Forums :: Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Oct Tue 15, 2019 12:07 am


All times are UTC [ DST ]





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 18 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 1:28 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Picked up a nice RCA-8516 today. Includes the original manual and speaker. Notes in the manual indicate it was bought in 1962 from a dealer in East Rutherford NJ.

There doesn't seem to be much info on the web about these radios - any info / history would be appreciated.

I had a few otrher radios on the shelf to work on but I think this one may jump to the front of the line.

Tom
W3TA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 1:43 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 435
Location: Gulfport, MS
thoyer wrote:
Picked up a nice RCA-8516 today. Includes the original manual and speaker. Notes in the manual indicate it was bought in 1962 from a dealer in East Rutherford NJ.

There doesn't seem to be much info on the web about these radios - any info / history would be appreciated.

I had a few otrher radios on the shelf to work on but I think this one may jump to the front of the line.

Tom
W3TA


Lots of info here: viewtopic.php?t=142439

_________________
Les Locklear
Gulfport, MS.
Dx'ing Since '57


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Sat 27, 2018 3:43 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 9137
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Hi, Tom

That is a very nice receiver, and is fairly rare. They were intended for commercial use in ship radio rooms, and were very expensive. Besides being electrically stable, they are also very rugged. They were designed to run on 120 volts AC or DC, as many older ships had DC generators. There was an external power supply available, which supplied DC to the radio from an AC line.

Mine didn't need much work to get it going; the main thing that I had to do was replacement of the selenium rectifier with a common silicon diode. I do have the manual, if you need anything copied. My set was one of the prototypes, and did not come with the AC supply, so I have it plugged into an isolation transformer. It does have some hum when operating this way; most noticeable with headphones. Someday, I will rig up a DC supply for it; I already have the transformer.

When you check the tubes, don't overlook the ones under the shield box over the tuning capacitor on the left. The band selector rotates two switch assemblies, which are joined by a roller chain. Go easy with it; on mine, the bead chain which drives the dial drum likes to jump a tooth or two on the sprocket if you go too fast. As my set is a prototype, they may have corrected that problem in production radios.

These radios were designed and built at the RCA Meadowlands plant, which was just south of Pittsburgh. One of my fellow PARS members knew the principal design engineer on that set!

Let me know if you have any trouble with the set, and I will be glad to help.

_________________
Tim KA3JRT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Mon 29, 2018 1:26 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Tim Tress wrote:
Hi, Tom

That is a very nice receiver, and is fairly rare. They were intended for commercial use in ship radio rooms, and were very expensive. Besides being electrically stable, they are also very rugged. They were designed to run on 120 volts AC or DC, as many older ships had DC generators. There was an external power supply available, which supplied DC to the radio from an AC line.

Mine didn't need much work to get it going; the main thing that I had to do was replacement of the selenium rectifier with a common silicon diode. I do have the manual, if you need anything copied. My set was one of the prototypes, and did not come with the AC supply, so I have it plugged into an isolation transformer. It does have some hum when operating this way; most noticeable with headphones. Someday, I will rig up a DC supply for it; I already have the transformer.

When you check the tubes, don't overlook the ones under the shield box over the tuning capacitor on the left. The band selector rotates two switch assemblies, which are joined by a roller chain. Go easy with it; on mine, the bead chain which drives the dial drum likes to jump a tooth or two on the sprocket if you go too fast. As my set is a prototype, they may have corrected that problem in production radios.

These radios were designed and built at the RCA Meadowlands plant, which was just south of Pittsburgh. One of my fellow PARS members knew the principal design engineer on that set!

Let me know if you have any trouble with the set, and I will be glad to help.


Tim, Did you receive the email I sent you??

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Mon 29, 2018 4:37 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: May Sun 22, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Dallas,TX
How about some pictures?

_________________
KE5YTV


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Mon 29, 2018 5:35 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Mike Bracey wrote:
How about some pictures?



I'll get some up tonight

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Mon 29, 2018 10:14 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 9137
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
I didn't get your email, Tom. Try sending me a PM.

_________________
Tim KA3JRT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Tue 30, 2018 1:31 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Mike Bracey wrote:
How about some pictures?


