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 Post subject: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Tue 10, 2021 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Oct Wed 19, 2016 4:02 am
Posts: 31
I recently acquired a very nice General Electric console, that has Porta-Fi capability "built in". The model number of the console is AM684XWD. It is one of those the can wall mount, or sit on a table/counter, not a floor model, and has AM/FM, Garrard (I think) turntable, and even a B&W TV! This unit says on the back that it has an AC power outlet for SP30 Home Music Distribution Transmitter. I was fortunate enough to locate a transmitter, (a Model SP70, channel B) and a Porta-fi speaker (Model SP40). The AC transmitter's power outlet does not fit the power outlet on the stereo, so I plugged it into a wall outlet, and connected the transmitter to the console's RCA jacks. I plugged the speaker into an outlet in a separate room, and did not receive anything but static on the speaker. I'm not sure what the problem is. I guess it could be that the transmitter MUST be connected to the AC outlet on the console, or, that the newer models of Transmitter/speakers are not compatible with the older console. There is very little info that I could find on the internet about this model. There was one site where a similar console was restored, and the gentleman who did the restoration, retro-fitted the AC plug on the transmitter to match the AC power outlet on the console.

http://www.antiqueradio.com/Jun10_Schoo ... ation.html

I guess I could give that a try, but thought I would start here to see if anyone has any further guidance, or any additional information on this unit and the porta fi connectivity. I do not have any of the manuals for the console, but it works GREAT! Any help you can offer to get the porta-fi operational is welcome and appreciated!

Cheers,
David


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 Post subject: Re: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Tue 10, 2021 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 27873
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Your transmitter is marked channel "B" but what channel is the speaker receiver set to? If they don't match, it has no chance of working.

The system operates on a carrier current concept, channel "A" which was the standard transmitter frequency is typically 250 KHz and channel "B" would be 300KHz FM.

The signal is sent through the AC power line, but should work OK when plugged in anywhere in the same house although some people have reported issues if the transmitter location is on the opposite side of the local 220 power line from the receiver location.

If you have a longwave receiver, you should be able to pick up the transmitter carrier somewhere in the vicinity of 300 KHz to verify that it actually is functional. You'll probably need to place the longwave receiver's antenna directly next to the power cord of the transmitter to accomplish this.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 12:26 am 
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Joined: Oct Wed 19, 2016 4:02 am
Posts: 31
Appreciate the quick response, Dennis, and the info. Both the transmitter and the speaker are "Channel B", 300KHz. I do have a longwave receiver (Zenith Transoceanic), and when I placed the antenna next to the transmitters power cord, I did not pull in a signal at 300KHz. I tried it at 250 KHz as well, just to be thorough, and also received no signal. Dead transmitter? Any other ideas I might try?


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 Post subject: Re: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 2:34 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 27873
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Is your transmitter solid state, or does it use 3 tubes? The schematic for the basic tube unit is in the back of some older GE tube manuals, but I've never seen the schematic for the solid state versions.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Wed 11, 2021 4:04 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 23, 2019 5:52 pm
Posts: 622
All the receivers, transmitters (tube or transistor) have a one-quarter amp fuse in line with the input/output condensor. I've had these fuses just disintegrate due to old age. No power supply voltages are affected, just no sound.


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 Post subject: Re: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 12:20 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 03, 2009 11:12 pm
Posts: 2008
Location: Great Bend KS
That is a nice unit! Never seen one like that, especially with a tv! I'm jealous!


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 Post subject: Re: How do I get the GE Porta-fi working
PostPosted: Aug Fri 13, 2021 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 13307
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
SteveT wrote:
That is a nice unit! Never seen one like that, especially with a tv! I'm jealous!

I'll bet that was the bees' knees back in its day! Cool.

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