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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:16 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:01 pm
Posts: 554
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Peter, it sounds like your concern is the heat that could be dangerous under certain conditions. Another alternative to the ballast is a simple light bulb, like maybe some automotive lamps. Light bulbs offer the same unique capability as the UV876 in that they increase in resistance as the filament gets hotter. I have no experience with substituting such a light bulb, but it makes sense that a couple of serialized 12V automotive lamps could drop about as much voltage as a UV876 and still provide some regulation. Some experimenting would be in order. If that option works, and generates less BTU's, it could be the solution to your concern. Cheers, Russie


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:49 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:25 pm
Posts: 666
Location: North Central Iowa
I put transformers in all of mine to drop the voltage down to wherever it's supposed to be at. I think 85 volts, but I'm not sure. It just plugs into a screw in plug where the ballast tube would go, so it's easy to go back to that tube if I wanted to. All of the machines with that kind of amp work just fine and they also don't get that extra shot of voltage when the set is first turned on. And I've played thousands of records on all three of the machines and haven't had any trouble with them other than one of the 99 tubes did get weak. I'm really satisfied with them being that way, it it got rid of a lot of heat out of them. Those cabinets get really warm with those tubes and the Panatropes get quite hot after they have been on for about an hour. Line voltage seems to be pretty stable these days and I think that's what one of the main reason for using them, wasn't it?

Well, good luck with your projects Wayne. Those things are a lot of work to go through, that's for sure. Earl.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 10:46 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 574
Location: Florida
Earl,

That’s fantastic that you are using a screw-in transformer where the Ballast goes.

To all,

Please excuse my suggestion of diodes. Can we forget that happened? That was clearly brain flatulence. Hope to keep them down to a minimum as I pursue my electronic endeavors.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:07 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:32 pm
Posts: 397
Location: PA
Wayne,

I see you have purchased a Z-Meter, I think you have finally entered the twilight zone.

You're measuring parameters that have very little to do with restoring a 90 year old amplifier. There is no reason to try and measure the inductance of a transformer. The only important measurement of an audio transformer is the DC resistance and the impedance, the DC resistance is pretty much fool proof as long as you can read an ohmmeter. To measure the impedance you need to know the load on the unmeasured winding, change the load resistance and the measured impedance will change. The power transformer is even easier, DC resistance of the various windings and voltage output with the correct input voltage will tell you if it is good or not.

Measuring the inductance of the filter choke is interesting but an ohmmeter will give you more information during troubleshooting,high resistance and the coil is open, low and it's got shorted turns, any resistance to the frame and you have safety issue. Measuring the inductance is only good if you are going to calculate the frequency of the PI filter network.

The ringing test on the Z-meter is not for iron core inductors, especially laminated cores. It's main use is in testing flybacks in TV HV circuits and air core coils.

The use of a NEW transformer with a 120V primary was what I had mentioned to Peter during a phone call, this would eliminate the need for the ballast tube and do away with the need to throw away over 100watts of heat generated by the tube. There is no need for any regulation on the primary side as our present power grid is many times better than the power grid in 1925. Earl's use of an outboard 70-80V transformer is an excellent solution to keep the amp original and eliminate the ballast. The military used those tubes in many radio receivers where the power source was erratic or couldn't be kept in a +/- 10% range, the transformers included a 110/120 volt winding in addition to the 80V one for places that had steady power, they just switched the ballast out and passed the power to the 110V windings. The RAK/RAL receivers drew 60W on direct AC connection and 200W where they needed the ballast tube.


Chuck


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:22 am 
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Victor I
to own an electrola is a blessing
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:50 pm
Posts: 124
Location: northeast nj
ChuckA wrote:
Wayne,

I see you have purchased a Z-Meter, I think you have finally entered the twilight zone.

You're measuring parameters that have very little to do with restoring a 90 year old amplifier. There is no reason to try and measure the inductance of a transformer. The only important measurement of an audio transformer is the DC resistance and the impedance, the DC resistance is pretty much fool proof as long as you can read an ohmmeter. To measure the impedance you need to know the load on the unmeasured winding, change the load resistance and the measured impedance will change. The power transformer is even easier, DC resistance of the various windings and voltage output with the correct input voltage will tell you if it is good or not.

Measuring the inductance of the filter choke is interesting but an ohmmeter will give you more information during troubleshooting,high resistance and the coil is open, low and it's got shorted turns, any resistance to the frame and you have safety issue. Measuring the inductance is only good if you are going to calculate the frequency of the PI filter network.

The ringing test on the Z-meter is not for iron core inductors, especially laminated cores. It's main use is in testing flybacks in TV HV circuits and air core coils.

The use of a NEW transformer with a 120V primary was what I had mentioned to Peter during a phone call, this would eliminate the need for the ballast tube and do away with the need to throw away over 100watts of heat generated by the tube. There is no need for any regulation on the primary side as our present power grid is many times better than the power grid in 1925. Earl's use of an outboard 70-80V transformer is an excellent solution to keep the amp original and eliminate the ballast. The military used those tubes in many radio receivers where the power source was erratic or couldn't be kept in a +/- 10% range, the transformers included a 110/120 volt winding in addition to the 80V one for places that had steady power, they just switched the ballast out and passed the power to the 110V windings. The RAK/RAL receivers drew 60W on direct AC connection and 200W where they needed the ballast tube.


