Monday, May 5, 2014

Commodore Stereo-Matic-Sound

While driving around looking for garage sales this past weekend, my wife and I stumbled on an unadvertised estate sale where I found this Commodore Stereo-Matic-Sound radio for $5.  I would guess it dates from the early to mid 1960's.

It was made in Japan.  Apparently, it has no relationship to the Commodore International company, makers of the Commodore 64 home computer.  It was pretty dirty and had a sticker on the front (The Green Garter Brigade which is a local St. Louis Irish club).

Despite being called "Stereo-matic", it's not a stereo but rather has 4 speakers wired in-line from the same output.

I first freed the case of its guts.  Then I meticulously peeled the sticker off (bit by minuscule bit) and washed the area with soap and water which finally got all of the gummy residue off.  The tuning dial has 4 bolts holding it in place.  They're round and don't have any slot for a screw driver, so you have grab them around the edges and turn.  It took a while, but I got them out.  There were nuts on the backside which dropped into the cabinet and had to be retrieved for later.

It actually has turntable inputs which are visible in the center back of the chassis.  I've already pulled one of the tubes in this picture (on the left).  The external antenna inputs are on the left.  They're a must as the radio barely puts out any sound without one.  However, I found it works best if only one screw is connected to the antenna.  The two prongs sticking out on the right are for the power cord which is integrated into the radio cabinet back.

The tuning bulbs are bad (upper right corner, yellow and red wires), so they don't light up.  I was shocked (not literally, but could have been!) when testing with a volt meter I discovered these run off a 275V power supply.  I have no idea why.  I need to do some research to see how I can replace these as I've read non-working bulbs shorten the life of the tubes.  

**Update***  I put this question out to the Antique Radio Forum and got an answer right away.  It actually measures 125 VDC.  The AC voltage reading was a fluke that some digital multimeters have when reading high DC voltage.  The lamps are actually Neon lamps and can be replaced.

I have a couple .05 mfd wax and paper capacitors I'll need to replace.  One is between the power and the other is between the turntable inputs.

I sanded a few rough spots (carefully, it's press board), wiped off the cabinet with a wet cloth and rubbed some stain on it to bring back some luster.

Its not the best performing radio, but it works and what it lacks in performance, it makes up for in style.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...