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 Post subject: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 3:10 am 
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Hello, I'm hoping someone will recognize this five-tube GE clock radio. I'm hoping to restore it but so far I'm having trouble getting info. The only images of it I've been able to find online provide no information such as the model number.
Image
Including the chassis...
Image
The antenna is contained in a long tubular plastic housing attached to the back.
The tube lineup is 12BE6, 12BA6, 12AV6, 50C5, 35W4
The 12AV6 is shielded
On the speaker is printed: K111J62 188
On the transformer: K-122J59-2 668 441
Any ideas? Thanks for looking.
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 3:22 am 
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Location: Austin, Texas
It appears to be a model 560.
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/general_el_560.html

To download, click on the schematic in the upper right window.
Then click on it again when it is in the larger left window.
You should get download instructions.

You have to scroll through the schematic pages and download each one.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 3:47 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Same chassis.

Image
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/general_el_557.html

Factory service manual.
eBay→ https://www.ebay.com/itm/201471697421

Sams Photofact, Set-249 Folder-7
eBay→ https://www.ebay.com/itm/133162483544

Greg.


ref: https://www.samswebsite.com/en/photofac ... msid/249_7


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 31, 2019 8:36 pm
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Hi Jay and Greg, thanks for your input!
This is my first clock radio and the first time I'll be tampering with a timepiece!
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 5:13 pm 
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Use caution if working on the clock. The hands contain radium paint as they originally glowed in the dark. I’m not sure if the numbers on these units is the same. You just don’t want to create dust or chip paint.


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 9:18 pm 
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Right, this pic shows glowing hands, faded numbers.

For a nightstand radio, non-radioactive hands from another Telechron clock could be swapped in, maybe?


Attachments:
GE 560.jpg
GE 560.jpg [ 61.92 KiB | Viewed 1790 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 19, 2020 10:16 pm 
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As long as you don't eat the paint its fine. Sometimes I'll simply apply a coat of poly to the hands. If you're worried you can usually just remove the telechron rotor from the mech without removing the rest of the clock. Assuming its stuck. If it spins freely leave it alone


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 1:53 am 
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bobwilson1977 wrote:
As long as you don't eat the paint its fine. Sometimes I'll simply apply a coat of poly to the hands. If you're worried you can usually just remove the telechron rotor from the mech without removing the rest of the clock. Assuming its stuck. If it spins freely leave it alone


Sorry Bob, but I’m gonna disagree with you. Over time the binders in the paint loosen and you can get small pieces come off, including some “dust”. I wouldn’t paint poly over anything. Inhalation is a concern working with this stuff.

That being said, don’t overly worry about it. I usually use a tack cloth and carefully clean any dust and debris around the hands and face of clock without being rough and then fold the cloth over, put in a sealed bag and discard in the trash. Don’t be using compressed air or just tear things apart in a big pile to get knocked around.

The rotor is worth lubricating even if the clock runs, unless this is only going to be a display piece.

http://www.prepostmodern.com/rotors


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2020 8:37 pm 
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Yikes! :shock: Thanks to you all for the heads-up about radium paint. I'd heard about the issue but it didn't occur to me about this unit.
FWIW, the clock is supposed to work (though I haven't plugged it in myself yet, will do after recapping).
I bought the piece purposely to try refreshing the clock movement. I'd be happy to leave the hands undisturbed (even if they do make me hungry) except I'd like to clean up the dial cover plastic inside and out.
Thanks again.
Jim


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 Post subject: GE 560 clock radio plays... then growls
PostPosted: Mar Sun 01, 2020 11:03 pm 
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Hello, I wanted to report progress on getting this clock radio ticking again. I started this thread to identify the radio, but now I have a technical question. Mods pls move thread if it should be in another forum.
I have recapped this GE it and replaced all the tubes because the originals tested marginal/dead.
Today I powered it up on the variac with power going through an isolation transformer and a dim bulb tester with a 40 watt bulb.
(I had disconnected and removed the original speaker from the chassis; for this test I used a modern 8 ohm 5 watt speaker clipped to the wires from the output transformer)
Turned on the radio, set at low volume, brought it up slowly to 60 - 70%. Dim bulb had a very dim glow and soon I hear a little hum coming through the speaker. Adjusted the tuner and I was picking up stations!
And the clock was running too!
So I continued listening and turning the tuner and then the radio growled and just started playing hum and static, no stations anywhere on the dial, just popping noise at various places. The noise changes loudness when I adjust the volume knob.
The dim bulb stayed dim when this happened. No smoke or burning smell emitted.
So now I start trouble shooting.
I'm going to look under the chassis for signs of problems, and run the tubes through my tester... did not do this with the new tubes when I got them and probably I should have.
I'd appreciate any guidance or suggestions you can give me in addressing this problem...
Thanks
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 2:01 am 
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Jim,

Sounds like progress, which is good, but here’s the bad. GE’s made between 1951 and 1966 are very prone to SMD (silver mica disease) requiring the IF transformers to be carefully disassembled and repaired.

You may have other issues at hand, but this will be a very likely affliction.


