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  • Anyone into restoring old radios?

    So as I noted here I got these two cool old Philco tube radios for free. I found a GREAT Philco site but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the info. Has anyone done any restoration work on these puppies? I know I need to pull it and clean it, probably recap it (need to learn how to do that) and replace the power cord. Hopefully the tubes are good.

    Any advice? :)

    -Paul

  • #2
    Here are my suggestions.

    Take pictures before every move.
    Get ziplock bags and a box to put stuff in.
    Label everything / make drawings of where things are.
    If you can solder do the caps yourself, if not ask someone who can. The biggest mistake is overheating the solder points.

    Go slow and do research, there are products out there for electronics restoration. So get the products and a game plan before removing the first screw. Check out some of the Caig products like CAIG DeoxIT DN5 DN5S-6N

    Most of all be safe.
    Lance
    _________
    Whatever

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    • #3
      Thanks Lance. I'm not expecting miracles, but I have some vague hope once I replace the power cord I can at least start her up ;)

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are powering up the unit for the first time in many years, one safe way is using a Variac style AC autoformer. This allows the user to vary the AC line voltage to the unit to bring it up slowly. This will help reform capacitors that maybe having issues.

        Also, when those units were built, the AC line voltage was 110-115 VAC. Today's standard is 120VAC +/-5%. This maybe to high for some of the capacitors in the unit. If you use the Variac you can set the voltage to 110VAC as you bring up the voltage from 0VAC with the control.

        Had to do this with a friends Dynaco MKIV power amp. The power supply cap was getting very warm at 120VAC, so had to reduce the voltage to 115VAC until he purchased a new replacement cap and brought it up slowly to 120VAC in the forming process.

        Just remember that there is very high voltage in tube circuits, so take safety measures when working in the unit. The caps can store voltage for a long time. Make sure it is unplugged any time you have to go into the circuit. Discharging the power supply caps with power resistors is a very good idea.

        Hope this helps. Should be a fun project.
        Better living through Audio Nirvana!

        Comment


        • #5
          Radiophile at AVSForum and av123 might be able to give you some advice. He has a large collection of old radios. He also has a pair of av123 LS6's.

          Comment


          • #6
            How many amps do I need if I get an autoformer? Searching the bay for one :)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by madpoet
              How many amps do I need if I get an autoformer? Searching the bay for one :)
              Read the fuse rating on the equipment your plugging into it..
              Lance
              _________
              Whatever

              Comment


              • #8
                You think these things have FUSES? :)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok read the specs near the power cord. If its in watts, convert it.:ufo:
                  Lance
                  _________
                  Whatever

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Found a sticker that said 115v 70w. So if I read the math right that's .6 amps or so? I found a page that said watt/amp conversion is done by dividing the watss by the voltage.

                    Thanks,
                    Paul

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                    • #11
                      That is the correct current rating. I would try to find a unit with at least a 1 amp rating to keep it from being overloaded. Most Variac's also have a fuse for protection.
                      Better living through Audio Nirvana!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by madpoet
                        So as I noted here I got these two cool old Philco tube radios for free. I found a GREAT Philco site but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the info. Has anyone done any restoration work on these puppies? I know I need to pull it and clean it, probably recap it (need to learn how to do that) and replace the power cord. Hopefully the tubes are good.

                        Any advice? :)

                        -Paul
                        Can't really add much but to show off my restored Philco 16B.

                        Samsung 55inch UN55C8000 TV
                        Marantz SR5003 7.1 Receiver
                        Samsung BD-D6700 Blu-Ray
                        Apple TV 160gig (upgrading to 750gig soon)
                        Harman Kardon 5 disc CD player
                        Motorola HD DVR
                        Klipsch RF-82 Mains
                        Klipsch RC-64 Center
                        Klipsch RS-42 surround's
                        Klipsch RS-42 Rear Channel - single
                        2 - AV123 MFW-15 Subwoofer's, V2 Amps - Moho Rosa Satin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Still haven't started the Philcos (god I need more time or a clone!) but I picked up a free Fisher 500C yesterday. In very, very good condition. Some knob damage and a couple chips to the case, but the woman who gave it to me said it was her father's prize posession for years and it shows. Just need to get some replacement brass knos for it and possibly look at some of the upgrade packs available, but right now as is it's a really nice piece of kit. Gotta love Freecycle!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Couple of sites:

                            http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/

                            This is in the UK but lots of info:

                            http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/index.php

                            Just watch out because it is over moderated!!! The guy needs to get a life.

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