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 Post subject: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 30, 2020 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sep Wed 30, 2020 1:00 am
Posts: 21
Hello all. Been lurking for several weeks, trying to absorb all this glorious info, but thought I'd take a second to say HI, introduce my project and get some feedback.

Happened to find this moldering assembly of parts on craigslist. Fresh out of a barn or swampy basement by the looks. Obviously some sort of old three dialer from the first quarter of the 1900's(...at least in design) - but I'm a bit stumped beyond that.

The construction is a bit of a mix-n-match...some mildly ornate dials on the front, but they are bolted to a simple piece of bakelite(?) and screwed to a wood chassis roughly staked together with some small nails. No manufacturers name anywhere and no suggestion (empty screw / nail holes, 'ghost' patterns from long ago removed parts, etc) there was ever any more to the 'case'. Also, no components under the chassis - just point-to-point runs of wire. The (very) small assortment of resistors, capacitors and coils are all laid out on the top side of the chassis. Sort of WYSIWYG.

Possibly parts scavenged from a different radio with a bad case and assembled here? Some sort of kit radio and the original owner just needed a few bits of wood to hold the parts? 4H project from years gone by? I did happen to find one example of similar front dials, but unfortunately the gent doesn't mention any manufacturer name - and most of the components of his radio seem different than mine.

[link is too spammy for a new user] But if you search youtube for "1927 Neutrodyne Local And DX" and run across an Aussie chap, that will be the one.

The set runs on 5 RCA UX-201-A tubes and has some A+, A-, B+, B- markings scratched by the binding posts, so this would have been battery powered for at least some of its life. Beyond this, I don't know much more.

As far as what to do with it? I always enjoy a nice bit of patina on an antique, but it would also be nice to have something were I'm not worried to get tetanus by looking at it too long. Bare minimum, seems like it's going to need heavy de-dusting, rewiring, likely the old caps are no good, cleaning of all the variable pots. Will have to check the tubes, coils, etc. Would like to give it a slightly better case. Definitely still open to view all the components when they (hopefully!) work again. But also something that would be nice to display.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Would be great to hear feedback!

KC


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 30, 2020 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10863
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Most likely a "homebrew", from around 1926. There were many different plans and kits of parts available at the time. There were many of those five tube, three dial sets around.

To operate it, you will need to come up with a power supply, such as the ARBE; that radio was originally run from batteries. It also needs headphones or a horn speaker, and a decent antenna.

The biggest issue will be open audio transformers, and possible loose connections.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 30, 2020 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Nov Tue 14, 2017 5:09 am
Posts: 4110
Location: Austin, Texas
It does look very home brew. If that Hegehog audio transformer is good, someone will probably trade you a pair of good transformers for it.
The tuning caps are interesting. They are probably straight line frequency caps or close to it. Usually the radio stations get crowded together near the high frequency end of the dial. Those caps keep the frequencies spread out more evenly over the dial.

Edit: I could be wrong but those metal case "bathtub" capacitors look like later vintage than 1926. I thought they were used mid 30's and later.

Jay


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 30, 2020 10:15 pm 
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Location: Carmel, Indiana
That just screams "HOMEBREW" from around 1925 to 1928. I'm guessing 1926.

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www.indianaradios.com


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 30, 2020 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
The set that you mentioned in the really annoying video has four-dials!

Image

Are you in Australia too?
Greg.


Edit: okay... you're from Kansas. lol


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 01, 2020 3:23 am 
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Joined: Sep Wed 30, 2020 1:00 am
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the input! @egg - yes, four dials on that radio, three on mine - I was more using it as a reference because the dials and front looked similar, not saying they were exactly the same radio. :D Possibly that whole dial / variable cap assembly was just something you could buy back then?

So given this is a homebrew set based on 20's and possibly '30s era parts, that gives me some idea of what to do for a path forward. I definitely want to get some tunes out of the set, but also want to have something worthy of setting out when company comes over - assuming that will happen at some post-covid point!

But I also want to pay homage to the original craftsperson - who ever that was so long ago. From the computer side, I know what it is like to choose a bunch of components, eagerly wire and hook everything together, flipping the switch for the first time (then usually figuring out where and why smoke is coming out) - but eventually getting everything working and getting that sense of accomplishment. I can only imagine this person would have felt the same with the first crackles of sound coming through the speakers.

Well, off to take some more photos, documentation, and checking. So far, the only things which seem to be fully conducting are the capacitors. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 01, 2020 11:48 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
Posts: 22785
Location: Dayton Ohio
The dials were available for anyone to use on their radio project. Some manufacturers used them too.

These particular ones were manufactured by Kurz-Kasch of Dayton Ohio. They were a leading Bakelite molding company and made many knobs and dials for radios.

I always thought they were unusual looking with that huge bulge in the center.

-Steve

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Hello, whatzit, and WWYD ?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 01, 2020 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10863
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Welcome to the hobby! It's fascinating, and addictive.

{A moderator added: Locked because another thread has been started about the same radio.

https://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/vi ... 1&t=385246 }

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Tim KA3JRT


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