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Antique Radio Repair

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by alfa88, Sep 10, 2011.

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  1. alfa88


    Dec 1, 2010
    I'm about to take on an antique radio repair and have been getting some tips. One of which is to gently encase twisted wires in silicon sealer. the theory being that there may be a reason they were twisted in the 1st place (induction). My question is what brand/type should I get and is it easy to get. I do know that alot of the common silicone sealers use acidic acid and it's not good to use with electronics.
  2. daddles


    Jun 10, 2011
    What problem is encasing the wires in silicone sealant supposed to solve? In other words, why would you go to the trouble of doing this, ignoring any effects the material might have on the wires?

    You would be labor ahead if you just replace any degraded wires with modern wire of the same gauge and type and twisting, if appropriate.
  3. alfa88


    Dec 1, 2010

    I assume the wisdom is to assume that the radio worked at one time and not to de-tune anything. From what I was reading the 1st thing was to stabilize the wiring. Then replace the electrolytics and then slowly apply the power and hope for the best. I would hate to have to try and tune up this relic and risk busting a coil slug.
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Added to that, unless you get the right silicone sealant, you may end up with something that is corrosive enough to damage the wire (and even surrounding components)
  5. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    I can only imagine that it would be desirable siliconize the wires only if the wiring insulation (cotton spun) is starting to fray.
    If the wire affects tuning then adding silicone will also affect the tuning since it has a quite high dielectric constant.
    You'll want to use a low-viscosity silicone. There are also types that gives off something else than acid. I don't remember any names right now.
    I believe there is antique looking wire available on the market.
    Electrolytics can be reformed if you want to try to avoid replacing them.
    You may have a bigger challence cleaning oxidised switches & variable (tuning) capacitors.
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