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 Post subject: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2023 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Took this back out to the shop to try another go at it. Picked it up at a local junk shop for $15 some months ago, it was missing a couple tubes and power cord, broken dial cord and was dirty dirty dirty :lol:. Anyway, I went through the usual process of checking all transformer coils, and loop antenna for continuity and all checked good, checked filaments on existing tubes and replaced the missing ones, installed new power cord and test fired it on isolation transformer & Dim-Bulb. Good dim-bulb, all tubes lit and got a steady hum from speaker, volume control and tone control both worked as well as AM FM Ph selector, but no reception across the dial on either AM or FM, and the steady hum remained constant.

I changed out the Electrolytic filter caps, which did nothing to improve the reception or eliminate the steady hum. I set up a Second radio test using an old working Motorola AM I have in the shop. I tuned the Motorola to a quiet spot about mid-dial with the volume quite high, and with the Sparton volume turned all the way down & setting within 12 inches of the Motorola, I heard absolutely Nothing from the Motorola speaker while slowly advancing up the dial of the Sparton and back down. I reversed the radio Set-up and set the Sparton to about Mid-dial with the volume up while the Motorola volume down was dial up then down, Nothing came from the Sparton speaker except the constant hum.

I have installed new grill cloth and refinished the cabinet, and replaced the broken dial cord. Those "Mexican Hat" dial knobs are cool and even though warped a bit, I fear would be impossible to replace.

With help, I am really hoping to get this one back working, as it has a power transformer which makes it a perfect candidate to Add Bluetooth as an option to the working AM/FM, using a small selector switch. I of course will be seeking some step by step guidance on that process also :lol:.


Any help, thoughts, ideas, or direction would be very much appreciated as always!


:) Steve


Attachments:
Sparton 121 Schematic.jpg
Sparton 121 Schematic.jpg [ 540.31 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]
Sparton 121 Parts List 2.jpg
Sparton 121 Parts List 2.jpg [ 543.66 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]
Sparton 121 Parts List & Dial String Diagram.jpg
Sparton 121 Parts List & Dial String Diagram.jpg [ 426.5 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]
1948 Sparton 121 AMFM Before.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 AMFM Before.jpg [ 692.06 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]
1948 Sparton Model 121 Front Angled View.jpg
1948 Sparton Model 121 Front Angled View.jpg [ 366.74 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]
1948 Sparton 121 Non Working.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 Non Working.jpg [ 518.33 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]


Last edited by spfenn on Jan Fri 13, 2023 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2023 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 12:00 am
Posts: 605
Location: Spring Grove, IL, USA
Start by checking voltages around the 6be6 tube. Particularly pins 5 and 6 should have significant high voltage. Your images are not clear enough for me to tell if you have any voltage information to reference. But, it should be 100 v plus on those two pins.
Edit: you may want to edit your first post which confusingly references an Airline radio a few times...

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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Fri 13, 2023 6:32 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Good evening, thanks for your reply. I did go back and edit my original post to say Sparton, brain fog I guess :lol:. I've attached a better schematic with the voltages & resistances as well as the voltages I measured earlier today. I have to take these schematics with a grain of salt, as I've found they do differ in many circuit connections and voltages vary a bit. The earlier schematic was printed out of my Riders program and this latest schematic with the voltage & resistances is from the Sams Photo Facts I paid for.

On the Riders for example one circuit connects from the T3 transformer FM Grid pin to Pin 5 Diode on 6AT6, but on the Sams that same connection from the T3 FM Grid routes to Pin 2 on 6AL5. I have encountered this issue before and went to the extent of tracing & recording as best I could every tube, pin by pin, wire by wire and noting any differences to the 2 sets of schematics :roll: .

The resistance measures were also a mixed bag. Most of the tubes pins 5 & 6 were impossible to measure because the resistance would continue gaining on the meter until it read O.L. :? This was the case on most any spec resistance 250k & above on all the tubes :? Any idea what would cause the resistance to keep ticking up? I use a DMM.
By the way, Yes I have changed all tubes out with tested, known to be good tubes, except for the 7F8 which I do not currently have in supply.

