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Topics - TC Chris

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Electronics / capacitor working voltage
« on: January 16, 2019, 10:45:56 PM »
I started to recap the GE radio tonight.  I picked one that looked toasted--a big paper cap from the plate of the 6L6 output to ground.  .01 mfd, and then "1600."  ????  So I found the schematic and it didn't give a voltage value.  The parts list did--1000 VDC.  Again, ???  Seems like a high rating, especially for an old paper and wax cap. The plate voltage is shown as 290 V.  I was wondering if I could get away with a modern film cap of 600 or 630 WVDC.  I've got those on hand.

My only guess about the voltage is that it has something to do with the output transformer primary, maybe acting like a choke or something.

Any advice?

Chris Campbell

Chat / The old GE radio
« on: January 15, 2019, 11:38:14 PM »
The GE E-86 console radio project ground to a halt last spring after the cabinet repair and refinishing was done.  Now I've finished one project, fixing up an old steel "ice cream chair" with a new wooden seat and some linseed oil on the steel frame.  That made room to start on the GE's electronic renovation.  Tonight was the first part--replacing all 5 grid cap wires, which were all rubber-insulated and crumbling.  Two were from IF transformer cans, so the cans had to come off.  On the first one, true to form, I got the sequence wrong--soldered the cap connector to the wire instead of soldering the wire to the IF, then poking the wire through the can, then soldering the cap connector on.

Next I'll make some sort of chassis holder so I can work on the underside, replacing capacitors and the rubber insulated wires that are placed so as to create hazards.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Can't upload schematic
« on: January 08, 2019, 10:07:58 PM »
I just tried three times to upload ("download") the Sams schematic for the V-M model 566 amp.  Each time it tells me "an  error has occurred."  OK< please tell me WHAT error so  can try to fix it.  Does anybody have a clue?

Or if anybody wants to see it, I can e-mail directly.

Chris Campbell

Electronics / Columbia cartridge
« on: January 08, 2019, 09:51:38 PM »
I just pulled out a late-50s Columbia LP and it has their original paper jacket with ads for their consoles, always fun.   It touts their "constant displacement stereophonic cartridge."  A Google search leads me to (1) an offer to sell me an AES paper on the subject by a Columbia employee, or (2) if I click on images of the pages, completely unrelated pornography.  The brief intro to the AES paper describes "two coplanar ceramic elements joined by an orthogonal lever."  That sounds like a description of a standard ceramic cartridge to me.  Does anybody have a better understanding (or better still, AES membership so you can read the paoer)?

Chris Campbell

Sightings / Fisher XP-18 speakers
« on: January 07, 2019, 06:28:11 PM »
On the way back from buying lunch today I passed the local antique mall.  One window is MCM stuff, and today there were two big floor-standing speaker systems.  Fisher XP-18, $195, Danish or MCM style.  They're a bit  beat-up and one has way-beyond-salvation torn grille cloth.  Sign says "18 inch woofers." Location is NW lower peninsula, Michigan.  I can give further details if anybody is interested.

Chris Campbell

Music / Elvis
« on: January 06, 2019, 07:26:03 PM »
The Public Radio program "American Routes"  had a nice two-hour show on Elvis tonight, with interviews and music.  It was a sympathetic portrayal. You can search it out here:

And my favorite weekly blue show has an Elvis feature tonight too.  Most of you are beyond Michigan FM range bt the program is streamed for two weeks after broadcast:

Chris Campbell

Music / Dancing in the Streets
« on: January 05, 2019, 11:24:17 AM »
This morning's NPR news show, Morning Edition, had a nice piece on one of my favorite songs, Martha & the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Streets."  They added it to their "American Anthems" series.  Whether it's because I'm from Michigan, a guy who was 17 when it was recorded on June 16, 1964, it's just a great recording, or all of the above, I've always loved it. The piece can be heard here:

I've got the 45 on the 1948 jukebox, now sort of out of service, where it sounds great. 

Chris Campbell

« on: December 31, 2018, 08:02:30 PM »
Happy New Year to all the fix-up-your-own-music folks, and happy listening!

Chris Campbell

Chat / Local sources for electronic stuff
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:09:02 PM »
Radio Shack was the place people loved to hate, but (at least until their final cell-phone focused days) I always found them useful.  When I needed some common things, maybe some wire or solder or a resistor on short notice, I could run to Radio Shack.  I was thinking of that because I needed some stranded wire, a ring terminal, and heat-shrink tubing to extend the wire to the generator on the Chevy.  It had been shortened and I wanted it longer to absorb engine movement better.

Luckily, wire & terminals & heat-shrink are available at my local Ace Hardware, and better still, Ace lies between home and work--about a four-block walk for me.  But if I wanted a little speaker, or an odd lamp, Ace is not likely to have it. 

Do others have local sources for things hey used to get at Radio Shack?

