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 Post subject: Phono Motors Don't Like the Cold Temperatures
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 9:16 am 
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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
I noticed today that two of my own players, which normally are right up to speed immediately when I turn them on, were sluggish coming up to speed. Last week we had some 60 degree days here and they both came up to speed immediately. It's been in the 20s here for daytime highs the last few days, 15-20 at night, and I can see my phono motors don't like the cold. I turn the heat down at night and sleep in a fairly cool house, then warm it up when I get up.

Has anyone else noticed this?


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 Post subject: Re: Phono Motors Don't Like the Cold Temperatures
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 10:08 am 
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Location: Toledo, Ohio
moses_007 wrote:
I noticed today that two of my own players, which normally are right up to speed immediately when I turn them on, were sluggish coming up to speed. Last week we had some 60 degree days here and they both came up to speed immediately. It's been in the 20s here for daytime highs the last few days, 15-20 at night, and I can see my phono motors don't like the cold. I turn the heat down at night and sleep in a fairly cool house, then warm it up when I get up.

Has anyone else noticed this?


Larry, remember a while back we were discussing the differences between the Alliance and GI motors. I did not like the GI motors because of the sealed bearings and you can not properly clean the old grease-oil out of them being sealed. Well THIS is the reason why, that old grease and oil is very thick and when it gets cold it really hardens up and those motors turn REALLY slow. I am guessing down south you don't normally see the low temps like we do up North but this is the issue I always have had with most my GI motors. Alliances with properly cleaned and oiled bearings I have NEVER had a problem even in temps down around freezing.

Take a check and see what the makes of those couple motors are...I am betting they are all GI motors with the sealed bearings. I did not find anything to solve the problem other then getting them warmed up or you can just do like me and dump the GI motors and install Alliance ones. :lol:

At least you live in an area that is USUALLY much warmer then up here.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 11:04 am 
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Todd, all of the RCA's that I own have the General Industries motors. That is probably the reason they are sluggish this time of year. I was beginning to think I was going to have to do another service on these motors today. Actually, the turbine oil we use for motors is a little thicker than some oils too. That may be contributing to the problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 8:25 pm 
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moses_007 wrote:
Todd, all of the RCA's that I own have the General Industries motors. That is probably the reason they are sluggish this time of year. I was beginning to think I was going to have to do another service on these motors today. Actually, the turbine oil we use for motors is a little thicker than some oils too. That may be contributing to the problem.


No, is not the turbine oil as it is very thin and non gumming (read the bottle). It is the residual old thick oil still that can not be completely removed from the sealed bearings due to their design that is gumming up due to the cold weather. My shop is un-heated at night and the units in the shop with serviced GI motors will barely spin when cold and the ones with serviced Alliance motors work perfectly from the first time you turn the switch at any temperature.

One thing I have done with GI sealed bearings that helps quite a bit is buy a can of Carburetor Cleaner (Wal-Mart sells good stuff cheap) buy the spray can with the long red plastic tube taped on the side. Take the carb cleaner and install the long red tube in the spray can then insert the tube into the small oiling hole on the GI bearing and spray. It is good to use some shop rags to hold the bearing while doing this as what comes out of the bearing will show up on the towel. Then I use compressed air (if you have an air compressor) and blow air through bearing via the oil hole. Then repeat this process until the carb cleaner that runs from the bearing looks clean, blow it through one last time to remove all the carb cleaner and to make sure it is dry. Then I oil and replace the bearing. This helps with this problem a LOT but does not eliminate those cold starts on every one I have had.

The carb cleaner will break up all the old oil and grease in that bearing and the spray can forces it through the bearing and flushes them out where just soaking them in laquer thinner does not. The compressed air then will get rid of all the carb claner left inside the bearing and is a must do as if that is left in there it will break down the new turbine oil when installed.

Every RCA player that I have sold or serviced for someone that has a GI motor I make sure and give them a disclaimer about how the GI motor will possibly run slow in cold temperatures until it warms up due to the motor design issue.

EDIT: one word of warning to anyone using carb cleaner it WILL eat and destroy paint, plastic or most any of the other materials used on an old Phonograph so do NOT use it anywhere near your other phono parts. It is fine to use on the bearings only but make sure and use it away from those other items.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 10:46 pm 
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Todd, I wonder if soaking these GI bearings in clean lacquer thinner for several days would dissolve the old oil inside them. I have an extra one in my parts stash so I think I'll try it. The only way you'll know if it works is if the lacquer thinner changes color because you can't see inside those bearings. I know the lacquer thinner works real well to clean the bottom wick on the Alliance motors. I soaked one for two days, then left it to dry for another day, and that wick looked brand spanking new.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 11:06 pm 
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moses_007 wrote:
Todd, I wonder if soaking these GI bearings in clean lacquer thinner for several days would dissolve the old oil inside them. I have an extra one in my parts stash so I think I'll try it. The only way you'll know if it works is if the lacquer thinner changes color because you can't see inside those bearings. I know the lacquer thinner works real well to clean the bottom wick on the Alliance motors. I soaked one for two days, then left it to dry for another day, and that wick looked brand spanking new.


