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Topics - electra225

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1
Chat / Ford Wildcat
« on: October 16, 2018, 02:36:47 PM »
Now just a minute, Mr. Buick.  FORD Wildcat?  I thought there were only BUICK Wildcats.  Nope.  Therein lies a tale......

Read on, you'll hear the REST of the story........

I was awoken from a sound sleep about 4am with my wife yelling in my ear.  "Don't you hear that kitten screaming bloody murder?"  Heck no.  There could have been a howitzer going off at that time of the morning and I wouldn't have heard it.  "Put you pants on and go see if you can find it."  Surely, you jest, woman.  At this time of the morning?  There could be critters out there that would take offense to my interrupting their party.  It is thirty-something degrees, the bed is warm and I was sleeping.  So I put on my flip flops and head out with the flashlight half asleep looking for a cat at four in the morning.  That is a good way to get your butt filled with buckshot, roaming around in the dark at four in the morning.  I could hear the kitten yelling.  Not happy, certainly.  Could not find it anywhere.

So when daylight came, our neighbor lady called and said she had what sounded like a cat in her car.  Sure enough, when she started her 2016 Ford Fusion, you could hear the kitten yelling.  Three of the neighborhood guys heard the commotion and offered to help.  One of the guys had a lift in his garage.  We put the car up on the lift and started taking engine covers off.  The kitten was in the engine cover under the engine.  When I banged on that cover, it tore out of there like it had been shot.  We found the little black and white kitten in the corner of the garage.  Not terribly scared, just cold and hungry.  We brought "it" into the house, gave it something to eat and drink, and it went to sleep after showing us how well it purred.  It is still an "it" until we get it to the vet to figure out its exact sex.  We figure it is about six weeks old, about the size of a large mouse.  It has lost some hair on its left side and has lost its left hand eye lashes.  Very fortunate to still be here.  The lady got the cat in her car in town and hauled it home under the engine.  My wife will likely adopt this cat and no grille cloth in the house will be safe.  Stay tuned for that one. 

So there IS a FORD Wildcat.  Now you know the REST of the story........

2
Radios / Zenith 5S-127
« on: September 07, 2018, 03:41:31 PM »
This is the little tombstone Zenith I got at an auction recently.  I initially had no interest in it, but it is growing on me.  It is so ugly, it's cute.  The wife likes it.  The cabinet will never pass muster with her, so I'll have to refinish it.  I can still get the original grille cloth.  It needs a new plastic dial.  It needs all the rubber mounts for the tuner and for the chassis.  It needs a new dial drive belt.  I looked on Radio Museum for a picture of a good one, but the one they had was not much better than mine.  I don't believe this is an uber-valuable model, so I may take some poetic license with the finish.  I had planned to sell it, but nobody would want it in its present condition.

I replaced the incorrect metal tubes with "G" equivalents.  I found tube shields to replace the two that were missing.  I powered the chassis without the rectifier installed to do that initial test.  All seems well there.  I will forge ahead with a recap and probably change most of the resistors, if I have the right ones.  I dislike dogbone resistors.  The micas I'll leave alone for the time being, pending further chassis testing.  The schematic is in Riders, volume 7 page six in Zenith.

3
Radios / Grunow 1191 displays symptoms of SMD
« on: September 02, 2018, 11:18:43 PM »
Continued from the "Chat" board:

I subbed both IF tubes just to be safe.  No change. 

4
Chat / Another auction
« on: August 25, 2018, 04:19:59 PM »
My wife dragged me to another auction this morning.  Really a bunch of junk, dumpster fodder, most if it.  A Zenith 5S127 tombstone radio followed me home.  I usually avoid Zenith radios, but this one looked like it could use a friend.  The knuckle-draggers that were working the auction tossed stuff around and managed to knock a chunk of the loose veneer off the front of the cabinet.  As is typical of radios in this area, this one has been hacked and needs put back right.  The chassis grommets have turned to putty, so somebody used gasket shellac to seal them to the cabinet and to the chassis.  After I got the bolts out, I had to pry the chassis out of the goo to get it out of the cabinet.  (Why do I get all the nice ones?)   ;)

