Silvertone 4586 Console Radio (est. 1936)
Picked up this radio from Craigslist in Jan 2009. Purchased from a family in Huntley, IL. It was bought new back in 1937 and has been handed down through three generations.
The woman I purchased it from was somewhat reluctant to let it go, as it had been in her family since it was new. She was happy to know that it was going to a good home to be restored and enjoyed all over again.
My father and my Grandfather both worked for Sears so there is a special connection to the Silvertone brand. This radio is a cool, nostalgic side project for my office.
I had the radio in my office all of 5 minutes before I had to tear it open and start cleaning. The grille fabric was badly deteriorated and has been temporarily replaced with some generic black fabric my wife had in her craft closet. I am ordering a replacement cloth that matches the original fabric.
After a decent cleaning, grill replacement and a bit of furniture polish this old radio looks pretty darn good!
UPDATE January 30, 2009 I ordered replacement grill fabric from Radiodaze that is as close a reproduction to the original grill cloth as I could find. The original was badly torn and couldn't be saved. Although I kind of liked the black (Temporary) cloth I think this replacement looks fantastic and is clearly more authentic (See picture below).
Looks great in the office and actually plays pretty well considering it's age. Still needs a good bit of TLC to be back to it's old self again. I am ordering about 20 new capacitors to replace all the old paper and electrolytic capacitors. Remember these are about 75 years old and are no doubt "Past their prime".
This model had a "Magic Eye" tuning tube. The one in my Silvertone has deteriorated with age, but I have a new one on order. Basically the eye at the top of the tuning dial will light up a brillant green color forming what might best be described as a letter C that has it's open side pointing towards the ground. As you tune the radio and the station comes in stronger the two legs of the open C draw closer together. The closer they draw together the the stronger the radio signal from any particular station. So basically it's a very flashy and visual gimmick to assist with dialing in a radio station.
I think my ears are a better judge of when a radio station is tuned in to it's strongest point, but hey...you have to admit the eye thing is VERY COOL!!!! The woman I bought the radio from said her kids were afraid of the Eye as they thought it was "Watching them"...making this feature even more cool ;-)
I will provide better pictures of my "Magic Eye" tube when I get it replaced...
Below is a picture I pulled from the internet showing someone elses Silvertone Tuning Dial Face with a working "Magic Eye" tuning tube....Cool huh?
One accessory has me puzzled. It's shown below and I'd love to learn more about it (If anyone reading this knows anything about it, please let me know). The device (Shown below) looks like a capacitor and sits underneath the shelf that the radio chassis is on.
It is called a Silvertone Allwave Antenna and is wired inline with the antenna wire. If I disconnect it and just string regular antenna wire from the antenna terminal I don't get even half the volume I get out of the radio when the Allwave is reconnected inline. Not sure what this thing is, but it sure boosts the output of the radio!
Below is a general picture of the backside of the radio....Love all those old tubes!
Next are a couple pages from an old 1936-37 Fall/Winter Sears catalog that my Dad had in his basement. The catalog belonged to my grandfather and ironically it was the only Old Sears catalog my dad held onto. It's ironic in that it's the very model year of this particular Silvertone radio. Although only the Silvertone 4486 is pictured I understand that the 4586 was introduced the same year (Just didn't make print). The 4586 would have been diplayed in actual Sears stores as a special upgrade to the 4486. The basic components and description remain the same as the 4486.
Here's the general "Splash" page in the catalog for Silvertone radios...
Looking forward to learning more about this cool old tube radio!
UPDATE: January 30, 2009
I am starting to Replace all the old capacitors in this old Silvertone. According to the schematic I need to replace capacitor C32 which is a .004mfd - 400volt capacitor. It is my opinion that the component I have highlighted below in a yellow box is capacitor C32. Nothing else exists in the vacinity shown in the schematic that I can determine to be a capacitor. Since this looks nothing like the other (Clearly labeled) capacitors in this chassis, I feel I better get opinions before replacing this a capacitor C32. Can anyone confirm my suspicion that this is C32?
So word has it that the component in question is not C32 but a big 2MG resistor. If that's the case then where the heck is C32? Could my Radio just not have been manufactured with it?
Take a look at the schematic below for reference
Then look at the picture I've taken of the area that C32 should be located at. I've already replaced a few capacitors (Easy to spot as they're small and bright yellow). I have labeled the caps that I have identified from the schematic but can't see anything in the area of C32.
Glad I'm asking questions...and even more glad some of you are kind enough to help a newbie get off the ground.
Another question has arisen regarding the layout of my volume potentiometer. Here is a better picture of it. Should there be a capacitor attached somewhere to this control? If so...which contact points would it span? Why would this 2Meg resistor be on here? The schematics don't show one at this location.
OK now for another Noobie question. Take a look at the picture below. Which end is the negative pole of the 33 uf capacitor in the foreground? Notice how the cap on the 22uf cap in the background has arrows that point to it's negative pole? Why doesn't the cap in the foreground have any arrows? My assumption would be that the end that has the crimped edge would be the positive pole, as it is with the 22uf cap in the background. Is this a relatively safe assumption?
OK I've installed these caps...Does this look right? I basically mimicked what the previous tinkerer did to remove the above chassis caps from the circuit. Just want to be sure this looks right...
Better shot of positive lead connection between C26 and 5Y3 Rectifier. I believe this is connected correctly.
UPDATE: Jan 31, 2009
Completed recapping the entire chassis with the exception of the following mystery Capacitor. Anyone know what this cap is for? It's a .05mfd 200volt cap that does not exist on any schematic. Was probably installed by whomever removed my C32 and installed the 2MG resistor in it's place.
Closer look at the Mystery Cap...
The following picture illustrates where the three wires go from the terminal strip that the positive lead of the mystery cap is attached to.
After Recapping everything (Except for the mystery cap as I don't have a replacement for it) I fired up the radio and it plays the same as before. I would say that the hum is actually louder after my recap. What else do I need to look for?
The only caps that I accounted for polarity on are the two big blue electrolytics. All the rest I don't believe require polarity consideration. Is that correct?
I notice that my 5Y3GT rectifier gets pretty dog gone hot during operation is this normal? I would say that after a minute or two of operation it is "Too Hot To comfortably touch".
I powered everything off and flipped the chassis over to see if any of the caps were too hot and none of them felt even slightly warm. Not sure if this info helps at all.
Could the mystery cap be causing the hum?
Could my 6C5G phase changer tube need to be replaced? It glows (although I know that doesn't count for much)
I want to be sure I've addressed everything and not made anything worse.
Below are pictures of the schematics I am working from.
A thread on the ANTIQUE RADIO FORUM has been started. Feel free to post thoughts/ideas at the following thread location.
Thanks for all the help so far gang!
If you have any info on this old radio please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to hear about it!
Thanks for looking....