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Author Topic: Crosley model 164  (Read 17263 times)
KC8LWG
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« on: September 29, 2013, 04:43:45 PM »

I got a deal on a Crosley model 164 today that I couldnt turn down. Its a broadcast band floor model radio.Im hoping to get it working as my first tube radio repair. I cant seem to find out anything about it. Not so much as a mention on google or a picture or anything. Does anyone know where I could find some info on this thing (history, schematic, advertisements, pictures, ANYTHING?) Thanks
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AC5UP
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2013, 05:08:32 PM »

Not much to it....... But at least it's pre-war. Tube lineup gives that away as well as the date on this incredibly hard to read squidmatic:  http://www.nostalgiaair.org/PagesByModel/294/M0003294.pdf  (April of '38).

I couldn't find the exact model here:  http://makearadio.com/beitmans/index.php  but if you poke around the '38, '39 and '40 volumes you can probably come close. You'll need to set up the Deja'Vu reader for the Beitman books if you haven't already.  http://sourceforge.net/projects/windjview/files/
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AB1SK
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 05:10:34 PM »

Here are some more possibilitites:  http://www.antiqueradioschematics.org/crosley.htm and http://crosleyradios.com/.  Hope this helps.
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AC5UP
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 05:27:27 PM »

Welllllllllllllllllllllllllll... The second link from AB1SK tells me the model 164 was offered in 1933. As stated previously, the only squidmatic I found really is hard to read.   Tongue

One other thing to remember about old radios is that a chassis was often used in more than one model with the model number designating the case. Table top, high boy or low boy console, etc. I've been known go through the Beitman books in search of the last revision of a chassis and rebuild to that squidmatic on the assumption the earlier versions had more room for improvement. Sometimes a model is revised simply because a cheaper / better part became available. Tube circuits of the day used 20% tolerance parts and AC line voltages weren't nearly as well regulated so don't feel obligated to locate exact replacement part values. Crosley (and everyone else) knew the radio would be playing longer with soft tubes and leaky condensers than a perfect set of components so the slack was usually built in on Day 1...............
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KC8LWG
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2013, 05:50:40 PM »

Wow thats older than I thought. Think I should still be able to find any tubes I may need? Its not very often that I can't find things on Google. Do you guys think I should be safe taking a stab at this radio of should I have a go at my dilapidated airliner tabletop first? I dont even know where to start. I have no tube tester and only a cheap multimeter. What do I do first? Most of the wiring has to go. I know that just from looking at it. I dont know how to test the tubes. Is it easier to just replace them? Should all of the caps be replaced? What about resistors and the rest? Only replace if they are out of tolerance? This is a first for me so I am in way over my head but thats when I do my best work! Cheesy

EDIT: Except for that incident with the microwave that melted.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 06:09:00 PM by KC8LWG » Logged
AC5UP
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 06:46:25 PM »

The answer to all your questions and more can be found here in the tech library:  http://tubebooks.org/

In 1933 there were plenty of radio repair shops that got by with little more than a Simpson 260 (or equivalent) VOM, soldering iron, and common hand tools. What they had that you need to acquire is a good working knowledge of hollow state design concepts and how simple the typical consumer radio really is. That's where the vintage reading at the link given above can be useful, and when you get the Zen of the whole thing you'll realize the typical superheterodyne radio has only four circuitry sections... Although yours has five.

The Crosley has a three gang tuning condenser with an RF amplifier stage up front which makes it a Deluxe model capable of outperforming the more common All-American Five tube chassis.

1a) RF amplifier
1b) 1st mixer (converter stage) that tunes the AM / SW bands to mix NewsTalk 1440 down to 455 kc's (typically)
2) IF strip / detector which is essentially a fixed frequency TRF receiver
3) Audio amplifier
4) Rectifier / power supply

Once you learn how to test for, substitute and isolate a fault down to the proper section things get much easier. As for tube testing, considering the prices testers go for today you can buy a fair number of tubes for less money. But, there are certain tricks of the trade: The Crosley uses a pair of tubes in push-pull for the audio output. Once you get it playing, pull one of them to hear if it continues to play at slightly reduced volume. If so, that's good. If one of the tubes playing solo sounds like crap, it's a clue that tube has seen better days. Or that side of the output transformer has an issue. So try the tube in the other socket. If one of the tubes sounds good in either socket that tells you the tube is good and the transformer is too. If one (or both) of the tubes sound bad on either side that means you have a bad tube or a B+ plate voltage issue. Your voltmeter can tell you what the voltages are doing while a known good substitute tube can tell you the rest.

Fixing radios isn't exactly the chess game in the film The Seventh Seal ya' know...



And if N4NYY can phix Filco's, how hard could this be?   Grin
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KC8LWG
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2013, 06:50:29 PM »

Excellent information. Thank you for taking the time to write that up. I have heard that before trying to turn on an old radio like this it is best to replace the "condensers" first. Does that sound right? I really dont want to plug this thing in and try it do I?
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AC5UP
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2013, 07:19:21 PM »

I really dont want to plug this thing in and try it do I?

I wouldn't... Although there is some merit to blowing up the weak parts early so they won't bark at you later.

If it were mine I'd pull the chassis and give it the seriously hairy eyeball. Look for obvious corrosion of ground lugs, puddles of wax from overheated condensers, signs of arcing, and pay attention for anything that smells like it's burnt. Clean out the cobwebs and try to get a feel for the circuit flow / layout of the stages mentioned previously. If all is reasonably OK, pull the rectifier tube and put some fire in the wire. Are the filaments lit? Is there HV AC on the rectifier socket? If nothing smokes and the transformer checks OK, turn it off and put the rectifier tube back in its socket. Then, turn the radio on and KEEP YOUR HAND ON THE POWER SWITCH. If anything pops, crackles, snaps, smokes or smells even slightly funny turn it off immediately. You do not want to smoke the power transformer as that's usually the hardest part to replace, aside from the dial glass and cabinet trim.