Instead of having a dial drive belt, somebody went to the trouble to run a dial string on the tuning mechanism.  That causes the control shafts to drag on the glass dial cover.  I pulled the chassis to put this right.  When I pulled the dial glass off, a chunk of the plastic dial came with it.  Those are repopped on Renovated Radios for $32.95 so no big deal.  The cabinet otherwise is nice, but needs refinished.  The grille cloth is still there, but it is pretty stained.  The power cord turned to mush, so I cut it off.  The bottom of the chassis looks pretty good.  The three glass tubes, 6A8G, 6K7G and 6Q7G have been replaced with metal, so two of the three tube shields were tossed so they would fit.  I have spares for those.  I believe this to be a 1937 model.  I have not checked for rubber wiring yet, but, being a Zenith, I won't be surprised to find some.  My wife thinks it's "cute" , but I am going to try to sell it.  I believe it should build out nicely.


5
Wanted / 27ZP4 picture tube
« on: August 01, 2018, 02:00:48 PM »
It's final.  The picture tube in my Stereo Theater is probably too weak to produce a decent picture.  I have had it on the tester for two days.  My B&K tester wants 300 as a minimum good reading.  This thing struggles to get to 150.  I can increase the filament voltage to 8.4 and it will BARELY make the "Good" range.  I'm going to have the picture tube out of the cabinet anyways, so I had just as well put a known good one back in.  I would like to have a NOS picture tube for this thing.  Although I don't know this, my guess would be that there were not that many 27" black and white sets sold, so the chances of finding an odd-ball 27ZP4 might be pretty good.  There was a member on here parting a Stereo Theater last fall, but I have misplaced his contact information.  I'm not in a big rush, but the search should probably start now.  If I can't find a NOS one, anything that tests good and will work is acceptable.

6
Phonographs / I'm glad I did not toss this one...
« on: July 25, 2018, 03:50:44 PM »
My wife took me to a sale here in our community on Saturday.  I ended up with five parts sets and one little nasty dirty GE portable stereo.  I was cleaning in the garage this afternoon.  I decided to strip this little stereo of its changer and some parts and trash can the rest.  I plugged it in and turned it on, expecting the fire to fly.  To my astonishment, the turntable started rotating and I did not see any smoke.  Not even any filter cap hum.  Hmmm.  That's not supposed to happen.   ;)

I had a stack of Christmas records ready to go to the church rummage sale.  I put one on and was surprised to hear Gordon McRae singing "Jingle Bells."  Hmmm.  That's not supposed to happen.   ;)

This thing is a model RP-2153 "Swingline 300".  I was familiar with the Swingline stereos, but most of them are solid state.  This one has four tubes:  35W4 rectifier, 35EH5 single ended stereo output and a 12AX7 pre-amp tube.  It has a "Custom" changer, a version of the VM 1200 series.  GE C-100 ceramic cartridge. It still drops records and actually shuts off at the end of the record.  All this with a inch of dirt on every surface.  I believe it will clean up and build out nicely.  It needs grille cloth, and I have some black burlap left.  This is in the charcoal cabinet.  I have a tan one, but it is only a three-tuber and does not have the fancy changer.  This one is a keeper, I think.  Really kinda cute.  This one has four six inch speakers.  Not a Concert Grand, but sounds good for what it is.  A new needle, replace the filter caps, maybe go thru the changer and give it a good cleaning should fix it right up.

7
Chat / My wife dragged me to another auction
« on: July 21, 2018, 03:53:54 PM »
One of our neighbors passed.  His heirs held an auction this morning.  I saw a box of shelf brackets I wanted.  I'm downsizing, you know, so I was not looking for radios.  By the time my friends found radios and told me about them, and by the time the auctioneer knew I was there, (I am his "radio guy")  I had gotten five radios and a portable stereo, which I neither wanted nor needed.  I spent a grand total of eight dollars.  It is hard to entertain yourself for a day anymore for much less than $8.

8
Chat / Tab Hunter dies at 86
« on: July 09, 2018, 10:15:56 AM »
My God, do I feel old.  Tab Hunter has passed.  He was 86.  THE heart throb of all the girls way back when.   ;)

https://centurylink.net/news/read/article/variety-tab_hunter_damn_yankees_star_and_gay_icon_dies_at-rpenskemc/category/news

Another article said that Doris Day is still alive at 96.

9
Sightings / Concert Grand for sale on ebay
« on: June 27, 2018, 03:41:52 PM »
Concert Grand with no audio tubes.  I won't comment on the price, since I look at that differently than anybody else.  One external speaker.  Okay. 

