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  • #1265
    Gerry O’Hara

    Just over a year ago I made a post on this site that described my 18 months on-off relationship with my Philco 16B that I bought from an Antique Mall in Snohomish WA. Every time I moved the chassis onto my bench something else came to my shop for repair – distraction after distraction. Eventually I removed the Philco from my bench and it went to that dark and dank place of purgatory and doom…. ‘under the bench’ (you know the spot – where all those half-finished projects lurk, boxes of bits and bobs, an old compressor, coils of cable, etc etc. Well, I thought, its New Year, time for a New Years resolution – most folks vow to give up smoking (but I don’t smoke), lose weight (I am not overweight), cut down on drinking (I did that years ago) and exercise more (hey come on… I am no angel) – so, this year I decided to commit to having the Philco 16B fully restored before the end of January (2009 that is). Amazingly I did! – here is the chronology of the work:

    – January 1: Commited to restoring the Philco 16B by January 31.
    – January 4: Started to clear my Eddystone 1830 project off one workbench and my RACAL RA 117 of the other.
    – January 7: Cleared the Eddystone out of the way, tidied up and lifted the Philco 16B chassis back onto the bench, dusted it off. Found a box and placed all the RACAL modules into it.
    – January 10: Started poking around under the Philco chassis and looking at my notes/schematic to figure out what I had done ages ago (this is a problem when you leave things for extended time periods). Then I remembered I had made a post on this forum and read it to remined myself (that worked). At least I now knew the power transformer was ok…
    – January 18: Acquired an old AVO Model 8 for free and decided to fix it up (ohoh – distraction) – moved the Philco chassis to the side of the workbench (not a good sign).
    – January 19&20: worked on the AVO – got it working ok and decided to use it as my main analogue meter on my second workbench – nice find.
    – January 23 (around 10:45pm): Took another look at the Philco chassis. The one I have is Type 121 (an early version with a ‘distant/local’ switch) and all data I have is for the later Type 124 and 125 chassis. Pull a load more info off the internet, Riders, Beitmans etc. Some references note that Type1 121 has a different rectifier (Type 80), power transformer and smoothing caps. Hmmm – I could have told you that having stared at my chassis for ages. However, I started to notice several other differnces in layout, capacitor reference numbers etc. Oh dear – now I remembered why I never got around to repairing it. After some deliberation, I replaced the power supply electrolytics (I did not re-stuff the cans, but wired the new ones discretely under the chassis on a tagstrip and left the original cans in place for aesthetics). Having ‘broke the ice’, I thought ‘ok, this is it – go for it!’ I eventually went off to bed around 3:00am having re-stuffed around 6 of the bakelite-cased caps and replaced a couple of resistors that were way out of tolerance.
    – January 24: restuffed the remaining bakelite-cased caps, stuffed two tubular caps, replaced the three caps in the tone control switch.
    – January 25: Got up early and pulled the tarry mess out of the large multiple bypass capacitor assembly (the rectangular large can on top of the chassis) – softening the tar with a heat-gun. Re-wired the tagstrip paxolin end plate with new capacitors and installed on the chassis. Done!
    – January 26: Checked the wiring on the chassis and a few of the resistors I had not diconnected when I was replacing the caps. All were within tolerance. Checked the speaker and output transformer (I had installed a 4 pin plug and socket some time back as I disliked the captive wiring the set came supplied with as it meant the speaker had to be dragged around with he chassis and liable to get damaged on the workbench).
    – January 27: I installed a line fuse on the rear chassis panel (there was already a hole suiatable for this present) and an in-line HT fuseholder under the chassis, checked everything once more, plugged in the speaker, plugged in the 80 rectifier, wound up the variac and the HT came up to 350v and no smoke. Plugged in the rest of the tubes (all pre-tested), wound-up the voltage again on the variac, monitoring the HT volts and….. it worked like a damn! – talk about a great-sounding radio. Alignment on the Broadcast Band was spot on (not checked its four short wave bands yet).
    – January 28: Cleaned up the wavechange switch and tone control switch with De-Oxit and then put the chassis in the cabinet – finally after a couple of years! The dial looks good and even the ‘shadowgraph’ tuning indicator works!

    So, there you have it – for the first time in my life I have made and kept a New Years resolution….

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