Easier to upload to my website then trying to resize them to show here.

http://www.thdesignsinc.com/AR-8516.html

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Tue 30, 2018 2:23 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2793
Location: Mt. Airy, Maryland
Would love to see pics of the cabinet and matching speaker. I have an 8516 but have no idea what the speaker is supposed to look like.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Tue 30, 2018 7:39 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
I scanned in the original manual and will submit it to BAMA since they don't have one listed. If you want one, email or PM me. File is too large to attach to a post

Tom
W3TA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Tue 30, 2018 8:05 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: May Sun 22, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Dallas,TX
Tom,

What a beautiful receiver. I'm envious. :D

_________________
KE5YTV


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Wed 31, 2018 1:11 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Mike Bracey wrote:
Tom,

What a beautiful receiver. I'm envious. :D


Thanks.

I think this one is quickly becoming my favorite in the collection. The real problem becomes once I get it working, I don't have any place in the shack to put it............. I'll make room somewhere.

Hopefully I can get it working later this week. Went through the tubes last night and all check good. I found it interesting that all but one were RCA tubes. Maybe the originals....?

Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Oct Wed 31, 2018 1:18 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
w3jn wrote:
Would love to see pics of the cabinet and matching speaker. I have an 8516 but have no idea what the speaker is supposed to look like.


Here is the speaker. I'll get some pics of the cabinet later.


Attachments:
speaker.JPG
speaker.JPG [ 46.54 KiB | Viewed 1220 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Nov Thu 01, 2018 1:11 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Tim Tress wrote:
I didn't get your email, Tom. Try sending me a PM.



Tim,

Doesn't look like PM or emails are getting through. Please email me directly at thoyer1@verizon.net.

Thanks,
Tom


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Nov Thu 01, 2018 1:27 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3663
Location: Monterey California USA
That is the same speaker RCA used on their 2-way FM mobile radios in the 1950-1955 period. Of course even those radios are rare today.

_________________
WB6NVH
California Highway Patrol Radio
Bell System Mobile Telephone History
http://www.wb6nvh.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Nov Fri 02, 2018 1:01 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2793
Location: Mt. Airy, Maryland
thoyer wrote:
w3jn wrote:
Would love to see pics of the cabinet and matching speaker. I have an 8516 but have no idea what the speaker is supposed to look like.


Here is the speaker. I'll get some pics of the cabinet later.


Thanks for that! Need to keep an eye peeled for one I guess.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Nov Tue 06, 2018 7:34 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Warminster, PA
Ok, so I have the radio up and running. Sensitivity is down on the upper bands, AM broadcast band works well.

Found that I couldn't run directly off of the AC main as it would trip the GFCI outlet supplying AC to the bench. Figured it was just leaky caps on the AC input so I removed them - same problem. I had this issue with an R390A a while back and fixed that by installing a new AC filter module in place of the original. No filter module in this radio.

I rebuilt the 115 VDC power supply that came with the radio and it runs just fine with a DC input. I'm thinking somewhere further down the line there is another cap that is leaky causing the GFCI issue, I just haven't found it yet.

Did a rough alignment on the 455kc circuit last night and that seemed to go well. Tonight I'll fine tune that and move on to the next stage.

One other thing I have noticed is that there is a big drop in perceived sensitivity when operating with the mechanical filter. The 6kc setting works fine but below that a Collins mechanical filter is switched in.

One thing at a time............

Tom

PS: Voltages and resistances all seem within reason. They don't always agree with the table in the manual but when you look at the schematic the readings I'm seeing make sense. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen one of those tables with incorrect values.......


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: RCA AR-8516 New to the shack
PostPosted: Nov Wed 07, 2018 1:09 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 9137
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Tom, I have sent you an email.

I slogged through the entire alignment procedure on my 8516, and it made a big difference. I wound up using WWV to set the VFO endpoints, going back and forth between two bands. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that all of the shields and covers must be in place, or the radio will be full of "birdies".

_________________
Tim KA3JRT


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 18 posts ]  Moderator: Sandy

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Superretrodyne and 9 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  




























Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB