Author Topic: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!  (Read 1818 times)

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Offline GlennSprigg

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Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« on: June 01, 2020, 12:35:12 pm »
I LOVE the look of old components like Capacitors, when rebuilding old Tube Radios etc...
We've all seen/done rejuvenations where the chassis underside is now full of bright blue Electrolytics,
and various 'new' other types, that take away the authentic 'old/original' look,  historically.

It's clever, when people pull out the guts though, of an old 'Can' on the chassis top, and re-stuff it
with new capacitors, or even slice open the outer wrapping of old Paper/Wax caps, and hide the new
replacement ones inside, and re-seal them!  I just worry though!....

ONE day in the future, someone is going to see them, and say... "Oh... I better cut all this old crap out!"  :-DD
I hope people at least leave a NOTE inside, informing them of what's been done! haha...  ;D

The WORST that some people do, (in Mains powered units),  is replace the Rectifier Tube with a couple
of modern Diodes under the tube-socket. Argh... (The tube is generally a Duo-Diode, and works from a
centre-tapped transformer, to attain Full-Wave rectification). Apart from the 'Looks', they do NOT behave
the same!!  Amongst other things/reasons, the 'Cathode' in these are usually 'Indirectly Heated", so that
it takes longer fully come up to working levels, as opposed to the other tubes present, to reduce inrush
current, and over-voltage in parts, on start up. To me, they are all about the 'Looks' though!!   :-+
 

Offline TimFox

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 01:19:53 pm »
Many two-diode vacuum tube rectifiers in old equipment are directly-heated, including the popular 5Y3 (and old-style 80) and 5U4.  Indirectly-heated units are the 6.3V heater 6X5, 6X4, etc. and the less-common 5AR4.  The series-string (AA5) radios all use indirectly-heated 35Z5, etc. single diodes.  The moral decision on restoring old radios is whether to replace the selenium rectifiers that were more modern than the vacuum tube units.
 
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2020, 04:44:36 pm »
Many two-diode vacuum tube rectifiers in old equipment are directly-heated, including the popular 5Y3 (and old-style 80) and 5U4.  Indirectly-heated units are the 6.3V heater 6X5, 6X4, etc. and the less-common 5AR4.  The series-string (AA5) radios all use indirectly-heated 35Z5, etc. single diodes.  The moral decision on restoring old radios is whether to replace the selenium rectifiers that were more modern than the vacuum tube units.

Selenium rectifiers were invented in 1933, so while way newer than tube rectifiers, unless you work exclusively on 20s and ealy 30s sets there is a chance you may encounter one.
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Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2020, 08:51:53 pm »
The question you ask about restoring vintage electronics, is the exact same question that vintage auto restorers face.

Of course, they would like to keep the product 100% original, but there may be instances where original components and/or original materials used in its fabrication are now unobtanium.

Two choices her: either one faces the music and replaces the unobtanium component with its modern equivalent, or one actually "builds" the component from scratch.

The second choice is easier in a mechanical apparatus than an electronics one.
 
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2020, 11:45:22 am »
The question you ask about restoring vintage electronics, is the exact same question that vintage auto restorers face.

Of course, they would like to keep the product 100% original, but there may be instances where original components and/or original materials used in its fabrication are now unobtanium.

Two choices her: either one faces the music and replaces the unobtanium component with its modern equivalent, or one actually "builds" the component from scratch.

The second choice is easier in a mechanical apparatus than an electronics one.

Yes, you are right, about many 'unobtainiums'...  :)
However, I was mainly pointing out about restorations that 'look' original, by hiding new components
inside.  And how that's good, unless someone in the future tries to rip them out again!!   8)
A lot of very old radios (mains & battery) also had a 'Vibrator' unit inside a chassis can. There is nothing
wrong with a modern electronic cct replacement being used, but put it all in the original Can!!   :-+
Just leave a 'note' inside, for future enthusiasts!! 
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 06:39:23 am »
I'm not so sure that I want to see Electronic equipment restored to "showroom condition".
Equipment in commercial service for many years may accumulate many updates & mods which are all part of the history of that device.

Sometimes, with equipment running 24/7/365, there are components like thermionic rectifiers which have a history of limited life spans, compared to the rest of the device.

With a piece of gear made in, say, 1955, many such mods may well have been made in the late 60's to early 80's, so are around 40 to 50 years old in themselves, older now than the device was when they were carried out!
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2020, 06:58:35 am »
David Tipton in one of his restoration videos replaced the ancient batteries with pieces of wood cut to size, to which he glued printed battery jacket wraps. The original look of the components was preserved!  :-+
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2020, 01:10:37 pm »
I'm not so sure that I want to see Electronic equipment restored to "showroom condition".
Equipment in commercial service for many years may accumulate many updates & mods which are all part of the history of that device.

