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 Post subject: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Jul Fri 18, 2014 2:03 am
Posts: 298
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Hello Everyone,

I need a little advice here. I have a very nice, all original Crosley AM/SW radio from about 1946 with rubber wiring. I see some minor flaking of the insulation on the wires going to the antenna but the wiring under the chassis seems to have survived a little better since it is closed up under there. The insulation on the wiring under the chassis is stiff and I do see some cracking but nothing is missing or falling off anywhere underneath. Looks pretty sound, probably been just like that for 30 years.

The question is... replace the wiring or leave it alone. Radio plays beautifully.

Thanks!!


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 23, 2012 7:04 pm
Posts: 113
Location: The South Side of Indianapolis, Indiana 46225
Leave it alone. If you move it very much while replacing all the old capacitors, some of the insulation will fall off. Then, you can sleeve the wire with some heat shrink tubing. Touch it as little as possible, and you probably won't have a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 10, 2015 7:01 pm
Posts: 319
Location: Aurora, IL
It really depends on your preference more than anything. Some nervous/OCD types will replace it all and others just what they need to replace. My philosophy always is... if it ain't broke don't fix it. (and a few cracks in insulation does not equate to broke for me. ) So on the few models I've worked on with rubber insulation I left most of the wire intact. If the rubber broke off while moving a wire during recapping I slipped a piece of shrink tubing over the bare wire. In my experience, if you are not moving/disturbing the wiring the rubber would not fall off.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 6:14 pm 
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Location: Ohio 45177
I tried coating rubber wires in a Zenith AA5 with acrylic electronic coating. Was a little messy but it formed a layer to contain the dried up rubber. Otherwise it was replace it, as I did not want to trust what I was seeing. I don't think I would try it again. Would be tiresome to replace all the rubber wires but in an AA5 I would not think it would take any longer than replacing all the resistors and caps. If the set had high voltages in it, I would most definitely replace the deteriorated wires but transformerless radios have voltages that are not terribly high so insulation breakdown or arc over is not as much a threat. Still I would inspect carefully where wires pass thru the chassis or touch anything else where they could short if an unlucky chunk flakes off.

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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Location: Aurora, CO 80013
ehscott1473 wrote:
Leave it alone. If you move it very much while replacing all the old capacitors, some of the insulation will fall off. Then, you can sleeve the wire with some heat shrink tubing. Touch it as little as possible, and you probably won't have a problem.

+1


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Jul Fri 18, 2014 2:03 am
Posts: 298
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Thanks very much. Been like that a long time I'm sure and if undisturbed will probably still be just like it is another 30 years from now. This chassis has a bottom plate so even sliding it in and out of the cabinet involves no risk of anything being bumped or disturbed.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 31, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 4734
Location: Under the Blue skys of OR 97524
dacsman wrote:
It really depends on your preference more than anything. Some nervous/OCD types will replace it all and others just what they need to replace. My philosophy always is... if it ain't broke don't fix it. (and a few cracks in insulation does not equate to broke for me. ) So on the few models I've worked on with rubber insulation I left most of the wire intact. If the rubber broke off while moving a wire during recapping I slipped a piece of shrink tubing over the bare wire. In my experience, if you are not moving/disturbing the wiring the rubber would not fall off.



Yeah, what's a little electrocution among friends and family? That's why you pay for home owner insurance - right?

https://www.russoldradios.com/blog/who- ... -a-chassis

and

https://www.russoldradios.com/blog/back ... et-ak-768q

and

https://www.russoldradios.com/blog/atwater-kent-559n

One thing is for sure, it isn't going to get better in 30 years. Are you going to keep an eye on it, or just hope for the best?

But like they (always) say "it's your radio".

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http://russoldradios.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 24, 2013 11:50 pm
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Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
IF crumbling wires aren't bent into each other and at risk of shorting, leave it. The wire is not going to suddenly shift or move under the chassis, so if all wires are clear of others, they'll likely stay that way with or without the insulation in place. So I wouldn't worry too much about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 31, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 4734
Location: Under the Blue skys of OR 97524
- -and if that is good enough for you, well, that really is special.

Just how are you going to recap, or do any service on that radio, or is that optional too?

Half-assed repairs are what the next owner will be talking about when he is looking for the parts that burn up.

Best to not plug it in again - ever.

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http://russoldradios.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 8:26 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
I agree if you aren't going to fix it properly, then just cut the power cord off and use it for display.

It's usually just as easy to replace an entire length of wire as it is to lift one end and put heat shrink over it. There are times when heat shrink is useful in repairing vintage electronics but it shouldn't be the first method of repair for defective rubber wiring.

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Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: SoCal, 91387
I would agree to leave the wiring as-is, as long as it's floating and not a potential shorting problem. AFA D/C one end, sliding the rubber off, and sliding on a length of spaghetti or heat shrink tubing, the advantage vs replacing entirely is that you lessen the possibility of miswiring.

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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Jul Fri 18, 2014 2:03 am
Posts: 298
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Will I turn it on again... Yep, absolutely. Will I run it daily and for hours on end? Nope, got way too many radios to do that. I'm not a fan of gutting my radios and filling them with Chinese caps and fluorescent green wiring. I use them in moderation and, unless it's a transformer set, I can keep them mostly original.