If you're lucky you'll have a radio that plays with a bad hum and picks up at least one station. That would be typical for the age and a sign it's a good restoration candidate as it still works.

Mostly. 

From that point forward your job is to turn mostly into completely and get the cabinet looking good again...............

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KC8LWG
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »

I cant thank you enough for the help. I owe you one. Can you explain why you would pull the rectifier tube? It simply changes AC to DC right? Doesnt the radio need that to operate?
So you would recommend refinishing the cabinet? I wasnt sure at what point the cabinet should be refinished. I know that breaking the original finish on a lot of antiques can be a no no but I assume that really only applies if the finish is in good shape to begin with.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 09:54:20 PM by KC8LWG » Logged
F8WBD
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 02:42:37 AM »

Oh my gosh! I had the same radio when I lived in NYC years ago. The cabinet was beautiful. I didn't know a thing about restoration...and didn't attempt it. I was into old time radio (still am). Had a reel-to-reel tape recorder with hours of OTR programming. Set two speakers on the floor,  left and right of the radio and it became  became the center of the mono sound. My old apartment was now back in 1933, not 1973.

Thanks for the memory stimulus and good luck with your restoration project.

A shame nothing worthwhile on AM radio today.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 04:15:01 AM »

You pull the rectifier tube so that you don't get HV, but you should get filaments. Check for any capacitors from the rectifier plate pins to ground - if one of those lets go, you could lose the power transformer in short order, and if there are any, at this stage I would remove them. You can replace them later.

I prefer to put in silicon rectifiers as a temporary measure and then  use a Variac to gently nudge up the AC to reform electrolytic capacitors. Then out with the silicon rectifiers and back in with the tube. But with a set of this age, there's a good chance the electrolytics are past saving and will need replacement.

Which series of tubes does it use - octal or UX based (things like 6K7, 6K8, 6A8 are octal, 6D6, 6A7 are UX)?
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KC8LWG
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 02:21:11 PM »

Im not exactly sure what tubes it has in it. Its packed up in the back of my jeep waiting to go back home with me tomorrow. Im trying to make heads or tails of the blurry schematic before I get into it. I having trouble locating the rectifier tube. Would it be the #80 tube? I think thats what it says on the schematic.
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W9GB
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 04:06:59 PM »

Quote
Im not exactly sure what tubes it has in it. Its packed up in the back of my Jeep waiting to go back home with me tomorrow. Im trying to make heads or tails of the blurry schematic before I get into it. I having trouble locating the rectifier tube.
Would it be the #80 tube? I think thats what it says on the schematic.
Crosley Radio Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio
Model 164, Tenace : Cathedral, Lowboy
Manufactured in 1933
Superheterodyne with RF-stage; AF/IF 181.5 kHz; 3 AF stage(s)
Tuned circuits: 7 AM circuit(s)
Wave bands: Broadcast only (MW)
Tube compliment (10 tubes): 56, 58, 57, 58, 56, 56, 56, 2A5, 2A5, 80
Loudspeaker:  Electro Magnetic Dynamic LS (moving-coil with field excitation coil)

READ these FAQ -- FIRST
http://crosleyradios.com/faq.html

Antique Radio Resources
http://antiqueradios.com/resources/

Radio Daze (western New York)
http://www.radiodaze.com

You have many well known antique radio restorers in the Michigan and northern Indiana area.

John, K9UWA and Jean Goller, N9PXF
John and Jean's Radio Restorations
Auburn, Indiana
http://johnjeanantiqueradio.com

Kim Herron, W8ZV
Coopersville, MI
http://www.goldenradioservice.com

Mike, N9QR and Linda Stover
Ft. Wayne, IN
http://www.mikelindaradioantiques.com

===
Antique Radio Forums
http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/index.php

The Antique Radio Beginner
Step by Step
http://www.antiqueradio.org/begin.htm
===
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 04:58:41 PM by W9GB » Logged
KC8LWG
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Posts: 52




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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 04:25:53 PM »

Greg,
That is a goldmine of information. Thank you. Can I ask where you found that? Im usually pretty good with google but im not having a lot of luck with this. All I have been able to locate (thanks to AB1SK) is a blurry schematic. I am really hoping to not have to take the radio in to be professionally repaired. Im hoping it sits at the end of my bench where I have to stare at it everyday until I lean how to fix it. I can tell you that I have learned a lot since yesterday. So much good information out there. Thanks for directing me to some of fellas.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 04:35:19 PM by KC8LWG » Logged
W9GB
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 04:49:28 PM »

Tyler --

Avoid the BIG MISTAKE of ripping into this Crosley Radio, when you get home.
Adult Attention Deficit Syndrome individuals have this problem -- and get into trouble.
Just reading and understanding those references I gave you, will take you at least 2 evenings.

When you get home, set the Crosley Radio aside and START your research, information collection.
Then Call and NETWORK with Kim, Mike, and Jean/Jean.

Contact Steve Johnson for a professionally clean schematic -- required for good restoration work.
http://www.antiqueradioschematics.org/crosley.htm

Then start gathering bench tools and materials, this process can take 2 to 3 weeks, depending on your schedule.
===
Started in this electronics/electrical restoration game 45 years ago,
40 years as a licensed radio amateur.
Using Google -- it helps to know specifically what you are looking for on Internet.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 04:57:41 PM by W9GB » Logged
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