The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
Today I reached a milestone. I finished installing the 800B chassis set into the Metropolitan 16A cabinet I bought last year. I am slow as Christmas. The top of the cabinet had to be raised 1/2 inch using some Mahogany wood stock from Rockler Wood Working store. I stained the outer surface of those wood strips and used clear lacquer to put the finish on, then fastened everything back together using wood screws and glue in some spots.
In the Metropolitan 16A application the FM IF/Audio driver/Output/Power Supply chassis sits in the cabinet behind the 15" coaxial speaker. I used a Dayton Audio 15" woofer and a crossover network plus a 5" mid-tweeter driver to create my own coaxial speaker. The new speaker has a decent response almost down to 20Hz, so the low end is somewhat more substantial than the OEM speaker. It is now enclosed with a bass reflex port opening to the back. In my installation the chassis goes below the radio tuner chassis so that there is open air that can get to the chassis to keep things reasonably cool. The speaker cabinet has the 16A type AM loop antenna inside as the original Metropolitan design was done. The FM "T" antenna has been reattached to the rear of the cabinet as was originally done.
I added terminal lugs to the AM and FM antenna leads and also to the audio lead from the record changer. Cable clamps were added to keep cables in position to avoid wires getting against the audio output tubes.
Mr. Leo, our car, did a final inspection, then I took one more picture to show the whole back of the cabinet. The speaker enclosure back cover will also be stained with Red Mahogany stain like the rest of the cabinet backside.
The end result looks excellent. I have been following your restoration since last year. Great work and congratulations!
One of the electrical issues I had to deal with was that every time I pushed one of the push-buttons to select a station, it would blow a fuse whenever it landed on the spot set by the movable contacts on the back of the radio tuner chassis. It turned out that the small insulating rib that separates the two halves of the commutator disc had worn down enough that whenever one of the contact fingers reached that point it was shorting both sides of the commutator disc together thus actually shorting both drive motor windings together. I used a commutator disc from a donor chassis to replace the worn disc on my unit. I suspect this is a common problem with the 800B units due to wear and frequent use. Ultimately that rib would have to either be replaced or an attempt to build it back up in the worn spot with epoxy and then carefully sanding the spot until the epoxy is the same height as the rest of the rib.
I think there were some other models before WWII which also used the commutator disc, Telematic and perhaps Laureate or Phantom. Some of the other experts here may know the answer. There were some other brands of radios that used essentially the same design approach to motorized tuning: Capehart and RCA come to mind, I know I have seen others. You can always tell based on a view of the rear of the radio chassis having circular arcs with movable contacts to establish the stopping of the system on an active radio station. By the 1950s some automobile radios had added the option of search tuning for AM radios that used a discrimator detector to spot the center of tuning for an AM station and stopped the motor drive quick enough to land on station.
Congratulations on finishing your 800B, I have seen the progress and think that you have done an excellent job,
you can't see the join on the cabinet, first class work,
I'm glad that Mr Leo approves
these pre WW2 Scott models had an optional remote control available at extra cast - using the same rear pre set station housing on the back of the receiver. - Philharmonic, Sixteen and Phantom. However, no Scott Telematic receivers (no dial, just a remote key board) have turned up, but would have the same set up.
In looking at the information presented about the Telematic model, I suspect it was intended for a custom installation in a home where it would be controlled from possible multiple room remote controls back to the Telematic which could be installed out of sight in a closet etc. Capehart seemed to do quite a number of these based on what I have read about them. Many of the Telematic units, if ever installed, may have wound up in the trash later when homes were sold to people who were simply not interested in them. One Capehart installation I am aware of that still exists was in a mansion in Hawaii that was built by the Duke family daughter. These were likely quite rare. Such installations ran into the thousands of dollars.
Thank you for sharing your service notes on the motor drive feature. Very true about Capehart. I had heard about the E.H. Scott Telematic model, very interesting concept. I don't know if any exist today. Could you share a picture of the front?
I'm pretty sure the Telematic was developed and employed to upsell and market remote control Sixteens, Phantoms, and Philharmonics. I would not be surprised if a very small number of Telematic chassis were built but none have been found to date.