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  #931  
Old 18-10-22, 00:47
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is online now
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There must be an easier way. The factory would have been pumping these out by the hundreds and wouldn't have fought as you are fighting. What was their secret? Any chance they were screened on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
I have completed a round of stencil tests with the brushes I recently purchased. I did not try the 3/4-inch brush as it was far too large for the size of stencil I am using.

The first attempt was the letter 'N' lower centre in the photo with the 1/2-inch brush. Way too much bleed under the stencil on its own so I stopped with the one letter. the next attempt was the test block to the right side with the 3/8-inch brush and the plain stencil. Cleaner, but still way too much paint bleed under the stencil. Both of these tests were done with multiple thin coats build up with the brush.

The last test was the block to the left. For this, I secured the stencil to the test folder with a coat of Rubber cement, pressed the stencil down with a pencil eraser to ensure the stencil was as flat as possible and I let the rubber cement dry for 20 minutes at room temperature. I then rubbed the excess cement off the top of the stencil with my finger and used a round toothpick to clean up any excess cement inside each stencil segment. Then out came the 3/8-inch stencil brush again and multiple coats were build up until the majority of the folder colour vanished.

A very slight bit of paint wicking took place, but overall, I am very pleased with this result and kit will be the process I use with the tool box stencil.

David
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  #932  
Old 18-10-22, 17:26
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hello Bruce.

When I was in Junior High School, the Father of one of my friends was an Illustrator who owned a sign shop. He had a lot of silk screen equipment in their basement, and I wish I had paid closer attention to it all at the time.

I do remember the screens were a two part item consisting of the thin fabric screen and a mask bonded to one side somehow. You cut the design through the mask and peeled away the bits you wanted the paint to pass through. The huge advantage of this printing technique is the design and any characters therein can be solid and continuous. By comparison, a stencil requires webs in the characters to hold them together. It would absolutely be possible to cut a silk screen mask that looked exactly like a stencil, but why?

Screening was definitely used with wireless equipment during the war. You can see it on any 19-Set Spare Parts Box, or Spare Valve Box, and if it is minty enough, you can often see the fabric shadow in the white paint under a low angle light.

Looking on the web today, there are a few commercial, line production stencilling machines available, but most seem geared to working with electronic circuit boards and other small, thin items of that nature. It is entirely possible these modern, compact machines evolved from much larger equipment from decades ago. We may never know.

Regarding the various boxes/cases for the 52-Set, I have photos of two different tool boxes with original markings, one in Canada and the other in England. The stencil markings on both are spot on identical in both form and location on the two boxes. I also have on hand, two Spare Parts Boxes and again, the stencil marking shadows are spot on identical in form and location.

In the pre-computer era, Sign Painters and Illustrators, were highly skilled positions and there was probably a lot of cross reference to other closely related skills like screening, stencil making and even engraving…all hand done. These physical skills are largely lost today. The station on the line for stencilling these boxes/cases was probably occupied by a lot more than just one person to keep production numbers up as you have noted. It would not surprise me at all if each work table was set up with jig options to hold the various cases/boxes in a specific spot, and perhaps even some form of mechanical arm which could swing the stencil down to the same spot for each type of case/box being worked on.

The viscosity of the paint is also critical. Too thin and it will wick under the stencils in a heartbeat. Too thick and it becomes hard to apply and you risk it drying out. Just right, and a skilled worker, and away you go!

Sorry for the length of this reply, Bruce. It amazes me what the older generations were able to accomplish with pure mind power and great hand/eye coordination and as much as I would love to know how they accomplished things like applying these markings, an answer may never be found. In the meantime, I shall muddle along and try and honour their collective skills as best I can. That probably means I end up drinking more than any of these workers ever did, but that is not a complaint…

David
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  #933  
Old 19-10-22, 00:26
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Watch the glue.....

.....works good BUT will leave permanent mark on flat OD paint like truck doors. A stencil cut on 15mil acetate held in place with magnetic strips works well with very thick stencil paint and foam dabber.

Flat OD paint will mark very easily and cannot be repaired short of repainting the whole door skin... trying to re-spray patch always mess things up and stencil paint has to be re sanded to bare primer.

Cheers
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  #934  
Old 24-10-22, 00:38
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default BOXES, Tool, No. 1 WS Cdn. 52. ZA/CAN 4727

Bob raised a couple of interesting points last week regarding the use of stencils and to be on the safe side, I decided to double check both factors before proceeding further with work on the tool box.

