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Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:43 pm

A little Zenith clock radio, model H-615-J followed my wife home the other day. It was OMG dirty, and actually had a live spider taking up residence in it. (The spider did not survive the cleaning, however.) I removed the chassis, replaced the 50C5 output tube, restuffed the filter cap and it works just fine. There was a mud-dauber's nest on the front of the radio that I cannot clean adequately. The cabinet needs a trip to the dishwasher. Only one teeny hitch. I cannot, for the life of me, get the silly cover off the clock face! None of my usual methods, including using some of my best words, will make the thing give up its grip on the cabinet. I removed the clock knobs, and have poked and pried in the usual spots, but it will not budge. It appears loose, and it does not appear to have been glued. This radio is in really nice shape considering how dirty it was when we got it. There are political considerations here, and my reputation is on the line. The frau has proclaimed that this radio is "cute" and she wants it for "her" collection. So I gotta get this thing finished. I'm getting desperate.

Regards

WC

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Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:24 pm

My guess is there are permanent plastic studs inside holding it on, part of the plastic face. you'll have to remove everything, including clock, and, speaker, and, do a good cleanning, and, dry well.
Bill Cahill

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Post by Ben Delk on Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:56 pm

Wildcat....Got pictures? Oh....and you have such a way with words. Ha!
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Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:58 pm

Ben, I liked your other Avatar better. Hmmm. Snoopy with a boom box.........
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Post by DancingBear on Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:25 pm

You might try getting it cold. Different metal expansion rates could free it up if it's a metal-metal problem. I wouldn't freeze it, just ice water for a few minutes. Worth a shot. If it doesn't work you have ice for drink of choice.
TonyM

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Post by sprman on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:51 pm

Im with Bill bet you have to remove everything to get to it.PITA i know but well worth it! Sprman

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Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:39 pm

Well, Ben, I could probably get pictures, but I am not smart enough to post them on here. Maybe someday if I live long enough.

This cover is your typical clear plastic cover that covers the clock. I would just clean around it, but there is a dead spider between the cover and the clock face. The frau wants it gone from "her" "cute" radio. There are two tabs on one side of it, and only one tab, in the middle, on the other. Usually, all I have to do is remove the knobs and pry lightly toward the side with the two tabs. This releases the single tab and allows the cover to swing out and off the cabinet. I have taken dozens of these covers off, and never a problem like this one is trying to be. I heated it lightly with my heat gun, but no dice. I can wiggle the cover, so I know it should come right off. The hands for the clock are on the outside of the plastic cabinet and the motor is on the inside. Sooooooooo, to get the silly clock out, the stupid cover has to come off, followed by the clock hands, then the motor, followed by the radio chassis, followed by the speaker. In that order. The frau has faith in me, she says, still. If that dead spider does not disappear, it may be a long old dry spell before I get homemade cinammon rolls again. This situation is getting more desperate by the second! I have informed my dear frau, BTW, that the next time she lets a radio follow her home (I don't need anymore radios, myself!), to please check for dead bugs in the clock. Life will be much less dramatic.

Regards

WC

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Post by Dr. Radio on Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:41 pm

Can you double check that model number for us?

I did a search and can't find it. An H615 is a large table model with no clock.

If I saw it, I could prolly tell you what's the problem (besides a dis-approving wife in regards to spider carcass) Very Happy
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Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:00 pm

I will re-check that model number. I have been known to quote the incorrect model in the past. Old age, I guess. Seems like I have an H-615 from like 1952 or something like that. It had silver mica disease, IIRC. So, I would bet that I have mis-spoken again. And, you are right, Doc. It does not have a clock. HMMMM. Could that be my problem? Could I be working on the wrong radio? Where is my medication? The frau has been threatening to put me in a cage if I get any goofier. The time may be drawing closer than I realize!

Regards

WC

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Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:20 pm

Okay. I found a PART of the problem. The model number is H-519-L. The H-615-J is sitting next to it on the shelf, so I inconveniently WROTE DOWN THE WRONG NUMBER! I write stuff down so that I won't make a mistake. Now I need to learn to write down CORRECT stuff!

So let us try to work on the correct, broken Zenith clock radio, model H-519-L. Kind of lavander and white with a clock that the cover won't come off of and a huge mud dauber's nest on the front next to the tuning knob. I have inspected the rear of the clock, and it appears that the tab that needs to move in order to get the cover off is buried behind a part of the cabinet. I may be able to maneuver the two tabs on the other side from the back in order to get them to come loose and remove the cover in reverse order. The cover will wiggle from side to side slightly, but I can't get it to move enough toward the side with two tabs to get it to release and come off. Everything is 60 year old plastic, so I don't feel comfortable with getting overly aggressive with prying. The frau has ixnayed my suggestion of an air chisel. Any other ideas with a less dastardly outcome will be greatly appreciated.

