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Zenith Wavemagnet Help Please !!!
Zenith Wavemagnet Help Please !!!
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Old 11th March 2004, 05:05 PM   #1
AdvanceTech is offline AdvanceTech  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Default Zenith Wavemagnet Help Please !!!


I have never tried to restore a tube radio before and need some help / advice...

I came across a really nice 1942 Zenith Wavemagnet tube radio sitting in a local junk shop. It looks just about new except for a little dust and a broken handle. I could'nt resist the sailing ship embroidery on the speaker cloth, so I passed over the $20.00 and now it's sitting on my bench.

I found quite a nice write up on the radio here...


The radio did not work. This may seem stupid to you, but I ordered a new set of 6 tubes. They arrived today. I swapped out the tubes one at a time until I found a dead one. It was a 1LN5 RF Amp. Now I've got Rush Limbaugh putting the world to rights on my bench !!!

I suppose I'm lucky to have good capacitors with little to no 60Hz hum. The problem now is a noisy / intermittent tuning capacitor. It is acting just like a noisy volume pot. If I set it just right I get good reception, but the slightest touch kills all reception. When I tune the capacitor I get a grating noise out of the speaker just like a dirty volume pot. Have you got any ideas how to cure this ???

I have tried blowing out the vanes and appying a tiny amount of WD40 to the central ball race. The tuing capacitor does not look to be corroded.

Your advice would be greatly appriciated.

Thank you,
Tom Elliott...
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Old 11th March 2004, 06:13 PM   #2
Alastair E is offline Alastair E  Wales
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Location: South Wales
Default noisy caps!

The tuning cap goes noisy sometimes when one of the vanes touches the fixed set or more likely the brushes are dirty.

Look at the shaft holding the movable vanes, at each end and both sides of the certre section, you should see some silver plated spring steel/brass which is soldered to the frame of the cap Place a small amount of WD-40/switchcleaner on each one, and operate cap through whole range a couple of times, This should cure the fault.
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Old 11th March 2004, 06:27 PM   #3
AdvanceTech is offline AdvanceTech  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Default Re: Tuning Cap...

Thank you Alastair. I thought it sounded like noisy contacts. I'll give it a try.

I just went ahead and bought a paperback... "Antique Radio Restoration Guide"

Valve radios seem to be fun... I'll keep my eyes open for more... Mind you my wife will kill me... More Junk ;-)

I'm a Brit by the way, now lost in the Rockies of Wyoming. I've been to Monmouthshire / Cardiff a few times. You live in a Beautiful part of the world...

Thanks again,
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Old 11th March 2004, 06:55 PM   #4
AdvanceTech is offline AdvanceTech  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Yippeeee... You are right Alastair... Dirty brushes it was...

God you can fix anything with some good advice and WD40.

Failing that try Duct tape...

Thanks again...

Tom ;-)
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