That is what I tried first with the GI bearings and it did not work worth a damn for me. I even ran them through my 60 gallon parts washer and nothing really. That is because of the rubber seals they have on the GI bushings-bearings. It is pretty much impossible for the thinner to get inside that bearing then to flush it out just by soaking it, that is just plain physics 101. You need something that forces cleaner into the bearing and flushes the bearing out, just soaking won't do that.

The GI sealed bearing was actually a better design when new. It keeps out dirt and debris, holds the in the oil and keeps it on the bearing-bushing for far longer then the open style Alliance bearing. The only problem is the GIs best feature when new is it's downfall when it get's old. You can't get that old oil-grease out of the damn thing. Of course GI did not manufacture these with the thought of us trying to clean them 50 years later, they just wanted a good bearing design for the moment.

You can do the carb cleaner and compressed air trick for the Alliance bearings as well, just shoot it in from the open wick area. It cleans them in about 5 minutes and look brand spanking new as well, the wicks will turn that real bright white color when clean. This is a trick used on certain old automotive bearings which many are the same as the bearings found on these old record players.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 04, 2011 11:32 pm 
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I wonder if a prolonged soaking in lacquer thinner would dissolve the rubber seals in the GI motors. That might not be too good an idea with these motors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 05, 2011 6:08 am 
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bastardbus wrote:
You can do the carb cleaner and compressed air trick for the Alliance bearings as well, just shoot it in from the open wick area. It cleans them in about 5 minutes and look brand spanking new as well, the wicks will turn that real bright white color when clean. This is a trick used on certain old automotive bearings which many are the same as the bearings found on these old record players.

Yes, when I cleaned the open bearings on the 45 players I used old reliable Gumout Carburetor Cleaner, not having lacquer thinner around. It worked great and very quickly, and as you say, the wick turned out nice and clean.

-David


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 05, 2011 6:51 am 
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Gary Stork asked me about some of his motor stock.... seems some of his motors run a bit slow.
He wondered if there was a magic bullet to flush and re-lube those bearings out.
I gave him my ideas (Larry knows) but apparently Gary seems to think some of his NOS motors is defective.

I myself have a pristine 45J, and it's stubborn..... no matter what I do, when cold, it runs slow.... 5 mins later it's up to speed.

God damn ancient equipment! :shock:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 12:48 am 
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Hey Gang, I think we’re expecting a bit too much out of these low-cost, fairly reliable little motors. Even RCA cautioned users to give these Alliance and GI motors few minutes to warm up. I normally rely on a simple 45 rpm strobe to check if the motor is running + or – or right at 45 rpm. But just for fun, I bought one of those Digital Photo Tachometers, a DT-2234C that accurately measures the speed of the turntable. It’s ideal not only for 45 rpm record changers, it works nicely with 33.3/LPs, 78 rpm records and 80 rpm cylinder records.

When I first power on an RP-190 for example, the speed almost always displays at 43-44.x rpm and will settle in at 45 rpm after a few minutes. I think I remember some negative chatter here on ARF about using an optical light beam. But for less than $20 these digital lasers work nicely, don’t pay more, some are priced at more than $70. I typically rebuild my own idlers and motors, so I spend lots of time checking the correct speed. Lotsa fun.

Jack

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 2:42 am 
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PhonoJack wrote:
Hey Gang, I think we’re expecting a bit too much out of these low-cost, fairly reliable little motors. Even RCA cautioned users to give these Alliance and GI motors few minutes to warm up. I normally rely on a simple 45 rpm strobe to check if the motor is running + or – or right at 45 rpm. But just for fun, I bought one of those Digital Photo Tachometers, a DT-2234C that accurately measures the speed of the turntable. It’s ideal not only for 45 rpm record changers, it works nicely with 33.3/LPs, 78 rpm records and 80 rpm cylinder records.

When I first power on an RP-190 for example, the speed almost always displays at 43-44.x rpm and will settle in at 45 rpm after a few minutes. I think I remember some negative chatter here on ARF about using an optical light beam. But for less than $20 these digital lasers work nicely, don’t pay more, some are priced at more than $70. I typically rebuild my own idlers and motors, so I spend lots of time checking the correct speed. Lotsa fun.

Jack


Jack, how do you go about adjusting the speed of the RCA 45 and 4 speed players? Do you alter the size of the turret or idler wheels with a lathe or something?