Regards

WC

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Post by 75X11 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:10 pm

Is it like any of these?

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=zenith+519&qpvt=zenith+519&FORM=IGRE#
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Post by Dr. Radio on Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:15 pm

Yup, looks like the tabs are the only things holding the clock crystal in place. Did a search on eBay.

The only thing to double check is make sure they didn't (I doubt it) do what RCA did on some of their clock radios...there are small spears that pass thru the tabs on the inside of the cabinet to hold the crystal in place. I'd find that hard to believe on this model....



If there is one side that only has one tab, that's the one you want to carefully pry on.

Have you tried using (carefully) a dull butter knife or putty knife to shimmy between the cabinet and crystal to give you leverage?

My fear was someone used superglue, but if you can "slide" the crystal side to side it should be free enough to pry out.
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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:52 am

Mine is like the sixth one from the left on the second row in that picture. The strange thing about this thing is that, like I said, the crystal moves slightly, but I'll be switched if I can get the thing to pry over enough for it to slide out. I have been using a pocket screwdriver with electrical tape on the blade to keep from gouging the plastic cabinet. I may try an old butter knife and see if the wider blade will affect a change of some kind that will get that stubborn crystal to move and allow me to get it off. The left side (as you face the clock) is the one with only one tab. It needs to slide slightly to the right and then the tab should let go and let the crystal come off. It really is ugly with a dead spider in the clock, but would be even uglier with a dead spider AND a busted clock crystal. Thanks for your time and input guys,especially you Doc. This thing has to give up eventually. Patience is probably a virtue here. I like these small, colorful clock radios, and the cabinets are usually nasty, so I have removed dozens of clock crystals. This is the first one to cause any problem whatsoever in coming off.

Regards

WC

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Post by 75X11 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:13 am

If it is this one (my layout only has rows of 2 to 3 pics) it looks like that should be able to be compressed by a shimmy toward the center to disengage from the keyway. I keep a printers' spatula for such work.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/images/radio/zenith_radio_corp/h519_188819.jpg
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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:11 am

I have been out in the shop trying to get the stubborn crystal to come off. No dice. Nada. I am afraid of busting some plastic. I have NEVER seen a crystal this stubborn. I see no other way to get the clock out other than removing the crystal. I shook and sucked with my shop vac, and the dead spider is now reduced to dead spider parts. Not much improvement, and not enough to satisfy the wife. This radio probably cost less than $20 when it was new, and I realize that Zenith engineers did not anticipate some old coot 60 years hence trying to get the clock crystal off to remove a dead spider, but Jeez! The chassis in this radio is just a flat sheet of metal with the speaker in the center. Zenith did not use PC chassis, but this is next to one.

Regards

WC

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Post by 75X11 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:42 am

Maybe a thin knife on each side to compress the crystals'skirt that engages the keyway. If the key is only as deep as the knife is thick, that may be enough to get it to clear. Run it by, not onto the key.
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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:12 pm

The mystery has been solved. I got the crystal off.

The winner of the "How to remove the clock crystal contest" is (drum roll, please).........Bill Cahill. Yep, Bill had this one pegged.

I unsoldered the antenna connections and removed the antenna. I then unsoldered the motor connections so I could remove the chassis, and removed the chassis. Then the speaker. Then I could see what was going on. The factory had sort of melted the tabs that held on the crystal. I had gone so far already, that I just took my Dremel tool and ground, carefully, the tabs off so the crystal would fall off. I then took the hands off the clock, removed the motor, and took careful pictures and made notes how the whole mess was to be re-assembled. Then I put clear shipping tape over the decals and stickers, and put the cabinet into the dishwasher. The cabinet is now nice and shiny and ready to re-assemble. I am not 100% sure how to secure the crystal, but I am going to try using clear silicone to hold the crystal on. I am going to rig up some sort of block and clamp system to hold the crystal in place, then glom on some silicone. Hopefully this will work. Zenith did not intend for anybody to service the clock on this radio. This is the first one, in all the clock radios that I own, that is done like this one was. I hope it is the last. Thank you for all your ideas. This one had me scratching my head.

Regards

WC

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