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Johnson messenger 223 help

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darticus

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JOHNSON MESSENGER 223 HELP
I bought this at a garage sale but its not making any sound. Looks nice and does transmit fine. It just won't receive. Any help would be great. I do hear a hiss when the mic is plugged in, with the volume all the way up, so I think the speaker is good. No headphone plug to try. lights up nice and tube seem good. Any thoughts? Thanks Ron
 

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JayMojave

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Hello Darticus: That is a great old radio, I have one also.

The problem with these older radios that the Capacitors are starting go south (bad) and will need to be replaced soon. I have a hand full of these type of older radios, and have replaced the Capacitors in just two radios and brought them back to life. And tubes and resistors, so its not always easy to get them hummin and ah buzzin again. But many times its just a tube or one or two componets.

With the radio on and warmed up carefully touch the center terminal on the volume control, if you can hear hum then the audio amp section is working. I have bought radios from the TRW Swap Meet only to find a few tubes missing.

This radio is worth having a radio shop fix, in my humbol opion.

Good Luck

Jay in the Mojave
 

darticus

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OK, touched the center terminal of the volume control and got a hum. That's good I think! It also will transmit nice to another radio. Now were finding things out. tested the tubes and all seem good. Any other suggestions are welcome. Seems like a radio without an antenna. Can't throw nice condition stuff out! Thanks Ron

Hello Darticus: That is a great old radio, I have one also.

The problem with these older radios that the Capacitors are starting go south (bad) and will need to be replaced soon. I have a hand full of these type of older radios, and have replaced the Capacitors in just two radios and brought them back to life. And tubes and resistors, so its not always easy to get them humming and ah buzzin again. But many times its just a tube or one or two components.

With the radio on and warmed up carefully touch the center terminal on the volume control, if you can hear hum then the audio amp section is working. I have bought radios from the TRW Swap Meet only to find a few tubes missing.

This radio is worth having a radio shop fix, in my humble opinion.

Good Luck

Jay in the Mojave
 

kb2vxa

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I cut my teeth on tubes and those rigs are my specialty but I never could fix anything by remote control. You sure posted in enough forums to get the same answers, we all have the same problem.

"Seems like a radio without an antenna."
That's the only viable clue you give and that's probably what it is. Check the TR relay and associated antenna wiring up to and including the RF input on the receiver. That's the NC (normally closed) side of the antenna change over relay.

Nice mic you've got with it, looks like a Turner 250 branded Johnson. Here's what mine looked like as Turner made it under their brand.
 
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gewecke

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Asked all over but no suggestions. Thinking caps. Can caps shrink if bad? Ron
They disintegrate inside after several years, but if you replace them be sure to use the same type and value! Old vacuum tube tv's are a great source for them. Oh yeah,be sure to ground them out before removing them,lol.
I had one of those years ago, but never got all the tubes with it.

73,
n9zas
 

loumaag

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Several posts have been deleted from this topic as they were deemed to be derogatory or replies to derogatory comments. Feel lucky that you didn't incur infractions for this.

I will just say this, some folks like to restore old radios, they are called hobbyists. Some folks like to cruise forums looking for opportunities to foment discontent, they are called trolls.
 

darticus

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I hope you don't think I put anything bad on here? Did the people that put bad comments get notified? Thats terrible! Ron

Several posts have been deleted from this topic as they were deemed to be derogatory or replies to derogatory comments. Feel lucky that you didn't incur infractions for this.

I will just say this, some folks like to restore old radios, they are called hobbyists. Some folks like to cruise forums looking for opportunities to foment discontent, they are called trolls.
 

KC4RAF

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You did the right thing Lou,

there's lot of us on here who really get a kick out of restorying radios of yesteryears. Like that Messenger 223!
And Ron, you too will get a kick out of fixing that baby up. As noted by N9ZAS, discharge those caps. They have a tendeancy to give you a jolt when least expecting it, (DAHIK!)
 

oft

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In answer to your question, those old caps usually either

(1): Leak. They remain the same size but when you pull them out, you will see on the printed wiring board either a white paste type substance or a brown oily substance

or

(2): Swell up and look bigger than they are.