The first potential problem was the use of rubber cement on flat paint, or even semi flat paints.

Years ago I restored a pair of M38 CDN’s and painted them both the original semigloss factory green. I was lucky at the time a company called Rondex here in Winnipeg, still had the original paint sample catalogs for Dulux paints and it covered all the Canadian Military Vehicle colours from the factory new M-Series back to 1944-45. When it came time to apply the CFR Numbers I used stencils mounted to the vehicle with rubber cement with no problem at all, but the paint in question was an enamel semi-gloss. Today, the term ‘semi-gloss’ seems to have disappeared from paint terminology, being replaced with names like ‘Eggshell’ or ‘Satin’, and most paints today are latex or other water-based variations.

So my first test last week was to coat a small piece of oil board with rubber cement and stick it to the bottom of the tool box, wait five minutes, peel it off, let the cement dry completely and rub it off to see what happens. As per the first three photos, the solvents for the rubber cement did not alter the finish on the satin latex paint at all. Good to know.

The second point Bob mentioned was the use of those small foam paint brushes to apply the stencil paint. Debbie happened to have quite a selection of these in her crafting supplies so I borrowed one of the small, black rectangular ones with the chisel tip to test it out.

The last photo shows the results of this test in the lower left corner after the stencil had been glued down with rubber cement and the excess cement cleaned off prior to painting. Directly above that test is the sample done with the 3/8-inch stencil brush on the same glued down oil board and off to the right the same brush on an unsecured oil board. After looking at the results for a bit, my quality ranking would be the top left result with the small stencil brush is best, followed pretty closely by the foam brush below it and a distant last place is the unsecured stencil and small brush to the right side.

I think the problem with the foam brush test is more a factor of the small size of the stencil cutouts, rather than the foam brush. With the narrow openings of the characters, too much of the foam is on top of the stencil and the foam has difficulty getting in close to the edges. As a result, the sections of some of the characters have varying widths to them. With the small stencil brush, some of the bristles clearly hit the face of the stencil, but not enough that they still flex and allow the other bristles to reach down inside the cut-outs and fill it more evenly with paint.

I think with larger sized stencils, a foam brush could easily hold its own with a bristle brush for stencil work.

So with that out of the way, and thanks again Bob for raising these points, the next step will be to apply the required stencil to the tool box.


David
Attached Thumbnails
Stencil Test 1.JPG   Stencil Test 2.JPG   Stencil Test 3.JPG   Stencil Test 4.JPG  
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  #935  
Old 24-10-22, 21:33
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default BOXES, Tool, No. 1 Cdn No. 52 ZA/CAN 4727

I applied the stencil to the tool box this morning and I personally think it is the worst bit of restoration work I have ever done!

The tool box was on its back on a thick towel on the bench and I applied a good amount of rubber cement to the stencil before correctly aligning it down on the front of the box. I then placed a heavy steel plate weight over the top and let it sit for half an hour at room temperature.

After removing the weight and carefully rubbing away all the rubber cement that had to go, to get a clean working surface, I started the slow stencil brushing process with the 3/8-inch stencil brush. I even held down suspected problem areas on a few characters with the head of a 4-inch common nail to be on the safe side and made sure the paint was built up of several thin layers, rather than one or two heavier coats.

After half an hour for the paint on the stencil to dry to the touch I carefully removed the stencil and cleaned it up. An hour pater I carefully rubbed off any dried excess rubber cement. Of 51 characters on the stencil, 20 require touch up work, and of those, six need it badly. I will worry about that next weekend to let the white stencil paint fully cure.

On the bright side, I have an entire winter looming ahead with lots of free indoor time available to tidy this up. I still have a package of large pink rubber pencil erasers left over from restoring the damaged original decals on the 52-Set Sender panel. They should work just as well for this task, along with the same set of ultra fine tip paint brushes.

I also took some time this morning to have a much closer look at the original stencil on my 4-Section Aerial Reel. There is not a trace of a brush mark anywhere on any of the letters, or any form of screening for that matter. What I did see, however, was an ever so slight ‘ghosting’ of paint along the bottom edges of the lower two lines of the stencil.

