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Tram D-201 Repair Question

Discussion in 'CB and Export Equipment and Accessories' started by Riverman, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Riverman

    Riverman Member of Sorts

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    In my search for a Golden Eagle Mark III, I came across a beautiful Tram D-201 within driving distance for only $225. It is in absolutely pristine condition inside and out. The mic is a D-104.

    The owner says it was working perfectly when he put in in a closet five years ago, but it now has a loud hum.
    What I want to know is:

    1. Probably Cause
    2. Estimated Repair Cost
    3. $225 sounds like a great price. Is it?



    Thanks!
    Jim
     

  2. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    If it's just a hum, that's going to be power supply filter capacitors. It's an easy fix and does not devalue the radio much at all. If it's clean, buy it and get a few caps changed.
     
  3. Riverman

    Riverman Member of Sorts

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    Any idea of the cost to replace all the caps?
     
  4. Riverman

    Riverman Member of Sorts

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  5. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    The mileage looks pretty low, judging by how faded the color bands are on the resistors that get hot and fade first. This works in your favor.

    The routine issues you'll encounter if you wish to put a 1976 car back on the road have to do with age and mileage both.

    The age issues alone stack up kinda high even when the mileage is low.

    Same goes for a radio, especially tube type. Just cheaper than a car the same age.

    The relay is a moving part, and if the original one still works okay, that's not a miracle, but it's not common, either. Can be had from Barkett Electronics. Not cheap, but still available.

    The hum is no doubt one (unlikely) or more (likely) electrolytic capacitors. They fail from age alone. Replacing them all is the only viable way to make the radio usable again. The one "capacitor kit" seller I trust on Ebay is Klondike Mike. https://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?ssPageName=STRK:MEFSXS:MESOI&_ssn=**klondikemike**&rt=nc

    But he lists only solid-state models. Coming up with your own sack of electrolytic caps will be just part of the job.

    If you replace just the failed electrolytics alone, more of them will fail as the radio is put to use. We call that "electronic whack-a-mole". The caps that have not failed yet will "remember" how old they are after the stress of running the radio is applied to them.

    There is a list of resistors we replace as preventive maintenance. The carbon-composition types that Tram used do not age well. The 1-Watt and 2-Watt parts in this radio tend to run too hot, and this accelerates the tendency to fail. Learned to replace 2-Watt parts with a 5-Watt wirewound, 1-Watt parts with a 2-Watt carbon-film type and a handful of fail-prone one-Watt and half-Watt parts with a 2-Watt part.

    The tube sockets that are mounted to the circuit boards are a chronic failure problem. The spring contacts inside the sockets will lose their spring temper after a few hundred or more heat cycles. A tube that feels "loose" when removed from the socket tells you that socket needs to go.

    A low-mileage radio won't need sockets yet. A squirt with a non-residue cleaner like the CRC-brand "QD" spray cleaner (Auto Zone, Amazon) loosens oxides in the socket's contact surfaces. Working the tube gently around before the stuff evaporates will frequently quiet down a "crunchy" tube socket.

    The plug-in circuit board alongside the big audio tube is called the "BA" board. Nearly every part on that one gets the 'scorched earth' treatment.

    The pins on the main circuit board where it plugs in are prone to cracks in the soldering. Make sure the BA board is plugged in before attempting to resolder those pins under the audio board. Just works better if they get soldered in the same position the plug-in board's sockets skew them. The spring tension in the socket will push the pins slightly sideways. Works best if the solder solidifies in that position.

    The D201 is old enough that the idea of "repair" can't be easily separated from "restore".

    Cheaper than the '76 car. Maybe fewer hours of labor.

    Maybe.

    73
     
    Retro CB Guy and Woody-202 like this.

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