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Author Topic: Cleaning to make new ?  (Read 1249 times)

Posts: 1146

« on: February 20, 2008, 04:35:25 PM »

So, I was at a hamfest this last weekend (Rickreall, Oregon) and there was this one guy selling some old Collin's equipment.  He had at least two of those popular 75A4 receivers (did I get that right, I think that is what they were).  And, he had some other equipment.

Well, I was not in the market for any Collin's gear but I was impressed with how well he cleaned up the cabinets and the metal surfaces on these rigs.  On the inside, they looked brand new.  So, I wanted to ask him what he did to bring out the clean shine like that but he was wrapped up in his sales pitch to some other guy and I just didn't have the time to wait around.

So, does anyone know how these cabinets can be made nice and clean.  I have my Hammarlund HQ-170A which I would like to do such a job to and I also have the copper (plated I think) cabinets of two Eico 720 transmitters.

Is there some nice liquid or something that is typically used.  Also, have you done this and if so is this a lot of effort or is it relatively easy.  By easy, I mean spending a saturday morning or something.  For the Eico transmitters, I would clean after removing all the parts since I intend to rebuild one.  But, with the HQ-170A, I would have no intent to remove anything and I would only care about cleaning the top side where the tubes are placed.

Posts: 1041

« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2008, 11:26:12 AM »

More than likely the receiver was restored by
Howard Mills. He is well known for his outstanding
restoration of the Collins A series receivers,
R390, and cabinets. If he restores your Collins
receiver it looks and works better than it did when
it came off the assembly line. You'll pay for this
service but it is well worth it!


Posts: 756

« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 10:02:40 PM »

Hi, these radios may NOT have been restored by ANYONE!
Unlike Drake, Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, National, RME, etc, Collins radios were made to 'military' specs. There was a LOT of aluminum involved. Cost was NOT the major design factor. How do I know this?
I have restored LOTS of R-388s and 51J-3s. Some of these radios also had the varnish applied to the chassis, (MFP) Ain't pretty, but it works!!.

I have one (and a LOT more) of every radio company's best example. No brag, just fact.

My 75a-4 is the second oldest 'known' to the Collins Collector Assn. I bought it sight unseen from a friend-of-a-friend that stated, "it's a good user's radio, not a museum piece".
However, when I got the old girl, it was in MINT condition. It even had the 4:1 dial. I sent Ray, N0DMS the $ for the compilation of articles on how to 'improve' this jewel.
I knew that it would never equal my 756PRO under CERTAIN conditions, so I performed the simple mods. One protects the filters in case B+ should find it's way there.

Mechanically, the chassis will easily clean right up with Windex! If you would like, I can send you pictures of 'my baby', but be warned, you better be wearin' sunglasses! With just a few simple mods, you can take an early example like mine (March 1955) and have it equal (or better) than the last production run. These are proven, simple mods that evolved as the technology progressed,. My 'a-4 can hear ANY signal that my army of 'state-of-the-art' rice rockets can,,,,,,

The MOST significant (electrical) thing I did was a complete re-cap job. This is old news (and highly debated by some), but it made my 75a-4 'come alive'.
I will be soon writing a two part series in "Electric Radio" on caps. Although it's been done to death, there are STILL a lot of wrong thoughts about caps. In part # 2 I will discuss ESR. Man, even this old EE has learned a LOT using the latest test (read, cheap)equiment,

Most peoples' knowledge about caps is just flat wrong!!! I learned the HARD way ($$$). ha ha



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