Emerson 330

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The 77 year old chassis. I glued the cracks in that speaker over 34 years ago.
Here it is from the back. Look at the glass vacuum tubes. You can see the tube elements through the glass, even though they are all fogged on the outside. That should divert your attention from the rest of the chassis.
The underside. It looks like I had done some work on this, probably to bring it back to life. Any parts used back then (1980s) were from stuff I collected as a teenager and should be replaced.
WHAT THE DICKENS?!! The filter capacitor wire comes out of a hole in the chassis and is then soldered to the outside of the chassis! Did I do that? I don't think so. If I replaced the filter capacitor, all I did was connect it to the wires already there. I have no memory of it whatsoever, but I wouldn't have done it that way.
I don't know what this brown stuff is on the inside. It could be kitchen grease or cigarette smoke. It likes to stick to aluminum the best, whatever it is. Maybe it spent its youth in some bar or the kitchen of a restaurant. If only it could talk. Obviously, it talks. You know what I mean.

OK, let's begin to make some improvements. First, we'll remove the dial pointer ...aaaaaand it broke. The first thing I touched. It had broken in the past and been glued back together. The transparent stuff in the right-hand photo is the glue. This was actually a bit of luck because it will be much easier to paint the pointer without the plastic insert.
How the pointer was held during painting.

The filter capacitors seemed to be working but were the wrong value (40ufd instead of 20ufd). Here the paper tube is being re-stuffed with new 22ufd caps.

After the capacitors were replaced.
The only capacitor not replaced is out of tolerance, but it doesn't matter. These old radios came with a wire you can clip an external antenna to. This capacitor goes to the wire. I've found through experience that it doesn't really matter what the value is. As a matter of fact, a nice improvement would be to replace it with a variable one so you could tune the antenna.

The "What the Dickens" solder blob was ground off with a Dremel because I couldn't find my 100 watt soldering gun. I found the soldering gun two hours later, after it was no longer needed (and when I wasn't even looking for it). The metal tab is the holder for the filter capacitor. I found the tab from the original Emerson filter capacitor inside the solder blob.
This was the only hard part. The insulation on this wire (which used to be blue) is cracked and almost in contact with a screw that comes through the chassis. There are eight rubber coated wires in this radio. If you so much as touch them the insulation cracks. Unfortunately all eight come from the two I.F. transformers on top of the chassis. Replacing the eight wires would take days.

The only thing to do was to cut the wire and carefully solder another wire to the end. I don't like the way it looks but it's only one of several things in this radio that I don't like. This thing was never made to last for 77 years.

Time for the new dial cover! (from dialcover.com)
The dial plate needed some glue.
Now it was time to tone down the logo. It had been filled with "White Out" and was way too bright. I used water based paint from the craft store, mostly white with a little "straw" mixed in. It came out perfect. I thought of filling it with Testors gold oil-based model paint, because I had some from the dial pointer. I was glad I didn't. It would have been a mess. While trying to get the paint in the logo it was all over the place. Finally, I thinned it, filled in the logo, let it dry overnight and buffed off the case. It came off very easily.

It was time for the big test. I plugged the beautiful gold cord into the outlet and turned the radio on. The pilot light came on brightly and then dimmed - a good sign. I let the set warm up, but didn't hear anything. I turned the volume up and started tuning around, but still didn't hear anything. Then a faint squeal came in from a local station. Hmmmm... it was working before I "fixed" it.

The schematic said the first IF transformer was on the right. I turned the right hand trimmer screw about 1/16 of a turn and the whole dial came to life! Whew!! I adjusted all four trimmers for maximum signal.

A laser cut back came in the mail! It was made by Dan Rasmussen.
Before and After.

Emerson 330
Unless a calamity occurs there is no reason this radio won't be working on its 100th birthday. Will there still be AM radio in 2039?