Chris Campbell

Music / Christmas music
« on: December 19, 2018, 08:06:00 PM »
I'm kind of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music, favoring the old carols.  But tonight our local youth-bicycling organization had its annual "lights ride" in the dark, snaking through our downtown and nearby residential areas to see Christmas lights.  We had about 80 bikes, all sorts of ordinary non-spandex riders on a variety of daily bicycles.  The whole idea was to ride SLOOOWLY and see the light (and take back the streets from the cars).  Many people had colored lights on their clothes or bikes, as well as the usual flashing or steady-state bike lights. I already had my winter-commuter bike at my downtown office so I just stayed late and joined the crew.  It was perfect weather--dry and warm (45 degrees F in December!).  Last year it was raining....  We had kids riding in the 10-12 year old range, plus younger ones in trailers behind their parents.

Here's the music part.  The organizer had his heavy-duty hauling bike, the one with a regular 1-7/8" trailer hitch on it.  On top he had a battery-powered sound system (pretty good bass, actually) playing jazzy pop-tune Christmas music.  I had forgotten how much pop Christmas music there is, and it added a happy vibe to our big cloud of bicycles taking back the streets.

What are your favorite non-carol, pop-tune Christmas songs?

Chris Campbell

Music / Patsy Cline
« on: December 06, 2018, 11:24:16 PM »
Tonight I was addressing Christmas card envelopes and the public radio station went to its 10:00 pm "new age" music show.  I like lots of music, but cannot tolerate the "new age" tinkling pianos.  So as usual I went in and put on a CD.  This was one I had recorded from two LPs and several 45 rpm EPs, all Patsy Cline.  And wow, what a talent.  And what a shame we lost her at an early age.  She would have been another Sinatra, I bet, one who got older & better.

By the way, for this year's card photo, it's me leaning against the '61 Chevy.

Chris Campbell

Music / Not Christmas... but Johnny Cash
« on: December 02, 2018, 07:00:46 PM »
I'm listening to a favorite public radio program, American Routes.  Nick Spitzer puts together astonishing shows each week.  He just played Johnny Cash in one of those late recordings in which he sang lots of his favorite music.  The voice was diminished but the capacity to convey emotion was not.  This cut was "Streets of Laredo, " which I associate with Marty Robbins (another favorite).  But Wikipedia tells us that it's an old folk tune, first published by John Lomax (father of Alan) in 1910:

Johnny Cash rasps it out,  but not too far into it I was dabbing at my eyes.  We're lucky that he undertook that end-of-life recording project.

This is the same radio show that had the Jerry Lee Lewis feature recently.  I always hear something new and something familiar but good.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Generator tester
« on: November 28, 2018, 07:09:40 PM »
Last night I went out to the garage and dug out the Sun generator/regulator tester that an elderly friend gave me.  It was a cool gift.  As I edge toward (maybe into) the class of "elderly," I think about who might want my cool stuff some day.  In any event, this tester has sat unused since I got it.  All my daily drivers have alternators, and there are half a gazillion versions of those.  Until now, none of my old generator cars has had a failure while I've had this device.  So I took a photo to share.  It comes with two sets of instructions, and a set of specs for 1941-1952 cars.  The instructions are big on voltage-drop testing, always a useful test for auto stuff that's subject to vibration and corrosion.  I just wish the Chevy were here where I am so I could run out and hook up the tester and do some diagnosis.

That big red knob in the middle controls a big carbon-pile resistor to provide load.

Chris Campbell

Magnificent Magnavox / Early Magnavox history
« on: November 18, 2018, 10:29:20 PM »
I may have posted this before but it's worth seeing again.  Its a brief history of early Magnavox hi-fi.  I have the amp, speaker, and controls from that table top 1936 "Concerto" model.  One of these days I'm going to mock up a case of approximately correct dimensions to see ow they sound in original form.  Here's the link:

Chris Campbell

Music / The TAMI Show
« on: November 18, 2018, 12:25:39 PM »
Does anybody else remember the TAMI Show?  It was a huge 1964 concert video/movie with all the big stars of the day. 

I just sent a link to my little video of the Chevy to a childhood friend.  He remembered being included in a group of kids that went to see the TAMI Show at a drive-in movie in the Chevy in 1964. And he remembered the James Brown performance.

NOBODY who ever saw that movie ever forgot the James Brown performance.  The Rolling Stones went on last, just before JB.  Mick Jagger later admitted that going on after JB was the biggest mistake he ever made.  JB apparently was miffed at not being featured last, so he put on an extra-special show. 

I've got it on DVD now and the Stones' performance is damned good.  It's just that James Brown was incandescent, so that's what everybody remembers.

There are other god performances--Chuck Berry, the Supremes, the Miracles, the Beach Boys.  And then there were some one-hit wonders.  It's fun to watch and see who endured and who didn't.

Chris Campbell

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