Old Philco. Anything worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by AndreDanican, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. AndreDanican

    AndreDanican Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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  2. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    I also have an old Philco radio/phonograph, which I just recently looked at. I believe that those are 6V6s on the right. The Oktal preamp tubes aren't going to go into any modern amps AFAIK due to the center locking pin. Others here will know much more than me.
     
  3. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those are 41 output tubes. They're sadly not Coke bottle 6V6's. The preamp and radio tubes are all 30's and 40's era Loctal's. I advise researching the radio as it may be worth restoring.

    Otherwise, salvage the transformers, tubes (worth $ or for saving), speaker, knobs, pilot lights, cloth wire if it's not crumbling, small capacitors if they have long leads and are suitable values for a guitar tone cap, and you may find some cool hardware on the thing.

    Make note of what model numbers the chassis has so you can look up the schematic and find out the transformer voltages and what the output transformer is suitable for.
     
  4. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The 41 output tubes were the forerunner of the 6K6GT and the transformers can be used for a pair of them making 10W. Just a hair quieter than a 6V6. Can't tell from the pictures for sure but Philco have been known to use a field coil speaker. Without the speaker it might add another 100V to what the amp section was designed for. Now in ordinary cases that would not be good, but we are talking guitar amp here. Some people have been known to exceed datasheet recommended values.

    The 41 likes to see 250V on the plates, kick that up to 350, Tweed Deluxe territory. 6K6's are rated for 315V, they don't mind 350V as long as you bias them properly. Nice thing about 6K6's is you can get NOS tubes cheap (don't think they are making new ones).

    Just looked up the schematic, normally a chore to find, not this time.

    [​IMG]

    https://images.campyent.com/sites/d...o_radio_television_corp_41_608_121_pg12-1.png

    Did a quick calculation, maybe 70V across the field coil. I would have no problem building an amp with the transformers. Good supply of sockets, More than likely one side of them was soldered to the chassis. Drill out the rivets and use a heat gun (unless you have a big mother of a soldering iron that thy used to assemble these things) to melt the solder. If you are not looking for a old time vib and the wires are not crumbling you might want to get hold of Muchxs. He sometimes looks out for stuff like that. Might be worth a little professional help.

    Oh yeah, when drilling out the rivets don't go all the way through otherwise you might damage the sockets. Take a drill bit of the right size and use it as a punch to knock out the rest of the rivet.
     
  5. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    I see a nifty old radio that could be restored... :rolleyes:
     
  6. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sadly AM radio ain't what it used to be.
     
  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A guy that sold antiques and rebuilt old radios was retiring and selling his stuff. The furniture went but he could not get rid of the radios he restored. He did nice work and put hundreds in each of them but people look at it as not being a useful piece of furniture taking up floor space. The people that can appreciate the stuff are slowly dying off.
     
  8. 58Bassman

    58Bassman TDPRI Member

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    Facebook has a few groups devoted to these and if you don't restore it, you may be able to sell parts from it. What's the condition of the cabinet?

    I bought an old Farnsworth because it seemed interesting and because I don't receive AM well where I am, so I thought it may work for ball games. Mine also has a mono input jack for Phono/TV, so I could use that, too.
     
  9. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    If I may ask, Where is this guy located, and are any of his restored radios still available? I love those things (Have had 1936 Silvertone I've been meaning to restore for ages, and had a 1949 Majestic Portable ("The Monarch Monarch of the Air!," with its "Wave Ranger" fold-out aerial antenna) that I lost in a divorce.) I have some relatives/friends in Canada still who might be able to pick something up for me.

    Thanks.
     
  10. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    Aint that the truth! Being that you're 18, we're that wisdom come from ? :)
     
  11. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Owning antique radios, and just realizing that AM radio doesn't have the fidelity, bandwidth, or overall content, that it used to. It would be impossible to believe it wasn't better back in the day.

    Also, listening to old broadcasts can be fun.
     
  12. AndreDanican

    AndreDanican Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    For now this thing will rest unused where it has since at least 1973. I admit I'm curious to power it up and see what happens but obviously that's not the first step. The cabinet is in pretty good shape albeit covered with dust. I thought about gutting it and using the cabinet as furniture with the open front.

    printer2, I'm intrigued by the idea of making an amp out of the parts and may eventually pursue this, thanks for the schematic.
     
  13. Crawfish

    Crawfish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have more old radios than I will admit to. I use them mainly on shortwave these days. I don't like seeing sets chopped up to become guitar amps, mainly because it takes so much work and the results are usually not great. If you want a guitar amp, build a guitar amp! However, I can understand the desire to build an amp out of a radio. But given all the threads here on TDPRI about "can I build this radio into an amp?", I see virtually none with completed projects.

    But it's easy to build a low power, Part 15 transmitter, tube or SS, that you can use to broadcast anything you like. Drive it with an FM set, MP3 player, iPod, you name it.

    You can also easily put an input onto your existing set to connect a source the same way. Even a guitar! Imagine that.

    Tons of projects and helpful info here:

    http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=12&sid=f3052b9154d546eac40270b980bacae8

    The LM386N is super easy to put together for a first build.

    -Kevin
     
  14. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    For all of my SW, AM, and FM listening, my needs are met by my 1958 Grundig Majestic 5088. It has a 10x13 woofer in the front grill, along with two 4x6's, one firing out of each side, and a (non-functioning, needs a rebuild) electrostatic tweeter.

    It cost a third the price of a corvette when new.... Hahahaha. I picked it up for $45 at a flea market.

    Maybe someday I'll do a full restoration on it, but for now it still runs fine. The biggest hassle would be that the dial string for the rotating internal antenna (with compass display on the dial face) is off of its pulley's, or snapped. That would be a dread to redo. Additionally, the white paint behind the dial face is cracked and flaking.
     
  15. AndreDanican

    AndreDanican Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    The LM386 looks interesting as a simple guitar amp project. There is a version called the noisy cricket and another called the tube cricket. Cute little practice amps, no more, but they could be fun to play around with.
     
  16. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    Didn't some of the old cabinet radios have inputs where you could use it as an amp? I know a friend of mine's parents had a huge console hi-fi stereo cabinet with radio and built in turntable that had an input where I could plug in my Les Paul Junior when I was young to play along with records and it sounded pretty good.
     
  17. AndreDanican

    AndreDanican Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    This would be the optimal modification to this radio/turntable if it could be done without too many invasive steps. I'm going to take my time over this and do something good (which means it may never get done).;)
     
  18. Crawfish

    Crawfish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The German sets sound really nice. I have a couple of Grundigs from that era, and an AJS. Also a Polish set built the same way. Unfortunately, they are all finicky to work on.

    The electrostatic tweeter issue is pretty common. There's a thread somewhere on the ARF about rebuilding them.
     
  19. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. I also have a tiny little Emud set as well as an RCA (forcibly) rebranded set intended for allied officers stationed in west Germany.

    Zeniths and Grundigs are my favorites overall.

    And I'm aware of how to rebuild the tweeter. I just need a sheet of Mylar balloon sheeting (conductive on one side and insulated on the other) and the tweeter could be made to work fine.

    Gotta love copper plated (or solid) chassis.
     
  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's a pretty modern Radio! The sticker on the one photograph says:
    "The Wireless Way .. when used with Philco Television Picture Receiver or FM converter. Needs no Wires, Plug-in, or Connections of any kind"

    They anticipated the coffee shop Wifi trend.


    I'd say keep it as a radio and build an amp kit instead.
     
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