I don't know about old CB radios but if the premise for old tube type indoor radios, electric bass guitars / six string guitars / and their respective amps are true, you may be able to find the caps. With old time antique radios, a place called Antique Electronic Supply has lots of parts for the old radios and the small caps fr old musical instruments.

PS , I really hope you get the radio going
 

kb2vxa

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"Asked all over but no suggestions."
Like mine isn't a suggestion?

"Thinking caps."
I don't see caps as a symptom like you described but like I said I (or anyone else for that matter) never could fix anything by remote control. I gave the best idea where to look under the conditions but I see this is going nowhere fast. At this point my best suggestion is find someone familiar with that type rig preferably armed with a schematic and test equipment and let the doctor put the patient on the table and diagnose its condition.

Yeah Lou, you did the right thing. I for one would cry if a rig looking so good got the old heave-ho, restoring vintage gear is a hobby in itself. If I still had any kind of shop I'd LOVE to shake hands with an old friend but alas, my techie days are over.
 

gewecke

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Thanks all. I found 1 cap bad and testing 3 more. Will see how it works out. Ron
Good luck , It might be a work in progress but eventually after replacing enough faulty finds you'll probably see a difference in performance. :)
I sometimes wish I would have kept my old regency romper, The chrome case on it was awsome when the sun shined in on it,lol.

73,
n9zas
 
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I got another Messenger 223 today, it makes 5 total.I got my very first 223 about 1983, and I've been a 223 fan ever since.In my opinion, they are right up there with the Tram's and Browning's.They are'nt much for looks, but they are built like a tank.I've a bunch of varoius tube radios, Sonar, Courier,Robyn,Hy Gain, etc, but I always came back to the Messenger 223. Judging from what you described, I think you still got a bargain.I have the service manual for the 223 if you need it. in pdf.
 

darticus

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Fantastic! I can't get mine going as yet to see how good it is. I am following all the advice steps people are giving me. I think its something small causing mine not to work. It would be great if you could email me the PDF FILE. My email is ron222@embarqmail.com
The radio is in nice external shape. All tubes check good, all caps are good, plate voltages are good. It seems like it should work. The s meter stays on 9 all the time when in receive with only a low hiss for full volume but the meter goes up when I transmit and it transmits on the correct channel. Relay and mic connections seem fine and I get a low hum when I touch the center leg of the volume control. Squelch control doesn't seem to do much. When I turn it all the way up there is some lowering of the volume low hiss. The sound it makes during receive is a low hiss that stops when the mic is removed. Nothing looks burnt. can you point me in a direction to maybe check and maybe I'll luck out. The low volume hiss I get is with the volume all the way up. Thanks Again Ron



I got another Messenger 223 today, it makes 5 total.I got my very first 223 about 1983, and I've been a 223 fan ever since.In my opinion, they are right up there with the Tram's and Browning's.They are'nt much for looks, but they are built like a tank.I've a bunch of varoius tube radios, Sonar, Courier,Robyn,Hy Gain, etc, but I always came back to the Messenger 223. Judging from what you described, I think you still got a bargain.I have the service manual for the 223 if you need it. in pdf.
 

darticus

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I see the reply up top saying it sounds like the antenna is not connected. Thats the way I feel. If I touch the center portion where the annenna goes nothing is heard. How would I follow that connection? Here is a copy of the schematic I'm using if anyone sees something let me know. Thanks Ron
 

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KC4RAF

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Do you have the parts list?

If so, it'll give you the type of diodes needed. If not, you'll have to "google" it.
Also check the: the relay working and does it have continuity in both positions?
R50 resistor, good or within tolerance?
Contact points where soldered good?
Cap C1 good?
Coil L1 good?
RF amp tube V1. Can you inject a signal into the cathode screen grid?

HTH.

edit:
be aware that you have some high voltages in that radio. The plate terminal, (number 5 on the RF amp tube) some times run up to 250. Haven't looked at your schematic to see what voltages it carries. Just be forewarned!

350 VAC that'll make you hurt yourself!
 
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gewecke

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My old regency romper had 275volts to the plate! :(
What a shocker, if you're not careful...

73,
n9zas
 
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