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Topics - TC Chris

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Chat / OT: cleaning the 4GC carburetor
« on: July 20, 2019, 09:04:10 PM »
OK, car fans, gimme advice.  The Chevy barely made it back to the garage last time, so today I pulled the carb and took it apart.  There was rust-brown mud, very fine particles, everywhere.  But before seeing that, I stopped at the auto parts store and bought two in-line filters to replace the one I had used before, and also a new bronze filter to replace the original GM device in the carburetor.  The store's computer said the inline paper filters stop stuff at 12 microns, pretty tiny.  The bronze one is rated at 40 microns.   I was kinda hoping that two filters in series would keep enough crud out of the carburetor to hold me over until I can get it into the shop for a gas tank pull--and maybe avoid another disassembly and clean out.  I'm not sure how the brown mud got in if the filter really is good for 12 microns.  But there it was, everywhere in the carb.

Questions:  Are two filters in series going to work, not creating too much resistance for the mechanical fuel pump?  And is there a better filter option, something larger, finer, more capacity?  I think Greg mentioned a diesel filter--better?

And my comment:  I know the 4GC is disfavored, but taking it apart again reminded me how quite well-designed some of our old mechanical, analog systems were.  The automatic choke, the various valves for the secondary airflow, none of it using a computer.  And the old carb actually was trouble free for the years when it was a daily driver.  Those old engines were actually fairly complex and pretty effective, especially when considering that few drivers knew much other than where the gas goes and where the key goes.

Chris Campbelll

Chat / My marine hi-fi
« on: July 09, 2019, 09:28:22 PM »
On my local sailboat, the sound system is a Ray Jefferson radio direction finder with AM, FM, and VHF-FM bands.  Only the AM band does direction finding via the rotating ferrite bar antenna.  I only use it for FM, via a majestic 5" RCA 1960s car-stereo speaker, the kind that came in a little plastic box and sat on the rear window shelf of the car making buzzing noises and distortion.   It sits in the cockpit and the radio is in the cabin area.  What's interesting is that this is pretty lo-fi but it actually sounds pretty good while sailing along on a summer evening.  Tonight I was listening to a broadcast of the Berliox requiem, a piece written for half  gazillion musicians including four (!!) brass bands.  And you know, the music was listenable--not much distortion, pretty good tonal balance (OK, no bass to speak of but tolerable highs). So I snapped some photos to show off this system.  First, the little speaker, all 5" of it.   Next, the Ray Jeff RDF.  Note the big rotating antenna on top. Nobody uses RDF any more because everybody else's cell phone (not mine) has GPS.  But hey, if I get caught in the fog, I could always switch to AM, switch off the AVC and use the manual gain, and start rotating the antenna.

Chris Campbell

Wanted / WANTED: KLH tweeter
« on: July 03, 2019, 11:14:10 PM »
I'll just plant this idea here in case somebody runs across an old KLH Model 17--or 22, or almost any of the other 1960s smaller KLH speakers. It's a cone speaker, about 4" as I recall.  One of my Model 17s lost its tweeter to a lower-powered amp driven into clipping (live and learn; it's too little power, not too much, that burns up speakers).  Pre-internet, I replaced it with a similar-sized tweet, hoping for the best.  On white or pink noise, I can hear a difference.  I need to bring these nice old speakers out of retirement.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Appliance collectors?
« on: May 19, 2019, 05:20:30 PM »
I know we've got some home-appliance fans here.  While cleaning my mother's garage, I found one of those Very Valuable Objects that had I set aside for future attention.  It's the chrome bezel and back-lighted glass control panel from a late 50s or early 60s Whirlpool washer.  Lighted dials have always fascinated me so I saved it.  It dawns on me that glass panels like that are fragile and might be the missing part of a washer collector's restoration.  Are there places where I could offer it?  It's free to a good home.

Chris Campbell

Chat / This forum is fun
« on: May 14, 2019, 08:33:45 PM »
Just a quick note to say how much I look forward to checking in here and seeing what people are saying.  Let's face it, old electronic music devices aren't life or death, but most of what makes our lives enjoyable isn't either.  It's fun to share recent finds, or repair frustrations, or a bit of car talk.  The posts are helpful and interesting and polite.  Just by way of example, where else could I post a notice about finding somebody's old, broken-down, low-end console sitting out for the trash man and have people say "attaboy" and give some pointers.  It reflects well on all participants.