I can't get the picture to copy for whatever reason, so I apologize for that.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Magnavox-Concert-Grand-WITH-REMOTE-Ext-Speaker/282993680753?hash=item41e3bce171:g:3a8AAOSwURlbFDd8

There is a 1961 Imperial on ebay as well.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Magnavox-Magnificient-Record-Player/253549273669?hash=item3b08b6e245:g:uBcAAOSwOh9ayo-t

10
Magnificent Magnavox / Magnavox Stereo Theater 1MR418M restoration
« on: June 22, 2018, 10:07:45 PM »
1=Run 1
M=Stereo Theater
R=Total Remote Control
418=model 18 in the 400 series
M (suffix)=27" picture tube/CRT

What I know so far.  It has a 93-02-10 amplifier, 57-XX-XX tuner chassis, possibly a 57-16-XX, pending being able to see the number better, 71-00-00 MPX chassis, C36-20-11 TV chassis and an unknown model solid state remote control amplifier chassis.  Two 12" side-firing woofers and two front-firing 4X10 horns.  There are two tubes in the TV tuner, 9 tubes in the radio tuner, three tubes in the MPX adapter, 17 tubes in the TV chassis plus the CRT, and 7 tubes in the audio amplifier.  39 tubes if I have counted right.  It has a replacement "jug" (picture tube) and has at least one GE tube in the TV chassis and one of the 6EU7's in the amp is a Radio Shack tube.  The shield for the IF strip in the radio tuner is missing, so there has been work done on this thing sometime during the last 55 years or so.  This particular model is listed in the 1962 catalog.  The code on the MPX chassis is 424253.  Since there were not 53 weeks in 1962, could this code be for the 25th week of 1963?  This presents the first mystery.  My understanding is that there were no tube Stereo Theaters built in 1963, according to the 1963 catalog.  I need to figure out the code on the MPX adapter.  I have codes for the speakers, but those make no sense to me.  Perhaps someone else can help with that.  I'll post those later.  I haven't gotten codes off tubes yet.

This instrument is alleged to have a "nasty" hum in the output.  If it still hums, that shows the power transformer is good.  That is my first area of exploration. 

This is all preliminary.  This will be a fascinating journey.   :)

11
Music / Mickey Gilley-Johnny Lee "Urban Cowboy" Tour
« on: May 30, 2018, 08:01:16 AM »
I hopped onto the "good husband" list and offered to take my wife to Branson to see Mickey Gilley.  Mickey Gilley is one of my favorite country music artists.  He is 82 and currently appears on local TV advertising for a health services company.  He is in a wheelchair in the commercials.  Johnny Lee was born in 1946 and is one of the artists played 47 times a day on our local flea power FM station that plays canned country music all day.  Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee are best known for providing most of the music in the 1980's John Trivolta flick "Urban Cowboy."  Mickey Gilley also owned "Gilley's", the Texas honky tonk the movie was set in.

Both of these artists have had full and colorful lives, particularly Mickey Gilley.  He, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart are cousins.  Their mothers are sisters.  Mickey has survived a plane crash that should have killed him, survived an auto accident that should have killed him and suffered a broken spine in a stage accident, that nearly DID kill him.  He is of short stature, maybe 5'5" or so, and weighs maybe 140 pounds soppin' wet.  His upper body is totally stiff.  His hands are so twisted and knurled that he can barely hold a mic.  He can't play the piano anymore.  He cannot stand.  He sits on a three-legged stool.  Johnny Lee has a beer gut and can barely walk.  He was dressed like he just finished a day of fishing.  Suffice it to say, I was not optimistic. 

One should never judge the book by the cover.  From the first note of this concert, that statement was true.  The "Urban Cowboy Band" was comprised of local Branson talent.  The piano player, a man by the name of Lee Hendrix, was a local artist whose claim to fame was mimicking country piano players.  He did Cramer, Marty Robbins, Del Wood, Charlie Rich.  And Mickey Gilley.  He did Mickey Gilley better than Mickey Gilley did himself.  Johnny Lee reprised his hits, including "Looking For Love (In All The Wrong Places)".  You may remember that Eddie Murphy did a Buckwheat skit on Saturday Night Live.  He called the song "Nookin' Pa Nub" and Johnny Lee now includes a short clip of that skit in his show.  There were no obnoxious flashing lights, minimal grahics.  The sound was of reasonable volume, well mixed.  The band members were dressed alike.  The instruments looked like they had been new once upon a time.  Everything on stage was wireless and there were only a few, unobtrusive monitors.  The two female backup singers were competent, appropriately dressed and did not act like dance hall girls on stage.  The drummer played like a real drummer, not like he was driving roofing nails.  By the time this show was over, this concert had elevated itself to the third best concert I have ever attended, behind Hank Thompson and Asleep At The Wheel.