Gonna have to pick it up tomorrow, as it is late and my brain is mush :D


Thanks, Steve


Attachments:
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic with Voltage & Resistance Values.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic with Voltage & Resistance Values.jpg [ 394.96 KiB | Viewed 1032 times ]
Current Voltage Readings.jpg
Current Voltage Readings.jpg [ 299.36 KiB | Viewed 1032 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Sat 14, 2023 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
I have been busy again going thru each circuit connection Tube pin by Tube pin and wire by wire and comparing what I see physically to both the Riders & Sams schematics. So far, the Riders is "Spot On" to what I have found, but the Sams does indeed omit components & connection points, at least from what I can tell.

Anyway, as denoted clearly on the Riders schematic, are these references to "C&R unit"(capacitor &resistor combined). I have never encountered these before and do not know how to measure if they are OOT or not. I only have a DMM for resistance measurement, but nothing for measuring a capacitor. but these are combined, so how would that work? The reason I ask is that I have High voltages on several tubes and I wondered if bad resistors might be a contributing factor.

Could the high voltages be causing the faint steady hum across the dial and No oscillation on AM or FM? All transformers & coils show continuity/resistance as well as does the loop antenna, si I have found no opens there.

There are quite a few of these C&R units and I was hoping to not have to replace them unless they were OOT. I did separate the C&R unit attached to 6V^ pins 5 & 6, hoping to study and learn a bit. I replaced the unit with individual C35 & R26 as shown in attached pics. The White Cylinders are the C&R units referred to and clearly denoted on the Riders schematic, but not on the Sams.


Thanks for any help, ideas or suggestions,

Steve


Attachments:
6V6 Replaced C&R unit.jpg
6V6 Replaced C&R unit.jpg [ 501.98 KiB | Viewed 961 times ]
Replaced C&R unit with standard Cap & Resistor on 6V6.jpg
Replaced C&R unit with standard Cap & Resistor on 6V6.jpg [ 3.81 MiB | Viewed 961 times ]
1948 Sparton 121 amfm.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 amfm.jpg [ 795.49 KiB | Viewed 961 times ]
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic2.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic2.jpg [ 535.24 KiB | Viewed 961 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2023 4:46 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Well I completed a thorough Trace & Match of all tube pins and circuit wiring again, and it matched identically to the Riders Schematic I printed off of Radio Museum. The Sams Photofact I purchased, while cleanly drawn, was more difficult to follow and did not have many of the components represented in some of the circuits. Anyway, I could not find anything amiss as far as the circuit wiring and there was no wiring contacting anything it shouldn't.

I have confirmed all tubes are correct and in the proper positions, I have replaced all tubes except the 7F8 FM Mixer tube, as I did not have one on hand, but have one coming. I have confirmed that I have 118VAC on the power cord coming into the radio and AC & DC voltages on the 5Y3 Rectifier tube though just a bit high do not jump out at me. I confirmed that I have the 4 Electrolytic filters positive & negative connected correctly and to the correct points, but I will add here, that I installed one 450v 47uf for one of the 40uf, and a 350v 40uf as I did not have a second 450v as listed in the schematic in my supply, also a 160V 10uf, as I did not have a 300V as listed in the schematic in my supply, and finally I installed a 160V 50uf as I did not have a 50V in my supply. I wondered if any of these may impact the issue with No Oscillation or Reception or very High DC voltages on many of the tubes?

I again checked & confirmed continuity on all coils & windings, antenna, & output transformer as well as across the speaker itself.
I have working volume & tone and get an active hum & pop from the speaker when touching certain pins as well as when the AM/FM/Phono selector switch is turned.

I poked around with a wooden pencil and got popping & crackling from the 6AT6 tube base and also when I jiggled the tube around. The tube was very loose in the base and I had no luck in trying to pinch the metal tube inserts together a bit, so I took pictures and made notes of the pin connections and unsoldered all connections and removed the tube base from the chassis. The couple of old parts chassis I have had completely different style 7 pin tube bases, so I took some pics and opened a WTB on the forum classifieds. Hopefully someone has an old junk chassis with a couple of good 7 pin tube bases that match what I need :roll: .

