EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

About a year ago I bought a Scott SLRM off eBay. I got it for a very good price. The shipping cost more than half what the price of the radio itself came to ! Yup, this thing is HEAVY. This thread will document my restoration of the receiver. First some shots of the radio as I received it.

She was not in too bad condition when she arrived. The plastic dial glass was gone, and the power cord was an 18 gauge piece of junk that looked like it came from a 1950s lamp, but otherwise the radio was in nice shape. Happily it came with the correct power inlet and mating connector, so replacing the power cord will be a breeze. Sadly, the radio is missing the special connector that plugs into the antenna jack. Once the external assessment was done, I went on to removing the chassis from the heavy steel cabinet in which it arrived.

The first work I did was replace the plastic dial glass. Happily Robert F, from this site, a friend of mine from Philco Phorum, sent me one he had extra which Mike H from this site had made for him. Replacing the dial cover was not an easy task. It required removing the entire front panel of the radio. First I removed the knobs. These are SERIOUS knobs with two set screws each ! Then there were 8 screws with nuts and lock washers, and one smaller screw holding the front panel to the chassis. Two of the screws with lock washers are real bears to remove since the nuts and lock washers are buried and almost impossible to handle while turning the screw. All the others are fairly straightforward. The smaller screw goes into a standoff and was the simplest of all to remove. Happily none of the jacks or other attachments to the front panel need to be removed. There is enough free length of wire attached to them. Once the panel was off, I removed the bezel for the dial glass from the panel. It is held by 4 small screws. I then removed the dial pointer from the inside of the bezel. It is held in place by a single little screw. Behind the pointer, between it and the bezel body, I found some remains of the original plastic dial glass, all shriveled and brown. There were a few little remains of it also around 4 little brass studs around the edges of the bezel inside which help align the dial glass. I took the new dial glass and began to fit it. I had to drill the 4 holes to go over the studs, and sand the edges of the piece to just fit inside the slight recess for it in the back of the bezel. I sanded the dial pointer smooth, removing the old flaking paint on it, and repainted it white. When it was dry, I fitted the new dial glass into the bezel, and set back the dial pointer to retain it along with its little screw. This is what it looks like all finished...

After that I removed the bottom plate of the chassis, and began my assessment of the radio. I was very happily impressed. I have never seen such a beautifully, and durably built radio since my Navy days. This radio was SERIOUSLY constructed to weather the elements at sea. I have decided to take Robert F's lead and start by just replacing the electrolytics. I will probably measure them and take good pictures of them, and see if Hayseed Hamfest can make me some replicas to use. All the paper condensers one would normally have to replace are hermetically sealed away from the elements in oil filled little metal cans, so they may well be fine for years and years. Here are pictures of the underside of the chassis before I start any work. First is an overall view, then a series of shots going from the electrolytics down that side of the chassis, then up the other side to the front, and finally the middle of the front.

So, that is all the progress so far. I have ordered some parts and am waiting for them to come in. I have also contacted Hayseed Hamfest to see if they can make me custom replacements for the 4 electrolytic condensers along the front of the receiver. I have bought a full set of replacement condensers from them for restoring my National SW-54, and NC-125 radios. They made PERFECT replacements for the 4 wire firecracker in the SW-54, and the can in the NC-125. Fortunately, the parts list in the manual for the SLRM gives quite exact specs for these condensers, with the diameter, length, number of terminals, and so on, which I passed along as well as a JPG of the schematic. I hope they can make the new condensers for me. Stay tuned for more of this continuing adventure.

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Today the 4 condensers I ordered from Hayseed Hamfest finally arrived. They were mailed on the 16th. There was a tracking number, but after it left their local post office there were no more scans of it along the way until it arrived today, then other scans magically appeared. I think the USPS was playing CYA.

I had to go to Morristown today for my eye treatment for macular degeneration. When I got back I began to replace the original electrolytic condenser cans. Much to my chagrin I found that the ones from Hayseed Hamfest were just a HAIR too big to fit through the hole in the chassis, and three of the four barely fit into the original clamp, the fourth didn't fit at all. I checked the specifications I sent them, which were exactly what is listed in the bill of materials in the Scott manual. They made them with a diameter just a little too big. The original spec for the three was 1 3/8" diameter, in other words 1.375", these were between 1.450 and 1.5" Fortunately I was able to fit these into the original clamp, with the clamping screw hanging on by about 3 threads, and keeping them raised a hair from the chassis top was able to use them. The terminals cleared OK. The fourth one was similarly over the specified size, but was so much bigger that it could not fit in the clamp, so I didn't use it. Instead I mounted a 20MFD 450V condenser on a 3 terminal strip, and screwed it under the chassis using one of the original screws that held the clamp.

Once all the condensers were installed there was nothing left to do but try the radio out. I hooked it up, and it works very well. I am able to pick up a LOT of stations on just my test antenna at my workbench. I still have a little more to do, clean the band switch contacts and other contacts but the radio actually works very well. So, here are pictures of today's work...

First, the four condenser cans before installation...

The new electrolytic condensers installed, under chassis view...

The new condensers installed top of chassis view...

My Scott SLRM playing on my workbench...

Just a quick update tonight. I sprayed all the switch contacts and worked them back and forth a lot last night, then let them sit and dry. Tonight the radio really came alive and is working very well. So far I have just used my 10 feet of wire strung up around my work bench as a test antenna. As you read above, I replaced the special old style U.S. Navy antenna connector with a modern SO-239. I am just using it as a connector, NOT with coax and a balanced feed line. So far I am just using the center post of the PL-259 to connect the antenna. I will make a small label explaining the situation and affix it to the back of the chassis beside the plug after I put the radio back in its steel cabinet. With just that antenna I was able to pick up stations all over the standard broadcast AM dial, WSM in Nashville comes in very clear, as do stations WRVA Richmond, VA, and WLW from Cincinnati, OH, just to name a few of MANY. The reception rivals any of the "communications receivers" I have recently refurbished. I did not do any alignment at all, just replaced the input "death caps" and the filter electrolytics, and changed the antenna connector. On the next band up I was able to get CHU Canada at 3.33 MC clearly as well as the top of the AM broadcast band below that, and some shortwave stations above it. Between there are Ham bands and I get a lot of RF hash from the high tension lines at those frequencies. On the next band I was able to get WWV at 5 MC, which I almost NEVER pick up with that wimpy indoor antenna, but it came in very intelligibly with moderate fading. On the highest band I was able to receive WWV at 10 MC as well as several shortwave stations. I can't imagine what it will do hooked to my outdoor antenna! From what I have seen so far, this receiver rivals or excels the National NC-125, and the Lafayette HE-30, which is a pretty tall order. I haven't tried out the CWO on the ham bands yet. I'll wait until I connect it to a better antenna, but that should be pretty interesting too. If it is at all like the National or Lafayette it will take some playing with to master that.

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