The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
I just posted some questions about the Allwave 12 I bought last weekend and wanted to ask some questions about a second Scott radio I was offered, but turned down because I have some reservations about its degree of authenticity (it has obviously been modified), and whether or not it would be possible to restore it to it's original configuration.
The second radio is an Allwave 23 and I was all set to purchase it too, but then I took a look at the back of the cabinet and noticed the cover panel was attached with phillips-head sheet-rock screws. I removed the screws and saw a large mystery box of components and modern wiring, and a terminal strip of wires going everywhere stuck in the bottom of the cabinet. Some of the wires lead to a large MAGNAVOX speaker that had been shoved in there. Obviously someone has removed the correct speaker and replaced it with this albatross substitute, and then created some sort of Frankenstein contraption to work around the electrical differences between the factory speaker and this substitute. I do not have any pictures of this conglomeration, but it is definitely not original factory work, or the work of someone that shares my belief of the necessity of maintaining originality when working on vintage items.
Although it might be functional, or made to be functional, as-is, I am only willing to buy this radio if I discover it is possible to 'unmolest' it and return it to the correct configuration and components it would have had when built.
At the very least it will need a replacement speaker of whatever variety is correct for this radio. (However, I do not know what kind of speaker this would be.) Probably everyone wants these speakers for something, so I have little confidence in finding one, but if it is possible to do so, I will reconsider purchasing this radio if I can be sure it is restorable. I would like to restore this radio correctly, but I have little interest in one that has been butchered in this manner if proper restoration is not possible.
Thank you and best regards-
Photos did not upload in previous attempt.
One more photo of the amp chassis "as-found".
The little micrometer cylinder should only have the numbers. (After about mid 1936, the 7 knob AW-23 dial escutcheon has a bubble lens to view the numbers on the cylinder as a vernier dial.) The smudges you pictured are out of viewing range, but I would remove those smudges now while convenient to do so.
I can provide the inner tube shield you need for the cost of mailing from Ohio plus $3, if noone closer volunteers.
Performing your own restoration under the guidance of a knowledgable person is a good opportunity for you. Once you have your AW-23 electrically restored and operating well you will have learned a lot. What model Scott is next I wonder. :-)
I am definitely interested in buying the inner tube shield from you; please let me know how/where to send payment and I will make it happen.
I would like to restore another Scott someday, but the reality is that prices for these radios are out of my range so I doubt I will have an opportunity to get another one with my budget. Especially since I am most intrigued by the 1920s models, which I have only ever seen in pictures. I also like the 16 and 18 models, but have never seen one of those either. It was only via a good friend downsizing a large collection that I was able to buy the two Scotts I have now, as he made me a deal on the prices.
Thank you and best regards-
Last week I finally got the courage to try powering up the radio on a variac with a lightbulb in series with the AC for the first time. And it came alive, except with an awful hum/buzz that almost drowned out the reception. So I powered it down and did not get a chance to investigate further until earlier this week.
I discovered a dangling wire in the amplifier/power-supply chassis; one which had slipped out of the lug I intended to solder it to and I had not noticed at the time. This wire came from the potentiometer in that chassis. Once reconnected properly, I powered it all up again and this time: SUCCESS! I have been listening every evening with the chassis on the dining table (haven't put it all back in the cabinet yet; still have more cleaning/polishing to do) and it sounds great! Am listening now as I type this.
A new question: After some advice from Dave Poland I was able to get the wave-band coil changing mechanism, which did not rotate correctly at first, assembled properly and without any damage. Everything rotates smoothly now and moves through all four positions. But... Now that the radio is alive again, switching between bands is accompanied by loud popping/cracking noises as you shift the lever around. If this is not the way it is supposed to work, what can I do to eliminate these loud noises? I assume the shifting should be relatively quiet.
Thank you to everyone that has offered advice and suggestions! It all made a big difference and a lot of help to get this far and I look forward to finishing up this restoration and just enjoying the music.
Also, I want to ask if the grill cloth shown in this picture (covering one of the tweeters in my set, but in poor condition now) is the pattern now being sold new by the name of "Aztec" by a company called Richmond Designs, Inc. I believe this Aztec cloth is a pattern not previously available new for many years and only recently was reproduced. Would this Aztec cloth be a correct matching replacement for my shredded piece?
Thank you and best regards-
For some reason pictures are not uploading as usual; likely due to poor internet service at my house. The image I was going to add is IMG_7707 and was already attached to an earlier posting I made in this same thread.
If you haven't already, try cleaning the contacts on the coil wheel and the contact pins and springs on the chassis. There is a little bit of static when rotating the band switch, but shouldn't be a lot. I usually turn the volume control down when changing bands. What I have found with mine is turning the volume control more than a quarter turn will be much too loud for most stations. 35 watts is a lot of power and the frequency response of 30 to 15K is really incredible for 1935. Our local Am station WBBM plays old radio shows on weekends and it is a kick to listen to them from that era on a radio built for live music broadcasts.
I cleaned everything and also started turning the volume way down when changing bands and the loud noises are greatly reduced.
Today's mission was to replace the volume control pot with a correct original I bought that was salvaged out of a parted out set. In a previous posting I took pictures of what was in the radio when I got it, which included a cap and resistor in series dangling in space. I really don't know and can't figure out what those components were for. The 'new' pot in the radio had four solder lugs and these extra components were tied between two of them. The original pot has three lugs and I was able to get it connected in correctly.
While working in the chassis though I noticed that quite a lot of the rubber-insulated wires had badly deteriorated insulation, so the simple pot-replacement job turned into a most-of-the-day operation to replace crispy wires. When I finished that, I powered up the radio again -which had been working great- and got absolutely nothing out of it.
As I had replaced wires connected to both the antenna coil and RF coil, I pulled those shields off to look and see if I had left anything disconnected. The moment I lifted the RF coil shield, the radio came back to life. But with the shield removed completely the radio goes silent again. With the shield off, I can get reception if I stick my finger on the lug that the wire coming up through the chassis is connected to at the top of the coil. I can also get reception if I hold the shield over the RF coil, but the moment the shield touches the chassis the radio goes silent again. I also get reception if I touch the antenna to the top of the RF coil, instead of securing it to the antenna post.
I cannot find _anything_ shorting or touching to ground and I do not understand what I must have screwed up when I replaced this particular wire. I also checked and I am quite certain that my solder joint with the new wire is electrically connected with the end of the coil winding that is common to the solder lug. Underneath, the wire is securely connected at the opposite end.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I need to do to remedy this? I imagine it is a simple enough fix, but I truly can't figure out what that fix would be. Still have a lot to learn! But really enjoying the experience. Just a little disappointing to take a step backwards today after so much effort.
Oh, and Thomas- I can definitely relate to the enjoyment of listening to vintage shows through this radio built during the golden age. The local AM station KIXI here in Seattle area plays radio shows every night at 8PM, alternating vintage rebroadcasts with new contemporary programs from Colonial Radio Theater and Jim French's Imagination Theater every other night. Since the Scott is out of commission tonight, I'll be tuning in this evening's episode of Yankee Clipper from Colonial Radio Theater on either my 1937 Zenith chairside, or my late 1940s Mitchell Lumitone.
Thank you all and best regards-
Check the switch inside the BCB RF coil can to make sure the rotor is making good contact with the correct switch taps.