Sunday, September 27, 2015

Philco 46-1201 "Bing Crosby" radio

  So it's the supermoon eclipse tonight. Must be why I've jammed on Iggy Pops' "The Passenger" so much the last 24 hours. "AND THE STARS WERE MADE FOR YOU AND I!!" Best rock song EVER......

   I wish AM radio didn't suck it so badly. It would be so cool if Iggy, or Dizzy, or Billie, or Hank Williams poured through my next project. Instead it's all Godawful bible thump, right wing paranoia and the occasional sports. Ok, sportscasters sound cool on this Bing Crosby radio.

 This was a fun project. It's been sitting in a bar in Queens since the 1940's. Best part is it has a built in secret 78 player.

  The crystal cartridge was shot so I had it re-built. Also needed to do a little mod to get more volume out of the phono side. And of course, this belongs to a good Tele slinger so I installed a 1/4" jack for him to jam out with. It has it's own low gain Fender Champ built into it that gives up a nice, thick rather dark voice.

  You can also use the jack to plug in your Ipod or whatever. Then you can have your Iggy or Billie or Dizzy or Hank, or your own pre-recorded Bible thump! Just be careful that whatever you do plug in is battery operated. These do not have a dedicated power transformer and cannot be properly grounded. Yup. I tried to plug in my computer which was plugged into the wall and got the Jesus shocked outta me! Serves me right I guess. Sorry bro! It's not you I diss, it's just those preachers on the AM waves!

   This radio received all new tubes and new caps with a few choice resistors since it was just plain noisy when I started. Quiet as a church mouse now. No hum, no crackle, all, um, music? Ah yeah. If you play that mean old Tele, it's definitely all music!


Korg Voica midi out mod

   Here's something completely different. I enjoy the occasional 'never been interested in this before' job. They can open my mind. This particular job was simply following someone else's instructions. It was to install a midi out to make this thing a bit more (actually much more!) useful to my friend.

  The instructions are really straightforward, and the wiring part is really easy. But like many mods, if you lack experience they can turn into a bit of a nightmare. You need to improvise a bit. In this case the new jack is quite a bit too tall and there is little room for error in placement cause, well, there is little room at all!

You can see in the top photo, it's the shiny new jack on the left with the 'Jef Brown' special brass screws for extra class. The instructions tell you to use a 1mm guitar pick cut as a spacer between the jack and the housing. With the jack provided I needed to cut up 2 1.5mm for a total of 3mm. And still I needed to bend the tabs. You can see it in the 2nd photo. One needs to bend carefully or you may wind up breaking the tabs.

 Here are the instructions for this job:

  If you don't trust yourself to do this, pay me $75 and I'll gladly do it for you!

  My friend sent me a video of this in use. It's really fun! These little things no longer fall into my 'never been interested before' category. I can see myself losing hours in this world of fun little machines! I want......