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Author Topic: What to do with this old Pye radio?  (Read 4480 times)

flester

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What to do with this old Pye radio?
« on: March 22, 2018, 05:40:24 PM »
Fix up the existing radio, turn in to valve amp, build in an SS radio or an SS amp? Retro iPod dock? Even as a piece of furniture its worth keeping but it needs to produce sound I think.

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Enzo

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 01:29:19 AM »
Or sell it to a collector and use the money to buy something more suited.

blackcorvo

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 09:29:24 AM »
Get in contact with Retro Radio Farm at https://www.retroradiofarm.com/pages/sell-to-us
They have a lot of interesting radios, and maybe they might either buy yours or exchange it for a more interesting one off their catalog (pretty sure they could easily add a guitar input if you talked to them about it).

I wouldn't gut this particular radio, because it's in very good shape, and it probably just needs a little cap job or something simple like that.

If you really want to build something yourself, I'd advise you look for radio shells/cabinets to turn into a guitar amp, or even buy a cheap "retro bluetooth speaker" that looks the part and gut it (which I'm actually in the process of doing).

But, at the end of the day, the radio is yours and yours is the choice of what it's destiny is. Good luck with it either way!

solderer25

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 11:45:23 AM »
I can see it has a 'magic eye' tuning indicator tube. These look the dogs nuts when working and glow flourescent green usually. Worth bringing back to life just for that I think!

flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 06:09:58 PM »
I can see it has a 'magic eye' tuning indicator tube. These look the dogs nuts when working and glow flourescent green usually. Worth bringing back to life just for that I think!
Thanks all. I think the best would be to fully restore it as a radio. Apparently the first step is replacing all the capacitors. I took out the chassis just to clean it up and it all came out in one piece -  nothing looks damaged. I love the fact that it was made here in Ireland. My grandparents had something similar up to the 80's at least

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flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 07:24:19 AM »
Whats a good way to clean something like this? Its got 69+ years of dust, cobwebs and kitchen grease.

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galaxiex

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 08:32:15 PM »
Whats a good way to clean something like this? Its got 69+ years of dust, cobwebs and kitchen grease.

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I use compressed air first to clean old guitar amp chassis.
Just to blow the loose dust, cobwebs, and general grunge out.

Then scrub with Naptha (lighter fluid) and/or alcohol and an old tooth brush,
blowing off the loosened muck with air.

Naptha and alcohol are fairly benign to most things, and certainly ok on metal chassis,
but on something this old,
I'd be cautious about using any solvents near anything that looks like paper or waxed and maybe even plastics.

Test a small area first.

If it ain’t broke I’ll fix it until it is.

flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 06:15:29 AM »
Whats a good way to clean something like this? Its got 69+ years of dust, cobwebs and kitchen grease.

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I use compressed air first to clean old guitar amp chassis.
Just to blow the loose dust, cobwebs, and general grunge out.

Then scrub with Naptha (lighter fluid) and/or alcohol and an old tooth brush,
blowing off the loosened muck with air.

Naptha and alcohol are fairly benign to most things, and certainly ok on metal chassis,
but on something this old,
I'd be cautious about using any solvents near anything that looks like paper or waxed and maybe even plastics.

Test a small area first.
Thanks I will try that. Actually not too greasy. Just dirty. Some paper caps look dead anyway but most of the other components look intact

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edvard

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 01:48:30 AM »
If the capacitors have paper sleeves, a good trick to upgrading but keeping the "vintage" look is to put new caps in the old paper sleeves.  Done correctly, nobody will tell the difference.

flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 05:23:47 AM »
If the capacitors have paper sleeves, a good trick to upgrading but keeping the "vintage" look is to put new caps in the old paper sleeves.  Done correctly, nobody will tell the difference.
Thanks. I think the full rebuild is beyond me at present so its on a shelf now with an fm radio wired to the speaker. To the casual observer I have a working vintage radio and the original unit is safe inside where it's been for 50 years.

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flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 06:59:50 AM »
It's been a while but this is going to be a powered speaker and maybe guitar amp. It has some of the lovely old radio sound due to the speaker and the enclosure even if theres no valves in the signal path. On the right is a whopper of a volume/tone/power switch. Pot seems noisy but I will definitely use the on/off element. The front panel lights up with good old fashioned incandescent bulbs. I plan to leave the chassis intact and in situ.  Should I discharge the old capacitors for safety?

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joecool85

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 09:04:17 PM »
It's been a while but this is going to be a powered speaker and maybe guitar amp. It has some of the lovely old radio sound due to the speaker and the enclosure even if theres no valves in the signal path. On the right is a whopper of a volume/tone/power switch. Pot seems noisy but I will definitely use the on/off element. The front panel lights up with good old fashioned incandescent bulbs. I plan to leave the chassis intact and in situ.  Should I discharge the old capacitors for safety?

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If the old caps haven't been powered up in years, you're fine.  If more recently, stick a multimeter across and see how many volts are sitting there.

Also, how do you like that Kemo brick amp?  They look neat, but I haven't tried them myself yet.
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flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 05:54:44 AM »
The caps were not charged in at least 3 years so I should be OK. I've used the Kemo amps a lot and I like them. They need good shielding and grounding for noise. I also have the 40w version and you can hammer it with fx pedals without the amp distorting. This 12w one will distort a bit more with a guitar. They are durable though, compared to some cheaper PCB modules which dissolve once a soldering iron is introduced.

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flester

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 06:00:50 AM »
BTW the volume pot is 1M ohm which is not ideal as its 'off' from 1 to 9 and everything happens from 9.1 to 10. Can I improve that by adding resistors in parallel?

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joecool85

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Re: What to do with this old Pye radio?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2020, 09:32:40 AM »
BTW the volume pot is 1M ohm which is not ideal as its 'off' from 1 to 9 and everything happens from 9.1 to 10. Can I improve that by adding resistors in parallel?

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This isn't due to the pot being 1M, but rather the taper.  Sounds like you have a linear pot instead of audio taper.  This can be solved with a resistor from wiper (center lug) to ground, between 10% and 20% of pot value.  So 100k to 200k would suffice.
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