Bruce raised a good point the other day regarding the Stencil Station on the Production Line. They would be getting a lot of items through that station daily and it would be a bottleneck in no time working stencils by hand with any sized stencil brush, regardless of staff compliment. Canadian Marconi could certainly have used air guns at this station, but that seems like overkill. Air guns in paint work are at their best for large volumes of paint over large areas quickly and pack a fair bit of air pressure behind them. They would be wasting a lot of paint using them for stencils. Stencils are much more detail oriented. I don’t know why it never crossed my mind earlier, but perhaps this station on the line was using Air Brushes. Air brushing was a very common function in the photographic sector prior to the computer age and that spun into all sorts of publication work. Air brushes were also common for a lot of detailing in paint shops in many sectors. The Cabinetry Division at CMC probably had them on hand for fancy detail work and they operate well at pressures far lower than what is needed for a common air gun. With an air brush at a stencil station, an operator could easily master holding the stencil in a jig by hand and work an air brush at the right distance and correct paint load to get little or no under spray behind the stencils, and with that equipment you would have much greater throughput for the line.

Maybe I will dust off my Air Brush and try it out when I get to working on the Spare Parts Boxes and see how it works. Assuming senility does not take hold in the meantime.


David
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WS No. 52 Cdn. Box, Tools AZ5.JPG  
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  #936  
Old 27-10-22, 03:20
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Puff puff......

Hi David

I would have concerns using any kind of air brush as it might lift the stencil ever so much.....

The stencils I have seen that were used repeatedly were made of cut out brass sheets and very rigid....... and they used a roller ( in Black) and the dabbing brush was a well worn caked short hair thing that had turned into a felt like glob of semi dried paint....... worked well on wooden crates going up North.

Crates had the lettering over painted white and reused.......

This was done in a wharehouse and in some cases the trucks were idling at the dock to be loaded.....

Your tool box is really well done........ not sure they would have been all done so neatly in a shipping department........ reminds me of all the highly visible spot welds done on CMP bodies..... if it was solid it got shipped.

Love to follow all your hard work!!!!

Cheers
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  #937  
Old 27-10-22, 05:46
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Jordan Baker Jordan Baker is offline
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See the following link for a few period photos of how markings could be applied.

http://www.questmasters.us/Restoration_Supplies.html

The 4 sections aerials reel looks to have been sprayed.

There is also what’s called rocker mount stamps. Once the stamp is made, the application goes very fast.
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  #938  
Old 28-10-22, 12:24
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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David,

Nicely done and thanks for sharing your experiences here!

I guess if you have trouble with the cardboard lifting from the surface due to the moisture from the paint or air flow from the paint gun...you could try thin plastic sheet or sticker material in stead. I presume the stencil should not have any trouble cutting this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Carriere View Post
Hi David
The stencils I have seen that were used repeatedly were made of cut out brass sheets and very rigid.......
I have a set of those....it has individual letters in brass with a small ridge along the edges, that allows you to, sort of, link multiple letters into words. Presemably mine are post-war Dutch or German army.


The website that Jordan posted gives some nice pictures of the different applying methods used in period.....and also shows why lettering on original items is not always properly centred, straight ....and sometimes with paint smudges. Something we try to avoid as restorers!
What I do always find annoying with these stencil suppliers is that they seem to spend no energy at all at getting the font right! This website even shows a comparison of first aid boxes and it clearly shows the text is the same, but the font is wrong.

If you are using pre-made original stencils, or a stencil machine like David is using, you'll find that the width of gaps in the material is usually equal, I mean the font is specifically designed for stencilling, avoiding narrow grooves where paint can't properly run through. Some of these custom stencil suppliers however use computer fonts which are designed for book print or even web-use, designed along different guidelines, for instance to make them easier to read. As most of these suppliers will sell you stencils cut in sticker material, which seems to work very good for applying markings on vehicles by the way......why not use the proper font in stead? The cutting plotter wouldn't mind!
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  #939  
Old 28-10-22, 18:58
Bruce MacMillan Bruce MacMillan is offline
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I have a 1/2" set of brass stencils which work well. They don't tear or warp.
They are available in other sizes and I've seen some on the auction place.
I used an airbrush and stencils cleaned up with spirits (using enamel).
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  #940  
Old 30-10-22, 19:09
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default BOXES, Tool, No. 1 Cdn No. 52 ZA/CAN 4727

After starting at the tool box for a few days, I decided to focus on the half dozen or so really bad characters for some careful touch up work and leave the rest as they ended up.

