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Topics - TC Chris

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
1
Music / Still more LPs
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:01:33 PM »
Today I had to be in an out-county and just down the street from the courthouse there's a local charity thrift shop.  I'll stop in from time to time to check out the LP selection. Today's haul:  another ten.  Cast albums for Guys and Dolls and Unsinkable Molly Brown.  Two RCA discs of music from Victory at Sea (I've like that music since playing it in high school band).  American folk songs by the Roger Wagner Chorale.  Misc. jazz:  Cakewalkin' Jass Band, Benny Goodman Sextet, Oscar "Papa" Celestin, Jazz Hall of Fame, Vol. 2 (misc. jazz & blues guys).  Lind Ronstadt & Nelson Riddle.

They've all just gone through the record washer and are drying.  None were pristine except the Ronstadt.

At a buck a pop, buying these is like buying scratch-off lottery tickets. 

Chris Campbell

2
Music / More LPs
« on: February 07, 2018, 07:12:00 PM »
I had to travel to another county for work this a.m. and the route takes me past a Goodwill store.  So I stopped on the way back to check out the LPs.  Oops, bought a bunch @ $1.  George Wright plays Mighty Wurlitzer; three Boston Pops/Fiedler discs (Offenbach, Strauss, Gilbert & Sullivan); Burl Ives; Hank Snow; Ernest Tubb; another Paul Weston mood music disc; and two musicals--Threepenny Opera and Flower Drum Song.  Most are mono and will be playable on my three 1956 consoles.  Odd how mine have clustered in that year.   But first I've got to run them through the record washer.

Chris Campbell

3
Chat / What happened to ARF??
« on: February 07, 2018, 07:04:46 PM »
So last night ARF went off and I can't pull it up now--something about "changing a host."  Is that like quitting your job to "spend more time with my family and pursue other opportunities?"  Or is it really just temprary?

Chris Campbell

4
Chat / For the car guys
« on: February 04, 2018, 03:03:06 PM »
I'll send this along because several of us have a weakness for old cars too.  One of the big events here in Traverse City has been the arrival of the 1968 Mustang--the actual car--that Steve McQueen, coolest guy ever, drove in the chase scene (and others) in the 1968 movie, Bullitt. There had been two Mustangs.  One was scrapped because of damage.  The other was sold to a guy whose wife used it as a daily driver to her teaching job for three years in NJ.  Then it was retired and basically kept secret by the family.  50 years after the movie, they contacted Hagerty Insurance about going public. It's in as-found condition, including the brackets welded underneath to hold cameras, and the tube for the smoke machine in the trunk (see those tires burnin'!).  The car is on display downtown in the Hagerty Insurance building's big display window where they always have cool cars.  I stopped by yesterday and peered through the window.  They wouldn't let the public in, just employees, but it's a few blocks from my office so I'll walk down on lunch hour and have a close-up view.

This morning I pushed through a big snowfall to reach our downtown movie house for a 10 a.m. event celebrating the car.  It turned out to be a short video on the car's history, followed by the whole movie--on the great big screen, the way it should be seen. I had never seen the whole thing.  It's classically good filmmaking, with a great screenplay, inventive and effective cinematography, and Lalo Schifrin's jazzy score.  I was in the 5th row, and when the car bottomed out on the SF hills, my stomach did too.  Really visceral.  Movies are made to be seen on a big screen.  And apparently lots of others agreed with me because the big theater was almost full. 

Let's hear it for cars and movies....

Chris Campbell

5
Music / Hear the blues on Sunday evening
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
For blues fans, I'll post a reminder that you can hear a very good 3-hour blues show on public radio on Sunday evening, 8-11 p.m. EST.  Since most of you aren't in central or northern Michigan, you'll have to do it online.  Here's a link:
http://radio.wcmu.org/how-listen

The program is "The Juke Joint" and its host, Robert Barclay, has been doing this for 32 years.  He knows lot and presents informed commentary with the music.  He'll play blues, R&B, gospel, and some country and rock too on occasion.

Run a cable from your phone or computer to your console's aux input and have a listen.

