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WEGA  302/502


This WEGA is in for restoration. It is a beautiful dual dial scale radio.  It receives from Long wave up through high Short wave.  The right dial scale is used as a band width for some of the SW bands.  That makes tuning in stations that are grouped together rather pleasant experience.  It is like a fine tuning control.

I took plenty of pictures of the packing.  I hope to get the packing the same for the return trip to the owner.  There was no shipping damage.  


IMG_2235.JPG (658364 bytes)I took these packing pictures so I can send the radio back packed as well as it arrived.  IMG_2236.JPG (607135 bytes) IMG_2238.JPG (624760 bytes) IMG_2239.JPG (717141 bytes) IMG_2240.JPG (632685 bytes)There are three knobs in this package. There should be a fourth back with the owner. 
IMG_2241.JPG (805854 bytes) IMG_2242.JPG (793561 bytes) IMG_2243.JPG (539738 bytes) IMG_2243.JPG (539738 bytes) IMG_2244.JPG (640283 bytes)
IMG_2246.JPG (848108 bytes)A little ding.  I wanted to fix this ding.  This trim strip is well attached to the wood.  I gave is a nudge and a poke from behind.   But it would not budge.  It must have been glued on.  I will run it by the fellows at www.Radiomuseum.org.  

This radio is in great shape.  I took the opportunity to power and test this unit.  I receives and plays.  The chassis has all original components and will receive the "Treatment".  That is a restoration.  I do not like having original coupling capacitors and power supply capacitors in radios.   When they short, the short circuit currents can damage unobtainable parts like a power transformer or Audio Output Transformer.  The rectifier will be changed too.  It is selenium.  Silicon diodes will be used with an appropriate dropping resistor. 

IMG_2247.JPG (714913 bytes)Nice original condition! IMG_2248.JPG (716802 bytes) IMG_2249.JPG (671606 bytes) IMG_2304.JPG (181899 bytes) IMG_2294.JPG (168019 bytes)
IMG_2295.JPG (194873 bytes) IMG_2296.JPG (215859 bytes) IMG_2297.JPG (762416 bytes) IMG_2305.JPG (549224 bytes) IMG_2306.JPG (183506 bytes)
IMG_2307.JPG (228746 bytes) IMG_2308.JPG (160480 bytes)

IMG_2309.JPG (153480 bytes)Loose. The Bass and Treble controls are ineffectual.  Perhaps some one was attempting to repair. 

IMG_2310.JPG (141782 bytes)Loose
IMG_2311.JPG (185092 bytes)The RF bypass capacitor is very leaky.  I feel a vibrating feeling when I rub the metal chassis with my finger. 

When I tested the leakage it was quite high. This cap will be changed!

    IMG_2396.JPG (184566 bytes) These are the replacement Y2 safety caps.  It is more convenient to solder them right to the power switch to ground. 

The speaker wires were disconnected from the audio output transformer along with the loose tuning tube bracket and tone switch mounting screws.  I suspect some one was working on this unit prior to shipping.  Some guys refuse to touch prior work.

Now prior work does not bother me.  Practically every vintage radio has been worked on.  It is rare to find a radio that has not see the repair shop or at least had some tubes replaced.  It is OK by me as long as the person before me uses good judgment, practices and stops before going beyond the "point of no return".  If you ever want to tackle gear that has been modified try some Ham Radio boat anchors.  Those can be quite a challenge.  Besides, I too had to start learning on a radio!



Challenge of The Tone Controls  


There are two little holes drilled in the backs of each tone control.  There is a practice where one drills a little hole to squirt in some contact cleaner.  These controls did not need the extra hole.  Unfortunately, the holes were drilled just behind where the carbon element is located.  Here is how I fixed this problem.


IMG_2308.JPG (172601 bytes)Bass control jammed tight.  There is glue that seeped into the mechanism. The knobs have added glue applied to the shafts.  IMG_2338.JPG (127036 bytes)Bass control 500k. IMG_2341.JPG (183098 bytes)This control knob came off nicely.  The gear snapped off. There is old glue that some one tried to do a little repair work. The plastic on both knobs are fractured. IMG_2362.JPG (163519 bytes)This control took a bit of persuading to remove.  The set screw head is cracked and the screwdriver can not engage. IMG_2345.JPG (57049 bytes) Oops.  There is the drill hole right through the 500k resistive carbon element. 
IMG_2337.JPG (110519 bytes)This is the Treble control, 10meg.
IMG_2365.JPG (144263 bytes)This is the 10meg treble carbon element.  Can't repair this.

