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 Post subject: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Well Boys and Girls, as you know, last November we found two very early jukeboxes in Chicago. They arrived on December 30, last year and by New Years Day we had begun to dismantle the first one in order to restore it. That one is the 1928 Mills Hi-Boy. It is a 12 record, ferris wheel like changer, with a Operadio amplifier and speaker. The changer has two motors, one to rotate the ferris wheel and the other to rim-drive the turntable. The coin system accepts nickels only, and has a mechanical accumulator which can tally up to twenty-four credits.

The cosmetic restoration is complete. Most of the work there involved repairing damage to the veneer on the doors and at the lower front part of the cabinet, and on the back cover. There were numerous chips at the corners/edges which called for careful and patient glueing in of slivers of walnut, and then shaping to conform to the original surfaces. Upon disassembly, we discovered that some of the wood trim pieces showed evidence of gold paint, especially on surfaces which were covered. Very little bright gold was evident on the exposed surfaces of those pieces. Upon stripping them, gold powder came off with the stripper. It did appear that the original gold paint on those trim pieces had turned brown, likely from oxidization. So, we re-gilded those trim pieces. The finish was treated with grain filler, then a coat of Watco Dark Walnut stain, then several coats of Deft Semi-Gloss Lacquer, with fine steel wool scrubbing between coats.

The remaining work will be all of the mechanical, electrical and electronic systems. That will be performed over the next few months and we'll post the results as we go along.

Below are two photos showing the before and after.


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Last edited by startgroove on Mar Wed 06, 2019 9:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 10:31 pm 
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WOW Russie! :shock: That's impressive!

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 10:50 pm 
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Now THAT is a jukebox! :D

Beautiful work on that cabinet! I love it!

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Tue 05, 2019 1:01 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Tue 05, 2019 6:40 am 
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Looks great, Russie!

Very nice work!

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Tue 05, 2019 3:08 pm 
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NICE.............

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Wed 06, 2019 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
The first internal system to check out is the Coin And Credit Unit. That was inside a steel box, accessible through a door at the left side of the cabinet. Upon initial examination, I found that the credit adding paddle, the accumulator wheel, the subtract solenoid and the play counter were all mounted to a plate made of pot metal, and... YEP! You guessed it, the pot metal was badly cracked and distorted. See the first photo below. It seemed every time I touched the plate, it literally fell apart in my hands.

I spent the next several days measuring and cutting up a 3/16 inch brass sheet and other brass pieces to fabricate a new plate. The bosses were cut, ground, drilled and tapped, and then soldered to the main plate. The final unit was tested repeatedly, I think it was cycled several hundred times before it was accepted as reliable. The finished unit is shown below, installed back in the steel box.

Note the play tally meter shows how many nickels had dropped into this machine. At the upper left are two carbon element switches, one provides power to activate the mechanism, the other provides a split second of overlap once the last record has played so the tone arm would be lifter from a record and the mechanism set to stand by mode.

Next up I'll be checking out the sound system. Cheers, Russie


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Thu 07, 2019 11:27 am 
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Location: Sun City, Arizona 85373
Looks Wonderful! Great job on the coin and credit unit. It looks better than when new and it will never fall apart! That machine is certainly in keeping with the "Nickel A Tune" Theme! Thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Thu 07, 2019 3:08 pm 
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Russie,

Stunning work on the cabinet! Also, superb work on the coin/credit unit. Looking forward to more! I hear you on the pot metal issues. The 1931 Capehart Amperion has an expanded lift arm gear I am currently working to re-tool. If only manufactures knew back then that pot metal would not last, they may have thought twice before using it!

Jon

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Thu 07, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Thanks Guys! Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement. As you may know, Coos Bay is a long way from the mainstream of the collecting community. I don't know any fellow enthusiasts that are within an hours drive from here. So, sharing information and exchanging ideas on the Forum with knowledgeable and enthusiastic people of like minds is a great way to have comraderie, albeit long distance. Cheers, Russie


