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Old 21st April 2005, 07:39 AM   #1
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Default Old Emerson Tube Radio... great find!

First of all let me say that I think there should be a forum devoted to radio.

Now though, check out this AM radio that I got a thrift store for $15 US- Click Here! I am sorry; this photo was taken before I cleaned it up(it came clean with a damp rag).

Check out the inside BEFORE and AFTER I cleaned it!

The tubes are 100% original.

But... I was wondering about constructing a new antenna for it; the original is just a coil glued to the backboard; which actually works surprisingly well. I do not see a ferrite rod.

I have access to free magnet wire at work and was considering getting a bunch of it and wrapping it around a cardboard poster tube.

AM radio is odd, though, so I don't want to do anything that will adversely affect my reception. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Trevor
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Old 21st April 2005, 08:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Old Emerson Tube Radio... great find!

I've never seen one that filled with dust... 50C5 output tube?

Don't know much about antennas, i do know there are a few places to go look out on the net.

dave
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Old 22nd April 2005, 02:38 AM   #3
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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Well, 40 years ago, that plastic Emerson was one notch above "junk".

Junk has got a lot junkier since then: this may be very fine by today's standards.

> I was wondering about constructing a new antenna for it; the original is just a coil glued to the backboard; which actually works surprisingly well. I do not see a ferrite rod.

Of course it works well. Why wouldn't it? Ferrite makes sense with a more sophisticated RF amp than a 5-tube radio has. And ferrite became common when sand-state radios got too small for the air-core loop antenna. And AM radio reception is limited by atmospheric static: even a very "crummy" antenna will bring signal+static above the tube noise level. If you have the space (you do), the air-loop is an excellent wave-catcher. You can't beat it, and are unlikely to equal it with home-wound.

How does it sound?

If you work inside it, remember it is HOT CHASSIS!!! It will electrocute you any time it is plugged in, even when "off".
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Old 22nd April 2005, 05:48 AM   #4
wa2ise is offline wa2ise  United States
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That antenna (coil of wire on a piece of cardboard) is the original factory antenna. That's what they looked like back then. No need to replace it.

Be sure to replace all wax capacitors.
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Old 22nd April 2005, 04:38 PM   #5
alejo is offline alejo  Argentina
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good job, good clean but you erase the labels in tubes, write for security.
think in the future when you must exchange this tubes.

Alejo
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Old 22nd April 2005, 06:06 PM   #6
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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That "frame aerial" (as we called them in the UK) performs well because it is resonant. It forms part of a tuned circuit which resonates at the frequency you are tuned to. Ferrite rod aerials/antennae work in the same way. You'd need a big non-resonant aerial to better that performance.

As a boy I had one about 10 foot square in my bedroom to receive far-away stations.

Both these types are directional. This can be used to "reject" interference from unwanted stations.
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Old 23rd April 2005, 06:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Re: Old Emerson Tube Radio... great find!

Quote:
Originally posted by planet10
I've never seen one that filled with dust... 50C5 output tube?

Don't know much about antennas, i do know there are a few places to go look out on the net.

dave
Yes it was quite dirty; I have a feeling it was stored in a garage for years and years.

Actually, it's a 50B5.

Yeah, I've known about the C. Crane company for a while now; they have some GREAT stuff!


Quote:
Originally posted by PRR
Well, 40 years ago, that plastic Emerson was one notch above "junk".

Junk has got a lot junkier since then: this may be very fine by today's standards.

> I was wondering about constructing a new antenna for it; the original is just a coil glued to the backboard; which actually works surprisingly well. I do not see a ferrite rod.

Of course it works well. Why wouldn't it? Ferrite makes sense with a more sophisticated RF amp than a 5-tube radio has. And ferrite became common when sand-state radios got too small for the air-core loop antenna. And AM radio reception is limited by atmospheric static: even a very "crummy" antenna will bring signal+static above the tube noise level. If you have the space (you do), the air-loop is an excellent wave-catcher. You can't beat it, and are unlikely to equal it with home-wound.

How does it sound?

If you work inside it, remember it is HOT CHASSIS!!! It will electrocute you any time it is plugged in, even when "off".
Thanks for the warning! I'll remeber to unplug it.

It sounds EXCELLENT... far superior to any AM/FM tuner I've ever owned.

I will be getting an air loop antenna from the C. Crane company when I have the money; hopefully I'll be able to pick up stations from San Fransico and Los Angeles(at night, at least), as I live about halfway in between the both of them

Quote:
Originally posted by wa2ise
That antenna (coil of wire on a piece of cardboard) is the original factory antenna. That's what they looked like back then. No need to replace it.

Be sure to replace all wax capacitors.
I know it's original! I want to pick up more stations!

What kind of caps should I replace them with? Electrolytric?


Quote:
Originally posted by alejo
good job, good clean but you erase the labels in tubes, write for security.
think in the future when you must exchange this tubes.

Alejo
The original sticker with the list of factory patents, and chart of tube locations is still there, so I knew it was safe for me to clean them. It would be cool if the original silk-screening was still there, though...


Quote:
Originally posted by dhaen
That "frame aerial" (as we called them in the UK) performs well because it is resonant. It forms part of a tuned circuit which resonates at the frequency you are tuned to. Ferrite rod aerials/antennae work in the same way. You'd need a big non-resonant aerial to better that performance.

As a boy I had one about 10 foot square in my bedroom to receive far-away stations.

Both these types are directional. This can be used to "reject" interference from unwanted stations.
Could one build one of these out of copper tubing? I could build a huge one, and mount it on my roof; I could also make a turntable for it to be on, that I could control form my room to rotate it for better reception... good idea? ...

I looked on the bottom and found the sticker with the Model No-, it's an Emerson Model 653.

Thanks for all the replies!

-Trevor
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Old 23rd April 2005, 01:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Re: Re: Old Emerson Tube Radio... great find!

Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Trefor
Be sure to replace all wax capacitors.

What kind of caps should I replace them with? Electrolytric?

-Trevor
No! Electrolytics are very leaky and will be way worse than than even the old wax paper ones. Ordinary polyester caps will be just fine. Use FKP1 types (foil and polypropylene) if you really want to go nuts.
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Old 10th September 2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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I agree there should be radio forum: I bot a 1960 5 valve SW radio for $25. National Radio I think. I pick up enormous foreign SW stations with a long wire antenae and it is the ONLY radio that picks up New York City from my area, even a new $200 radio will not do that.
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Old 10th September 2011, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Circlotron View Post
No! Electrolytics are very leaky and will be way worse than than even the old wax paper ones. Ordinary polyester caps will be just fine. Use FKP1 types (foil and polypropylene) if you really want to go nuts.
I have a 1959 McIntosh FM/AM tuner unsed for decades that works OK. Can I assume that I should replace the capacitors to increase performance?

YOu comments appreciated.
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