Bulova Clock Radio - Very Dirty But Cleans Up Well!
There was so much sawdust inside this radio I'm amazed it didn't catch fire over the years!
Look at this mess!
Didn't work when I first powered it up because so much crud was sticking to the pins of the vacuum tubes. After I cleaned off the pins, the radio turned on but all I heard was hum.
Clock didn't work either. The Techochron sealed motor was frozen. I had to replace it with a good quiet new motor.
Here is the old frozen one:
Here's the new one installed:
Installed, the clock started running like a champ!
A few tubes were weak so they needed to be replaced.
All American 5: 50C5, 35W4, 12BE6, 12BA6, and 12AV6.
Here's the reading on 50C5:
After I replaced the filter capacitor and all the paper and wax capacitors, and cleaned everything thoroughly, the circuit board looks like this:
And sounds like this:
Here's the clock mechanism all cleaned out:
Here is the back antenna loop and backing board:
After doing a circuit voltages check, I found all plate and grid voltages within 10% of specifications so I did not start pulling passives or intermediate frequency transformers (IFT's) off the board.
The cabinet gets a thorough cleaning:
As it turns out, neglect but not abuse is not necessarily a bad thing for these old buzzards. Quite a few radios which have outlived their useful life even though they were properly maintained but not abused, ended up in the garbage years and years ago. Sometimes these old radios, and many things people own for that matter, which are not fussed with (or fussed over) end up living the longest, and have a chance at a second life. This radio spent a good portion of its life in a sub-optimal environment but stayed in one place probably untouched for decades. Compared with most things people own, valuable or not, that get transported, passed on to new owners, sold, repaired, stored, and eventually thrown away, this radio lived a fortunate life, despite its initial appearance. My guess is that this radio belonged to an established family with a workshop. It probably saw continuous use in its heyday, probably in the late sixties or early seventies. After it left the lady of the house's nightstand, it graduated to the workshop. From there, the wood craftsman or hobbyist of the house used it until he/she went on to something better. But, there in the workshop it sat for decades. I look around my workshop and very few things have been there for decades. This suggests to me its former owners were established, or well-to-do, or both.
Here's how it sounds today, its voice from the past speaks again:
Do you want to buy it? You must promise to care of it!