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  • #25205
    Ralph Spracklin
    CVRS Member

    Over forty years ago I picked up a Canadian Westinghouse W780Y for the grand sum of fifteen dollars. I bought it home where it just sat for four or five years. Then at that time I took it to my garage and refinished the cabinet. Then it went into storage again with the hopes that I would one day finish the restoration of the chassis, which I really did not have any real knowledge how to go about it. Much moving around to new places of habitation resulted in the breaking of the dial glass, and many more years of controlled environmental storage. Fast forward to 2019, after a health crisis, which resulted in forced retirement and two years of recovery, I was bored of not having something to do to occupy my time. So in 2021, at the age of eighty-one, I decided to give radio restoration a go. I knew a little about electricity, and even less about radio circuits. I had much to learn. I started reading everything I could get my hands on or wrap my mind around, regarding the subject.

    I pulled the chassis of this W780Y from its cabinet and proceeded to clean up the many years of accumulated crud. I made an inventory of all the Wax capacitors, as well as the electrolytic capacitors, and ordered them from our friend Dave at Just Radios. In a few days I had the parts in my hand and preceded to install the all the wax capacitors as well as any resistors I found to be, out of tolerance, value-wise. But no matter what I done I could not get the darn radio to work. So again I put it on the back burner for another year and one half. Fast forward to July, 2023 when I happened to find a second W780Y available on KIJIJI, so I picked it up, thinking I could discover something about this new radio which could lead me to finding the problem with that of my first acquisition. Also at this same time I was already highly challenged with repair/restorationof a complicated German made, NordMende Arabella 58 Radio-Phono unit, which was also taxing my restoration abilities. It was a Friday morning, when all of a sudden I had music pouring from the Arabella’s speaker. So Saturday morning found me in my garage working on my old neglected W780Y Canadian Westinghouse. Armed with my recently aquired schematic for this radio, I started at the RF Tube and checked all components attached to that tube to ensure that the values were correct, and that I had not made any mistakes during the re-capping procedure. In a couple of hours I had followed through on all the radio tubes and wiring. I plugged the radio into my Variac and dim bulb tester, but again I was disappointed, NO Sound! I gave up for the day. The next morning found me again at my work station, pouring over my radio, the schematic and the newly acquired W780Y, when I discovered, hey, there is a missing resistor, a 220,000 ohm, to a pin on the 6SQ7. I searched through my inventory of resistors, but alas I did not have one. So I proceeded to borrow one from my newly acquired set, and installed it where the missing resistor should be. I attached a make-shift antenna, and with a little manipulation of the tuning dial I had music. A few adjustments of the IF Coils and this baby was real singing. so far I have not done an alignment, not even certain I need one, but of course I will also take care of that. The sound from this radio is impeccable, crystal clear and without distortion. And also I know what I have to do to get the same results on my newly acquired W780Y set. So now some 45 years Oh No! What am I saying? This radio was manufactured the year I was born, I suppose that would also make me also an old relic of the past. However this radio may be good for another eighty years, as for me I will not be around to enjoy its third lifetime, should someone else undertake a restoration of this radio.


    CVRS Member

    Hi Ralph,
    Great read! I have several radios that are on the back burner, including some orphans other radio guys gave up on. Every once in a while, I give them a visit and see if I’m any smarter!
    Radios are my wintertime passion when I’m trapped in the house and it’s minus 30 outside! Anyways, congratulation on getting it to play after all these years. Your story should included in the next Bulletin!

    Gary in Regina

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