With that all done, I now feel a lot better about the over all look of this stencil. I think the biggest improvement is in the second line “ZA Number” where all the zeros are finally consistent in appearance. The same for the letters D, W, S and B.

As far as markings on this box go now, the only thing left to sort out is the size of the C-Broad Arrow Stamp on the right side of the lid from a surviving example in a photograph of a 52-Set wooden case and the one on my Aerial Reel, the colour of choice seems to have been black. The reel shows a 1/4-inch stamp but the wooden case could either be 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch. Time will tell I guess.

Thanks for all the posts on wartime military markings. Clearly quite a variety of methods were used. It boggles the mind really!


David
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  #941  
Old 14-11-22, 21:59
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default Curtain/Covers Waterproof

General Motors of Canada was struggling to get the newly developed C15TA Armoured Truck delivered to the Canadian Army about the same time as Canadian Marconi was working on initial deliveries of the Wireless Set No. 52. There was no hope of getting an Installation Kit developed for the 52-Set into the C15TA, which was replacing the White Scout Car FFW, so the Canadian Army developed a set of Field Installation Instructions for fitting pairs of the 52-Set and the 19-Set HP into the C15TA from metal stocks available in workshops overseas. These instructions were developed early on in the 52-Set production run and it was surprising to notice that the Lift the Dot fasteners used across the top of the Curtains, Waterproof on the 52-Set were nickel plated, not Matt Black as I suspected they would be.

The first photo today shows these nickel plated fasteners clearly on the right half of the curtain, the one dead centre below the Coil, Aerial Tuning in particular. Somewhere, I have another photo showing quite a bit of reflection off all five of these fasteners but cannot find it at the moment. The price I pay for having several thousand photos scattered across three computers, two large memory sticks, a digital camera and two camera memory cards. Consolidation is ongoing but nowhere near complete.

In any event, the nickel plated hardware did not make much sense, and I wondered if the name change in production from Curtain, Waterproof to Covers, Waterproof might have been done when CMC realized the mistake in hardware and switched production to Matt black. I got in touch with known 52-Set owners in Canada to see if they had these canvas items and asked for photos of the front markings and hardware to see what might turn up. Only three survivors so far, all the early marked ‘Curtain’ issue. Two down in Southern Ontario both have nickel plated fasteners. What was really interesting, however, was a third original curtain showed up in Alberta with Matt Black fasteners. So it may turn out that if any Covers have survived, they should all be equipped with Matt black fasteners.

I will let you know what turns up.



David
Attached Thumbnails
Curtains, Waterproof - C15TA.jpg   Curtain Waterproof CB2.jpg   Curtain Waterproof CB3.jpg   CURTAINS, Waterproof ZA:C00075 1.jpg   CURTAINS, Waterproof ZA:C00075 2.jpg  

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  #942  
Old 14-11-22, 22:01
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default Curtain/Covers Waterproof

And the Matt black version.

David
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  #943  
Old 18-11-22, 15:15
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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It could prove to be an interesting four days coming up.

I was giving the 52-Set a routine workup two nights ago, running the receiver for about 20 minutes with the Sender Heaters active. Then switched on the Netting to run the 300 Volt Dyno for 3 or four minutes. I then switch Netting off and switch the set from Reeceive to Send. This turns the 300 Volt Dyno back on with the 1200 Volt Dyno. I normally let this pairing run a couple of minutes and power fully off. Done this several times a week for nearly three months.

This time...not 5 seconds from switching to Send, I could smell burnt varnish/wax coming from the Sender Blower Door so switched off immediately. So this weekend the Sender comes out of the Carriers No. 4 again for a close inspection.

David
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  #944  
Old 20-11-22, 04:39
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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With an even mix of curiosity and trepidation, I decided on a simple test of the 52-Set this evening.

I warmed up the Receiver and Sender Heater circuits for nine minutes, took a deep breath and switched on the Netting circuit for the Sender. This activates only the MG1A (300 Volt Dynamotor).

A constant sniffing of the air at the Sender Blower Door showed no sign of a smoke smell and a nice subtle ozone smell from the Supply Unit Blower was evident. After two minutes running, all was still well.

This at least tells me the problem is somewhere in the 1200 Volt circuits of the Sender.

Every little bit of information helps.

David
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  #945  
Old 21-11-22, 05:49
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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I pulled the Sender out of the Carriers No. 4 this afternoon and got it on the bench. 20 minutes later, after a careful visual examination, I could see, or smell, no trace anywhere of recent overheating.