T

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 4:07 am 
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Todd, there is virtually no way to increase speed on any of these players short of replacing some of the rubber parts (idler, and, or, turrets). If the 45 player is running slow, a new idler will correct the problem. If a multi-speed player is running slow, a new turret generally will get it right on speed. Note that I said generally. I have found several RP-205s that a new turret didn't totally correct the speed problem and new idlers were necessary as well. So don't let anyone tell you that an idler can't cause speed variances on multi-speed players. I know up close and personal that it can, and does on occasions. If they have a speed problem, these players are always running slow. I've never seen one running fast.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 4:45 am 
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EDIT
Oppps I thought Larry's reply was Jack...sorry disregard that post and continued below.

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Last edited by bastardbus on Feb Sun 06, 2011 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 5:33 am 
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To reply to Larry's comments on speed vs. idler size....

Yes, speed can slow down or even run fast due to *turret* wear and aging.

Yes, 45 players with the dual drive idler if worn can affect speed.
The two drive surfaces *must* be a certain ratio/diameter for proper speed.
For instance...If the larger tire (the lower one) is shaved down, the turntable speed increases, the upper tire must be shaved as well.

Players with *just* an idler wheel from motor to platter do *not* have these issues... only slippage due to hardened tire surfaces.
In other words...
The *size* if the idler itself does not determine speed.

This assumes the motor itself is turning at the proper speed and lubricated.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 7:04 am 
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Thanks RT for clarifiying that to Larry.

Changing the size of certain parts will indeed change the speed of your turntable. As RT made that clear on 45 players the top and bottom wheel must stay in ratio or speed changes.

The changing the size of the idler on say the RCA 4 speed player will NOT change the TT speed BUT I must add changing the size of aspect ratio between the top and bottom the any of the individual turrets WILL change the speed of the TT when that turret is engaged. That is why there is different size wheels on the turrets to make the different speeds.

So one can modify speeds by tweaking the size of certain wheels but that is difficult to do correctly without a lathe.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 06, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Todd,

RepairTech beat me to it; he gave you a great, correct answer! You've got it!

But concerning your comment, “tweaking the size of the wheels…. difficult to do without a lathe”, I don’t use a lathe. I use an emery board to shave the edge of either tire. I created a little jig that holds the emery board against the tire while the motor is running. Works perfectly, the emery board is stiff enough to hold against the tire but soft enough to give a little.

Jack

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 07, 2011 4:15 am 
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I have the same problem with a few of these motors . To get a slightly slow platter going the right speed the end of the motor needs to be a hair bigger . I have carfully wrapped one thin layer of scotch tape around the end of the motor . It works but probably not forever .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 07, 2011 7:00 am 
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PhonoJack wrote:
Todd,
RepairTech beat me to it; he gave you a great, correct answer! You've got it!
Jack


I think you mean Larry...heck I thought he was you posting at first. We are all screwed up on who said what. :lol:


PhonoJack wrote:
But concerning your comment, “tweaking the size of the wheels…. difficult to do without a lathe”, I don’t use a lathe. I use an emery board to shave the edge of either tire. I created a little jig that holds the emery board against the tire while the motor is running. Works perfectly, the emery board is stiff enough to hold against the tire but soft enough to give a little.

Jack


I have one that in a couple cases with really thumpy idler wheels for fun but it is a very "hacky" method. A lathe is the correct way to do it. I have been considering buying one anyway for stuff around the shop.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 07, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Todd, no in my reply I meant Repair Tech because he has it correct... (who's on first...)

I've seen the debate on ARF about whether changing the diameter of an idler wheel changes the speed of the turntable. It does!

This is why I believe my technique is not a very "hacky" method. In fact it is a very correct method. Here's why:
Whether you are buying a new idler wheel or rebuilding your own, you want to be sure it is tuned specifically to the motor that you're installing with that idler. We've all heard war stories about some of the idlers that are available now, good and bad. Even if you measure your 'new' idler with calipers and it meets the exact diameter specifications, you can't assume your turntable will operate at 45 rpm.

If you're lucky, your motor (one of the 3 or 4 popular motors used by RCA) will operate exactly at 45 rpm at warmed up speed. Some motors don't run at 45 rpm, some run slower or faster and some run hotter or cooler.

You can absolutely increase or decrease the speed of the turntable by shaving the larger or smaller tire. That is how you achieve an exact 45 rpm. By shaving or turning it on a lathe, I think you're creating more work for yourself, because you still need to speed check for 45 rpm each time you put it on a lathe.
I don't mean to pull your leg, :) but there are already enough variables with these little RCA Victor 45 players, such as motor, temperature, too much grease (ha ha), weight of turntable, weight of stack of records and more.

Have fun,

Jack

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 07, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Jack, my ears can tell if a player is exactly on speed or not. I've listened to so many of these songs for so long, that I know exactly how they're supposed to sound. "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore is one 45 I use to test the speed by ear. I can put that record on and know immediately if she's at the correct speed.


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