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  #1  
Old 11-16-2002, 03:21 PM
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Steve D. Steve D. is offline
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Antique? not!

This RCA cathedral style radio is discribed as a remarkable vintage find. It is very much a reproduction. I have the GE version and it is a nice contemporary version of an old radio. I purchased mine at K-Mart several years ago. I hope these bidders are not being fooled. e-bay item: #734060948.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2002, 05:01 PM
millerdog
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Steve,
I think I'll agree with you here. I can't find any XXXX RCA model number or any model that began with "RP."
md
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Old 11-16-2002, 08:20 PM
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There are "RP" numbers that RCA made back in the 1950s, but designated for stereo record players. My parents bought an RCA RP-21 back in 1957 when they got married, which finally got tossed out a few years back, it had seen its day. Still looking to find another.
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Old 10-24-2003, 06:25 PM
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New ebay find

Here's my newest ebay find. Zenith K731. Just arrived this morning via UPS. I'm listening to my favorite AM oldies station on it as I write this.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2003, 08:43 PM
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More info on my Zenith K731. It works well, controls operate quietly, tuner works perfectly [no problems with the dial cord], sounds great (like all Zeniths) and looks fantastic atop the refrigerator in my apartment. One of the main reasons I bid on this radio in the first place was I noticed the color of the cabinet would probably match the rest of the furniture in my apartment. I was right.

This set has incredibly good sound for a table radio, but that is directly attributable to the large wood cabinet (they don't make them like that anymore, which is yet another reason I bid on it) and the oversized speaker (I believe it's a 6x9 oval, but I could be wrong), not to mention the 35C5 output stage and the tone compensation circuitry. This set has incredible bass; turn the tone control to the full bass position and you might damage the speaker. How much output is a 35C5 good for? I think this was the 35-volt equivalent of the 50C5, so the two tubes, if they are in fact identical except for the filament voltage, ought to have the same output rating.

I can't help but wonder, however, why Zenith designed the power supply of this radio to use a selenium rectifier, rather than a tube such as a 35W4. I remember reading somewhere (I think it was on an antique/vintage radio website) that when seleniums go bad they emit a gas which smells like rotten eggs, and under certain conditions they can pose a shock or fire hazard. Has anyone here on AK heard of this? If so, is there any truth to it? Is there any real advantage to replacing a selenium rectifier with solid-state diodes? I don't intend to leave my set plugged in when I'm not using it, but I'd just like to know.

Now all I have to do is get a schematic for it (even though it works very well now, there is no telling when a radio of that vintage will develop problems such as bad filter capacitors, open filaments in tubes, etc). I ordered the Sams Photofact for my Zenith H511 from Radio Era Archives; I wonder if they would have the Sams for my K731? The 731 is not yet an antique (it was made in either 1959 or 1960--I've seen both estimates on ebay), so I'm not sure if Radio Era Archives would even have the diagram for it. At what point does Radio Era Archives draw the line, i. e. what is the newest schematic in their files? Do they even bother with filing Sams folders from 45-50 years ago, or do their files stop with the late '40s?

Thanks, good luck and very kind regards.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2003, 10:36 AM
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35C% is a little less powerful than the 50C5 - just over a watt, as I recall.
Change out the selelnium - at least test the caps, There are probaly a few leaky ones.


You're looking for Sams 653-12, and you can find a used copy here: http://www.michelletroutman.com/manulist.htm
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Old 10-25-2003, 10:55 AM
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I replace the seleniums with a silicon diode with a 100-ohm 10 watt resistor ahead of it. The silicon has less resistance than the selenium diode so the resistor helps to keep the dc output voltage at the same level. The later zenith tube-type AM-FM sets do use a silicon diode. Make sure the selenium is disconnected out of the circuit when you install the silicon. The seleniums tend to develop more internal resistance and will drop the B+ voltage. They can also short out by themselves.

One time when I was 10 yrs. old or so I had a Zenith AM-FM where someone had installed a headphone jack. The jack came loose and fell on the selenium and cause a short. The smell and smoke is awful, it is said to be toxic also. Still have the radio but never got around to fixing it yet!

The 35C5 produces a little less max. power than the 50C5, maybe cause the filament doesn't have as much power. The 35C5 can do 1.5 or 1.6 watts, 50C5 is 2 watts or a little more.

If you can't find the schematic I can check my collection of photofacts if you'd like.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2003, 04:22 PM
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Re: Antique? not!

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve D.
This RCA cathedral style radio is discribed as a remarkable vintage find. It is very much a reproduction. I have the GE version and it is a nice contemporary version of an old radio. I purchased mine at K-Mart several years ago. I hope these bidders are not being fooled. e-bay item: #734060948.

I agree 100 perecent, Steve. I also have a small cathedral set in my bedroom that is obviously a reproduction of a 1934 antique. This set even has "1934" in raised numerals on the brass dial bezel. It is not, however, an antique. Several things give it away: one, the circuitry is all solid state; two, it receives both AM and FM (88-108 MHz); three, the AM broadcast band extends from 530 to 1710 KHz. I purchased this radio for $20 at a local discount store about two years ago. It was most likely manufactured by either Thomas or Crosley; both manufacture reproduction sets which look amazingly similar to the originals. Philco also makes a CD/cassette/phonograph combo unit that looks like it could have been made in the '40s, but it wasn't. It too is a reproduction.

The point I am trying to make is that the set you saw on ebay was being misrepresented, in the worst way, as you noted. These reproduction sets are just that--reproductions of old-time radios, nothing more and nothing less. The seller of the one you mentioned, moreover, could be committing a serious crime, as I am sure it is immoral at best and illegal at worst to misrepresent items being sold at auction, on or offline. Does not ebay have rules addressing this issue? If not, I think they should. The seller of that RCA on ebay is defrauding bidders and potential bidders by passing it off as a genuine antique radio, when in reality it is simply a reproduction.
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