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 An Astor Mickey to restore
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 1:16:35 PM on 3 April 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 883

This has not arrived yet, but I impulse bought it from eBay.
Looks like it has rolled down a creek bank, bounced along the bottom a bit, and then rusted in the sun!
The cabinet is smashed off, chassis rusty.

Now there is a CHALLENGE!

I'll fill the details in when it arrives.
May need more than a dust off and a spray with WD40!
Stay tuned.

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 11:37:15 AM on 7 April 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 883

Well here we go, the Astor Mickey arrived well packed and absolutely untouched.

Yes it is a complete wreck, you guys may have seen it on ebay, i'll send some pix to Brad to tag to this post.

Someone from the brains trust that knows more than ,i might be able to tell me which model it is, year, and point to a circuit.

It was fitted with a 6A8G, 6K8G, missing and a 6X5GT.
I guess missing would be a 6V6GT.

There is a stamp number 39 5 on the output tranny but no visible marks or stickers on the chassis.
I dont think the "39" means year 1939, that too early for a 6X5 ?

The chassis looks complete, I guess it was dropped on its face and this has wiped out the dial glass and pointer.
The cabinet has a few small pieces missing (ho ho ho).

I may have to get a bit clever to replace the cabinet and dial glass either beg/buy/ or fudge one somehow.
Anyway that is down the track, there is plenty to do, to strip the chassis back to bare metal and re build the circuits and the speaker needs a bit of TLC as well!!!

Fred.

Astor Mickey Valve Radio
Astor Mickey Valve Radio
Astor Mickey Valve Radio
Astor Mickey Valve Radio


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 4:04:11 PM on 7 April 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

1939 is feasible. The 6K8 seems to be at odds with an Astor. The 6X5 dates from 1936.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:16:49 PM on 7 April 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1912

I think the 6K8 should be a 6G8 or 6B8 maybe.

Could it be this one Fred? I can't see a Mickey that uses a 6X5. (Could be wrong)
Looks like someone has stuck any old valves into it.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/astor_mickey_mouse_bp.html

This one uses the 32L7GT


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 5:21:59 PM on 7 April 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 883

Hi Ian, rather like the white one picture 5 counting down the thumbnail columns and the layout is like picture 7.

Neither 6A8 or 6K8 show any signs of a goat shield used, so the original IF would be a internal shielded like the 6K8.
Defintely not a 6U7!

The rectifier socket is wired to the 6 volt rail as the rest of the valves so 6X5 is original type.

Odd thing is the "1939" speaker tranny has plastic covered wires. . I did not think plastic was a technology available in 1939?
There are a couple of plastic coated wires in the chassis along with the older fabric rubber stuff and it all looks original.
Some caps and resistors have been changed but mostly it looks untouched.

Actually the renments of the cabinet look like plastic as well. I thought plastic were 1940'spost war technology?

Set will be clearer when Brad can get to the pix.

Puzzling.

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 7:45:58 PM on 7 April 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6353

Photos uploaded to Post 2.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 9:04:18 PM on 7 April 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4347

I have an STC here that uses 6K8 (Triode Hexode) and a BC-221-N Frequency meter same and I am currently running a 6J8 (Triode Heptode) in the STC. Whist it may not give the same result I have often found one in the others spot .TC is grid 1 Heptode on 6J8 and 6K8 g3 Hexode. It was put there to see if there was a dud 6K8.

Check to see if that 8mfd cap is on pin 4 6K8, albeit HMV often did it on the others. It was often put there on 6K8 to stop flutter. It is not original & neither are those ww ones. Those ELNA caps were fairly reliable.

Plastic wire on speaker transformers was common fairly early & Perspex was used for Aircrart windscreens in WWII I believe.

If those wooden pulleys are looking a bit brittle, I normally coat them with high strength Araldite.

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 10:25:12 PM on 7 April 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1912

Looks like it's a KM from 1948.

https://www.kevinchant.com/uploads/7/1/0/8/7108231/km.pdf

except that the KM has a 5Y3. Maybe the 6X5 is a service mod or even a factory one due to supply problems. Astor were using lots of 6X5s in car radios at the time.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 10:29:54 PM on 7 April 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

Now that I see the case remnant, I'm going to guess it's model KM with 6X5 from 1947, whose line-up was: 6A8G or 6J8G, 6B8G or 6G8G, 6V6GT, 6X5GT (No mention of a 6K8).

