Restoration Of RCA Radiola 60 - ARBE-III

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Restoration Of RCA Radiola 60 - ARBE-III
Background. New for the 1928-1929 season was the Radiola 60 series of superheterodyne circuit
radios (Douglas, 1991), engineered by W. L. Carlson’s team at General Electric and George Beers’ team
at Westinghouse by the summer of 1927. This was the first truly modern superheterodyne design with
one-dial tuning (using the same bathtub condenser designed for the Radiola 16, 17, and 18), AC tubes,
chassis construction, and wire antenna instead of the bulky loop. Released officially on 13 August 1928
(with the RCA 103 “Tapestry” speaker released four days later), there were about 135,000 made. Several Radiola 60 models were also sold with slight cabinet variations under the Brunswick and the Graybar labels. The receiver employs 9 tubes (rectifier, two tuned radio frequency amplifiers, oscillator, 1st
detector (mixer), two intermediate frequency amplifiers, 2nd detector, and power amplifier); see McMahon (1981) and RCA Service Division (1931). This radio represented the first AC superheterodyne radio released by RCA (McMahon, 1972).
Excellent photographs of a presumably restored model and advertising copy are available in Douglas
(1991). Very good color advertising copy is available in Johnson and Johnson (1989) and an excellent
color photo of the RCA 103 speaker appears on the cover. Excellent black and white photographs of
the Radiola 60 and the RCA 103 speaker are available in Grinder and Fathauer (1986) and Johnson and
Johnson (1982). Poor quality photographs of the Radiola 60 and the RCA 103 speaker are available in
McMahon (1972). Other photographs and graphics are contained in these notes.
Inventory.
Radiola 60, SN 108106 BO, complete, restored
RCA tubes (7 matched 27s, 80, & 71A; all globes)
RCA 103, SN 261435, cleaned, original
Radiola 60 Instructions, reproduction
Radiola 60 Service Notes, reproduction
Radiola 60 Color Ad, reproduction
Radiola 60 Guarantee Tag, reproduction
Radiola 60 Color Brochure, reproduction
Radiola 60 B & W Ad (2), reproduction
References.
Douglas, A., 1991. Radio Manufactures of the 1920’s Volume III. The Vestal Press, Ltd., Vestal, New
York, 45-55.
Grinder, R. E., and G. H. Fathauer, 1986. The Radio Collector’s Directory and Price Guide. Ironwood
Press, Scottsdale, Arizona, 82-84.
Johnson, D., and B. Johnson, 1982. Antique Radios Restoration and Price Guide. Wallace-Homestead
Book Company, Lombard, Illinois, 30-31
Johnson, D., and B. Johnson, 1989. Guide to Old Radios/Pointers, Pictures, and Prices. WallaceHomestead Book Company, Radnor, Pennsylvania, 20-21.
McMahon, M. E., 1972. Vintage Radio. Vintage Radio, Palos Verdes Peninsula, California, 113 & 209.
McMahon, M. E., 1981. Radio Collector’s Guide 1921-1932. Vintage Radio, Palos Verdes Peninsula,
California, 148.
RCA Service Division, 1931. RCA Radiola 60 Service Notes Prepared Especially for RCA Authorized
Dealers. Third Edition, RCA Victor Company, Inc., Radiola Division, Camden, New Jersey, 32 pp.
Table of Contents
Choosing Radiola 60 Restoration Colors ……..…………….…………….1
Additional Graphics ……………………………………………………………2
Restoring The Radiola 60 Cabinet ……………..…………………….…….3
Coloring the escutcheons …………………..…………………….……3
Mixing dark walnut paint for the cabinet edges ……………..….…3
Restoring cabinet feet ……………………………………………..…...3
Refinishing the cabinet …………………………………………..….….4
Restoring The Radiola 60 Chassis & Electronics ………………..……...5
Repairing power supply ……………………………….………..………5
Repairing radio chassis …………………………………….…..………5
Miscellaneous ………………………….…………………………..……..6
Restoring The RCA Tapestry Speaker 103 ………………………………..6
Reproducing Selected Paper ………………………………………..….…..7
Radiola 60 Service Notes ………………………………………..……..7
RCA Radiola 60 Guarantee Tag ………………………………..……..7
Radiola 60 Color Brochure and & Color Advertisement ….………8
RCA Dealer’s Advertising Wallet & Color Advertisements ………8
Radiola 60 Instructions and Monochrome Advertisements ……..8
RCA Radiola 60 Guarantee Tag Reproduction ……………………..9
Photographs of Finished Restoration ………………………………..…..11
Copy of A Bottom License Notice ……………………….………………..13
Dealer’s Advertising Wallet Copy (6 pages) .…………..……………….14
Choosing Radiola 60 Restoration Colors
Furthermore, while the cabinet color in these images varies considerably, the contrast between the
cabinet edges and the veneer surfaces is not great,
suggesting a dark surface finish similar to the edges'
color (this color is known from surviving samples).
