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 My first vintage radio
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 4:40:48 PM on 23 May 2016.
Wilko's Gravatar
 Location: Gundaroo, NSW
 Member since 23 May 2016
 Member #: 1928
 Postcount: 3

Hello, Wilko from Gundaroo here. I have been lurking for a few days and thought I better pop on and talk about my radio.

Long story ahead:

Being a newbie all this, I spent far too much on my first vintage radio at an antique store. My wife and I had recently completed our tree change - I hate calling it that - and we were looking for props and other items to fill our larger house with. The tag described this model as a 1930's art deco radio with a wooden case made out of Queensland maple, and it seemed like it was a lot older than other radios I had seen that day.

Brought it home, plugged it in (I now know you're not supposed to do this!) and of course, it didn't work, it just hummed along at the mains frequency. A single capacitor change and I had it going again, it sounds really good and I love the dim glow that the bulb gives off across the tuning face. It looks great in the house, too. I felt a little better about paying as much as I did after that...

The tuning face has the word 'Endeavour' printed on it with a small illustration of a sailing ship. There was no back panel, so not sure if I am missing crucial labels or not. The chassis did have one label that indicated the radio was made under licence from the Hazeltine Corporation USA.

Originally I thought Endeavour was the name of the manufacturer, and kept coming up with nothing. I have now found out through online research that Endeavour was a model of radio made by Eclipse. According to this table: http://www.hws.org.au/RadioHistory/manufacturers/Eclipse.htm. However, there are no mentions of Eclipse on the radio itself anywhere.

It looks like two models of Endeavour were made in 1934. I am not sure what 'Con' and 'Man' indicate on the table above though. I don't have access to those magazines that are referenced to check for further information, either. I haven't yet checked whether the valves listed on that table match mine.

Does anyone here have any other information about this particular model? A link to a picture is below:

http://oi65.tinypic.com/23lo60w.jpg

Thanks all!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 5:21:05 PM on 23 May 2016.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5262

Welcome to V-R.

Filter electrolytics are the usual source of mains hum, but it's usually a safe bet that other capacitors are well past their due dates and can be little time bombs. Normal restoration practice is to renew all of them.

It's good to see that you have done some research yourself. Valve line-up is often the best clue to the chassis manufacturer.

'Con' and 'Man' indicate console and mantel; console being a floor standing set.

The sailing ship dial is seen on many house brand and no-name brand radios. The photo of the cabinet says home made to me. Maybe a kit radio, or maybe a rehoused chassis.

A photo of the rear might be useful.

Let us know the valve line-up if you can't find a match yourself.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:57:03 PM on 23 May 2016.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1403

You live in Gundaroo ? . I believe you are near Canberra. We have great HRSA meetings here every 2 months if you would like to attend. Lots of radios to be had for all. The next meeting is in July.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 10:31:19 AM on 25 May 2016.
Wilko's Gravatar
 Location: Gundaroo, NSW
 Member since 23 May 2016
 Member #: 1928
 Postcount: 3

Thanks for the replies! You may just see me at HRSA in July, I might actually learn something.

I'm enjoying listening to it at night, normally tuned to 666 ABC or listening to golden oldies on 2CA. Occasionally I catch some period-authentic music on the waves which sounds marvelous.

I have uploaded several more images.

Electronics: https://www.dropbox.com/s/okfql794thxgpop/2016-05-21%2011.50.16.jpg?dl=0

Note I have so far replaced the brown capacitor on the far left (it had physically ruptured and sprayed capacitor goop everywhere) but not the other in the middle. But I have the caps to replace both and intend on doing so in the future.

I have replaced that 8MFD 525 PV (peak voltage?) capacitor with a new 10 μF 450 volt electrolytic. I never, ever replace caps with a lower voltage, however reading online led me to understand that 'peak voltage' was different to the 'sustained' voltage labels on modern caps, and that a more common and much cheaper 450 volt cap would be okay here. What does everyone think? I have had no problems so far but it does make me a touch nervous. I could buy the higher rated cap from Mouser but its nearly $50 for one single capacitor. Or I could get some caps in series to make up the voltage, but I have heard that this can also lead to problems.

I'll also replace the brown capacitors and that big yellow one at some point. I'm a little worried about breaking something else while all the other capacitors seem to still be working fine. So I may wait until the next failure. Unless I decide to sell it...

Back side: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zft6jc9hazzsp9c/2016-05-24%2018.35.35.jpg?dl=0

From left to right in this picture the valve lineup is: 80, 2A5, 57, 58. Then behind those is the fifth valve which has A4 scratched into the plastic and A7 on the paper label (I think).

The speaker is a 'Rola'. There is also a pressed serial number in the metal chassis, which I think reads 'C17752'.