Those carbon elements are made of "Unobtainium".

IMG_2369.JPG (161115 bytes)And the difficult set screw.  IMG_2370.JPG (122717 bytes)Rusted from the white glue that was applied.   IMG_2377.JPG (119039 bytes) I cut a new grove into the set screw with a Dremel tool.  But I had to un-seize the nut and screw first.  IMG_2381.JPG (164842 bytes)Using a removable piece of Q tip handle, a little masking tape to enlarge the hole I configured an Epoxy form.
IMG_2382.JPG (160468 bytes)The mixed epoxy pressed into the knobs.  That Oatey plumbers epoxy is GREAT stuff! IMG_2385.JPG (109054 bytes)This is the finished knob with the filed epoxy, removed Q tip parts, removed masking tape and the repaired set screw installed.  The pot is an industrial Clarostate model. IMG_2386.JPG (169363 bytes)This is the 500k Bass pot installed, adjusted and operationally tested. The 10meg long shaft treble pot is on back order. I received a 10meg with a short shaft. 

Today I ordered a 500k with the long shaft when I checked the delivery date. 

The 10meg long shaft is on back order from Mouser.  It is expected to ship Feb 23, 2010.  Today is 11/19/09.  Too long to wait.  

I will swap shafts when the 10 meg arrives.  


FM tuner inspection.  

I removed the tuner to access the resistors and capacitors.  I found all ceramic capacitors and two resistors.  The resistors measured with in specifications and were left in place. All ceramic capacitors were left in place.  The unit was dusted lubricated and reinstalled.   I put some pictures here for the curios.  The unit can be tricky to remove and reinstall.  The dial cord has to be let loose. 


IMG_2388.JPG (134586 bytes) IMG_2389.JPG (125637 bytes) IMG_2390.JPG (144407 bytes) IMG_2391.JPG (147496 bytes)All that dust is gone.  I should have taken an "After" shot.  But I am not going to remove this tuner again.
IMG_2392.JPG (164505 bytes) Those spirals are variable inductors.  Inductors are used in place of a variable capacitor.  Very Nice! Tight, accurate tuning. IMG_2393.JPG (145723 bytes)Ceramic caps throughout.  IMG_2394.JPG (151151 bytes)  




The cabinet restoration begins. 

This finish looks great for a radio as old as I am.  I intend to restore or conserve the original finish with a cleaning and minimizing the dings in the lacquer finish.  The mineral spirits is not an aggressive cleaner.  That is good for the original lacquer finish.  I do not want to disturb it. 


IMG_2299.JPG (422581 bytes)It looks like the Bubble wrap deposited or out gassed some material on to the finish.  It will not come off with out a solvent. IMG_2312.JPG (759416 bytes)Lacquer Finish gets Mineral spirits.  This removes dirt, crud and wax.  Water may seep into the cracks and swell the wood. The mineral spirits works gradually and gently.  It is not an aggressive solvent.   IMG_2321.JPG (505469 bytes)After wiping with Mineral Spirits.  And you can see the start of many steps to filing in the chipped lacquer.  More on that later. IMG_2316.JPG (490135 bytes)Before IMG_2318.JPG (469590 bytes)After
IMG_2319.JPG (429188 bytes)Before IMG_2320.JPG (458070 bytes)After IMG_2322.JPG (494375 bytes)After a complete cleaning filling in the lacquer chips begins.  This will take me many steps.  Repeat leveling and filling.  When I can not see a difference I will begin to polish the finish with fine compounds. 



IMG_2332.JPG (114722 bytes)  Artist Charcoals to match discolored and worn areas. 