The captions accompanying the first and second
pictures (Dealer's Advertisement Excerpt & Advertising Brochure Excerpt) both state that the cabinet
has a "two-tone walnut finish." Inspection of the
remnants of finishes found on original-finish Radiola 60 radios, the graphic images shown here, and
existing (modern day) stains, enabled the selection
of a black walnut stain as a very close match to the
original color of the veneer. The color of the softwood edges was exactly matched by careful mixing
of paints.
Shown below and on the following page are collected graphics from available dealer's advertising,
advertising brochures, assorted journal advertisements, service notes, and the owner's instructions.
They comprise both pictures and drawings of various qualities; no color changes were made here
other than general brightening or lightening of the
images.
The color images show a gold color for the escutcheons and most images show good contrast between
the edges of the escutcheons and their interiors, due
no doubt to the rough surface texture of the escutcheon interior. It is desirable to reproduce and
slightly exaggerate this contrast across the escutcheons for visual appeal in the restoration.
Dealer’s Advertisement Excerpt
Advertising Brochure Excerpt
Journal Advertising Excerpt
Service Notes Cover Excerpt
Journal Advertising Excerpt
Journal Advertising Excerpt
Advertising Brochure Excerpt
Owner’s Instructions Excerpt
1
Additional Graphics
Service Notes Page 27 Excerpt
Service Notes Page 30 Excerpt
2
Restoring The Radiola 60 Cabinet
Coloring the escutcheons
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Cleaned with steel wool (#0000) and acetone prior to painting to bring out detail.
Further buffed with steel wool (#0000) after cleaning to bring out further detail.
Applied "Rub 'n BuffTM" gold leaf 76361A.
x Applied sparingly with finger only to coat top surfaces.
x Stayed out of nooks and crannies (coating entire surface was too uniform).
x Achieved "antiqued" look that resembles early pictures of originals.
x Buffed shiny to look metallic.
Also tried gold acrylic model paint (easily removed with acetone).
Required 3 coats for coverage (so metal did not show through).
Paint that thick hid detail (result look "painted' with thick coats).
Sometimes was difficult to avoid thickness in nooks and crannies (like lettering).
Also tried “40 KaratTM” gold fluid by Sanfords (easily removed with acetone).
x Gave one coat coverage and detail showed through.
x The finish was too flat even though paint is metallic (too uniform, looks “painted”).
Mixing dark walnut paint for the cabinet edges
x
x
x
Wanted tougher paint than original lacquer finish to increase durability over original.
By trial and error, found the following mixture matches the color and sheen very well:
x 10 oz. Red Devil™ Gloss Polyurethane Oil Enamel, #14 Walnut,
x 16 oz. Red Devil™ Gloss Polyurethane Oil Enamel, #30 Satin Black,
x 3/16 oz. ACE Bright & Easy™ Gloss Latex Acrylic Enamel, 102A118 Deep Green.
Also tried a mixture of latex acrylic enamels.
x Found the following mixture gave a very good match of color:
x 2 qts. ACE Bright & EasyTM Gloss Latex Acrylic Enamel, 102A105 Black,
x 1 qt. ACE Seven Star™ Acrylic Latex Floor & Patio Paint, 205A112 Dark Brown,
x ¾ oz. ACE Bright & EasyTM Gloss Latex Acrylic Enamel, 102A118 Deep Green,
x 2 oz. Black color additive (used by ACE hardware stores to custom mix paints).
x This mixture did not always go on smoothly.
x Durability was bad (easily came off sharp edges).
x Paint looked a little too flat.
Restoring cabinet feet
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Cleaned and stripped original feet.
Made silicone rubber mold of good-looking original foot.
Cast reproduction foot using ALUMILITETM casting plastic (resin and catalyst system).
Trimmed and ground reproduction foot to mate with cabinet.
Painted all feet with gold acrylic paint in two coats.
Painted feet with dark brown latex paint and wiped off.
x Left dark color in crevices.
x Achieved “antiqued” look matching original aged appearance.
