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Early 1970's Radar Range

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Feb 9, 2007.

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  1. Guest

    I own an early 1970's Amana Radarange (with the analog dials and all
    chrome front). It still works great but the window is all clouded and
    dirty inside. I have a replacement I'd like to use. Here's my
    problem... I can't remove those "safety" screws they used on the
    And I can't seem to find any tools that will work either. These are
    not regular "safety screws" but look like something specially
    BY Amana. I plan on replacing them with normal screws if I can just
    get the old ones out. Does anybody know where I can find the proper
    tool for removing those screws?
  2. Guest

  3. Tim

    Tim Guest

    I would suggest using an old socket or small pipe and grind away part to
    form three post that fit the head of the screw.
  4. Yeah, those are a pain. What I did was to take one screw I had like that
    and hammer a piece of pipe over it to form the inside of the pipe to the
    three notches. But if you don't have another similar screw, I wouldn't recommend
    doing this on the microwvae though as the vibration of hammering will not be
    good for it!

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  5. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    If the head is big enough take a punch and tap the screw in a
    counterclockwise direction on one of the three slots just enough to
    loosen it up then grab it with a pair of needle point pliers.
  6. I looked at my collection of security bits - don't have that one. I'd take a
    piece of 1/4" rod and saw and grind it to fit. You could also cut the tip
    off a dollar store screwdriver and do the same.
  7. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    I managed to get those out once using small pliers. As soon as you
    loosen them, they should come out easily.
    Andy Cuffe

  9. Guest

    a dremel with grinding disc will put a slot in the heads. But the
    early 70s nukes are so lacking in safety features I'd replace it.

  10. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    Will the central pin shear off with a pin punch and hammer, or a ball-mill ,
    like those annoying IBM computer monitor central pip screw heads ?
    Then lefthand drill and LH drill bit, then easyout if the drill itself does
    not shift them, if fabricating a tri-wing screw-driver variant fails.
  11. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    What safety features? As far as I know, they had all the same interlocks
    as modern ovens. Microwaves have not changed much in the last 30 years
    other than cost reductions. Those old Amana microwaves are classic,
    built like tanks and last forever. Wish I had one myself.
  12. Ever checked one for leakage? ISTR they claimed to cook a chicken in 15
    minutes or less. Not while I'm in the same room!
  13. Jeff, WB8NHV

    Jeff, WB8NHV Guest

    Amana wasn't the only manufacturer to build its microwaves solidly
    and to last. I have a Sharp Carousel digital microwave I bought new
    seven years ago. Still works very well in daily use, although I think
    the door switches are either very dirty or starting to go bad--the
    oven will sometimes shut off before the end of a timed cycle. Opening
    and closing the door several times gets it going again.

    BTW, I had relatives (now deceased) who owned a digital version of
    the Amana Radarange (they must have bought it in the mid-1970s). I
    don't think they had even one repair done on it in the 20-some years
    they had it.

    Microwaves have changed in the last thirty years, but the changes
    have been minor, mostly to the control circuitry (most micros these
    days have at least one microprocessor which runs the whole thing). The
    old Amana Radaranges didn't have the instant-action keys most of
    today's digital micros sport (my Sharp has nine such buttons on its
    touch control panel), not to mention dedicated popcorn, beverage
    reheat, minute plus, etc. Those mid-seventies Amanas with digital
    controls had circuitry that was state-of-the-art at that time, but
    which would be considered horribly outdated and obsolete.

    BTW (2) : Microwaves with spring-wound dial timers can be had for
    almost ridiculously low prices these days. For someone who rarely
    uses a microwave oven, these are good, I guess, but for anyone who
    puts their oven to daily use, I'd suggest getting a digital model with
    touch controls. These aren't terribly expensive anymore (just a bit
    more than the analog ovens) and will last longer. The dial timer will
    eventually wear out in any of today's analog micros; in fact, it
    wouldn't surprise me if the magnetron outlasts the timer in these

    Jeff Strieble, WB8NHV (email addy not shown to deter spammers)
    Fairport Harbor, Ohio USA
  14. I bought a Sharp with the auto sensor. I highly recommend this model. The
    Panasonic with variable power is nice but prone to failure and the
    combination convection/microwave is a PITA to keep clean - buy a separate
    convection oven.
  15. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    High cooking speed does not mean they were leaky. Commercial microwave
    ovens are readily available with the same 1200W power rating. We had a
    1200W Litton MinuteMaster for decades that would nuke a hotdog in 8
    seconds flat. After many years of using that as a kid I've still got
    eyeballs and no extra appendages.
  16. Guest

    We dont have Amana Radaranges here, so I'm talking early 70s nukes
    generally here...

    Carbon loaded rubber seals instead of modern choke door frames meant
    much greater susceptibility to leakage. These oldies should, if used
    at all, be leakage tested regularly.

    Interlocks are the big safety issue. Modern ovens have 2 independantly
    operated switches which apply a short across the mains if either
    switch fails. Early 70s stuff didnt have that setup, just one switch
    failure and you're cooked.

    The worst models I've seen actually cooked with the door partway open
    due to poor interlock design and misalignment, which is prone to

    Then theres the final safety issue of uneven heating. This causes
    cases of food poisoning when cooking meat. In this respect nukes have
    come a long way since the early 70s.

    Is the radarange one with an open downwards door? If it is, thats a
    safety issue too to some extent.

    Its upto the OP of course, but if I had one that old I'd replace it.
    Its the interlock issue that would concern me, have seen too many
    machines with a bad switch go through the shorting trick to want to
    trust a machine with no such protection.

  17. The one I saw in Alaska had a microwave built into a regular oven (in a
    stove). Scared the crap out of me when I looked at how poorly the door
  18. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    The Amana ovens were top of the line, the Rolls-Royce of microwave
    ovens. They were built like tanks, most had stainless interiors and real
    glass windows in the doors. They were the first on the market and real
    commercial quality units, my grandparents had one of these they paid a
    small fortune for in the early 70s. I believe all microwaves sold in the
    US have had multiple interlocks since the very start.
  19. Guest

    Thats something the OP could tell us, whether there are 2 sticky out
    things on the opening door edge or one. Older interlocks on the hinge
    side were not safe.

  20. IME as long as they are not flush, most any screw can be persuaded out with
    a good heavy pair of side cutters. Get a firm grip and use a screwdriver as
    a lever.
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