Obscure radios

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Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:32 pm

I have a Mason radio, bakelite cabinet, 6 tube AC-DC. No identification anywhere I can find. I'm guessing pre-1946, since it has all octals. 35Z5, 50L6, 12SQ7, 12SK7, 12SA7, and 12SK7. Appears to be well-built. It has RCA knobs on it, typical of the late 30's RCA consoles. I'm not sure if these are correct.

My second orphan is an "Encore". This is one of those tiny, early '60's Japanese made radios. This thing is about the size of the metal midgets of the early 40,s but it has five tubes, the usual miniature tube complement. 50C5, 35W4, 12AV6, 12BA6 and 12BE6 No identification or stickers anywhere that I can find.

The third one is a Minerva Tropic Master. It is an 8 tube set, AC-DC, SW and broadcast bands, complete with tone control, six inch speaker. It is housed in a homemade cabinet that obviously does not belong to the radio. It is made much like a Hallicrafters. The front is all metal, and very industrially styled. It too appears to be well built. It has a 25Z6 rectifier with P-P 25L6 audio.

I am not a member of the Radio Museum and I have come up empty in Riders and Beitmans. I have not tried Sams as of yet. These are some real oddball brands and I am happy to have them in my collection. It seems that I have heard of the Mason brand, and the Minerva brand somewhere, but I can't think where.

WC

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Tony V on Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:16 pm

The Minerva Tropic Master sounds like the model W-117 built in 1945 that I have. The case was originally metal with a fold down metal door on the front. They came in a couple of colors and when closed up looked like a metal lunchbox. Heres a picture from the net I found for you from Steve Tardi's collection.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:38 pm

That is the one! The chassis I have has been put into a wooden box that does not fit the chassis. It appears to be a pretty good rig. I wonder if there is any chance of finding the correct cabinet for mine? Thanks, Tony.

The Mason I have appears to be a model 45-1A, circa 1946. Made by the Mason Radio Products Corp, Kingston, NY. I got onto Radiomuseum somehow and found it.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Tony V on Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:56 pm

Two out of three...not bad for a couple hours work Smile Hopefully with some digging, we can find some data on the Encore also. Only thing I found so far was some transistorized pocket radio's for that brand.
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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:41 pm

The Encore may be more of a challenge. I read awhile back, can't remember where, that those little Japanese-built radios were imported fairly heavily and sold by discount stores. The article or wherever I saw this, also mentioned that these little radios were known to have power switches that would not close. I believe I remember reading that many of these little sets were made by the same company under a zillion different brands. Mine is a cute little thing, but is dead as a doornail. I wonder if mine has a bad power switch?

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by 75X11 on Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:13 am

If it has a high resistance switch, many times the silver plated contacts can be cleaned nicely with a small brush and 91% isopropyl alcohol.  The audio jacks on the transistor units that can also develop high resistance connections can be cleaned with 91% iso and a brush like these.

http://www.amazon.com/Interdental-Brush-Picks-Pack-Count/dp/B0040LZIM0/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1430136954&sr=8-7&keywords=interdental+brush
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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:51 am

Minerva made a 6 tube ac dc two band radio that was in a very plain Jane wood case. I once had one. It would have a brass plaque on the front with the company name. Not terribly rare. Horizontal louvers. I think you may have the wrong knobs on yours. The originals were fancy looking cheap plastic that likes to dis intergrate.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:40 pm

Wonder if I can just squirt something in the control, or if I have to take it out, take it apart and putz with it?

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by 75X11 on Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:01 pm

For the transistor, I'd try it. The alcohol on the silver plate does clean it with a little brushing.
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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:25 am

There are good contact, and, control cleanners you can purchase to clean the controls while they are still in the sets. Don't use alcohol, or, detergents of any kind in them. It cleans the carbon out completely. Look, mom. No control!!!!!

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:49 pm

So you think that something like De-Oxit or similar might unstick the switch without taking it apart?

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:16 am

Yes..........