Branson is a place where music artists go when their careers and recording contracts are no more.  This could not have been a better concert.  It was the exact opposite, in every way, to the horrible Miranda Lambert concert we went to in Phoenix.  If you are ever in Branson and want to attend a quality venue, I would recommend the Mickey Gilley Theater.

12
Chat / An OT TV question
« on: May 29, 2018, 10:36:42 AM »
We still use our old 1992 RCA Home Theater 32" CRT TV set.  Before this year, the satellite TV provided a full screen on this old set.  This year, there is the annoying black lines on top and bottom of the picture.  That squishes up the picture and makes it look funny.  I called the fibre optics company we now have and they tell me to get a new TV.  "Nobody wants those old TV's anymore, so we don't support them."  Balderdash.  They still charge the same price as when we got a full picture.  I don't want to ask this on the "professional" TV restorers' forum, so I'll ask here.  Surely somebody on here uses one of the old CRT sets.  Will an RF modulator restore my TV to a full picture?  Is this all I need?

As an update to my earlier flat panel TV saga, we finally got a new 55" Vizio.  The color is not as good as the RCA that the LED's went out on.  The Vizio is a 4K Smart TV.  Horsefeathers as far as I'm concerned.  The audio is horrible.  Screechy and just nasty to listen to.  Since we are using our Concert Grand as a flat panel stand, running the audio thru the CG fixes that problem.  The new Vizio does not have an OTA tuner in it.  That comes separately.  You need to buy a sound bar if you get a new Vizio.

13
Chat / The Indy 500
« on: May 25, 2018, 10:21:09 AM »
Sunday is the most holy day there is to this Hoosier, next to Christmas and Easter.  That is race day!  Barbecued chicken, mashed potato salad, corn on the cob and cherry pie.  It is a tradition around here.  Add to that the golf cart parade.  About a thousand golf carts following the fire truck around our complex.  People throwing out candy, geegaws galore decorating the golf carts.  All to show appreciation to those who sacrificed so the rest of us can live free.

I miss the days of the Novi and Lloyd Ruby.  Dad liked ol' "J.A. Hoyt", mom liked Mario Andretti, grandpa liked anybody named Bettenhousen and grandma thought the whole thing was silly.  She did the cooking and fed us until we popped.....

Dad planted corn on race day.  Grandpa barbecued the chicken.  I monitored the radio on grandpa's Buick and kept charts of what was going on.  There'd be maybe 50 people at our place to help us celebrate "Decoration Day."  It was a grand time, now long past.

 

14
Sightings / A really white '61 Imperial
« on: May 19, 2018, 10:21:33 AM »
Somebody did a nice, if incorrect, white paint job on this Imperial. 

https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/atq/d/magnavox-vintage-console/6583009330.html

15
Music / Connie Francis "Greatest American Waltzes"
« on: May 15, 2018, 08:37:35 PM »
I found this album in my stash the other day.  I decided I'd process it to digital and put it on a CD.  The album "Greatest American Waltzes" on MGM, SE-4145, circa 1963.  The title is a bit misleading.  This album was recorded in Nashville, with Bill McElhiney leading the band and with the Jordainaires providing background vocals.  There is some Floyd Cramer piano evident.  There may be waltz words to the songs, but the flavor is pure Nashville.  Bill McElhiney was the in-house bandleader for RCA.  Connie Francis was 26 when she recorded this album, and was absolutely on top of her form.  Her sweet, rangy voice still puts a lump in my throat.  "Three O'clock In The Morning", "Melody Of Love", "Fascination", "I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time" and the "Anniversary Waltz" are some of the standouts, although there is nary a bad note on the album.  The record and album are in very good condition I would say.  Connie Francis is an artist who never recorded a bad note.  She outdid herself on this one.

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