The accompanying description says:

QUOTE: In this version the 5Y3GT rectifier is replaced by a 6X5GT due to the material supply situation Alterations to power transformer is required.

Available in 11 colours (official): Walnut, Green, Blue, Champagne, Ivory, Chinese Red, Mahogany, Marble Champagne, Marble Ivory, Amber & Aust. White.

This version could use either 6A8G or 6J8G & 6B8G or 6G8G valves without any circuit alterations. Due to circuit alterations in later versions only 6A8G & 6B8G valves can be used.


https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/astor_mickey_km_with_6x5gt_rectifier.html


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 10:46:09 PM on 7 April 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1912

On the last page of the PDF I linked to it has a service bulletin about just that - the replacement of the 5Y3 with the 6X5.

Intriguingly it says:

"The modification is due to the current acute shortage of 5Y3GT tubes and lamination steel."

Lamination steel! So due to the greater efficiency of the 6X5 they could get by with less steel in the core?

So I think you have your answer!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 10:18:13 AM on 8 April 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 883

Thanks guys, looks like a 1947 KM-1 for sure.
The IF has to be a 6B8G will have one in my valve box.
I see its a reflexed set, that is good, I have not tried that sort of arrangement yet.
Downloaded the circuit from Kevin Chants site.
Ian, I see the tech note at the end, looks like 5Y3's were in short supply and they kicked off production with 6X5's.

I will strip it down to metal, test and refurb each part and then reassemble.
What could possibly go wrong!!!

Interesting the chassis is alluminium with all bits riveted on.
The earth points are linked with tinned copper wire.
The whole thing looks very well made from a production point of view.
Maybe the factory was still using WD techniques in production?

I eased the speaker out to see how bad it was.
OPT open circuit, voice coil buckled and still has a faint smell.
How strange, anyway speaker is a basket case as well going to have to rewind voice coil, glue tattered cone, replace OPT.
Love a challenge!

Will keep you all updated.

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 11:07:50 AM on 8 April 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1912

Well obviously sheet steel was in short supply (busy making cars?) but there would have been a lot of war surplus aluminium sheet around at that time.
I've seen one other Astor with an aluminium chassis, it was a portable from the same era with octal valves.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 1:04:28 PM on 9 April 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 883

While I was cleaning down the chassis I uncovered a part number stamped on the rear covered by what was an artsnp label.
Number was KL / 43 .
(I looked under where the artsnp label was for any shadow of numbers/letters left but no go, too corroded).
The KL/43 is clear once you tease the white corrosion off.

That makes sense the KL model is about the same circuit.
The KM circuit is more correct in that it mentions the 6X5 alternative.
Probably a common chassis nest pressing.

Also inside the chassis is a original sheet metal grade or part number blue inked partial marking in big letters:
? 7 S - 1 / 2 H + A A
The start of it is cropped off by the guillotine cut.

Looks like they were using whatever was on hand, the alloy was left natural and parts were spot welded together.
That is aircraft technology.
The riveting and welding techniques are so good the shop that made this metal work was used to doing high class work.
I have decided to leave all the riveting and spot welding as original and clean the chassis part assembled not bare metal.

The power transformer has the roughest set of laminations I have ever seen and stacked by a left handed gorilla!
I'm going to unstack it and restack before varnishing!

Fred.

Aha, I see with a bit more gooling around I deduce its a KL-2 model with the 6X5 variation.
The KL-1 used the 5Y3.
Just nit picking I know but good to learn a bit about the astor radios.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 12:41:44 PM on 10 April 2020.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 883

OK a tech question:
Was there any colour used on Mickey chassis by Astor?
Owners, check your Mickeys for me!

I have to spray at least the top of the chassis to seal off the corrosion.
My other later Mickey has your generic steel "gal plate" non colour.
If there is no "house colour" i'll etch prime and find a "silver" non colour rattle can.

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 1:25:41 PM on 10 April 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1912

I don't recall ever seeing an Astor with a painted or plated chassis, if steel, it was zinc coated sheet, punched and bent.

I have seen ink lettering before, reinforces this belief.

Since it's aluminium, why not just wire brush it?


 
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