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 Post subject: Sony TFM-8100W question
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2019 4:22 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 11, 2016 10:39 pm
Posts: 22
I recently inherited a Sony TFM-8100W from a relative who had passed away. AM/FW/ and fixed weather receiver with crystal. I use it to listen to FM. I love the heft and feel of this beautifully designed and manufactured piece of gear. It also has VHF weather service, but that is NOT tunable. It is a fixed 162.55 crystal control and it doesn't not seem to be working.

The tuning dial is a slide rule and although I have not been able to confirm this it appears that there is a tiny LED on the dial cursor. It does not light up ever, no matter how strong the signal.

I opened it up and the interior is absolutely crammed with circuit board and parts. Coils, transformers, phenolic circuit board. Great example of what it took in the day to make a real receiver.

OK, my point. . .when I opened it up I can see no way of getting to the dial that is on the other side of the circuit board without taking a chance at destroying the radio. And I'm NOT a rookie. For several years around the time this radio came out I put myself thru college by working in several TV/Radio Repair shops (remember them?) and even went thru one training session with Sony. Well, that was on the brand new "Trinitron" color TVs.

Question:

Is the little translucent dot on the tuning dial actually an LED that shows signal strength? If so, has anyone ever had one go out and has anyone ever replaced the darn thing. It also has a Dial Lite button and that does work.

One note on this radio. For all the discrete parts in it this thing runs on batteries FOREVER. It takes three C cells. I have been running it on 3 AA Ni-MH cells in C adapters. It runs for days and days without a recharge and it will pump out nice clean audio and even has respectable Bass and a Tone control.

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 Post subject: Re: Sony TFM-8100W question
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2019 5:02 am 
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Joined: Sep Fri 07, 2007 2:27 am
Posts: 5744
Location: Grand Chute, Wisconsin
WayneM wrote:
OK, my point. . .when I opened it up I can see no way of getting to the dial that is on the other side of the circuit board without taking a chance at destroying the radio.


Disassembly instructions: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ybun2ywghrrh ... 5.png?dl=0" -="window.open(this.href);return false;

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 Post subject: Re: Sony TFM-8100W question
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I agree with everything Wayne said about this unusually well-constructed radio. Its cabinet is designed to be waterproof with rubber seals associated with all of the knobs and switches as well as between the cabinet sections. The translucent "dot" is, indeed, an LED that shows signal strength. But didn't need to access it since it works OK in my set.

Mine is the "-WA" version which has variable tuning of the weather band. There is a thumbwheel behind a waterproof door on the back (which also accesses the earphone, record output, and external power jacks) that is used for tuning the weather band. Another hidden feature is that there is a local-distant switch for the FM band which is part of the WB-FM-AM band switch. Switch to WB then back to FM engages the "distant" mode. Switch to AM then back to FM for the "local" mode. Whoda thunk it?

I use mine as a bathroom radio. Waterproof? Maybe, but I still wouldn't dunk it into the bathtub.

Attachment:
File comment: courtesy: radiomuseum.org
Sony TFM-8100W.JPG
Sony TFM-8100W.JPG [ 238.12 KiB | Viewed 82 times ]


Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Sony TFM-8100W question
PostPosted: Mar Fri 15, 2019 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 11, 2016 10:39 pm
Posts: 22
Hey Dave, thanks for confirming that is an LED. BTW, that shot of an 8100 is gorgeous! (Slight tone of envy :-) Mine has a bit more wear and tear, but at least no bullet holes. My late brother in law carried this in a patrol car as an Alaska State Trooper. Does the LED work on all the bands?

I didn't know of the variable tuning Weather model. Man, this thing is so packed inside I wonder where the extra circuits were wedged in. I don't know if the Serial# gives any clue to production, but mine is 36206.

I was trying to remember why they had manual AFC and I think it was because when these came out the circuits tended to drift with the ambient temperature, especially in the HF bands.

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Wayne Munn


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 Post subject: Re: Sony TFM-8100W question
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2019 1:22 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 20189
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
The radio shown is a picture someone uploaded to Radiomuseum.com and is not mine. You are probably correct about the need for AFC but, because the FM section is very sensitive and selective, I'm glad they provided the option of turning it off. That way, weak stations can be more easily separated from the strong ones. The AM section is no slouch either and the WB works great, too. The radio appears ready for combat duty.

The LED tuning indicator does indicate proper tuning and signal strength on all bands. I found my radio at an estate sale for $5.00. All it really needed was controls, switches, cabinet, and battery connections cleaned. I agree that batteries do last a long time in this radio. Where is the serial number shown? I can't find it on the outside of the cabinet and don't feel like taking it apart to look for it on the inside. But I suspect that, being the "WA" version, it is somewhat later than yours.

Dave


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