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 Post subject: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:03 pm 
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Victor III
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I feel like I am possibly saturating the forum with my posts now, but I want you to see this very rare Columbia portable that I received in the post today. I know Roger have the same model, but his gramophone is of a different color, so I thought you Columbia aficonados would like to have a look. I have so far just cleaned the motorboard, and checked that the motor is intact, and it is, and yes, I have the screws to the motorboard. As one can see, it has its flaws, and in particular I will get a challenge with one of the corners. There is also not much cloth to collect from other parts of the case, the only place is possibly around the tonearm support/hinge, but I don't know really...?
Anyway, I thought you might like to have a look:) Just finished with one job, and here comes another, but really..I like it, and it is also very important to have something interesting and positive to do these days!
(The post should maybe have been posted on the "Machines" forum, but I chose to post it here, since we in the recent weeks and months have been discussing different Columbia models on this section of the forum)


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:09 am 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3286
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Martin and I have been corresponding about his new find, which is the first G-208 I have seen since purchasing mine form the family of the original owner in August 2008.
I believe that these machines were made in Columbia's Japanese factory, and I know that mine was bought new in Hong Kong just before Japan entered WW2.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:08 am 
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Victor III
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It would be very interesting to know why they named this model G-208, and not simply,,,208 or using another available number with a letter behind the number, as we see on other Columbia portables?


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:54 am 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3286
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
nostalgia wrote:
It would be very interesting to know why they named this model G-208, and not simply,,,208 or using another available number with a letter behind the number, as we see on other Columbia portables?


I had originally thought that "G" might have stood for "Gold", but as your machine is Brown that is clearly not the case. I now have no idea!


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:54 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
I need some help with identifying the motor. I opened it today, and the spring is broken. Up to this date, I have only changed springs on HMV 101 and 102s, and some HMV 32 motors and its equal.
I measured the spring case on this Columbia to be approximately 85 mm in diameter, while a for instance, HMV 410 spring case is around 75 mm when I measured it today. Is the same spring used for both these motors, despite the difference in the size of the spring case? I know this is a real newbie question, but instead of buying a wrong spring, I better ask. The motor of this machine is named 25A, as far as I can read it, even if the letters are hard to read. Can anyone help identify the maker, is it Garrard, or...? I know Garrard made a 25 motor for Columbia portables, but this is for sure outside my present comfort zone, so I ask:)
Look at this thin soundhorn, is this the infamous pot metal? I need get the superglue or even a two component glue out here, luckily the tonearm base looks good.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:06 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 2085
the 25a is a typical Columbia / Garrard motor is it a 1" spring ? if so it takes either the same spring as a 102 Hub / eye spring or an eye / eye version if not, it's 25a not 25 as it has an angled winder not horizontal

This is the 102 spring https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233538629698

KEEP SATURATING ! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:47 pm 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3286
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The G-208 has one potential fault which caught me out once in the past. There is no manual brake. The brake control plate is marked "STOP-AUTO-FREE".

When transporting the machine, the brake control can slip and start the motor running. In my case the end of the spring became detached when the motor ran right down, but furious winding managed to re-engage it. I was lucky, but I could easily have been faced with removing the spring.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:06 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Thank you Soundgen, and Roger too. It has a 1 inch spring, eye/hub, and the motor is marked 25A. What I noticed when removing the spring was that it was winded the opposite way (from right to left) of the direction I wind the spring when I service my HMV 101/102s, so if someone know if this is correct for this motor, I would be happy to know it, to avoid installing the spring the wrong direction.
Somehow my mind is not capable yet of thinking all this through when looking at the motor parts and how they work together. Someone has opened the cylider and removed the broken part of the spring, since this small part was found in the horn section, but I worry this person may at the same time have tried to reinstall the remaining part of the spring after removing the broken sprint part, and accidentally installed it the the wrong way.
Yes, Roger, I can see there is no manual brake, so one need to be careful when working on/transporting the machine.
Thank you for the link, Soundgen, I may very well need that link soon, currently I have a spare HMV 102 spring, but I am reaching a point soon where I need more parts/springs.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:37 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:59 am
Posts: 117
The reason the spring appears to be wound in the opposite way from a 102 is that in this Garrard motor, you turn the spring barrel upside down to get into it. The barrel on the HMV 59 and 270 motors is opened at the top. In all single-spring motors with one intermediate wheel, the spring winds and unwinds clockwise when in situ and viewed from above, just like the turntable.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia G-208 portable (Japan)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:31 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 580
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Thank you also for explaining this, it saves me from possibly installing the new spring in the wrong direction.


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