Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Zenith H845 Finishing Touches

Now that the Zenith is recapped and aligned, I can put it back in the cabinet and put it to work!

First I need to clean it up a bit.

One of the things I love doing on old radios is cleaning the dials.  Most of them look really neat, and when they're clean they look great.  They have a vibe you just don't get with modern digital dials.

Usually they're glass with silkscreened numbers.  In this case, the dial is plastic, since it's relatively modern (1964).  Either way, you need to be careful cleaning the glass.  Do not use any kind of glass cleaner!  It will remove the numbers from the glass!

I've found that some camera lens cleaner along with lens cleaning paper works very well.  If you consider that camera lenses are something you don't want to scratch, I think you'll agree this is a good idea.

You can use a glass cleaner on the outside where numbers aren't printed, since there's no danger of removing the numbers or lettering.  Even so, I generally clean the outside of the glass the same way I do car windows - hot water and clean lint-free cloths.  Make the water as hot as you can stand.  That way you don't get chemicals on the glass at all.

Speaking of chemicals - I do use Novus plastic polish on the plastic parts.  In this case, that's pretty much the whole front panel.

I've become a convert to Virtuoso cleaner and Virtuoso polish for instrument finishes.  They work wonders.  You can see the grime I got off the top of the cabinet.  Not as bad as some guitars I've worked on, but it's still there.

Putting the chassis back in the cabinet is straightforward.

There's a screw post that supports the dial mechanism frame - top arrow in the picture.  You need to get that aligned.  There's a lockwasher and nut that go on the screw.

Also the two dial lights - the other arrows - have to be seated in their...seats...on the dial glass plastic. 

If these aren't lined up, the chassis won't slide in all the way.

There's also a small square piece of stiff foam that goes under the middle of the chassis to support it.  I didn't know it was there until I heard something sliding around in the cabinet after I took the chassis out.

The support has a dimple on it that lines up with a matching dimple on the bottom of the chassis.  Those clever engineers thought of everything.  It's easy enough to use long tweezers to slide it into place.

Those two pins at the top are part of the AC interlock.  There's a matching socket on the back panel.

Then we put the chassis screws in from the bottom and tighten them up.  There's a pointed lockwasher molded into them - nice touch.  That way you can't lose the washers.

We don't want to forget to solder the antenna leads back on.

You can see the other half of the AC interlock - the box near the top of the picture.  The idea is the consumer can't remove the rear panel and have the radio still plugged into the wall. 

I decided to leave my labels on.  Why the heck not?  It might save someone some time in the future.

I also put a masking tape label on the bottom of the chassis, as well as the can cap, indicating the date they were recapped.

 Screw on the back panel...

...and slide on the knobs.

I may repaint these at some point.  You can see where the chrome plating has worn off over time.

The tuning (outer knob) and the band selector knob slide on the same way.

Here's the finished radio!

It was in nice shape to start with and now it looks great.  Super sensitive and it has tons of bass!

Note the "high fidelity" logo at the top - yes sir!

I bet it would be really amazing with some modern speakers....nah.  I will not mod this radio!   It sounds great as is.

The heritage of this set goes back to the late 1940s.  I have an earlier model - from about 1950 - in the restoration queue.  Zenith made thousands of these sets, and they were extremely popular.  With their great performance, it's easy to understand why.

Here's a real period touch on the dial.

The red arrows indicate the "CD," for "Civil Defense," or "CONELRAD."  These markings at 640 and 1240 kHz on the AM band indicate where you would tune in the event of an emergency.

I have a couple of sets with these markings.  Here's more about CONELRAD.

Here's a shot of the dial in the dark.  Not the prettiest one I have, but it still has that neato 60s feel to it.  I plan to make this one a "daily driver" and listen to my favorite classical music station with it.


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