My experience with rubber wiring is that when the rubber gets stiff and hard it is HARD, like plastic. As others have mentioned, unless you start bending it around and messing with it nothing will happen. Plus, this wiring is not crumbling. Except for the antenna lead it is completely intact with some cracks here and there. Basically still good shape.

These radios are old. Just because things like this don't get better with age (few things do) doesn't automatically mean they will get WORSE, unless of course you start messing where you ought not be messing.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Dec Tue 23, 2014 6:51 pm
Posts: 1275
Location: N. Palm Bch, Fl.
I had one years ago that had cracked wires and they would crumble when squeezed. There was a ton of room in the chassis to work. So I replaced all the cracked wires. Just to see if I could replace them correctly and get the radio working and I did. It was a good learning experience for me. Since then, I just leave them alone. For all the reasons given above. 60 Years from now those wires will still have the cracks, but will be fine as long as someone doesn't touch the wires and no one will be touching them. There's a lot of scare crap that's going on here. All caps MUST be replaced. All selenium rectifiers must be replaced. Plate voltage can KILL you. And now a safety post that's going on 3 pages now that should be made for all to read. What's this big brother stuff. Stay out of my bedroom. I agree with Jukeman's last statement 100%.

I feel better now and haven't had my first beer yet.
Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Feb Wed 06, 2008 5:17 am
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Location: Ferdinand, IN
I'm with Russ (phlogiston) on this one. Fix it right or don't fix it at all...and never plug it in again if you don't fix it right.

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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Tue 18, 2019 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Jul Fri 18, 2014 2:03 am
Posts: 298
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Thanks Freeman!! Very well put indeed. I haven't had my first beer yet either but when I do I will raise my glass to ya! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 12:23 am 
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Joined: Dec Thu 31, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 4734
Location: Under the Blue skys of OR 97524
Actually he is mostly wrong.

jukeman70 -
Next time you ask for advice, you might want to specify that you only want advice that you already agree with and state that position.

Maybe you should avoid the beer.

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http://russoldradios.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 12:50 am 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
phlogiston wrote:
Actually he is mostly wrong.

jukeman70 -
Next time you ask for advice, you might want to specify that you only want advice that you already agree with and state that position.

Maybe you should avoid the beer.

Oh I dunno, I believe this falls under personal opinion, and to say that he's wrong doesn't seem correct, just because it contradicts yours.

For example, take any garden variety AA5/6; much of the point to point wiring consists of bare component leads. Now granted, they're solid wire, vs insulated stranded, and as such are rigid, but nevertheless they are bare. The simple fact that many of these sets still operate after over 65 years or more is testament to their viable construction. Translation, they don't need rebuilding, aside from replacing out of spec components, or a lead with failing insulation that by it's placement could cause a short.


I hope this withholding from having a beer thing isn't catching... :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 1:24 am 
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Joined: Jul Fri 18, 2014 2:03 am
Posts: 298
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Actually, I agree with Freeman (and others who have mostly said the same) because they made valid points, not because I already made up my own mind. Fifties just made yet another such point.

It essentially comes down to either a liberal or conservative restoration philosophy. My belief is that "less is more" when restoring most antiques. If you want something brand new in its looks and operation save yourself some time and money and just go buy a radio from Wal-Mart.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 1:56 am 
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Joined: Jul Fri 18, 2014 2:03 am
Posts: 298
Location: Springdale, Arkansas
Here is another analogy. Everyone loves tri-five Chevys (myself included). There's lots of people out there who spend thousands of hours, tens of thousands of dollars and every ounce of blood, sweat and tears they can squeeze from themselves to create the perfect Candy-Apple red and chrome masterpiece. Hey, more power to them, if that's their thing I respect it. BUT, if you put a dozen of those Chevys in a row all gleaming, detailed and perfect and at the end you stick a totally original, unmolested barn find with surface rust in the factory paint, a greasy old V8 under the hood, the smell of mothballs wafting through the open windows and an inspection sticker on the windshield that expired in 1976, that will be the car everyone is looking at. Why? Because it's GENUINE. It honestly and proudly shows its age and its battle scars. It tells its OWN story and it needs no help from ANYONE.

To me, these radios are the same thing. I don't want them to be perfect and gleaming like chinese reproductions. They are old and after surviving 70 years they have earned the RIGHT to be what they are. Like a great many other things, we will never again build machines the way we once did. You won't take a radio built today, stick it on a shelf in a barn, pull it out 70 years from now and plug it in to discover that it actually still WORKS.

Call me old. Call me old FASHIONED. But, I SHALL have that beer and I will toast the history that my various collections represent so honestly and genuinely and the graceful manner in which they share their own individual stories.


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 Post subject: Re: Rubber Wiring (A little advice please)
PostPosted: Jun Wed 19, 2019 3:21 am 
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Location: Central PA 16801
it is your radio, your risk / no risk ; do with it whatever you wish.

I always restore/repair mine and fix what is broken.

i will do it right the first time.

some may disagree and that is OK too.

steve


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