Revived The Radio Pick Up In NATIONAL RX-FS21A Two-In-One But With A Sad End
This set belonged to a friend living close by. It was brought to me by his son for reviving the tuner section as it was not working. As usual, my first duty was to open the set, which itself threw a challenge. The screw holes were all filled up by wasp nests made of mud, as a result of which, the screw-heads were rusted and lost its grip. I obtained permission from the customer to cut it open. I used a special screw-driver which I had sharpened like a chisel for such break-open work. Then I hammered this chisel around the screw head and broke it away from its back cover. Already the set had such broken screws in two other places, probably done by another technician, which was an indication that the set was worked on before, though it could be long back. I saw a lot and lot of dust and dirt inside the set and signs of leaving unused for a prolonged time. Fungus had attacked at a few places on the board. After blowing off the dust, dismantled the set completely.
I even removed the Transformer (it was a locally made replacement; probably due to failure of primary in the original transformer), and cleaned all the inside very neatly. After lubricating the switches and controls and operating these vigorously to enable self-cleaning, I reconnected the power supply and tried. The radio was showing signs of getting back its life and all bands were working though not well enough. So did a thorough dry solder patch up from one end to the other. I did the same on the AC inlet board also (Unfortunately, I forgot to click it when I took it out!). Then cleaned the board thoroughly using IPA, ensuring that these do not enter into coils. Then when I applied the power after reconnecting the board, all bands worked except FM. So, I knew there was a man-made problem. Located it to an overlapping solder on the FM IF coil. Removed the short. Then FM also started working very well. Incidentally, no capacitors were found bad enough for replacement! This was a surprise for me (Perhaps a disappointment as well, as I could not indulge in my favourite work!) (LOL)
Applied solder around the TRA joint, as it was loose:
Put back the Tape Mechanism, which was in a very good condition. When I played the tape that was in it, it worked very well, including auto stop. In fact, this mechanism was very sturdy and could take any rough handling including abuse to certain extent.
After trying it for several hours and rechecking all the functions informed the customer to come and pick up. Then I learnt sadly that my friend was hospitalized and was to undergo an emergency operation. Later I learnt that he succumbed to the illness and left this world, which was very shocking to me! He was a retired School Headmaster and was a good citizen and was always very joyful and mingled with everyone jovially. What a sad thing to happen! Unfortunately, I could not attend the funeral as my wife was undergoing Ayurvedic Treatment in a hospital, around 25 Kms away and I was staying there as a bystander to help her. Moreover, restrictions due to pandemic situation did not allow crowd of more than twenty in a funeral. Now the set is with me, and I hope one day the family will recover from their shock and take it back! Until then, I opted to keep using it daily in his fond memories!
Though the satisfaction of having done a successful work got collected, it was not with the usual enthusiasm associated with it! That is fate, something beyond the control of humans and sometimes we have to put up with such situations! There is no other go! Anyhow, should they come to take the set back, I will treat the service as a posthumous gift to my good old friend, who was senior to me by three years!
This article was prepared for you by Parasuraman Subramanian from India. He is 70 years old and has more than 30 years’ experience in handling antique equipment like Valve Radio, Amps, Reel Tape Recorders and currently studying latest tech-classes conducted by Kerala State Electronics Technicians’ Association. He has done graduation in BBA degree, private diploma in Radio Engineering and retired as MD of a USA company. Presently working as Consultant to Hospital and other institutions.
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