Drilled center mounting hole in reproduction feet.
3
Refinishing the cabinet
x
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x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
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Glued all loose veneer with white or carpenter's glue, clamping overnight.
Stripped all previous finish using commercial solvent mixture for varnish, lacquer, & shellac.
Applied solvent and absorbed dissolved finish with #0000 steel wool.
Final washed with solvent and steel wool; buffed clean with dry steel wool.
Filled and patched all holes and dents on soft (solid) wood edges.
Sanded smooth and cleaned with tack cloth.
Filled veneer with paste wood filler using putty knife & wiped cross-grain with clean rag.
Lightly sanded and rubbed with steel wool on edges and cleaned with tack cloth.
Stained veneer (only) with ZARTM #125 Black Walnut Stain (must special order).
Lacquered one side (including soft wood edges) at a time.
Applied quickly by brush with no over-brushing and allowed surface to flow even.
Allowed to dry overnight before moving on to another side.
Repeated for all sides, being careful of build-up in corners.
Sanded and rubbed with steel wool (#0000) smooth with grain and cleaned with tack cloth.
Repeated lacquering and sanding (above two steps).
Repeated until smooth unbroken lacquer finish was achieved over entire cabinet and lid.
Eliminated brush marks on all soft wood edges.
“Satinized” finish on veneer with small random light movement of steel wool (#0000) on finish.
Removed all traces of gloss and minor scratches from earlier steel wool rubbings.
Was careful not to remove lacquer, just to dull it.
Did not “satinize” finish on soft wood edges as it is painted over next.
Cleaned all surfaces with tack cloth.
Painted all.soft wood edges with dark walnut enamel mixture.
See notes on “Mixing dark walnut paint for soft wood cabinet edges.”
Brushed on in one direction only with minimal over-lapping.
Smoothed painted surface by lightly rubbing with steel wool (#0000) in direction of edge.
Repeated painting and rubbing with steel wool (above two steps).
x Repeated until all painted surface edges were covered adequately.
x Touched up painted areas with small artists brush after final rubbing.
Waxed painted surfaces only!
Replaced bad or missing feet with reproduction; see “Restoring cabinet feet.”
4
Restoring The Radiola 60 Chassis & Electronics (SN 108106 B0)
Repairing power supply
x
Made power supply measurements on the “socket power unit,” 19 Jan. '96.
x Primary of power transformer and 6’ of power cord.
x Measured at the 120v setting of 110v/120v selector switch == 8.4:.
x Measured at the 110v setting of 110v/120v selector switch == 7.9:.
x Across terminals 1 & 2 (across output choke) == 542:.
x Across terminal 1 & tube socket filament (output choke & filter reactors) == 990:.
x No capacitors appear shorted
x Have continuity across all secondary windings
x Actually, the windings across terminals 8 & 9 and across 10 & 11 are bridged by resistors.
x Looks like bad switch, is intermittent; replaced with switch from junker.
x Voltage measurements @ no load, unconnected to radio, & 110/120 switch at 110v setting:
Terminals
1 to 7
2 to 7
3 to 7
4to 7
6 to 7
x
Voltage
395v DC
397v DC
396v DC
390v DC
390v DC
Terminals
5 to 8
5 to 9
8 to 9
5 to 10
5 to 11
10 to 11
Voltage
3.00v AC
2.94v AC
5.8v AC
1.57v AC
1.60v AC
3.2v AC
Good voltages! Set 110v/120v switch to 120v position to give slightly lower voltages.
Repairing radio chassis
x
x
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x
The chassis electronics on this set were in very good shape.
All capacitors, resistors, & coils tested at specification values.
All solder joints & wiring (except antenna & ground leads) were intact except for faulty solder connection for 3 small capacitors wired in parallel between cathode and plate of tube 7 (2nd detector);
re-soldered it.
All radio-frequency coils, intermediate-frequency coils, and audio transformer were intact.
Potentiometer volume control was intact.
Cleaned chassis and coated with WD-40™ lubricant to feed paint.
There was much beat and howling. Tried replacing 1 mfd and two ½ mfd capacitors in chassis and
there was some improvement, but not a cure. Adjusted RF compensating condenser which greatly
improved the radio but howl was still there on the high end and there was still some beat around the
dial.