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 02, 2020 11:32 am 
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Joined: Jul Wed 31, 2019 8:36 pm
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Thanks for the reply, Dr. Radio
FWIW, I looked over the tubes and components on the chassis, finding no obvious signs of trouble; then I powered it up again. From a cold start, its behavior was almost identical... starting with pulling in stations just fine, then (a little faster this time) it started making noise again. This time I did notice that the onset of static was a little faster and I could just barely hear stations very faintly "under" the static.
The static also sounded more "crashy" this time, which made me think of silver mica, too.
Here's my chance to learn how to fix that!


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 05, 2020 2:34 am 
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Hello, I've been looking into fixing (or replacing) the IF cans in this GE 557 clock radio.
I'm a newbie and I'm a little puzzled.
I'm trying to learn what value capacitors I should use to replace ones in the cans.
The GE part numbers are RTL-143 for the first IF can (T2), and RTL-143 for the second (T3).
Here is the part of the schematic that shows the transformers:
Image
I learned in another thread on this board that fixing an RTL-143 will require caps of 110 pF value.
I see the "110" on the schematic there, so that makes sense. And since I see a "75" in T3 I would assume that the value for RTL-163 should be 75 pF.
Here's what confuses me... on ePay I see an ad (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Radio-TV-Parts-Coils-IF-RF-Transformers-Chokes-Choice-RCA-Miller-/132907707213) for a replacement IF cans (stock # 16-6767) that are supposed to be an "Exact Replacement for GE RTL-143 & RTL-163"
If RTL-143 and RTL-163 have different values for the capacitors, how can any one transformer be used to replace BOTH of them?
I'm hoping somebody can help me out with this.
Thanks very much
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 05, 2020 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 10, 2019 3:48 am
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Check out some of the videos on youtube, it will show the rebuild of an IF transformer. Basically, the if transformer can gets removed form the chassis, the can is opened and the internals removed, generally the silver mica is in the base. You must get access to it, and carefully remove the mica with tweezer. DO NOT damage the tiny wires in the enclosure. New mica caps can be soldered to the pins on the IF transformer below the base. The schematic calls for 2-110pf caps for the one can, and 2-75pf caps for the other. You can buy mica caps with these values from many suppliers like digikey, justradios.com, etc...


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 05, 2020 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Jul Wed 31, 2019 8:36 pm
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Location: Northern Delaware 19803
Thanks Codepug, I've ordered caps from justradios.
I'm using this as my main guide for the repair project: http://oldradio.ca/radio/Tech/IFmica/IFmica.html
Have to get a hold of a good magnifier too so I can see what I'm doing!
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 06, 2020 12:57 am 
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That looks like a good reference. GE had a stretch of radios that develop silver mica disease, in fact i have one now that i will be repairing soon. The images from your link will be very similar to your radio. You can place the caps inside the can, or just mount them to the pins below the chassis after the can is in place.

Don’t overheat the pins on the if transformers, otherwise the plastic housing will melt and you’ll have a headache on your hands. Many people cut the leads and remove the can, and then work on removing the remaining wire hooks on their bench. Trim the wires as best possible and use solder braid and a careful hot iron to desolder. Just try to avoid holding the iron on the pins too long.

When you remove the cans, do not turn the cores. Hopefully, when you replace the caps, your radio will be close to aligned. After you complete your project, you may want to align your radio, unless of course you are satisfied with it. Again, cant beat youtube videos on the subject of silver mica disease and alignment. And, of course antiqueradio.com forum is the best.

Oh, If you choose to drill out the rivet at the base of the can, be aware that it could spin. A dremel with a cone shaped grinder wheel could be used to grind away the lip of the rivet, and then push it through.

Also, get yourself a pair of dollar store cheaters for a magnifed view. I try them on in the store and get the pair that gives good reasonable magnification. Works pretty good when working hands free on small items.


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 06, 2020 2:16 am 
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You’re comparing apples to oranges.

The propriety GE IF cans aren’t built the same as the Automatic Mfg. / MillerK-Tran style. There is no rivet. The links provided aren’t GE style units.

There are some GE models where I’ve seen them using the industry common Automatic units, the real troublesome units are the GE made ones used in their radios from 1951 to 1966.


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 06, 2020 2:26 am 
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Here’s a good link to read thru where I posted some internals as well as the original GE patent info:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=341620&p=2866327#p2866327


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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 06, 2020 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 10, 2019 3:48 am
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Just for a reference, from my 1951 ge clock radio
Labeled at the base as Automatic


Attachments:
0A77AB22-E41B-47B4-95AD-DE98E8E293FC.jpeg
0A77AB22-E41B-47B4-95AD-DE98E8E293FC.jpeg [ 561.63 KiB | Viewed 1314 times ]
E402B18B-60F0-4B35-A6F9-BD5F85C1F4BA.jpeg
E402B18B-60F0-4B35-A6F9-BD5F85C1F4BA.jpeg [ 526.77 KiB | Viewed 1314 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Model number for GE clock radio?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 06, 2020 7:26 pm 
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Codepug wrote:
Just for a reference, from my 1951 ge clock radio
Labeled at the base as Automatic


Yup. Some GE’s did use the common style as I mentioned earlier...

But the original poster’s are proprietary GE units, so the construction isn’t the same and rework will be different.


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