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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 10:47:50 PM on 28 July 2017.
CompleteNovice's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 July 2017
 Member #: 2144
 Postcount: 12

Hi. I am completely new to this site and new to antique radios.

I recently came across an old wooden tabletop valve radio that was kept in the back of someones shed. When I asked them about it they said they didn't want it so I grabbed it with a few ideas in mind for it, but before I did anything with it other than wipe it down and hit it with some compressed air to remove years of dust, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't some missing piece of history that might be worth something. I don't want to sand back the cabinet and recoat it and then find out I just ruined something.

I have done some research and it looks like it is an STC 520B from 1938, made in Alexandria, NSW (totally by coindcisence, the old STC building that it was made in is just a few blocks from where I live).
I am 99.9% certain that is the correct model, but I have not been able to find any other images of this model, except for one on a site which didn't have a description to confirm model it was. The sticker on the back says 520I, but I can't find any reference to that model, and the 520B description fits.

The case is a bit scratched up in places, a couple of the valves have gone, and I am certainly not plugging it in to test it, as power cord is so old that it is mostly bare metal wire. So it is safe to say that it has seen better days. One idea I had if the internals are no good was to restorenthe case and put a Bluetooth speaker system inside so it can still have a home on the shelf and have a use.

If anyone knows anything about this radio or has any advice then it would be greatly appreciated.

STC 520 Table Radio
STC 520 Table Radio
STC 520 Table Radio
STC 520 Table Radio
STC 520 Table Radio


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 10:55:56 PM on 28 July 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3821

I am certainly not plugging it in to test it, as power cord is so old that it is mostly bare metal wire

Very wise indeed! In fact cut that cord off and toss it. If the radio is to be restored then it will require a new cord and plug at the very least.

We await some photos, but in the meantime let us know the valve line-up if you can (there may be a valve position diagram on the chassis or inside the case?)


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:01:13 PM on 28 July 2017.
CompleteNovice's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 July 2017
 Member #: 2144
 Postcount: 12

The plastic (or Bakelite maybe? ) plugs on each end of the cord still look alright so I am saving those.
The valve line-up is 6A8G, 6U7G, 6B8G, 6F6G, 5Z4G which matches the description on this page.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/stcaus_520b_ch_520.html


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 11:44:35 PM on 28 July 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3821

If the plug is like this one on the left, then it's completely unsafe and must not be used:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~cool386/plug/pins1.jpg

Does your radio perchance look like this? :

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/178502079?searchTerm=stc%20radio%20520b&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales...


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 12:00:18 AM on 29 July 2017.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 815

Please consider having this restored. It can be done and there are people in this page that can help. You can at a later stage add a CD player which is very easy.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 12:03:12 AM on 29 July 2017.
CompleteNovice's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 July 2017
 Member #: 2144
 Postcount: 12

It is hard to see from that photo and I am looking at it from my phone.
The cabinet looks very much the same, but it looks like the speaker hole is square on that one, but mine is round.

I found a photo that looks just like it on this page, but no description for the image.

http://www.hrsa.asn.au/h_link.htm


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 12:07:33 AM on 29 July 2017.
CompleteNovice's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 July 2017
 Member #: 2144
 Postcount: 12

And yes, it is the plug on the left. Thank you for mentioning it. Is it the length of the pins that makes it unsafe for modern sockets?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 12:07:49 AM on 29 July 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3821

The photo you linked to is your avatar image.

That's a nice looking set, but it's not the 520B as shown in the 1938 STC advertisement.

And, as above, it's quite likely to be restorable, especially if it's complete and hasn't been seriously hacked about with during its life.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 12:18:01 AM on 29 July 2017.
CompleteNovice's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 July 2017
 Member #: 2144
 Postcount: 12

On the back is a sticker that says "CODE 520-I.N° " and then it is stamped with 1127. I thought the 520I was the model number, but I haven't been able to find a reference to that model.
I have included an image of the sticker with my uploads so you will hopefully see it soon.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:27:46 AM on 29 July 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3821

Is it the length of the pins that makes it unsafe for modern sockets?

No, it's the fact that the wire connections are not enclosed. These are known as 'suicide plugs'.

Another problem with them is that they crack easily, especially around the sides, making the even more unsafe.

They were often used with twin core (figure 8) cable, which is also no longer approved for 240 volts.

Restoration today would use a modern but antique style cable and plug like this:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0201/8228/products/brown_braided_textile_cord_for_Pendant_Light_Cord_with_Wall_Plug.jpg?v=1484007149

... and the set would be earthed (unless a transformerless 'hot chassis' set -- very dangerous).


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 12:34:32 AM on 29 July 2017.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 897

Ok, that makes more sense.

520 is the chassis type & the letters indicates the cabinet style. The other numbers would be serial no's.

Companies like STC would make a standard chassis that would fit in to various cabinet styles.

You will have no trouble finding a schematic for this radio - it is worth restoring.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 12:45:46 AM on 29 July 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 3821

Yes, from what I read in ads of that period, STC models ending in A were horizontal style mantels and B were the upright style mantels.

Haven't come across L in that regard, but there are some STC aficionados on here who may be able to shine more light on that.

You can download the schematic here: http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/stcaus_520a_ch_520.html


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 6:56:39 AM on 29 July 2017.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4244

Photos are uploaded.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 12:20:01 PM on 29 July 2017.
CompleteNovice's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 July 2017
 Member #: 2144
 Postcount: 12

Thanks Brad. That a picture speaks a thousand words, so they should help my terrible descriptions Smile


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 12:44:38 PM on 29 July 2017.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 897

Thanks for the photos.

Now we know this is a model 520-1N. The "1" could be there to distinguish this model from an earlier battery STC radio with a 520 designation.. The "N" of course is the cabinet style.

The schematic shows it as STC Code 520-1.


 
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