Sometimes, with equipment running 24/7/365, there are components like thermionic rectifiers which have a history of limited life spans, compared to the rest of the device.

With a piece of gear made in, say, 1955, many such mods may well have been made in the late 60's to early 80's, so are around 40 to 50 years old in themselves, older now than the device was when they were carried out!

(I highlighted in bold, a portion of your response, above)...
You are 100% correct, about the 'lifespan' of various effective Thermionic Emissions, initially used at the time.
I've often 'Agonized' (haha) over re-using say an ancient  '201A' 4-pin, as in this link...
https://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_x201a.html
in an old 1920's Regenerative Receiver, knowing that it's performance is Crap!, as opposed to using a 'slightly'
more 'modern' equivalent, where various Oxides/Materials had much better Thermionic Emission, and have gone
for the 'latter', as they 'LOOK' the same visually, (4-pin teardrop), but actually perform better, so is now usable!  :phew:
To me, the looks is most important. 'Then' functionality today.  "ShowRoom' condition is not always 'pretty'.
Most of the time the Under-Chassis is a birds-nest of crap, (all point to point), but it's how it was done. Sometimes
I would actually like to have a clear perspex case, (if the outside was rubbish!), to show the insides!!   ;D
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2020, 01:13:57 pm »
David Tipton in one of his restoration videos replaced the ancient batteries with pieces of wood cut to size, to which he glued printed battery jacket wraps. The original look of the components was preserved!  :-+

YEP!!  I'm glad his videos are reaching the rest of the World!!  He is a very talented man...  8)
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2020, 12:13:34 am »
I also love the look of old equipment, but I don't care too much for what's under the chassis.
I recently got a AZ1 rectifier knowing well how it is not as great as a more modern indirect heater, but it is one of the most beautiful vacuum tubes I've ever seen. It has become a spare to restore my grandpa's Philips BX462A.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2020, 05:50:31 am »
I've restored a few vintage radios, I re-stuffed the capacitors just for the heck of it. At a glance it looks fully original but if you look closely you can tell they've been altered. Also I usually write up a little restoration log and tuck it away in the cabinet somewhere.
 
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Offline AlbertL

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2020, 01:03:09 pm »
Does anyone else love the smell of vintage electronics?  I don't know what it is - probably the various waxes and varnishes used on the components, with some phenolic insulation - but the scent under the chassis of vacuum-tube equipment is a wonderful thing!
 
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Offline firehopper

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2020, 12:28:24 am »
smell of old dust?


Does anyone else love the smell of vintage electronics?  I don't know what it is - probably the various waxes and varnishes used on the components, with some phenolic insulation - but the scent under the chassis of vacuum-tube equipment is a wonderful thing!
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2020, 11:11:20 am »
I also love the look of old equipment, but I don't care too much for what's under the chassis.
I recently got a AZ1 rectifier knowing well how it is not as great as a more modern indirect heater, but it is one of the most beautiful vacuum tubes I've ever seen. It has become a spare to restore my grandpa's Philips BX462A.

Good on you mate.  Yea, those old original style valves/tubes have a 'look' all of their own!!
And the old 'Side-Contact' style base tubes are hard to find. As a side-note of interest...
That radio always had an 'AZ1' Directly-Heated-Cathode dual-rectifier. The tube-line-up should be...
 ECH21,    ECH21,    EBL21,    AZ1.
Back then, the Electron Emission of Cathodes was poor, and had since been greatly improved.
Later, In-Directly heated tubes were used, as Emission was improved without the 'Cathode' being
so hot, but ALSO because they took slightly longer to heat up! The 'UP' side of this, is that all the
other tubes/loads could come up to voltage more gradually, without over voltage/current. I know
some companies didn't factor this in, but many did!!   :-+
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 11:25:51 am by GlennSprigg »
 
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2020, 11:23:40 am »
Does anyone else love the smell of vintage electronics?  I don't know what it is - probably the various waxes and varnishes used on the components, with some phenolic insulation - but the scent under the chassis of vacuum-tube equipment is a wonderful thing!

Absolutely!!   ;D
It's like opening/smelling an old 'book' in one of those old book-exchange shops!!
I guess a 'young' person could not relate to it, as they have no 'reference' of old...  :D
Scent is a POWERFUL thing, to the Brain, when connecting to a historical place/time.
But YES... that 'cabinet', 'chassis', 'transformer', 'solder/flux', 'component'  smell, literally
sends me back many DECADES in my brain, when I first open something up !!!   :-+
I think that's half the thrill when working with a new project...
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2020, 02:37:12 am »
I also love the look of old equipment, but I don't care too much for what's under the chassis.
I recently got a AZ1 rectifier knowing well how it is not as great as a more modern indirect heater, but it is one of the most beautiful vacuum tubes I've ever seen. It has become a spare to restore my grandpa's Philips BX462A.