Chris Campbell

Tube Consoles / Another orphan followed me home
« on: May 12, 2019, 09:55:17 PM »
I was driving back to my Mom's house today and about a block away I passed a small console at curbside. Rain was just starting.  It has no grille cloth and the cones of both speakers were torn out, but it had a nice walnut-veneer cabinet.  I hit the brakes, backed up, and took a peek. It had a V-M changer inside and the electronics--"Homemark."  So I knocked on the door, verified it was out for the taking, slid it onto the tailgate of the truck, and continued on.  At the house I popped the back off and looked.  It's on one chassis, with a separate chassis for the FM multiplex decoder.  It's a single-ended amp, 50C5 each channel, minuscule output transformers, and one larger transformer (power?).  The tubes are branded ITT and Madison Fielding.  The cord for the interlock was inside the back cover when I unscrewed it.  Here are some photos.  Not a high-end unit, to be sure, but the walnut veneers and finish are in very good condition.  Here are a few photos.  The card on the turntable says "Zenith."  ?????

Chris Campbell

Chat / cool stuff on the shelves
« on: May 09, 2019, 07:30:12 PM »
As an absolutely non-discriminatory collector of electronic and mechanical stuff (anything interesting and free or cheap is likely to follow me home), I've got a large collection of cool things on the shelves, waiting to be needed or fixed.  I'll bet many of the others here also have a bunch of cool stuff just waiting.  Maybe we should start posting photos of those things from time to time.  For some reason the nice old Fisher 600-T hybrid receiver (transistors & Nuvistors) popped into mind a little while back, and then a lot of other interesting devices too.  If you have something interesting, post a photo.  I'll start with a Zenith radio, an H-845.  I've got 3 of these--one that my Dad gave his father, one from curbside, one I actually paid for. They're pretty good performers.

Chris Campbell

Electronics / Pin-out diagrams for car stereos?
« on: May 09, 2019, 07:13:56 PM »
I was out in the garage getting the boat's mooring ball out--spring may show up eventually--and I had to move a couple car radio/cassette players a neighbor had given me.  One is a Sony EXR 14 and the other a Toyota branded Fujitsu Ten with a "I'm not quite sure" model no.  I've also got an old Delco AM-FM radio.  For each one, the big challenge is the pin-out diagram, which lead is what.  You've got power in, lighting power in, maybe a clock or memory power in, antenna power leads, and then all the speaker outs.  Quite the mess to figure out without a diagram.  Any suggestions on a good source of info?

The Fujitsu Ten looks interesting--it has AM stereo.

Chris Campbell

Chat / The Chevy hits the road again
« on: May 06, 2019, 09:31:26 PM »
I've been visiting where the Chevy lives each weekend for the past few, to get my old sailboat ready for her May 13 launch date.  Sunday it finally got warm-ish, enough for shorts, so I went out and tried cranking the Chevy.  It took a while, probably while the mechanical fuel pump filled the carb bowls, but then it rumbled to life.  It idled nicely once it as running and I drove it around all day. All the other old-car drivers were giving me waves, and when I was headed home I got passed by a 1960 Chevy coupe with three young folks inside who weren't even born when the car was made.

I am reminded of the old days.  Pre-fuel-injection, cars did not always start instantly.  You might have to hit the starter a couple times.  Sometimes if you hadn't set the choke with a poke of the accelerator, they'd stall.  When I remembered the old skills the Chevy started well and ran nicely.

Now I am home, about 140 miles NW, and it's cold again.  In part it's because Lake Michigan is a mile from the house and across the street from my office, but also because this has just been a damned cold spring so far.  It's May now and I expect warmth.

Tonight I had to drive the Mustang because the sweet little red truck is in the body shop for deer-suicide repairs. It normally isn't in daily-driver service.  It started instantly and ran perfectly from the get-go (fuel injection!!).  We are spoiled. 

Chris Campbell

Music / James Brown's B'day
« on: May 04, 2019, 09:48:04 PM »
My sister pointed out that yesterday was James Brown's birthday.  She has some sort of phone app that announces various musicians' dates.  It included a short clip of his footwork in concert. I just happened to have my DVD of the T.A.M.I. Show (1964) out in the truck so we popped it in.  Old folks like me will remember seeing that in the theater.  The one thing I never forgot in all the years after was the James Brown performance.  It was like nothing I had ever seen before, and my introduction to "the hardest working man in show business."  JB was a bit miffed that he wasn't on last... the honor went to the Rolling Stones... so he put on his best performance.  Mick Jagger later remarked that his worst mistake ever was going on after James Brown in that show.