I don't know if possibly bad connection on the 6AT6 would have caused the High voltages on other tubes or missing negative voltages on 6BE6 and thus the No oscillation/reception issue?
Still hoping some of the more experienced gents on the forum might have an idea or two, cause I feel I'm at a point that I'm just grasping at straws :?


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2023 5:30 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 01, 2019 3:42 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: St. Louis, MO
spfenn wrote:
The couple of old parts chassis I have had completely different style 7 pin tube bases, so I took some pics and opened a WTB on the forum classifieds. Hopefully someone has an old junk chassis with a couple of good 7 pin tube bases that match what I need :roll: .


You don't have to buy old stock for a 7 pin tube socket. New ones are still available today, in several different styles.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2023 7:33 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Thanks for the info!


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2023 8:53 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 01, 2019 3:42 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: St. Louis, MO
No problem. Keep in mind that the pins on your new socket may not line up with the old one. This can cause issues with wires underneath not reaching as far as they need to.

If you have enough little jumper cables, you can test your 6AT6 tube now out of socket to see if it is the problem while you're waiting on shipping. It might not even be the socket, but rather was a cold solder joint on the bottom of the socket instead of the pin contacts.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 16, 2023 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Thanks again for the idea :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2023 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Well I got the new 7 pin ceramic tube base for the 6AT6 Tube installed and all connections re-soldered and verified to schematic. The only issue I encountered with these ceramic tube bases is that they Crack very easily, as I found out when I inserted a tube into one when they first arrived, so I took extra care in straightening tube pins and inserting it a bit slower into the installed base. The tube sets solidly in place now and the low faint constant hum from the speaker is almost unnoticeable.

I wished I could say that it took care of the extremely High voltages throughout the radio and the inoperative Oscillator. I have went over & over everything I did, as well as all of the circuitry connections and found nothing amiss, and reposted regularly. But the issues still remain and I do not have any idea what to pursue from here :? . It evidently has even the much more experienced minds on the forum perplexed as well, as there has been none of the usual input from so many :(


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 23, 2023 2:06 am 
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Location: Cromwell, Ct 06416
I think the high DC voltages are a result of higher line voltage and a high impedance voltmeter. They are not too high, and can be dealt with once the radio is working.

I noticed that one of the 6BA6 tubes has + 1.4V on the grid pin 1. If this is in fact a positive voltage, then that’s not good. It could mean silver mica disease with the slug tuned IF transformer. Then you have to decide how far you want to go.

Also, the 6AL5 tube has low filament voltage. That tube will not work properly, so that has to be fixed. The good thing is that it’s not used for AM.

To get AM working, I’d concentrate around the 6BE6, bandswitch, and any resistors in the area. I’d also verify that bad 6BA6 voltage reading. Check the cathode resistors.

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People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Mon 23, 2023 4:19 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Thanks for jumping in on this Tony. I will do another round of Voltages, as I replaced several of the tubes and I believe AL5 Pin 2 was Up around the 6.2vac mark after replacing that tube. Anyway, I'll repost those results tomorrow, and also do a bit more digging around that BE6 as suggested!

The other challenge I face is these C&R units. Measuring the resistors is not a problem, however, most of these capacitors are in the mmf range and I do not currently have those in supply, nor does my current DMM measure a capacitor, But I have a small Fluke DMM on order and it will have the setting to read capacitance. I really did not want to start changing the combination C&R units out if they checked good.

Again, much appreciated! :D


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Tue 24, 2023 3:13 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
Posts: 568
Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
I measured all resistors that I could that are connecting to BE6 and replaced 2 that were +15% OOT. They were actually the coil choke resistors R31 & R32 on pins 1 & 7. R1 & R6 were in spec..
The most interesting item I found (though I'm not sure it would have mattered), was the 6BA6 IF AMP Tube & the 6BA6 Ratio Detector Driver Tube had both Pin5 wire connections wired different from the schematic. The radio had the 6BA6 IF Amp Pin 5 wire connecting to the primary of T5, but the schematic shows it connecting to Pin C of T3. The 6B6 Ratio DET Driver Pin5 was connected to the T3 Pin C, but the schematic shows it connecting to the primary of T5.