Good on you mate.  Yea, those old original style valves/tubes have a 'look' all of their own!!
And the old 'Side-Contact' style base tubes are hard to find. As a side-note of interest...
That radio always had an 'AZ1' Directly-Heated-Cathode dual-rectifier. The tube-line-up should be...
 ECH21,    ECH21,    EBL21,    AZ1.
Yes, the "Side Contact" base is a pain - worse contact reliability when compared to the other ones that are Loctal-8. All of them need a good cleanup when I start the restoration work.

As for the lineup, I still have the four original ones very well worn - all Miniwatt. The ECHs are quite silvery through the anode grid, but the EBL is alright. I have spares for all but the EBL: another well worn ECH21 from Miniwatt and one barely used from Telam. I just bought two "NOS" ECH21 from Ultron and a used AZ1 from Philips (it turned out the NOS seem to have some mileage on them, though).

On this set I did a lot of DX'ing as a kid in the 1980's, listening to the portuguese programs from BBC, RFI, Nederland, etc. in SW (22m IIRC). Unfortunately this set did not receive the tropical shortwave bands (<5MHz) but I recall at least once where I managed to get AM radio stations 1200km away from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo cities - the propagation on these days was pristine.

Bringing back a bit to the topic, I still have the original glass but the silkscreen with the stations is almost completely gone. I need to find someone that can print on glass and I have a template, but my dad remembered different stations printed on it when the radio was new.

Back then, the Electron Emission of Cathodes was poor, and had since been greatly improved.
Later, In-Directly heated tubes were used, as Emission was improved without the 'Cathode' being
so hot, but ALSO because they took slightly longer to heat up! The 'UP' side of this, is that all the
other tubes/loads could come up to voltage more gradually, without over voltage/current. I know
some companies didn't factor this in, but many did!!   :-+

Thanks for the short story about the rectifiers. I have a very soft spot for that warm glow.

An interesting story about how the first very good pentodes (EF50) were saved from the heat of WWII.
https://www.dos4ever.com/EF50/EF50.html
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2020, 04:42:59 am »
David Tipton in one of his restoration videos replaced the ancient batteries with pieces of wood cut to size, to which he glued printed battery jacket wraps. The original look of the components was preserved!  :-+

Actually it was Glasslinger, I came across that video again today  :D

https://youtu.be/k_Gv7hBU58c?t=2417
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 12:55:52 pm »
I also love the look of old equipment, but I don't care too much for what's under the chassis.
I recently got a AZ1 rectifier knowing well how it is not as great as a more modern indirect heater, but it is one of the most beautiful vacuum tubes I've ever seen. It has become a spare to restore my grandpa's Philips BX462A.

Good on you mate.  Yea, those old original style valves/tubes have a 'look' all of their own!!
And the old 'Side-Contact' style base tubes are hard to find. As a side-note of interest...
That radio always had an 'AZ1' Directly-Heated-Cathode dual-rectifier. The tube-line-up should be...
 ECH21,    ECH21,    EBL21,    AZ1.
Yes, the "Side Contact" base is a pain - worse contact reliability when compared to the other ones that are Loctal-8. All of them need a good cleanup when I start the restoration work.

As for the lineup, I still have the four original ones very well worn - all Miniwatt. The ECHs are quite silvery through the anode grid, but the EBL is alright. I have spares for all but the EBL: another well worn ECH21 from Miniwatt and one barely used from Telam. I just bought two "NOS" ECH21 from Ultron and a used AZ1 from Philips (it turned out the NOS seem to have some mileage on them, though).

On this set I did a lot of DX'ing as a kid in the 1980's, listening to the portuguese programs from BBC, RFI, Nederland, etc. in SW (22m IIRC). Unfortunately this set did not receive the tropical shortwave bands (<5MHz) but I recall at least once where I managed to get AM radio stations 1200km away from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo cities - the propagation on these days was pristine.

Bringing back a bit to the topic, I still have the original glass but the silkscreen with the stations is almost completely gone. I need to find someone that can print on glass and I have a template, but my dad remembered different stations printed on it when the radio was new.

Back then, the Electron Emission of Cathodes was poor, and had since been greatly improved.
Later, In-Directly heated tubes were used, as Emission was improved without the 'Cathode' being
so hot, but ALSO because they took slightly longer to heat up! The 'UP' side of this, is that all the
other tubes/loads could come up to voltage more gradually, without over voltage/current. I know
some companies didn't factor this in, but many did!!   :-+

Thanks for the short story about the rectifiers. I have a very soft spot for that warm glow.

