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New Member, new box GE 3-5286 questions


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#1 NEOBLAST

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

Hey guys,

My name is Brian, new member here. First I'd like to thank all you guys for making a great forum to discuss these old boomboxes, a lot of great info here!

If these subjects have been brought up before, my apologies.

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I've just received a GE 3-5286 and while it is in great cosmetic shape there are a couple things that I need help with.
First, the tuner is a bit sketchy, the sound will cut out here and there, sometimes it is just gone, I can see the signal is there from the meters and the "stereo" LED but no sound. When the sound is there it will stay on for a bit then start stuttering, then no sound.

The other thing is the AUX function with my Ipod. It works somewhat, but can only have the volume on the Ipod a little past a quarter way up till it starts cutting out. I'll have the volume on the box up to about 7-8 which I guess is the max for this little box. Again, sometimes the sound isn't there at all.
The cassette plays great.
Would this be a case of needing all the switches, pots, and jacks cleaned?
If I can provide anymore info that will give a clearer picture of what's going on please let me know.

Thanks in advanced!

#2 NEOBLAST

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:04 PM

Some more details, if I put the boombox volume to lets say 3-4 then turn the volume up on the Ipod it will cut out as well. Also when I do it this way the VU meters show the signals when the volume gets loud enough on the Ipod but there is no activity with the Ipod turned down lower and the box turned up to the 7 range.
I know this is a small box so I'm not expecting it to be crazy loud but it's gotta be able to go louder than it is before the sound cuts out.

Again, thanks!

#3 teamstress

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

Cleaning the pots and switches would be a good place to start. A faulty function/power switch could also be the problem.

#4 Lasonic TRC-920

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

Hey Neoblast

:hi:

I have this radio, had it out last night doing to blasting with some friends in fact. Great little radio with some great features.

One of the issues I have found with this radio is the on/off, aux, radio switch.

I had to totally take my switch apart and clean and rebuild it. It's not that hard of a job, easy to get too, but the parts are very small and easily lost.

Basically what happens is the switch runs all the power through it, so when it powers on there is a tiny spark that over 30 years has put a burn mark in the brass contact. All I did was sand it lightly with some very fine sand paper so it could make contact again. It works about 95% of the time correctly, the other 5% I have to wiggle it a little.

You could start by spraying it and all the switches with some contact cleaner like Deoxit

Great radio though, worth the time repairing it. Lost's of features you normally see on bigger radios

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#5 baddboybill

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

Hey Neoblast

:hi:

I have this radio, had it out last night doing to blasting with some friends in fact. Great little radio with some great features.

One of the issues I have found with this radio is the on/off, aux, radio switch.

I had to totally take my switch apart and clean and rebuild it. It's not that hard of a job, easy to get too, but the parts are very small and easily lost.

Basically what happens is the switch runs all the power through it, so when it powers on there is a tiny spark that over 30 years has put a burn mark in the brass contact. All I did was sand it lightly with some very fine sand paper so it could make contact again. It works about 95% of the time correctly, the other 5% I have to wiggle it a little.

You could start by spraying it and all the switches with some contact cleaner like Deoxit

Great radio though, worth the time repairing it. Lost's of features you normally see on bigger radios

http://www.boomboxer...55/imag3111.jpg


Yep think that's my old one Chris as Reli purchased it from me :thumbsup: when I first got it the unit wouldn't even power up. After cleaning power switch I had no issues but its good you got it squared away :-)

#6 NEOBLAST

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:34 PM

Thanks for the welcome!
TRC-920, you're just the man I was hoping would respond with some info (been lurking the past week or so :ninja: ) I seen you had one of these. I'll give it a shot with the switch and an overall deoxit. Looking at one of your posts about this box it looks like everything is accessible just by taking the front off? I was thinking maybe the AUX jacks need a good cleaning, how would I go about that?
Any tips for disassembling?
Sorry for all the newb questions, I'd love to get this box blasting again.

#7 baddboybill

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:05 AM

Thanks for the welcome!
TRC-920, you're just the man I was hoping would respond with some info (been lurking the past week or so :ninja: ) I seen you had one of these. I'll give it a shot with the switch and an overall deoxit. Looking at one of your posts about this box it looks like everything is accessible just by taking the front off? I was thinking maybe the AUX jacks need a good cleaning, how would I go about that?
Any tips for disassembling?
Sorry for all the newb questions, I'd love to get this box blasting again.