Close up of the other chassis labels: https://www.dropbox.com/s/04wt8tdcd0khov6/2016-05-21%2011.59.13.jpg?dl=0

It's worth noting that the wooden case has no markings whatsoever, so I have to agree that it's probably home made or kit built. Was this common in the 1930s? Were there many radios still sealed at this time that would warrant a project like that? Or was someone just really, really into his or her woodwork? Maybe the original case was destroyed?

I have so many questions! Most of which can't ever be answered, probably.

Last image, one of the valves: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g6nqi86e9mlvop6/2016-05-21%2011.56.25.jpg?dl=0

Valves were all last tested in June 1952. They all seem to be working but I don't have a valve tester to be sure (the radio works, so who am I to complain?).


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 10:56:02 AM on 25 May 2016.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5262

Thanks for the additional photos.

Radio was booming in the 1930s. Kits and home-builds were very common. Radio TV and Hobbies magazine featured a new project every issue.

However, the labels on your chassis suggest that it was manufactured. The Hazeltine patent one relates to this:

"One particularly lucrative design was the AGC (Automatic Gain Control) circuit. This was such a useful feature that almost every AM radio made used this feature, by licence from Hazeltine, from about 1930 until the patent expired."

The 80 rectifier has a directly-heated cathode so it heats rapidly and provides maximum HT almost instantly before the other valves heat up and put a load on the B supply and drop the HT voltage accordingly. That's why filter capacitors were rated for 525V surge and 450V working.

Don't pay $50 for a capacitor.

The valve line-up 80 57 58 57 2A5 was pretty popular circa 1933 through 1935. Here are some brands:

Airmaster
Croyden (Eclipse)
Eclipse
Essanay
Huckell
Kriesler
Palmavox
Seyon
Telaverta

Somebody may recognise that chassis.

The cabinet definitely looks home made. I think it could be a chassis 're-house' job.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 1:21:40 PM on 25 May 2016.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1074

Nice old radio. I would replace all those tube-shaped caps asap. The resistors look like real museum pieces.

Can't see from your photos if you have a conventional dial cord, or a friction drive.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 3:18:05 PM on 25 May 2016.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1043

Yep, Eclipse.

You are probably right all along and it is a Endeavour made by Eclipse.

The word Eclipse is there - it's just hiding from you. Have a careful look at the Saxon branded resistor near the grey electrolytic. You may need a magnifying glass.

Another give away is the Eclipse Danger decal & the general style of the chassis itself including the valve shields & I.F. cans.

UPDATE:

Eclipse Series 53, 59 & 523, valve line up: 2A7, 58, 57, 2A5 & 80.

Eclipse Series 504, 509 & 514, valve line up: 57, 58, 57, 2A5 & 80.

Series 53 & 59 are identical apart from the I.F. frequency. 53 is 175 KC & 59 is 465 KC. 523 is also similar with some slight differences . 465 KC.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 8:38:38 PM on 26 May 2016.
Wilko's Gravatar
 Location: Gundaroo, NSW
 Member since 23 May 2016
 Member #: 1928
 Postcount: 3

This is great information - what a fantastic community.

.Robbertt It's definitely not a dial cord so must be a friction drive? A complex looking mechanism. I will take the chassis out again for more maintenance this weekend so will get some more pictures then.

.Monochrome, I couldn't find the Saxon resistor, you're not looking at the capacitors labeled Ecnico are you?

I do agree it's probably a 53, 59 or 523. Is that 465 kilocycles? Seems to get a good range of MW stations.

The chassis looks exactly like this Croyden 523! Except this example is a console, so the speaker isn't in the right place. But the dials on front and even the back labels are in the same place:

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/eclipse_croyden_523_series.html

Does this mean that it's probably a Croyden/Eclipse 53, through elimination?

All I ever hoped for was to date it, so this exceeds expectations.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 12:46:51 AM on 27 May 2016.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5262

Does this mean that it's probably a Croyden/Eclipse 53, through elimination?

Best bet so far.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 5:46:17 AM on 27 May 2016.
MonochromeTV's avatar
 Location: Melbourne, VIC
 Member since 20 September 2011
 Member #: 1009
 Postcount: 1043

I can see three Saxon resistors underneath the pan. It looks like the capacitors have been replaced at some stage as the originals would of been Saxon's. The capacitors you are referring to are Tecnico's.

The I.F. refers to intermediate frequency. Most superhet valve radios we deal with have a I.F. of 455kHz, but there are other non standard frequencies. In the very early days of superhets 175kHz was a common intermediate frequency. In this case the Eclipse 53 & 59, while identical circuit wise, the I.F. coils and frequency are different. The only way you could tell if your radio has a I.F. of 175kHz or 465kHz is to hook it up to a signal generator.

Both Series 53 & 59 date from August 1933. I don't have a date for the Series 523, but it would be around 1934.

I guess we are now assuming the unknown valve is a 2A7.

UPDATE:

Look what I just found!

Eclipse Radio Advertisement


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 10:28:06 PM on 28 May 2016.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5502

A very nice radio. I've always been a fan of the six-leggers.


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

 
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