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:29 pm

I found another Encore radio on ebay. Mine is all white, but this looks like the same radio.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-TUBE-RADIO-ENCORE-MODEL-50E-JAPAN-WORKS-/171767577831?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27fe253ce7

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by jerryhawthorne on Fri May 01, 2015 5:26 pm

We have all had our obscure radios where it is hard to find information on them. Plug along WC. My worse was an early two chassis "Monarch" best guess 1929. A lot of fun without documentation. Nice TRF radio and a real challenge with the powersupply changed prior to diodes and a gas rectifier stuffed in in place of an 80 for looks. No wires hooked up to it. Fond of this radio getting it back to working. Slide doors which no doubt helped saving the grill cloth from cats.
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Re: Obscure radios

Post by 75X11 on Fri May 01, 2015 6:15 pm

Nice looking radio!
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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri May 01, 2015 7:45 pm

That is a nice one, Jerry.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by jerryhawthorne on Fri May 01, 2015 8:01 pm

Thanks WC, here is the radio chassis up and running but still don't know what model! It was painted in a wrinkle black originally and held up well.
Others should add their obscure radios, perhaps on a new thread, I know we all of some we have never identified.
Best, Jerry

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri May 01, 2015 10:23 pm

You no doubt have already done this, but just to be sure.....Have you looked in Riders or Beitman's for any information on your set?  I have identified sets that way.  It can take a lot of time, but is well worth it.

Edit....I just looked in Rider's. No dice. The only Monarch I found was a signal generator.

Starting a thread on obscure or orphan radios is a great idea, Jerry!  Are you volunteering to start one?  

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by jerryhawthorne on Sat May 02, 2015 2:46 am

Shall do WC.  Since Frank gave up on fixing his radio, not much going on on radio repair but a lot of nice people here and certainly some have radio's they have never identified.  Yes, a lot of searching for an ID on the Monarch and got a little close on RM but some models they had no information or pictures.  It is a bit of fun working on old radios like that one with no information at all.  I have one other never identified but may need to get back to AZ to take a picture.  Nice farm radio and probably from the the Chicago plant that made radios for everyone.
Best,  Jerry

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat May 02, 2015 9:42 am

I've got some little ones I am tinkering with. I never thought that anyone would be interested in those. I have a Trav-Ler AA5 that works well as long as the antenna is laying on the bench. The antenna is mounted on the back of the cabinet and as soon as I try to install the antenna where it belongs, I get no reception. I have aligned the set, no improvement.

I also still have that Zenith inverted bakelite chassis that has been laying on the end of my bench for almost five years. It is absolutely the most miserable thing I have ever worked on. I need to get it done before I lose all the little parts. All I need to do is replace the four-section filter capacitor. The chassis is so crowded, I can't follow the wires to where they go. This one has been hacked, so the schematic is only so much help.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat May 02, 2015 10:13 am

Is that the one with all bare wires??? Ugh.....

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat May 02, 2015 10:17 am

If it's alright with you guys, I think for ease, since you have this thread already, obscure radios should remain here.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat May 02, 2015 10:47 am

That's fine.  That's how we'll do it.  Obsolete, obscure, orphan radios should make an interesting topic.  

The inverted bakelite chassis Zenith does not have bare wires, per se, but the chassis is so crowded that I am having trouble following the wires.  The only reason this chassis is not in the parts pile is that the cabinet is really nice.  I wanted one of these just because.  It is very frustrating to work on for me.  Just a few minutes at a time, and then I slide it back onto the end of the bench.  I'm not holding out a lot of hope that it will ever work properly.  This is the only radio I own with a ballast tube.  I typically avoid such radios.  I typically avoid Zenith period.  This one is full of rubber wiring, has a ballast tube, is horribly crowded, and hangs upside down.  I can't imagine them coming up with a worse design if that was their goal.  And it uses a weird rectifier, a 50Y7 or something like that. I decided that, for ease of following the wiring, I am going to remove the dial assembly so I can follow the wires better. I believe I have pictures somewhere of this thing. If not, and anyone is interested, I can take some to share.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat May 02, 2015 10:51 am

Must be a Motorola I used to have with bare wires. It was made that way. Chassis was also bakelite.
I think I got it to play once, then, it quit.

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Re: Obscure radios

Post by jerryhawthorne on Sat May 02, 2015 3:05 pm

Here is a couple pictures of an unknown farm radio.  Sorry for the poor pictures.
Jerry






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