum has decided they would like to sell this to me. Its perhaps one of my favorite radios and will be put in a prominent area of the living room. The sound on this is also rather fantastic.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jan Wed 02, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Joined: May Mon 30, 2011 10:12 pm
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Location: Glendale, CA
Hi Bob,

Happy New Year to you!

Your wife did a really nice job on that grill. I'm so glad you're getting this radio. I know it'll get the right kind of care and appreciation for years to come.

Tom

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"A challenge to be met, rather than an obstacle to avoid." - Mr. Data


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jan Wed 02, 2019 6:13 pm 
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Happy to see you get one to keep. If anyone says you're cherry picking, they're just jealous. :lol:

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Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
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 Post subject: Re: Radio Restoration Diary 2 ( post photobucket)
PostPosted: Jan Wed 02, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Thanks guys!


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