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OK to try powering up a 38 year old CB?

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wbswetnam

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At the local Goodwill store today I found an old 23 channel Royce CB radio, model 1-658. I bought it for $4.00 and took it home. Externally it is exceptionally clean, only minor scratches and seems to have been very well cared for. That's pretty good considering the manufacture date on the back is June 1976! However, I'm starting to think that the electrolytic capacitors and other electric components inside are so old that it might catch fire the first time I turn it on, or the first time I try to key the mic (I'm an amateur radio operator so I know the importance of proper antenna, low SWR, etc.). Do you think that, considering its age, it might not be a good idea to even attempt powering it up? I'd hate to risk damaging my power supply on a 38 year old, four dollar CB radio.
 

k3cfc

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At the local Goodwill store today I found an old 23 channel Royce CB radio, model 1-658. I bought it for $4.00 and took it home. Externally it is exceptionally clean, only minor scratches and seems to have been very well cared for. That's pretty good considering the manufacture date on the back is June 1976! However, I'm starting to think that the electrolytic capacitors and other electric components inside are so old that it might catch fire the first time I turn it on, or the first time I try to key the mic (I'm an amateur radio operator so I know the importance of proper antenna, low SWR, etc.). Do you think that, considering its age, it might not be a good idea to even attempt powering it up? I'd hate to risk damaging my power supply on a 38 year old, four dollar CB radio.
Bring the voltage up slowly wear safety classes if you have the covers off. exploding caps.
 

jhooten

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Found 1978 dated Midland at a thrift shop. Plugged it in and it worked. But if you are worried put it on a variable voltage power supply and bring the voltage up slowly.
 

Dawn

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Not such a good idea with solid state equipment. That used to be a good strategy bringing up tube equipment with a variac and letting the caps re form. Better to use a power supply with current limiting set to approximately quiescent standby ~200 ma or so and start around 12v and work up to 13.8 if the supply doesn't trip. Chances are if you're going to have a cap blow, it's either going to be at the input of the regulators or main filter caps in an AC supply or at the differential pair or audio IC. If the radio has tantalum caps, all bets are off as they didn't age well. Highly unlikely in japanese consumer products though.
 

wbswetnam

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Eeeehhh I decided not to bother. I'll stick with ham radio it's more fun anyway.... the old Royce was an impulse buy... I abandoned it on top of a picnic table in the city park. I'll let somebody else risk their car electrical system.
 

iamhere300

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Really? Sad to see what Ham Radio has come to.

Put a fuse on it, operate it with a power supply, and fire it up. DO NOT USE A CAR BATTERY unless you are appropiately fused. A car battery can weld stuff together a lot quicker than a small power supply.

As long as you have the fuse, you will be fine. (Where there not questions on the tech test about fusing and amperage?)

Why bother? To learn.
 

Dawn

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" I'm an amateur radio operator so I know the importance of proper antenna, low SWR, etc.). Do you think that, considering its age, it might not be a good idea to even attempt powering it up?"

I never thought I'd live the day to hear a statement like this from a self-confessed amateur radio license holder.

Times have changed.
 

jonwienke

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I abandoned it on top of a picnic table in the city park. I'll let somebody else risk their car electrical system.
So you're wasting a potentially perfectly good radio, and littering to boot. Should I assume your hobbies include peeing on electric fences?
 
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