An interesting story about how the first very good pentodes (EF50) were saved from the heat of WWII.
https://www.dos4ever.com/EF50/EF50.html

In Ref to what you said, that I made bold, above...
I have links to 'Aussies' who make/supply replacement glass screens, but not for the U.S.  Incidentally, the
Philips 'BX462A' is the Dutch version, of the Australian Philips Model 115. Different printed stations of course!...
http://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/2012/October/The+Philips+twins%3A+the+Dutch+BX462A+%2526+the+Australian+model+115
(This is only a non-member glimpse!, and you may have to accept the Adobe 'Flash' version to see the result).
HOWEVER, as you say that you have a 'Template' on file?  simply print it (pref-Laser!) onto a sticky CLEAR
sheet, and transfer it to glass. It works a treat!!   ;D
 
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2020, 01:00:53 pm »
David Tipton in one of his restoration videos replaced the ancient batteries with pieces of wood cut to size, to which he glued printed battery jacket wraps. The original look of the components was preserved!  :-+

Actually it was Glasslinger, I came across that video again today  :D

https://youtu.be/k_Gv7hBU58c?t=2417

Aahh... Ok. Yep, he does it too!!  I love watching that old guy work too, but... "he is different!".
He knows a shit load, but he is a bit rough & ready at times. Not quite "Mr. Carlson"   ;D
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 01:02:35 pm by GlennSprigg »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2020, 04:11:18 pm »
(...)
Bringing back a bit to the topic, I still have the original glass but the silkscreen with the stations is almost completely gone. I need to find someone that can print on glass and I have a template, but my dad remembered different stations printed on it when the radio was new.

HOWEVER, as you say that you have a 'Template' on file?  simply print it (pref-Laser!) onto a sticky CLEAR
sheet, and transfer it to glass. It works a treat!!   ;D
Thanks for the suggestion; I should have thought of that. I will pursue that route and see if I can find a good match to the original yellow printout (most templates I saw were white).
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2020, 04:26:47 pm »
(...)
Bringing back a bit to the topic, I still have the original glass but the silkscreen with the stations is almost completely gone. I need to find someone that can print on glass and I have a template, but my dad remembered different stations printed on it when the radio was new.

HOWEVER, as you say that you have a 'Template' on file?  simply print it (pref-Laser!) onto a sticky CLEAR
sheet, and transfer it to glass. It works a treat!!   ;D
Thanks for the suggestion; I should have thought of that. I will pursue that route and see if I can find a good match to the original yellow printout (most templates I saw were white).

Can you not EDIT the 'Template' that you have, to indicate the Info/Colour etc that you want??
If you can't I will gladly do it for you! if you PM me with the needed info/dimensions... ;D

EDIT:  I don't know if your 'Template' is a .PDF or just a .JPG image.  Doesn't matter. I will return
to you a sharp detailed scaled .PDF ready for printing.  Hope you have a great day!!   :-+
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 04:35:42 pm by GlennSprigg »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2020, 04:46:31 pm »
Thank you very much for the offer; I am alright on the editing department.  :-+

I have this file in the other computer, but I will post it here for posterity (I can't find its URL anymore)
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2020, 11:45:30 am »
Thank you very much for the offer; I am alright on the editing department:-+

I have this file in the other computer, but I will post it here for posterity (I can't find its URL anymore)

Ref in bold above. I'm glad you are ok with that!  A lot of people aren't.  ;D
Look forward to the photos!!!   :D
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 11:50:30 am by GlennSprigg »
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2020, 11:10:30 am »
Thank you very much for the offer; I am alright on the editing department.  :-+
I have this file in the other computer, but I will post it here for posterity (I can't find its URL anymore)

Hey, 'rsjsouza'...  Just by 100% coincidence!, a virtually 'local' guy (in Perth over here), has the
same radio you were talking about, but the Aussie version, when going through his on-line stock today.
He said it's been pulled apart, but ALL the parts are together. I don't know the condition of the protruding
glass station indicator yet, but can re-make that myself, if needed. (Aussie stations etc.)
Your European BX462A is shown below...

Here's the Aussie version I'm looking at. (Not 'THE' one)...

I'm going to offer $30-$40 and see what he says!   ;D
Mainly because I like the Glass Protrusion. Not seen before. Sort of a 1940's Heads-Up-Display !! haha..  8)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 12:12:31 pm by GlennSprigg »
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Historical 'Look' of old Radio Components!
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2020, 01:18:10 am »
You are very lucky if you can get it. This radio had a great sound (large speaker).

You want to be sure the capacitor and the switch are in good condition - common things on radios of that era. Also, if I recall correctly from my dad's first restoration in the 1980s, the dial string is a dog to get it right. Let me know if you need some photographs from the insides (it will take a bit as I need to get it, unpack, open and nothing will "jump" at me) :)
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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