Pulled variable tuning condenser, but kept electrically connected, to expose neutralizing and tuning
condensers.
x Adjusted tuning and neutralizing condensers to maximize output with good tone quality
while eliminating beat and howl.
x Turned out to be mostly adjustments to the 1st IF transformer neutralizing and tuning condensers and the RF compensating condenser.
5
x
Without instruments, adjusted the remaining (of the six intermediate frequency transformers’
tuning and neutralizing condensers, and radio frequency compensating condenser, as per service note instructions.
x Maximized output with good tone quality without distortion, beat, or howl.
x Sharpened tuning to only one point on the dial.
x Did not adjust trimming condensers since no signal generator was available to calibrate the dial.
Miscellaneous
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x
The refinished original cabinet has a very good label on the bottom (scanned to make reproductions).
Cabinet has 4 original feet.
Asbestos and terminal strip cover plate and insulating paper present in good shape.
Placed set of good-emission premium matched globe RCA tubes into radio.
x Tubes have good legible markings, good emission, and good appearance.
x Matched tube elements and appearance.
The radio has all original electronics and hardware, right down to the chassis bolts!
Very strong good radio!!!
Restoring The RCA Tapestry Speaker 103 (SN 261435 FJ)
This speaker is all original. It was cleaned carefully and waxed. The speaker grill cloth was very carefully
brushed and gently vacuumed. The colors are brilliant because the speaker was originally mounted inside of a
cabinet and so was protected from light. The mounting holes were filled and finished to match the surrounding
finish; they are undetectable. The back cover is also in good shape because of the sun protection of the surrounding cabinet.
6
Reproducing Selected Paper
Radiola 60 Service Notes
An old binding of RCA Service Notes for several Radiola models
was found at auction, and the Radiola 60 Service Notes were copied by xeroxing. An example of the quality is illustrated at the left
in the first figure. Unfortunately, the paper was thin and the image
on the reverse side of each page showed through, obscuring the
desired image; see the enlarged example segment in the second
figure. Also, because the paper was old, it had yellowed, which
further obscured the image and imparted a dark gray cast to the
image.
The Radiola 60 Service Notes were then scanned into the computer
at 150 dots per inch as a 256-gray scale image, but the image was
the same quality as that achieved via Xerox! However, the image
was then processed by brightening, filtering selected shades of
gray, and finally converting the remaining image to a black and
white raster by using commercially available graphics software for
the personal computer. The brightening and filtering were determined by extensive trial and error. The printed result is illustrated
by the "cleaned" example segment in the third figure.
Each page of the Radiola 60 Service Notes was then scanned and
"cleaned" in this manner and pasted onto 11 inch by 17 inch paper
sheets, two page images per sheet. The page images were ordered
and arranged on the sheets so that a back-to-back Xerox copying
operation would result in the correct page order when the 11 inch
by 17 inch sheets were assembled in order.
The sheets were then copied and the copies were folded and assembled before being trimmed to size to the booklet form used for
the original Radiola 60 Service Notes. Aside from the color of the
paper (white as compared to the yellowed original), the reproduction is practically indistinguishable from the original!
RCA Radiola 60 Guarantee Tag
An original Radiola 60 Guarantee Tag was found at auction, but
the red cardboard was unsuited to copying or scanning directly.
Instead, careful type font matching and spacing was performed in a
word processor on the computer to duplicate the look of every element on the tag; see the following page. Over 400 fonts were inspected to identify the 20 used in the reproduction of the tag. The
image was then printed on poster board, color matched to the
original. Note that the poster board is printed both front and back
and that the serial number matches the radio chassis. The board
was then trimmed, punched, and scored to match the original.
7
Radiola 60 Color Brochure & Color Advertisement
An original Radiola 60 color brochure was purchased through the mail from a dealer in August
1995. The large color Radiola 60 journal advertisement was loaned by a private collector.
Both of these pieces were of good quality and were taken to a color copy shop (Kinko's)for
reproduction. Several trials were required to achieve the correct colors in a 4-pass color copying operation. Both sides of each were copied back to back as in the originals. The color brochure was folded and trimmed to match the original; the advertisement was trimmed to match
the original. The copies are indistinguishable from the originals!