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Thu 07, 2019 6:27 pm 
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This morning was warm enough to begin testing the sound system. Both the speaker and amplifier showed quite a bit of patina, and some chips of the paint, and even some minor rust spots. Repainting would come after the system was repaired, so diving right in, I found several things wrong with the amplifier.
The huge resistor at the left side of the picture below was open and it appears someone had replaced the shorter section of that resistor with a later version. That resistor formed a voltage divider; the #26 driver ran at a lower voltage than the PP #10 output tubes. In addition, the original ballast lamp had been replaced with a fuse. While I don't object to the idea that a fuse was installed, I did not like the idea that the ballast lamp was removed. Without it, the voltage could run to high (probably contributing to the burn out of the voltage dividing resistor).
First off the fuse holder was removed from the top of the chassis (risky placement, since each end of the exposed fuse holder carried line voltage) and moved to underneath the chassis. Then the ballast lamp socket was disassembled to clean off the solder where the fuse holder leads had been attached. It was wired back into the circuit and the fuse placed in line with it.
Further tests indicated the cathode resistors on both the 26, and the 10's, were open. These were originally wire wound resistors, probably fusable. Then, the 5 paper capacitors were tested. All but one tested good on my tester. However, I did not want to risk losing the globe 81 rectifier due to a future short, so the decision was made to replace all of the paper caps. The voltage is around 450 at the field coil, so the caps associated with the power filter network were going to be high voltage, 1000 volts to be safe. All of the transformers tested good under static conditions, as did all of the vacuum tubes.
The speaker had two wires that were rubber insulated, and although they were not brittle or cracked, I decided to replace them with modern (but old looking) cloth covered wire.
The amplifier will be finished when the parts arrive, sometime in the next two weeks. It seems to me that it is a very basic, almost primitive, sound system. There doesn't seem to be a loudness compensation circuit, nor any tone controls. I'm anxious to hear this sound system.
In the meantime, I'll test and rebuild the pick-up and repaint the amplifier and speaker.


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Sat 09, 2019 11:28 pm 
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
The past several days have been spent on cleaning the speaker and amplifier, and preparing them for repaint. The chassis has a lot of chips out of the paint, but is relatively rust free, so it took a coat of paint with minimal prep. The speaker had numerous surface rust spots which took quite a bit of work at sanding and filling with etching primer. The two transformer leads on the speaker were hardened rubber, so they were replaced. Below are the before and after comparisons of the amplifier and speaker. Meanwhile, I've emptied out the contents of the can which houses all of the large value capacitors. I'll stuff that can with new capacitors when they arrive. Cheers, Russie


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IMG_4621.JPG [ 109.97 KiB | Viewed 1019 times ]
IMG_4630.JPG
IMG_4630.JPG [ 82.67 KiB | Viewed 1019 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Nice work! From working on a lot of old radios and theatre amps, I have found that those enamel covered resistors are often open. There isn't much to the early audio amps, as they use a lot of transformer coupling. Make sure that the primary of the driver transformer is OK.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Mar Sat 16, 2019 2:34 pm 
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Thanks Tim. Yes, this one is fairly simple, minimal components and transformer coupled. I've compared the schematic for this to the schematic for the Troubadour amp and they are basically the same, except the parts layout is changed and a tone filter is added. Interesting that the design engineers incorporated a fusible resistor in both stages for protection. If that design worked, hopefully it prevented any damage to the transformers. I'll check those in the next few days to confirm. Appreciate the tip. Cheers, Russie


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 12:18 am 
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Last week, the amplifier was rebuilt. All coils and transformers were checked for continuity and shorts. All new caps were installed, (with the first two in the B+ line coming off the 81 were rated 1200V, just to be safe). A couple of resistors and the ballast lamp were also replaced. Through a variac, power was applied, and first off I found that the plate voltage on the UX210 tubes was about 450VDC. Line voltage in my area is 124 volts, so I figured it would be safe to install a resistor in series with the AC power line to drop some of the voltage. A 15 Ohm, 100W resistor brought it down to a safer voltage so the plates of the #10 tube ran at about 400VDC. Since that resistor generated some heat, I built a chimney to house the resistor, with input and output connectors that would mate with what was installed originally. No permanent changes that way. That is shown below with the cover removed.

With an audio signal out of my Iphone, the final test was to play the system. In the first test, the sound was a little distorted and way too loud. I installed a 1k Ohm resistor in series with the input and tried it again. Much better! It's amazing how much volume that amplifier and speaker put out. I fully expected to hear some distortion or other unwanted sounds, but it is amazingly clean sounding. The only thing I notice is a lack of low end. There is no tone control circuitry, so I'll be looking at other ways to accentuate the low end.

More next week.


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IMG_4791.JPG
IMG_4791.JPG [ 122.29 KiB | Viewed 495 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 12:51 am 
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It is quite interesting and your hard work is evident.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 1:00 am 
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Oh, so Operadio made the amplifier as well as the speaker? Very nice indeed!
I have one of those unusual Operadio speakers in one of my radios.

Very nice work! :D

-Steve

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Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Jun Sat 15, 2019 10:36 am 
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Location: Sun City, Arizona 85373
That really is looking great! The restoration will look and sound great! Looking back through the pictures shows a great work in progress! Thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 10:26 pm 
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One possibility for poor low frequency response is a lack of compliance of the speaker suspension, which is not uncommon in early speakers. Try a different speaker.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress On Mills Hi-Boy Jukebox
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:18 pm 
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Thanks Tom. I have two other Operadio speakers, I'll try them both. Cheers, Russie


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