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Author Topic: Reuse of old parts - cannibalize good radios.  (Read 7182 times)
W3TTT
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« on: November 04, 2016, 01:21:22 PM »

I have a pair of old Zenith Globetrotter short wave radios that are in need of repair.  But then, I like building equipment. 

Would it be a sin to cannibalize the old radios and use the parts for my new creations? 

I also have a number of old transistor radios, with nice parts like variable capacitors, coils, etc.  Most of them work!  I mean, should I break and cannibalize a perfectly good radio, just to build a radio that is probably not as good? 

Hmmm?  73, Joe
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W6EM
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 02:49:55 PM »

Joe..

The Zenith's are probably quite collectable.  I wouldn't cannibalize them, just FleaBay them as 'non-working'.

Small transistor radios a different story.  Go for it.  But, don't throw out the tuning knobs as probably weird shafts on the variables.  You'll need them to adjust the variables.

Lee
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G3RZP
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 04:04:26 PM »

You probably want to dump the electrolytics. Coils are interesting - you need to check them for Q. If damp ahs got in, you have a problem with them.
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AC2EU
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 05:24:45 PM »

I have a pair of old Zenith Globetrotter short wave radios that are in need of repair.  But then, I like building equipment. 

Would it be a sin to cannibalize the old radios and use the parts for my new creations? 

I also have a number of old transistor radios, with nice parts like variable capacitors, coils, etc.  Most of them work!  I mean, should I break and cannibalize a perfectly good radio, just to build a radio that is probably not as good? 

Hmmm?  73, Joe

I know there are Zenith transoceanics , but never heard of a globetrotter model.
Got a model # or picture to share?

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ONAIR
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 05:58:53 PM »

Don't cannibalize!!!   You could realize a lot more money just by selling those old radios to collectors, than it would cost you to buy parts for your creations!!  Roll Eyes
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W8RXL
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2016, 04:49:51 AM »

Joe, I wouldn't worry about finding parts with the amount you can find by the box or crate at estate sales, Craigslist and swaps. I am going through my last purchase at an estate sale, 10 plastic totes full of parts, all being sorted and labled in my living room against my wife's wishes. I scored a bunch of parts from Craigslist a few weeks back that had great boatanchor stuff in it.

Sell those radios that are complete so someone else can enjoy them.
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WA7PRC
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2016, 05:25:55 AM »

I know there are Zenith transoceanics , but never heard of a globetrotter model.
Got a model # or picture to share?
I believe a Globetrotter is from Harlem, New Yawk...

 Wink Grin Tongue

vy 73,
Bryan WA7PRC
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AC5UP
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2016, 07:11:33 AM »

Recycling old parts requires some discretion...  Waxed paper condensers and low-spec 10% or 20% resistors are a poor choice for the junque box (IMHO) while transformers, power resistors, variable condensers, pilot lamp sockets, etc. tend to age reasonably well.  IF cans with waxed windings are a mixed bag as they can attract moisture which reduces the Q.  I'd save the coils and bake them / replace any internal condensers with new parts before using.  The plastic in postage stamp style silver mica's can go soft and any silver mica can deteriorate from silver migration.  Inspect and test before saving.

As for sources of reclaimed parts, if a swapmeet is in your future consider an old Tektronix 500 series 'scope frame or similar vintage test equipment.  High quality build, large, heavy, sellers are often reluctant to take them back home, and very little price pressure from collectors.  Tek used Sprague / Allen-Bradley / Amphenol and CTC sealed potentiometers almost exclusively and you'll never find a cheap wafer style tube socket.  Depending on the deal, you could strip the chassis and recycle the aluminum for about what you paid for it. 

Translation:  Almost free parts.    Shocked
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N8FVJ
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2016, 07:17:15 AM »

Parts are nickel/dime. Go to a ham radio swap meet for parts.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2016, 07:29:02 AM »

Cannibalizing old radios for parts is a waste of one's life!  At one time, many years ago it was a common practice because parts were somewhat pricey and even hard for the very young or those who had very little money to waste.

Now parts are very inexpensive and more readily available.  Even China is getting into the act and making parts and even modules so cheap anyone can afford them.

Now the exception to this would be cannibalizing old transmitters because they have many very expensive parts and parts that are somewhat difficult to come by. 