I discovered a great way to match worn edges and discolorations.  This is a set of artists charcoal colors.  Dampen a finger with odorless mineral spirits, rub finger on closest matching color and transfer to area needing tinting. Repeat with a mixture of colors to create a better match.  Spray with a can of spray lacquer.  Repeat with other colors. Create dark streaks to match grain.  

The best part of using charcoals is if you use a wrong color, wipe it off with a rag dampened in mineral spirits.  It takes about 5 seconds to erase your mistakes (before spray lacquer) and it is easy to remix colors right on you finger.  The mineral spirits allows you to see it "wet" as it would look after being lacquered.  A shot of clear lacquer covers the repair.  BUT this radio needs a high gloss shine.  The cabinet has to be sent out to an expert polisher.



Back from the polisher

This cabinet was sent out to be over coated with clear Lacquer to blend all of the little repairs.  The original finish, stain. highlight pin stripes and aging of the stain (under the original lacquer) has been maintained.  The cabinet was polished and buffed to a high gloss finish by an expert wood finisher.  I was not able to polish and buff this cabinet to this high gloss sheen with my limited resources, at this time.

IMG_2715.JPG (818243 bytes)  

IMG_2712.JPG (950427 bytes) IMG_2713.JPG (807542 bytes) IMG_2714.JPG (873796 bytes)




The chassis has been restored, the cabinet dings, nicks and scratches repaired lacquered and buffed.  Now it is time to reassemble all the parts.

IMG_2717.JPG (871793 bytes) Clean and treat all plastic with Glayzit IMG_2718.JPG (1106683 bytes) I don't  mention this often but every chassis, on my bench, gets a full mechanical and electronic alignment. And then a second alignment check and tweak.  

IMG_2723.JPG (1138782 bytes)In the cabinet.  I tweaked in the SW band osc in the cabinet. 

IMG_2724.JPG (908103 bytes)The fuse to holder contact area was corroded.  This is a  Sandpaper roll.  It didn't work too well.  IMG_2726.JPG (847776 bytes)Dremel tool works GREAT!.
IMG_2728.JPG (882110 bytes) IMG_2735.JPG (868032 bytes)Final shots.   IMG_2733.JPG (721598 bytes) IMG_2734.JPG (720019 bytes) IMG_2736.JPG (864513 bytes)

With Flash.

IMG_2739.JPG (761817 bytes) IMG_2742.JPG (1110297 bytes)  An interesting way to protect tubes.  This radio was shipped to me with these pipe insulators in place.  I like this idea.  It avoids possible fine antenna wire breakage by rough stuffing of paper or other packing material.  Fold in half and allow to spring back up.  CUT to length so they stay put.  

Not depicted is the fussing and nit picking I do with the re-assembly.  For example;  I cleaned and treated the knobs with BRASSO on the trim rings and Glayzit for the plastic.  A tooth brush is used to remove the BRASSO from the knurls.  The brass trim around the wood face gets a cleaning.  Foam Rubber gaskets, that keep the dial scale from vibrating on the cabinet, and others are replaced.  The chassis is centered left, right, forward, back, up & down and tilt if any.  The tuning indicator is centered.  Wires are dressed and checked.  And this is not all I will do. 


Damage needing repaired

Perhaps the unit took a hard hit.  A tone control bezel snapped off.  The internal AM antenna dial cord jumped off of the pulleys.  And a wire broke from the terminal strip and silenced the unit. 


IMG_2790.JPG (126037 bytes)Bezel snapped off of the mounting tabs.   IMG_2793.JPG (101964 bytes) The supports were glued using airplane model glue.  IMG_2791.JPG (131670 bytes)I injected an audio tone starting at the audio final stage.  The signal quit at the junction of the tone and volume control.  This Green wire was snapped off just behind the solder lug.  
IMG_2792.JPG (166239 bytes) Tested with a jumper. IMG_2794.JPG (126512 bytes) New wire.   

I ship radios by UPS with $1000 insurance.  The $1000 insurance gets signatures from each UPS person that handle the package (at least that is what I was told by a driver and a UPS shipping package center).  I receive a signed receipt from the driver when they pick up the package.  

So far I have not had any devastating shipping damage.  But I suppose shipments are not immune from some level of rough handling.   I made no damage claim.    I will use any shipper the owner chooses.  




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