Remove two thumb screws on deck door and take off glass then Remove all rear screws. When taking front off be sure to unplug speakers carefully. To clean switches and pots you need to spray small amount right into small holes then work switches and pots back and forth fully 20-30 times. Try not to spray outside of switches because some cleaners have oils in cleaner and will leave residue... Wipe any excess off and Let dry for 10 minutes or so. You should also spray a bit inside long record switch bar and work that as well. Spray power switch/function switch/band switch real good as these usually are the worse with dirt and corrosion.

Deck is somewhat simple to remove as it plugs in and has just a few screws to remove. Rebelting would be great idea while opened up. Cleaning inside of unit from dirt and debris is essential to electronics from overheating. You can pretty much wipe plastic with damp paper and qtips for corners. If you want to do a great job removal of speakers and cleaning dirt from grills and speakers will make it look sharp. Also cleaning chrome caps with Qtips sprayed with glass cleaner works great. Caution because they dent easily. Good luck!!!

#8 Northerner

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:21 AM

yep, what he said!...I was asking these noob questions not that long ago, followed the advice given and have resurrected numerous boxes since...so follow what the wise men say as they know what they're doing :yes: :thumbsup:

welcome to the forum! :-D

#9 NEOBLAST

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the info badboybill! Got it apart now and can see where I need to spray for the pots but not sure on the switches. Do I spray right where the little bearing is?
Also what are the steps to take apart the power/function switch to sand the little brass plate, or should I just try a shot of cleaner for now?

#10 baddboybill

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for the info badboybill! Got it apart now and can see where I need to spray for the pots but not sure on the switches. Do I spray right where the little bearing is?
Also what are the steps to take apart the power/function switch to sand the little brass plate, or should I just try a shot of cleaner for now?


With just starting out just spray inside switch and work the switch. In switches look for small hole to shoot spray in to ;-)

#11 NEOBLAST

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:27 PM

Well took a shot at cleaning all the switches and pots and while I'm getting better sound and some higher volume the radio and Ipod is still cutting out. The tape deck works great though. I guess it's time to take apart that switch?

#12 Cpl-Chronic

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:54 PM

It could be a number of things. If it's the switch, try wiggling it. If it cuts in & out as you wiggle it gently then it probably is the switch. If it cuts in & out randomly & it isn't the switch or connection to your input., then an electronics guy has to sort it out for you. Nice D-Cell audio. I like the shiny old-skool look. :breakdance:

#13 baddboybill

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

Check for cold solder joints in RCA jacks. This is sometimes problem from constantly or harshly plugging jacks in ;-)

#14 agc

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

I have the Realistic SCR-6 AKA of this box, and the exact same problem as the OP....right down to the tape playing perfectly. I gave all the switches and pots the contact cleaner treatment, maybe I need to pay closer attention to that function switch? :hmmm:

The 'burn theory' makes sense as to why the cassette plays perfectly; that is the switch's normal resting position when the box is powered off. Since the contacts of that switch are already in place; there would be no arcing or sparking in there when the deck is started, so it wouldn't wear out like the tuner/aux positions. :hmmm:

#15 agc

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

UPDATE: Fixed mine by spraying the hell out of that switch and working it like a hundred times without the power plugged in (of course). All is working normally; although occasionally the battery meter mode of the meter switch will drop down to 4 lights instead of 5 (on AC power). This could just be due to aging caps or such. But it sounds good and it's one of my most cosmetically perfect boxes!

#16 NEOBLAST

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

Hey agc, where exactly did you spray in the switch? Figure I give it one last try before I take it apart.

#17 agc

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

there are 2 small holes on the top casing of the switch. I shot spray into both the holes AND underneath where the lever actually goes into the switch housing, you can kind of see the bottom row of contacts on the switch from there. I've done this twice now with tremendous improvement the second time around. The sound is now clear without cutting out, but if I put the meter switch on the tuning/battery position; only 4 out of the 5 lights go on (on AC power) The fifth one will come on intermittently. Gonna give one more cleaning.....really don't want to take that switch apart if I don't have too.

Oh yeah, operate the switch like a hundred times after you've sprayed it (with the power disconnected, of course! :-) )