Next step will be removal of all the valves and a complete redo of the three resistance tests for the Sender using the same VTVM I did the original tests with earlier this year. This was something I had planned to do anyway after carefully cycling the 300 and 1200 Volt power feeds from the Supply Unit though the Sender over a period of time.

There were a cluster of unusually high resistance readings in the first tests I am curious to see any possible changes in. Also, I may now find an earlier, normal resistance value that has suddenly gone south, which might point to the potential new problem. It will take a few days to complete, since access to a few of the test points required temporary unfastening and moving of some components.

David
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  #946  
Old 29-11-22, 01:37
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default Curtain/Covers Waterproof

A rather nice parcel arrived in the mail today from Alberta.

This particular Curtain, Waterproof is a replica, made over 20 years ago by an Edmonton tentmaker, copied from a borrowed, surviving original at that time. They could not get a perfect match to the original colour of green canvas from available stocks and the weight is slightly lighter than the original as well. What I liked, however, is they matched to the nickel plated hardware on the original.

I do not know where the original Curtain, Waterproof came from, or ever ended up, but at least we know it was still surviving a while ago.

While installing it to warm up and hang, I discovered the rightmost Lift The Dot post riveted to the top of my Carriers No. 4 has been bend slightly to the right. Surprisingly, the post itself seems to be OK. The bend had taken place in the upper sheet steel of the Carriers No. 4. With a little TLC down the road, I might be able to dolly the sheet metal back level. Added to the ‘To Do’ List in any event.


David
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Curtains, Waterproof DD1.JPG   Curtains, Waterproof DD2.JPG  
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  #947  
Old 03-12-22, 17:25
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default Curtain/Covers Waterproof

Thought I had better show a photo of the Curtain, Waterproof rolled up in the stored position on top of the Carriers No. 4, while I have the Sender out for testing. Notice how it forms a smooth, cylindrical tube when fastened down.

Anyone with an original Curtain, Waterproof can probably confirm this, but the smooth look of this curtain in the stowed position is very likely due to the fact it is a replica made from a bolt of canvas that has not been treated with the usual paraffin and wax solution to actually waterproof it. You will notice in the first photo of my previous post, when in the deployed position, the weight of the steel bar in the bottom edge also holds the canvas in a smooth tight sheet.

I noticed these effects last evening and checked the waterproof covers on my Mk II 19-Set and Variometer and my Mk III mounted on the Carriers No. 23. All three of these canvas items are very stiff, you can still smell the waterproofing when they get warm and they only ever really 'relax' when they get warm.

I don't think I will ever bother to apply any traditional waterproofing to this replica, but I might give it a spray of silica boot waterproofing, just to validate the name of the curtain, if nothing else.


David
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  #948  
Old 06-12-22, 18:38
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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The 3rd set of resistance tests for the Sender were completed yesterday and overall, the results were very consistent with the two sets of tests run last Spring.

Of none electrical note, the rust on my VTVM Testing Procedures is now shedding in huge chunks. Most of the red flag readings I took earlier that were ‘Infinity’ in nature produced excessively high, but real values this time around. This was primarily due to me focusing on taking advantage of the different testing ranges on the meter to see if and where I might actually get a useful reading. It is amazing what one can forget when being an infrequent user of helpful equipment.

The majority of the good readings were either identical to the earlier ones, or +/- very, very close, so that was nice to see as well. The red flags are all clustered in the same circuits as earlier and the other big plus was nothing new showed up that might have been related to the overheating event that happened a few weeks back, so I have inflicted no new damage…so far.

The dark side of all this, however, is my next step in the process. I now have to go back to the Sender Circuit Diagram and methodically trace out each red flag circuit to identify all the related components. There are likely a few resistors that have dropped off in value, but most of the problems are probably going to be with the PIO Capacitors that have transformed themselves into resistors. The problem now though is the 52-Set Circuit Diagram for the Sender is very compact for easy reading/tracing. One sooner or later has to resort to using a magnifying glass, or lamp, which narrows down your field of view, compounding the problem. A whole different experience from working with 19-Set diagrams.

The challenges don’t stop there either. Once I have identified all the components that need further investigation, I have to find them on the chassis and test each. The ones tied to valve socket terminals are the easy ones. It is the remote ones tied to a terminal panel, tucked behind another component, six inches away that create the nightmares.

Good thing it is a long Winter in these parts.


David
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