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 Astor Mickey HPM
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 2:07:37 PM on 11 July 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

Hi all. I m about to start repairing Tony H's Blue Astor Mickey HPM.
Because these fetch a bucket load of money I am a little afraid of it. I had him remove it from the case and he has the case. I did this so there was no chance of me damaging the case. I would like some advice. Normally I would fit an earthed 3 core power cord, if it was mine I would do this, it currently has a brown 2 core figure 8 lead and old type plug. Would it devalue the radio replacing this? If I replace it what colour 3 core cotton covered power lead would best suit it? The case is pale blue. The knobs are not original and white, does anyone know of any original knobs a available? I am leaving the speaker cloth as it is. It has a lot of perished rubber wiring inside it may not be shorting out at this stage however I will replace it. Safety and common sense has to prevail!
I would appreciate your advice before I start this project.
Kind Regards Jimb


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 2:27:27 PM on 11 July 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

Ordinarily, I would replace the mains cord for the sake of bringing the radio up to current safety standards. However, I have some figure 8 flex in my workshop that is still in serviceable condition -- that is, if I flex it into a tight bend no cracks develop in the insulation. But how long that will be the case going forward is anybody's guess and, of course, the chassis isn't earthed.

The other issue is usually the plug. If it's a Bakelite plug then it is very prone to cracking. If it's a 'suicide plug' then it must be replaced.

Finding original knobs for any radio is often a difficult task and knob hoarders know it. I would think that original blue knobs would fetch a king's ransom.

On the subject of knobs, I recall an HRSA auction years who where a bloke came along with a dozen or more jam jars filled with radio knobs of all descriptions, mainly brown and black with a few white ones. The prices fetched per jar were astronomical. I was shaking my head in disbelief. Afterwards I asked the guy where he got all those knobs and he replied that he'd been collecting them for years. I then asked where all the radios are that they came off. He just gave me a smirk and left. I have never seen him before or since.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 2:50:39 PM on 11 July 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

Hi GTC.
It is unfortunate but yes there are knob collectors out there I have seen display boards on Ebay they must have a total disregard for the radios that they have trashed. They should not have graduated from collecting teaspoons.
Regards Jim


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:52:52 PM on 11 July 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6352

Over the years that I have attended radio auctions, and that goes back a long time, I've heard tales of knobs going missing from radios as little as ten minutes before they go under the hammer. Whilst not intending to reflect on others mentioned here, there's a lot of professional thieves out there with the skills of pickpockets and unless there are security cameras handy, it is almost impossible to pick them out during the committing of the crime.

Then we'd all hear the auctioneer exclaiming that "we all know each other and we are all best mates". I can see his point but unfortunately, that type (the tea leaf) will always be amongst us.


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

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 5:30:32 PM on 11 July 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

I've heard tales of knobs going missing from radios as little as ten minutes before they go under the hammer

I have also heard of such theft but have never experienced it at an auction myself. I have experienced lots disappearing from the auction bundle and it turned out that they had been sold on the side. When he was alerted to that the auctioneer was not happy. He pointed out that such sales need to be done outside the hall. His rule is that once you bring an item into the hall then it is to be auctioned, not sold on the side.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 10:21:00 PM on 11 July 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Yes I had a Radiola with white knobs years ago and after a visitor had visited for the second time it had black odd knobs on it !
some people !


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 10:25:48 PM on 11 July 2020.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1575

Vintage Pete, I bet that visitor is no longer a friend lol. I know of a well known character like that lol, the antique shops in his area put the vintage radios up high because they know him.

As for safety and originality , safety wins hands down , I have a peter pan snail that has its original figure 8 on it. That will be redone very soon. It actually sounds good though.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 10:37:52 PM on 11 July 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Carl,, Ive never been the type to worry about theft . I just dont think along those lines . I dont even lock my house mostly .
But Character is important to me ,So no I never had him back again .
"" Where you look You Go """ I truly believe it

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 10:55:49 PM on 11 July 2020.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1575

Pete I totally agree with you. My home is a welcoming place where all that visit are trusted. Once bitten the offender never comes back.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 9:52:05 AM on 12 July 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

I am so nieve I can't get my head around people being so mean and dishonest and it is so much worse veiled under the guise of friendship.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 9:56:44 AM on 12 July 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

I feel the same way about safety regarding these radios so yes,the power cord will be replaced with one of Carl's cotton covered ones.
What colour would be acceptable on a pale blue Astor Mickey?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 10:52:19 AM on 12 July 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4346

With the cable that set is not shown as having a shielded transformer, however you get a better RF path with the chassis earthed, unless the antenna primary is floating. I always ground transformer sets anyway, but shielded transformers place a charge on the chassis. That is normal and grounding gets rid of it.

A two wire cable can look just as tatty as any other. Personally I would go with a Black 3 wire. That would also put it more compliant with current regs I believe.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 11:51:58 AM on 12 July 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

Thanks Marcc.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 2:17:42 PM on 12 July 2020.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6013

I would go with a Black 3 wire

Trouble is, these days such Chinese-manufactured cords are bendable but hardly flexible. I would go cotton covered as long as it's as flexible.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 2:29:51 PM on 12 July 2020.
Jimb's Gravatar
 Location: Kanahooka, NSW
 Member since 18 November 2016
 Member #: 2012
 Postcount: 660

Well what a mess no 5 minute fix here, apart from all the perished wire the primary of the speaker transformer is open circuit and one side of the switch on the double wipe volume control is open circuit. I have considered bridging out the crook switch pole it will be wired with a 3core cable with the active wired to the good switch side would this be allowable? Considering it will have a 3 core lead, would not consider it with a figure 8 two core. I have checked out the power transformer with a megger also checked the secondary side voltage outputs are OK.
Regards Jimb


 
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