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Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 4:42 pm   #1
MeanDumpsterCat
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Default My first successful restoration

Hi everyone.

I've been a collector of vintage electronics for some time however it hasnt been until recently that i've had the space, time and equipment to actually do proper repair work.

Being 23, as you can imagine i'm relatively new to working in valve era tech and this forum has been an amazing place full of very knowledgable people sharing information that I otherwise wouldnt have known about.

A while ago I picked up an untested Ferrograph Series 5 hoping that it would be a simple matter of replacing wax capacitors. That was partly true, however, I found out that live was shorting to the chassis (big yikes). After following some suggestions from people on the forum I found the motor windings on the capstan motor had gone dead short. A member of the forum very kindly offered to send me some spare motor parts. One complete motor and another stator so I could rebuild my original one. I installed the complete motor they sent me (still yet to fix up the old one with the new stator) and it started working... partly.

I found there was very little erase signal and the amplifier was very very quiet. Once again with some help I was able to trace the fault down to a loose wire in the HT circuit. After replacing some of the old electrolytics I got the amp sounding fantastic. I was actually really surprised at how loud these old machines are. Turns out there actually weren't any waxies in this machine. Ferrograph switched them for ceramics in '63.

Here's a little video of it working for those curious
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIov8pBeQaQ

Once again thanks to everyone who helped. I feel this will be the start of (another) expensive hobby .
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 9:54 am   #2
vinrads
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Very nice, well done with the restoration, watch out this hobby could take over, Mick.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 11:16 am   #3
dave walsh
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Great stuff MDC. It's always good to see the results of steady progress in the restoration of a rescued item. More importantly, you have followed the original ethos of this enthusiasts Forum ie studying the subject, making a start and seeking assistance from others as and when you hit a problem. In these "retro" instant gratification times that isn't always the case

I'm definitely from the valve era but I have no great amount of actual restoration experience myself, unlike so many others here. There are no rules about that though! Some people collect Radios and do nothing at all with them. My usual excuse is that I have too many other side interests and commitments but it's probably a poor one

Dave W

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Old 28th Nov 2020, 11:36 am   #4
Al (astral highway)
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Hi MeanDumpsterCat, that’s a lovely first restoration project and I enjoyed and ‘liked’ your YouTube document.

I’m glad you enjoyed yourself along the way and have entered the works of valve electronic tech and mysterious mechanisms. I totally get your comment on the space and equipment requirements of this pursuit and am glad you’re sorted in that way now.

I hope you have a wonderful time with your set up there sns look forward to hearing about your next adventure.

Cheers!
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 5:17 pm   #5
Sideband
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

I'm not a reel to reel enthusiast myself preferring TV and radio but I've done my fair share of R to R repairs in the past when working for Philips. That is a seriously good restore and it sounds excellent. I suspect there will be more....and more.......!!!
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 7:59 pm   #6
emeritus
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A very nice job, well done.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 8:03 pm   #7
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

The art and science of Ferrography!

Nice work

David
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 8:40 pm   #8
tim.norris
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Looks and sounds fantastic ,well done.
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Old 29th Nov 2020, 2:26 am   #9
MeanDumpsterCat
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Cant reply to you all but thanks for the responses everyone. The sound of this machine really did floor me. I've owned a couple of 60s mono reel-to-reel decks in the past but none that sound this good! If it was stereo it would be a close contender to my Pioneer RT-1011!

My next project is a Pye P75 radio. My parents want it for the living room but I dont know, I might just have to keep this one for myself .

Thanks once again to everyone here for being so helpful. I've learned a lot posting and reading other threads here. Probably more than any textbook could teach!
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 10:51 pm   #10
unitelex
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Well done! nice to see the video also. Looks in good condition.
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Old 29th Dec 2020, 5:25 am   #11
TechyNYC
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Just saw your Video on You Tube. WOW. Super impressed. It sounds incredible. I can only imagine how people must have felt back in the day when they added a reel to reel player/recorder to their living rooms. Still remember as a kid my sisters Records and Record player ( I wasn't allowed to touch it) That's find because by the time I was a teen records were out and cassette tapes an dCDs were in.
Keep up the great restoration work!
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Old 29th Dec 2020, 1:16 pm   #12
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanDumpsterCat View Post
The sound of this machine really did floor me.
The sound is not because your old ferro uses valves, It's because they did a thorough job, fitted a decent speaker and a powerful amplifier.

THe same quality of job can now be done with transistors, but manufacturers have learned that they can get away with far inferior products and make more profit. They've all been doing this, so most people don't realise what they're missing until they meet something that wasn't a product of corner cutting.

David
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 3:21 pm   #13
deliverance
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Well done nice one sounds lovely.
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 6:10 pm   #14
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Default Re: My first successful restoration

Well done indeed - that's quite a project for a first restoration! And hearing these things sing again after restoration is just heavenly.
happy restoring,
Jeremy
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