I confirmed each 6BA6 tube by the other pin connections on each tube to make sure I had them correct to the schematic, and rewired both connections to match the schematic.

I've attached the latest round of voltage and resistance measures, after I made the above changes to wiring & resistors. Radio still not working. Some pops & crackles when certain pins touched. I did not do another Second Radio test. You will notice on the chart on the resistance measures, several are marked O.L., those are the ones that I mentioned in an earlier post, that when I go to measure them, the resistance keeps climbing on the meter until it reads O.L. :? I do not know what is causing this or what it means?


Steve


Attachments:
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic with Voltage & Resistance Values.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic with Voltage & Resistance Values.jpg [ 394.96 KiB | Viewed 469 times ]
Latest Voltage & Resistance Readings  1-23-23.png
Latest Voltage & Resistance Readings 1-23-23.png [ 384.43 KiB | Viewed 469 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Wed 25, 2023 12:57 am 
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Location: Cromwell, Ct 06416
Looking at the 6BE6 resistance readings, pin 1 should be 22K to ground, not 22 ohms. If you trace the path to ground, it goes through coil 89, R45 22K, then coil 80 ending at ground. This could be a miss wire if components were changed in that area.

Your grid voltages, pin 1 on the 6BA6 tubes looks better than last time, not sure what happened there, but nothing to look at again for now at least.

When you change bands, do you at least get static? Does the FM band produce white noise even though there are no stations? It would be good to know the IF chain is working.

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People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Wed 25, 2023 6:19 am 
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Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Good evening Tony, I have attached pics of the Riders schematics from Radio Museum to help put us on the same page. I set the Sams photo-fact aside because it omits many of the components detailed on the riders that are physically present on this radio. The Sams does have that Handy Voltage & Resistance table which is why I attached it previously.

Anyway, the 6BE6 Pin1 is indeed wired as you described from the Sams when traced. On the Riders, which again matches this radio exactly, Pin 1 connects to the L5 Choke Coil which utilizes the R31 22ohm resistor. and connects up to the selector switch pin 10, where the R1 22k resistor is also connected, and then connects across to the L2 BC Osc Coil and to Ground.

I took a wooden pencil and poked and tapped around gently and got quite a bit of popping/crackle/snapping from the speaker from several capacitors, resistors and wire connections. I put a dab of fresh solder on my hot soldering iron and touched each solder connection momentarily to freshen the solder joint on several of those components and wires. That eliminated the popping/snapping and crackling when things were again poked and prodded.

I have a steady faint hum on Phono, AM, and FM settings, but not Static or "White Noise" as I understand it. The volume & tone controls are both working, and I get an audible pop from the speaker when I switch the selector between Phono, AM, & FM, or touch certain tube pins. I attempted another Second Radio test with No results, No signal Receiving from, or Transmitting to a second radio. I have Continuity/Resistance across All Coil Windings as well as the Loop Antenna and Speaker Transformer. I have used DeOxit and Contact Cleaner on the Selector Switch and Tube Pin Bases.


Steve


Attachments:
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic2.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 Schematic2.jpg [ 535.24 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]
1948 Sparton 121 Parts List.jpg
1948 Sparton 121 Parts List.jpg [ 542.31 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]
Recapped 1948 Sparton 121.jpg
Recapped 1948 Sparton 121.jpg [ 768.89 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]
6BE6 Pin Connections.jpg
6BE6 Pin Connections.jpg [ 461.06 KiB | Viewed 398 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Wed 25, 2023 10:34 am 
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Two things here.

When I asked about why 6BE6 pin 1 is 22 ohms and not 22K ohms to ground, I may have missed your response. Is this reading verified?

Also, what resistor is the burnt looking ceramic power resistor? That may offer a clew. It’s in the middle of the chassis and looks to connect to an IF transformer.

