Restoring Vintage Transmitters/Radios: ReCapping

Pirate radio transmitters, transmitting antenna systems, pirate radio equipment suitable for AM or shortwave broadcasting. Reviews, modifications, other info specific to shortwave pirate radio broadcasting.
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Restoring Vintage Transmitters/Radios: ReCapping

Post by JohnPoet » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:53 pm

After acquiring a vintage ham radio transmitter for use as a pirate radio transmitter (or any other use), it is advisable to replace any of the old paper or electrolytic capacitors with new ones. The same updating should be done to vintage receivers or television sets. These types of capacitors age and fail over time, and replacing them may be necessary for safety reasons, beyond getting your radio to work correctly.

This article, while intended for those restoring vintage radios and televisions, applies equally to restoring aging ham radio transmitters such as the Johnson Vikings, Valiants and Rangers, Heathkits, Collins, etc., or any other tube transmitters manufactured from the 1930s through the 1970s. It is written for the "beginner" in radio restoration, and goes through the types of capacitors to be replaced, what they look like, and how to do it. (I would have found it very helpful and time-saving to have had all this information in one place back when I was doing transmitter restorations.)

Click here: http://antiqueradio.org/recap.htm
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Vacuum Splitter
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Re: Restoring Vintage Transmitters/Radios: ReCapping

Post by Vacuum Splitter » Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:38 am

I've had that article bookmarked for a while.

I wanted to restore a couple of tube-based record players (the kind that only play 45 rpm singles).

One of them had a selenium rectifier, which they recommend you replace with a modern equivalent due to the toxicity of the material in the old-style rectifier.

I guess you could theoretically make yourself sick listening to 45's if you're not careful.

On the other hand you could listen to 45's, while drinking Colt 45's, and get sick even without the benefit of selenium.

I have several pieces of tube-based hi-fi equipment that still await restoration or repairs.

Thinking about taking courses in electronics, maybe I can become a permanent student, stay in re-training for perpetuity, while avoiding having to work an actual job.

At least I'd be adding value to me, instead of a boss, who is dumber than me, but takes up all my time for 90% benefit to him, 10% to me.
I t h i n k I ' m c o n f u s e d

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Re: Restoring Vintage Transmitters/Radios: ReCapping

Post by Blakkzakk » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:32 am

Selenium rectifiers are also known for having catastrophic breakdowns, with the possibility of frying your entire set. Here's a good guide to replacing them with silicon diodes: http://w3hwj.com/index_files/RBSelenium2.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; It also has some tips on re-capping power supplies.

Be sure to dispose of those nasty things properly.
Current gear as of 6-6-13:
Kenwood TS-830S with MFJ 949E Tuner, Kenwood MC-50 mic,
Icom IC 211 all mode 2M
Yaesu VX-8DR HT
Mapleleaf Studios QSO King longwire (131') for HF transmitting and SWLing
Homebrew 2m J-pole
Diamond CR627B mobile antenna
Icom R75 receiver
Currently working on a rebuild, modification, and alignment of an Amelco-built Collins R390A receiver.

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