Chris Campbell

6
Music / Sat. night AM radio from WSM
« on: January 27, 2018, 07:30:31 PM »
It's a winter Saturday night, and WSM in Nashville is booming in over the 1937 Zenith--The Grand Ole Opry, broadcast live and over the air on a clear-channel station, that way it's supposed to be.

This is one of my first old radios.  It's the least original--my uncle built the box to hold the chassis.  Who knows what happened to its original deco cabinet.  This is a chassis 1004, from a 10S155 or 10S160 console. As a kid I got a library book and built a bass-reflex speaker enclosure, but it's stashed elsewhere right now so I knocked together a simple plywood open back infinite baffle box, aiming to be roughly the size of the radio's original.  It sounds surprisingly good on the "high fidelity" tone setting, with firm solid bass and highs as good as they're going to get on limited-bandwidth AM.

Chris Campbell

7
Chat / 80 year old sound
« on: January 21, 2018, 02:23:12 PM »
Yesterday evening I recapped the power supply on a 1937 Zenith 1004 radio chassis.  It had been removed from its console, which was probably a 10S155 or 10S160 by my uncle, most likely.  I've had it from probably about 1962, when I snagged it from my grandparents' basement.  A few years back I was listening to WSM from Nashville, Grand Ole Opry broadcast, and the stage band was having an especially inspired evening.  "I need to get the Zenith going" was my notion.  So I built a big plywood box for a speaker enclosure and fired it up.  HUMMM.  Time for caps.  It took a few years before I actually got around to ordering them but last week they arrived from Mouser. Somebody on ARF was kind enough to send me an improved schematic with tube-base markings.  I didn't worry about the output stage coupling caps failing because there aren't any--the P-P 6L6 outputs are driven by a transformer.  S I plugged it in with my dim bulb tester and eventually the audio came up so I went full voltage.  Wow, it sounded pretty good!  Good bass and high frequencies, such as they are on AM these days, with the tone selector on the "high fidelity" position.  Not bad for 80 year old technology.

Chris Campbell

8
Chat / Current project
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:02:08 AM »
My current project is restoration of a GE E-86 from about 1936.  The cabinet was intact, although it had moisture damage and some areas of veneer were loose.  I've got them mostly re-glued.  Tonight I worked on the second small area in which tiny pieces were missing.  The next step will be to remove what remains of the old finish, re-stain, and then varnish.  That's what I usually use because I don;t have spray facilities or equipment.  Sanded and rubbed out carefully, it can turn out very well. (No, never polyurethane).  Let's see if the photo will work.  If it doesn't (I downsized it for another purpose) I'll try again later.

Chris Campbell

9
Console Tales / Heath console
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:25:10 AM »
I've got a ca. 1970s Heath console, a solid-state variety, with the electronics identified as AD-19.  It was a streetside find.  When I went to pick it up, the man said that his son was happy--his son had found it and hoped somebody else would want it.  The speakers were missing and one channel isn't operating.  The cabinet sits on end in my garage, which is filled with all manner of valuable stuff in the American style (i.e., the trusty truck sits outside).  The receiver portion sits in my shop, waiting for a diagnosis one of these days.  But first I've got to work on refinishing the GE E-86 radio cabinet (under way) and painting the propeller for a sailboat outboard (just about done) and then varnish the mahogany rudder for another sailboat.

But I've advanced the project.  Parts Express was having a sale, and this time a rubber-surround 10" woofer was available so I bought two for the Heath.  That will give some incentive to move ahead on the electronics.

Chris Campbell

10
Music / Another blues program
« on: January 08, 2018, 09:28:26 PM »
Michigan's  premier broadcast blues show, the Sunday evening "Juke Joint" with host Robert Barclay on WCMU, has several annual programs.  One is the Elvis's Birthday show, which was on last night.  You can hear it online for the next two weeks by clicking here:

http://radio.wcmu.org/post/juke-joint-january-7-2018

So you ask, "Elvis?  Blues?"  And the answer is yeah, Elvis listened carefully to black blues musicians and borrowed lots of material from them.  This show includes his roots in both white rockabilly and black blues and R&B.  Robert often includes some gospel because Elvis loved to sing that too.  Some complain the Elvis stole the music from the black performers because he was white and white audiences would listen to him.  I prefer to think that he really liked the music and wanted to sing it.  It's more of  tribute than a theft. 