RCA Dealer's Advertising Wallet & Color Advertisements
An original RCA dealer's advertising wallet (stand up display made of embossed cardboard to
look like leather) was purchased at the MARC Spring meet in 1996 at Dearborn. The wallet
was about 9 inches by 12 inches and contained fold-out pages printed in color. The condition
of the pages was very good, with the exception of a tear on the bottom of the first page. Because of the fragile condition of the pages and the awkwardness associated with trying to copy
them commercially, they were carefully scanned and digitized at 150 dots per inch in 24-bit
color (16.8 million colors). The images were then resampled without loss to 170 dpi, reducing
the images slightly to fit on 8 ½ inch by 11 inch paper. They were printed in a 4-pass color
printing operation at 600 dpi with very fine dithering. The quality is very good and well portrays the original items. Also, full color reprint advertisements from Johnson and Johnson
(1989) were sampled at 300 dpi, resampled without loss to 207 dpi, and printed similarly.
Radiola 60 Instructions & Monochrome Advertisements
An original Radiola 60 Instructions manual was kindly loaned by a dealer at the 1996 MARC
Extravaganza swap meet so that a very clean Xerox copy could be made. Several copies, at
different levels of brightness, were made of all pages with half-tone graphics. Measurements
were also made of the original manual for use in sizing and trimming the copies. These copies
were later touched up with paint to remove extraneous marks, and the best half-tone images
were selected. The pages were then mounted on 11 inch by 17 inch paper sheets, two page
images per sheet. The page images were ordered and arranged on the sheets so that a back-to
back Xerox copying operation would result in the correct page order when the 11 inch by 17
inch sheets were assembled in order. The sheets were then copied and the copies were folded
and assembled before being trimmed to size to the booklet form used for the original Radiola
60 Instructions manual. The reproduction is practically indistinguishable from the original!
Two black and white Radiola 60 journal advertisements were purchased at swap meets from
paper dealers during 1995-1996. They were copied, front and back, on standard Xerox machines while varying the brightness until images were obtained indistinguishable from the
originals.
8
EVERY PURCHASER OF A RADIOLA SHOULD READ
CAREFULLY THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION OF THE
RCA GUARANTEE FOR HIS PROTECTION
The RCA guarantees this Radiola to be free from defects in material and
workmanship for a period of ninety days from the date of sale by the RCA Authorized Dealer who countersigns this guarantee. Should such defect become apparent
within the period of guarantee, the RCA Authorized Dealer will effect the necessary repairs or replacements to this Radiola.
The RCA Authorized Dealer should return such part or parts replaced within
the period of this guarantee and alleged to be defective in material or workmanship
to the RCA in the regular manner, attached to this tag proper-ly filled out and
signed. The RCA will repair or replace such parts, which upon their receipt and
examination shall disclose to have been defective in material or workmanship.
This guarantee shall not apply to any Radiola which shall have been repaired
or altered in any way so as in our judgment to affect its stability or reliability, or
which has been subject to misuse, negligence or accident, nor which has had the
serial number altered, effaced or removed.
Radio Corporation of America
Sold to
…………..……………………..……………………………..……………
Layout
Date…….……………………...
Address……………………………………………………………………………………………………….…..
City….……………………………………..………………………………………………………………..
Countersigned By
RCA Authorized Dealer…..…………………….……………..………………………………………….….
of
RCA Radiola 60
Guarantee Tag
Address……………………………………………….…..…………………………………………………………..…….
RCA Radiola 60
NP-37625-P
{[
No.
Serial
RADIOLA OWNER SHOULD KEEP THIS
GUARANTEE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE
108106
………………………………
]}
EC
R C A A U T H O R I ZE D D E A L E R ’ S R A D I O L A
RECORD CARD
EC
Purchaser’s Name…………..…………………..……………………………..…………………….…..……..…
Address………………..………………………………………………………..………………………………………….
RCA Radiola 60
Serial
………..….……………………………..
Date Sold ……………………………..……………..… Salesman ………..….……………..………………
Date Installed ……………………………..…….… Installed By…………..………………………….
Accessories …………………………………………………..…… $ ………..……..….………………………
……………………………………………………… $ ………..….……………..………………
……………………………………………………… $ ………..….…………..…………………
Radiola $ ………..….…………………..…………
Total $ ………..….………………..……………
No.
108106
NP-37625-P
9
Reproduction
Example
D E A L E R ’ S R E C O R D O F S E RV I C E C A L L S
DATE
10
SERVICEMAN
REMARKS
Photographs of Finished Restoration
Radiola 60 (SN 108106 BO)
Tapestry Speaker 103 (SN 261435 FJ) front
Tapestry Speaker 103 (SN 261435 FJ) back
11
Tapestry Speaker 103 (SN 261435 FJ) bottom
Accompanying Paper (2 color advertisements and a six-page color wallet are not shown)
12

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