Motorola A18B49 Dragged Out of a Swamp – Retro Radio Farm

Motorola A18B49 Dragged Out of a Swamp

This radio looks very nautical to me. The light blue on blue adds to that effect. 

Also came in:

Model Cabinet Colors
A19S Beige/Brown
A19W White/Maple Sugar

 

This design looks like it's from the early 60s. The huge tuning dial reminds me of the tail light from a 1961-1963 Thunderbird, like this one:

This Motorola A18B49 came to me from a roadside antique mall in Adamstown, PA, the "Antiques Capital of the US"

It was cleaned and displayed in a dealer booth. It was plugged in but the fluorescent lights caused the radio to hum badly. There were no cracks, chips or missing parts. The only defect was the missing metal cap on one of the knobs.

A couple new caps, a resistor or two, alignment, and a date with the buffing wheel was all that would be needed to restore this old beauty back to its former glory.

Boy, was I wrong. It wasn't until I disassembled this radio that I found out the horrors that were waiting within.

The radio looked like it had been buried in mud for a period of time.

 

 

 

Look at this speaker encased in dirt!

How does a speaker get coated like this with clay?

Fortunately, the speaker cone was not disintegrated. Just a few small pin holes which were easy to patch up. The core wasn't frozen either. All in all, perfectly usable speaker.

That wasn't the worst! The worst part was the volume potentiometer. It was actually missing the internal circuit board. How does the internal circuit board disappear out of a semi-sealed electronic component?

I had to disassemble the old defective 500K potentiometer and reuse the half shaft. I used the circuit board from a donor 500K potentiometer then reassembled. This Motorola circuit has a tone filter circuit at 100K and 500K center taps so a 500K potentiometer simple swap wouldn't work. I had to wire a 100K and 500K resistor according to the schematic:

This is what the resistors in parallel looked like:

 

The plastic cabinet is originally molded in light blue plastic. The medium blue contrasting grill was painted at Motorola factory.

The clear plastic bezel is a nice finishing piece with gold factory painted surround highlight.

I like the color coordinated backing board which is laminated with blue matching plastic sheet.

Color matching power cord would have been nice, but you have to cut costs somewhere.

There was a busted dial string. Easy fix.

Here's everything cleaned. Couple replaced tubes, components, minor stuff compared to potentiometer rebuild. Replaced all the capacitors on the right side.

Here is what the radio looks like now:

Please do not throw this radio into the river like the last owner did!

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