My only gripe is that there isn't enough from Elvis himself, but that's due to restrictions imposed by the streaming option--online shows cannot play more than two pieces by any performer in an hour without running into royalty problems.  Sometimes Robert can work around that when a featured musician is a sideman, not the named artist on a record.  But with Elvis, his name was always at the top.

And next week is the ML King birthday show, one that will be packed with Gospel. 

Chris Campbell

11
Chat / iPod and iTunes
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:33:34 PM »
I'm guessing that somebody else has an iPod,and that they have somehow wrestled with the mysterious Apple ways of the device.  Apple apparently assumes that you can figure out their devices by osmosis or divine inspiration.  I have an iPod classic and have loaded it from my old computer, using my own CD collection.  But last year I actually purchased some music via iTunes because it was only available that way.  OK, bought, paid for, downloaded.  But I'll be damned f i can make the music migrate from my new computer to the iPod.  The online instructions say "drag and drop."  I've dragged and dropped until I'm blue in the face and noting happens.

Any advice?

Chris Campbell

12
Fisher / Kennedy's Fisher
« on: December 31, 2017, 11:37:20 PM »
The New Year's celebration was at my sister's house.  She dug out some old  summer 1964 tabloid-style school magazines aimed at kids--National Scholastic? One of them had a piece on JFK, dead only a few months at that point.  The article included a photo of his Fisher console.  It was a mid- to low-level model with a lower-end Garrard changer, maybe an AT-6.  Nothing fancy but very adequate.

Chris Campbell

13
Chat / Off-topic (car question)
« on: December 28, 2017, 06:54:10 PM »
I know we've got various car guys on here.  I've owned a very unrestored 1938 Buick since 1966.  Let's count...  that means I've owned it for over 50 years.  Ouch.  So I've actually started thinking about giving up on the someday-I'll do-it-myself idea and paying somebody to do it right.  Any suggestions on restoration shops with experience in Buicks, or 30s era cars, preferably in the vicinity of Michigan?

Chris Campbell

14
Chat / 1940-ish Sparton radio
« on: December 26, 2017, 10:09:17 PM »
Last Christmas/New Year I spent some time re-gluing the veneers on a Sparton Model 1081 console radio.  My sister bought it at a house sale about 25 years back and it was in mint condition physically.  The AM band worked fine, too, but there was nothing at all on SW.  Well, the radio sat in my parents' basement--no room in the inn--and then came the great Bay City flood that put about a foot of water in the basement.  It was pretty forlorn after that, what with the loose veneers, and finally last year I decided that it was one of those "someday" projects that ought to start now.  Careful gluing and some Howard's finish restorer made it look pretty good again.

This holiday I traveled down with some new filter caps in my bag.  While replacing the old ones I looked carefully at the RF section to see if the SW band had been physically disconnected.  I had read a couple years back that Americans of German extraction often had their SW bands disconnected during WW II to show that they weren't listening surreptitiously to German propaganda broadcasts.  And this radio had come from a German part of town.  Wow, sure enough, this one had a few unconnected points in the front end!

In any event, after I replaced the filter caps and wiggled one tube it fired right up, giving pretty good AM reception for daytime. It has a big built-in rotating coil antenna and I need to get the turns properly separated and lined up again, but at least it has joined the land of the living.  Another project will be trying to find somebody with a similar radio who can send a photo of the chassis underside so I can figure out what's missing.  My online-download schematic is a bit hard to read so a photo will help.

Chris Campbell

15
Chat / Holiday thanks
« on: December 15, 2017, 08:23:55 PM »
Hey, it's the holidays, the dark-day season in northern latitudes when we put up colorful lights and get festive.  It's a good time to say that's I'm grateful for the friendly exchange of information on this forum.  We can all learn new things from each other and solve problems.  Nobody complains when some of us venture off into way-off-topic subjects like cars.  Best of all, we can interact without dragging politics into it or insisting that our preferred way to do something is the only way.  We're tolerant. It's a good group.

Chris Campbell

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