As for the Zenith radios, I agree with EM.  Ebay them "as is."  No doubt there are others with the same Zenith radios that will snuff them up for the parts necessary to get them working.  (These people are in a different class than most of us who like to build and tinker)

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A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!
KM1H
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 03:11:13 PM »

I have a pair of old Zenith Globetrotter short wave radios that are in need of repair.  But then, I like building equipment. 

Would it be a sin to cannibalize the old radios and use the parts for my new creations? 

I also have a number of old transistor radios, with nice parts like variable capacitors, coils, etc.  Most of them work!  I mean, should I break and cannibalize a perfectly good radio, just to build a radio that is probably not as good? 

Hmmm?  73, Joe

Didnt you ask a similar question on here or elsewhere some time ago? If it was you the multitude of replies may not have been to your liking.
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AA4HA
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2016, 06:19:47 AM »

I look at it as a matter of economics; if I have two of a specific radio and neither is working then I will pillage the worst radio for parts to make the better one functional. I do not have any anguish or lose any sleep over it. As long as there is room in storage I will keep the chassis around (for a while).

I have tried to sell unrestored boat anchors before, the dollars return was so low that it was not worth the shipping or the drive to meet up with someone to give it with them. A few times where I did successfully "gift" a radio (Hammarlund SP-200 with outboard power supply) I found out later that the ham cannibalized the radio for parts in their junk box because the phasing control knob was broken (the radio worked fine and this is a common problem with that model of radio).

Now I would not give away something or sell it unless the price was completely silly or the individual was quite passionate about restoring and using the radio.

I do buy components on our favorite auction site from folks who break up radios for parts. I think of them sort of like used car salesmen and do not have a tremendous amount of respect for them but I will collect the parts to use on my own restorations. There are plenty of folks who break radios apart so usually there is enough economic room to spend $15 on a variable cap or an oscillator section.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
AC2EU
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2016, 06:39:20 AM »

I have a pair of old Zenith Globetrotter short wave radios that are in need of repair.  But then, I like building equipment. 

Would it be a sin to cannibalize the old radios and use the parts for my new creations? 

I also have a number of old transistor radios, with nice parts like variable capacitors, coils, etc.  Most of them work!  I mean, should I break and cannibalize a perfectly good radio, just to build a radio that is probably not as good? 

Hmmm?  73, Joe

Didnt you ask a similar question on here or elsewhere some time ago? If it was you the multitude of replies may not have been to your liking.


This was a strange "hit and run" post. The OP has not responded to any replies.
 I now wonder if the OP even has these radios, since there is no Zenith globetrotter, but I guess RCA made a model with that name.
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W3TTT
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2018, 07:54:55 PM »

Didn't you ask a similar question on here or elsewhere some time ago? If it was you the multitude of replies may not have been to your liking.
KM1H:
Yes, it was probably me who asked the same question before. 
Besides the Zeniths, I have a Radiola model 57 BP, for example, that I bought for parts (it cost $4).  I am ambivalent about destroying it just for the tuning cap, the coil, and the antenna coil.  I will also keep the tubes. 
But it seems a shame to destroy a nice antique radio. 
I guess that I am just a softie - even for old radios. 
If everyone felt like me, then antique radios would cost in the hundreds of dollars and all be upgraded and repaired. 
Even when I intend to buy the radio to scrounge the parts, I feel bad about it.
And no, the cost of the radio is far less than the parts inside.  Just the capacitor would cost $15 to $20 new, plus the coils and tubes.  The whole radio was just $4. 
I intend to make crystal radios, one tube regens, and such.  ]
Well, each to his own.  The overiding consideration here is that I am building fun sets for my grandchildren, for holiday presents.  I feel like an Elf, here in my toy building workshop. 
So, that's it.  Thanks to everyone who answered and has a definite opinion. 
Joe W3TTT
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W1BR
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2018, 08:03:01 PM »

Some small transistor radios are extremely collectable and valuable.   Price TR-1 or early Sony and get back to me.

Regarding the Globetrotter... I have been collecting and restoring vintage radios for decades.  I have never heard of a Zenith Globetrotter. Can you be more specific?  Are they Transceanic models? What is the tube line up (miniature or locktal?)

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