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Topics - TC Chris

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Magnificent Magnavox / My 1951 (??) Magnavox
« on: March 19, 2018, 10:25:54 PM »
I snapped some more pictures of my early '50s Magnavox.  First is the record changer, a Webster-Chicago model that is not often seen.  The speed knob is chrome, tall, 1 inch or so, with a "reject" button in the middle.  The size selector (7" or 10") is chrome also.

The dial face is copper-plated and the raised area around the dial itself is uniformly sized & raised (later ones had some taper).  This was a no-flash handheld natural light attempt, with hand-shake.  My camera is not happy.  You will notice that Magnavox had not yet become Magnificent.

Here's also a full frontal shot, taken previously, just for reference.

So tell me--what year was this sold? 

Chris Campbell

Chat / ID of entertainment center?
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:25:54 PM »
I went to see a truly awful movie tonight--Get Out.  It's an Oscar nominee.  It's really, really bad.  Do not waste your money.  You will receive more benefit by burning the bills for their heat content than by seeing this really bad movie.

But in it, in a later scene, there is a big console with TV.  The identity is removed but there is a "color" symbol a circle divided into three segments, with red, green,and blue in them.  I've seen it before but cannot remember what brand that is.  Surely one of you will know.

It's not worth wasting money on this movie just to see the console.

Chris Campbell

Music / Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir
« on: March 01, 2018, 12:29:22 AM »
My radio station has an hour of "new age" music at 11 p.m. so I always leap for the source switch to play a CD or LP instead.  Tonight it was a thrift shop LP by the Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir.  Turns out I've got the re-release on CD, renamed "Shakin' the Rafters.".  It;s a big choir with piano and B-3 so I cranked the bass up a little bit to shake the rafters.  I did hae to jump up and flip the LP.  Pretty good stuff from about 1960.

Chris Campbell

Chat / ARF status?
« on: February 26, 2018, 09:37:25 PM »
I know that several other also follow and participate in ARF.  A couple weeks back they migrated to a new server.  Tonight I got a message "Board is disabled--moving to a new server."  What's up--is my computer migrating backward in time, or is ARF migrating to a new server again?

Chris Campbell

Chat / Repairable (?) equipment
« on: February 25, 2018, 06:47:56 PM »
Out in my shop I have a big old Sears shop vac, called a "dust collection system."  I inherited it from an old family friend when he was in his 90s. I got his drill press, radial arm saw, and  big old jig saw from a pattern shop.   He did a lot of wood turning and was allergic, as he got older, to many cool woods like walnut and apple. I think he was using this vac to keep turning without consequences.  It' a cool old device--a big 55-gallon cardboard drum with a fan system atop it.  A number of years ago after sucking abrasive bottom paint while sanding on the boat the bearings got noisy so I took it apart and used some old roller-blade bearings "temporarily."   Well, they've been noisy again so today was the someday-project day.  After disassembling and reassembling there was some little metallic thing loose in the fan.  It was pretty well sealed up--sheet metal formed over a pot metal motor body.  Couldn't get at it or even see it. Maybe it won't matter....  Plugged the vac in and yup, it did matter.  Little flakes of metal were coming out the exhaust and something sounded bad.  So I had to get the Dremel tool out, mount a cutting blade, and start cutting slits in the sheet metal part of the housing. Eventually I got a stray washer out.  Problem solved.  Now I've got to drill and tap for some screws to hold it back together.  But it's repaired.  And you know, the bearings felt OK.  One was a bit dry.  I squirted some grease in.  Sounds fine now.  And the brushes on that motor--geez, they'll be going strong when the next person inherits the device.

The big lesson, which most of you know, is that any project that you think will take X hours will usually take X times 3. 

Chris Campbell

Music / Benny Goodman
« on: February 24, 2018, 11:30:19 PM »
I listen to a public radio show called "Exploring Music."  There's usually a theme for the week--a composer, or performer, something.  This week has been "Carnegie Hall."  Friday night it was mostly Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall performance with the band and the quartet/trio.  I had forgotten what really remarkable music they made in that performance.  Gene Krupa is on drums, relentlessly driving the various ensembles, and the music is superb. Goodman had integrated groups at a time when black and white musicians generally did not perform together, and he hired Fletcher Henderson to do arrangements.  Teddy Wilson on piano, Lionel Hampton on vibes....

I knew I had become mature when I could listen to and enjoy music if I liked it,whether it was critically-approved or not.   This is just great music, creative and inventive and moving.   

You can hear the week's shows online here for the next week or two.  The Goodman show was at the end--Friday.
Online listening doesn't quite compare to good ol' FM radio, but the music's quality will overcome. Just turn it up.

Chris Campbell

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

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

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

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

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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