Chris Campbell

Music / Organ of Notre Dame de Paris
« on: April 25, 2019, 11:32:48 PM »
I've got a real weakness for organs--ecclesiastical, theater, B-3, just about anything well played.  There was a link published a couple days ago to a November, 2015 video of the organ in Notre Dame.  It shows the cathedral with an insert of the organist, Olivier Latry, playing an improvisation on their national anthem.  Here's the link:

The audio is much more impressive over my headphones here at home than it was on the little computer speakers at work.  And at the end, listen for the extended reverb... Latry stops playing and the sound keeps on going.

And here's the New York Times article on the organ surviving the fire:

Chris Campbell

Chat / Fixing things
« on: April 08, 2019, 08:16:02 PM »
Most of us in this group like fixing things--electronics, cars, Mixmasters (etc.).  My brother sends me links to Outside magazine's online articles and links.  One article was about a Finnish architect's design of a small, low-impact summer cabin.  I went to his web site and found this comment, that most of us will agree with:

The culture of repairing things is disappearing, and we

Electronics / Boom Box volume issue
« on: March 31, 2019, 11:44:29 PM »
I've got a small Aiwa radio-CD-cassette boom box, EX-30, with an odd problem.  When started up, the volume control doesn't work on the right channel.  It's just loud ad won't turn down.  It works on the left channel.  Eventually, when it "warms up," the control starts working and I can reduce volume.  I was using for CDs in a marina boat barn this weekend and luckily I was the only one working in the big building.  I could let it play away until it decided to work properly. 

Last year, when the problem arose, I took it apart, saw nothing amiss, tightened the various grounding/mounting screws on the circuit boards, and when I put it back together it worked.  I took full credit for a brilliant repair.

Any ideas on what would make a volume control not work until the device has been running a while?  I have no schematic.  What comes to mind is maybe an aging electrolytic cap that re-forms in service?  There's no crackling or intermittence to suggest a dirty control.  I hate trouble-shooting without a schematic!

Chris Campbell

Chat / Spring drive in the Mustang
« on: March 28, 2019, 08:27:44 PM »
I had to go to the grocery store after work.  That's not really a problem, except that the grocery store is about a mile away and I just hate to start the truck cold and drive a mile.  There's not much worse for a vehicle, especially in a cold climate. But our roads are dry and clear, so I decided to start up the Mustang from winter hibernation, make a couple short trips, then head north a few miles until it was all warmed up. 

First stop, the hardware store--to buy new screws for the Magnavox radio.  The old ones were rusted and looked lousy.  That's 2 blocks away.  I don't think I've ever driven the the hardware store.  Then it was off to the grocery store.  At both stop, the "check oil" light came on.  That was a helpful device from Ford, but if you're getting near time to add oil and stop the engine after a short drive, the oil doesn't drain down fast enough to keep the light off after you stat up again.  It uses a quart a summer, about every 5,000 miles, and I bought a quart last fall but didn't put it in because it as cold out.  Well, now I need to.  That light is annoying.

So my last 16 miles or so were at about 45-60 mph on M-22, a nice state highway that runs along Lake Michigan (Grand Traverse Bay).  I can still remember how exciting it was to drive along that road when I moved here 25 years ago, knowing that after years of living in the middle of our lower peninsula, as far from the water as you can get, now it was RIGHT THERE!!  Grand Traverse Bay is still frozen over so spring is not quite here, actually.

Chris Campbell

Chat / '56 Buick
« on: March 20, 2019, 08:34:23 PM »
This is mostly for Greg.  I've posted a video of the 2019 St. Patrick's Parade in Bay City, MI here:

Now I suspect few of you will give a hoot about a parade in Bay City ("where's that?"), but Greg may want to go to 5:50 in the video where there's a very nice '56 Buick to be seen.

By the way, the answer to the question above is "It's where Chris's '61 Chevy lives."  I had considered entering the car in the parade and taking along my mother, who is 96 and lives 1/2 block from where the parade starts (where I was standing).  She declined to participate  and I couldn't find any other volunteers.  The car was in the parade in 1964, for a nutty political group I was in (my excuse:  youthful stupidity) and then in 1965 for the high school band (cheerleaders rode in it).  Maybe next year.

Chris Campbell

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