Chuck

It seems almost hard to imagine but where I live in Northern NJ Rockland Electric has wild power swings and given the the nature of the ux199 tubes not liking power fluctuations I will keep my UV ballast tube thewreby keeping the soul of the machine intact as well


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:09 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:32 pm
Posts: 397
Location: PA
victor 15-1 wrote:
It seems almost hard to imagine but where I live in Northern NJ Rockland Electric has wild power swings and given the the nature of the ux199 tubes not liking power fluctuations I will keep my UV ballast tube thereby keeping the soul of the machine intact as well


Are you sure it's your power company that is having the voltage swings and not an issue with your service line into the house? When is the last time you checked the torque on the service line connections in the meter base and the main breaker box? Especially if you have aluminum service wiring. A bad neutral connection will cause all kinds of voltage swings.

If it is the power company and not your house/service wiring I'd be filing a complaint with NJ Board of Public Utilities

Chuck


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:20 pm 
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Victor I
to own an electrola is a blessing
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:50 pm
Posts: 124
Location: northeast nj
ChuckA wrote:
victor 15-1 wrote:
It seems almost hard to imagine but where I live in Northern NJ Rockland Electric has wild power swings and given the the nature of the ux199 tubes not liking power fluctuations I will keep my UV ballast tube thereby keeping the soul of the machine intact as well


Are you sure it's your power company that is having the voltage swings and not an issue with your service line into the house? When is the last time you checked the torque on the service line connections in the meter base and the main breaker box? Especially if you have aluminum service wiring. A bad neutral connection will cause all kinds of voltage swings.

If it is the power company and not your house/service wiring I'd be filing a complaint with NJ Board of Public Utilities

Chuck

No,the power company has the worst reputation in the Northeast..so much so that the town of Wyckoff is suing to have PSE&G take over the services.Every time the wind blows hard we lose power. Also even though the acceptable range of frequency is 57 to 62 cps we steadily have 58.5 to 60 cps.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 574
Location: Florida
I completed the rebuild of two the VE 9-55 amplifiers, the two VE 9-25 amplifiers, and the two VE 9-55 Condenser Banks. They all phono tested and sounded good when installed in my VE 9-55, except for one VE 9-25 amp. I will have to go back and reverify my wiring and its components on that spare. I will test the radio function soon. Of the other two VE 9-55 cabinets I am selling, the one (pre-sold to Raphael’s client) sounds great when the amp and Condenser Bank were installed but the volume switch is mechanically not functioning, so I will swap it out with a spare. The other VE 9-55 I am selling had no sound when its good rebuilt amp and Condenser Bank were installed. Will have to expand out to the other electronics in the machine to see where the problem lies. This is all new territory for me to persue. Amongst the three VE 9-55s, there were an amazing number of bad 99 tubes and weak tubes that needed to be replaced. In the amps, I had found just one of each tube bad 10, 81, and 886), and swapped them out as well. Luckily I had a spare 886 ballast tube but my other spares were all 876 tubes and had unfortunately tested bad. For grins I temporarily tried a good 876 from another spare amp and found that it worked fine in the place of the 886. A little research reveals that their only difference is the 876 is rated for 1.7 amps and the 886 is rated for 2.05 amps.

I have two tube questions I would love to know the answers for if anyone would like to further enlighten me:

1. If the Electrolas are operated on a Veriac inwhch the voltage would be limited to 110v (which I am doing), could the 876 be used with confidence inplace of a 886? By the way, I’m using a 3 amp fuse on the 120v return line. Maybe that should be changed to be a 2 amp fuse???

2. The VE 9-55 Owners Manual says that the seven 99 tubes that were supplied with the Electrola have white labels on six of them and one had a red label which is to be installed in the second from the right socket (2nd detector). What was the difference of that tube when compared to the others?

Photos below show the internals of the rebuilt Fuzz Filters, Condenser Banks, and Amplifiers. I did the 99% of the soldering outside with ventilation due to the lead based solder. Note that Nipper always inspects my work. Also note that the fuse holders are accessible when the amplifier is installed. They tuck inside the left side where the unused fourth tube socket resides. Though all the wiring was replaced with new cloth covered wires, the fuse holders use modern 12 gauge with insulation that is more flexible.

PS. I love my recently acquired LC103 Capacitor/Inductor tester. It is really is fast in revealing clear and specific readings when testing capacitors. Not only does it do value readings and leakage test (up to 1000v) but it also does dielectric absorption and ESR tests. Additionally, it can check the caps value “in circuit” without even having to unsolder a leg.


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Last edited by Victrola-Monkey on Thu May 23, 2019 2:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:25 pm 
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Victor IV
Edison, Columbia, Victor, Pathé...and oddball makes
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:06 pm
Posts: 1322
Please make sure that those tomcats don't try to bite or claw that pup!


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 Post subject: Re: Restoring the VE 9-55 and VE 9-25 Amplifiers
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:55 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:25 pm
Posts: 666
Location: North Central Iowa
2. The VE 9-55 Owners Manual says that the seven 99 tubes that were supplied with the Electrola have white labels on six of them and one had a red label which is to be installed in the second from the right socket (2nd detector). What was the difference of that tube when compared to the others?


That tube probably sounded best to whoever was installing the tubes at the factory. That's the detector tube for the amplifier if I remember right. Those 99 and 199 tubes are are not terribly consistent and it seems like they will "come to life" and sound better after they've been in use for awhile. And the speaker will sound better after it's been played awhile as well. Those things have sat silent for a long, long time now. Some of those old radio owners manuals will even tell you to swap the tubes around until the set sounds the best to you.

Those volume controls can drive a person nuts. And the one that Victor used is smaller than the one's Brunswick used for whatever reason. The one in my 10-70 has one dead position, but it's up where I'd never have the volume anyway. Those things are really loud at full volume.

They look good Wayne. Those things are a lot of work to go through, there's no way around that one! Earl.


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