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People may not remember how fast you did a job, but they will remember how well you did it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Wed 25, 2023 6:14 pm 
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Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Hi again, I apologize for not updating that info on BE6. Yes, the resistance measures 23.7K on Pin 1. That burnt looking large resistor is the 10W 3.5K attached to the 470ohm 2W and running between the C33 10uf & 40uf Ecaps.. The 10W does get extremely Hot, which is why I added wires to lengthen the clearance of the AC lines running over to the On/Off Tone Control switch. I remember that the 10W still measured within 10%, but the 2W 470ohm is around 580ohms. I have to check with a local Electronic supply shop for a 2W and possibly that 10W.. I also have to find a 3mfd 50V Ecap for the C32 connection. I currently have a 10uf 160V in that loop. Also C32 connected between 6V6 Pins 3 & 4 is suppose to be a .002mfd 1000V I currently have a .002mfd 630V connected and don't know what impact that might have on that circuit connection, but will correct that also?

Do you know how I might set up my simple Signal Generator for troubleshooting down through the radio circuits, to try and narrow down and possibly pinpoint what might be impeding the oscillator from operating? I've only used my SG for Alignments, but have heard there is a way to use it for circuit troubleshooting and using the audible tone as an indicator, as I do not have an O-scope or VTVM.

I've also attached a pic of a small bag of what appears to be radial lead capacitors, IDK :? . Not sure how I ended up with these the past couple years, but I wondered since they are so small, are these possibly mmf capacitors, and what would be their voltage?


Attachments:
Small Capacitors  IDK.jpg
Small Capacitors IDK.jpg [ 339.92 KiB | Viewed 365 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Wed 25, 2023 10:13 pm 
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I found this set of charts, https://www.petervis.com/electronics/Ceramic_Disc_Capacitor_Values/Ceramic_Disc_Capacitor_Values.html, there are others around.

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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Thu 26, 2023 3:43 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 04, 2020 4:53 pm
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Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
Thanks for the info on disc caps. I'm still not sure I know how to determine the value of the ones I have. I have attached a pic to help explain. I understand from the chart you shared that the 1st 2 numbers represent the first two digits of the actual value, and a 3rd number would be a multiplier(a 3 = 3 zeros), a letter like J represents a 5%+/- tolerence, and an Underline represents 50/100V. So, in my picture, the top row upper left reads 471J and is underlined so the value is 470Pf 5%+/- 50/100V. What does the KCK represent on those in the top row?

In the bottom row, I'm really confused :? What is the value of a single or double digits, with no multiplier and no letter designation, only underlined which I assume still means 50/100V?
What about the bottom row far right? 101 underlined, is this a 100Pf 50/100V? What about a tolerance?

I've not dealt with this type of small cap before, so I apologize for the rookie questions. Are these considered to be a ceramic disc cap? I am "doing Battle" with a 1948 Sparton that has loads of small cap values (mmf), some are designated as ceramic and others as disk type. Can these be used to replace the ceramic "dogbone style" capacitors?

Please check my math, 10000 mmf = .01mf, 1000mmf = .001mf. If my math is correct, that 470Pf in the example above would equal .00047mf, Correct?


Thanks again,


Steve


Attachments:
Various Small Disc Capacitors.jpg
Various Small Disc Capacitors.jpg [ 343.66 KiB | Viewed 320 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 1948 Sparton 121 AMFM
PostPosted: Jan Thu 26, 2023 4:20 am 
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Location: Lewisburg Tennessee
I Replaced the R22 3.5K 10W power resistor, as well the R23 470ohm 2W that was >15%OOT. Also replaced the C&R unit containing C25 .01mf cap & R15 1Kohm resistor, with an individual cap & resistor. Also Installed a 47uf 450V Ecap to replace the temporary 350V I had used. I still have a 10uf 160V in for C32 ECap, it is suppose to be a 3uf 50V, but I have been unable to find one yet. These changes made no change to the errant voltage reading on 6BE6 Pin1 or the No Oscillation issue. :(

I would still like to try my Signal Generator to see if we can narrow down or pinpoint the problem, I just don't know how to set up my SG or where to attach the leads?


Steve


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