Recently I did a full and complete overhaul on member Mac Daddy Freshness's (Adrian) Helix HX-4700. I acquired a 4700 from member Fresh Produce (Peter) some time ago and have been working on it. Since I have become somewhat familiar with this model, I offered to fix some of the problem's Adrian was having.
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We modded this radio for Bluetooth some time back and Adrian has been rockin' the streets with it and although it can still get the job done, I would put it's condition in the "Daily Driver" category.
Broken off cassette deck A door
Broken spring tab on battery door
Bad deck belts
Broken antenna mounting post
Multiple Broken speaker mount's
Broken case posts
Broken Mic Mixer knob pot
Filthy over all condition inside and out
Lots of loose wires
Horrible vibrations and rattles while playing at volume
As everyone knows, this era of radio, especially the big "Black and Empty" radio's suffer from lack of build quality and overall rigidity. My goal for this rebuild was to overcome as much of that as possible. I know from seeing / hearing and inspecting Peter's NIB Lasonic TRC-935 that these big black radio's were indeed at some point TIGHT and rattle free. But once they are opened up, all that goes out the window.
The goal: GET THAT FACTORY FEEL BACK.
It all starts with a full tear down, assessment and cleaning...
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Removed the transformer and fully scrub the case inside and out.
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Once clean, I pulled the handle apart completely. Of all my complaints I could have regarding this radio, like the discolite, it's right here in the handle. Although the handle of the HX-4700 feels solid and there is little threat of it breaking, it creaks so bad when you lift the radio that it's downright embarrassing. This is something I aim to fix. But it starts with a full cleaning. Dust and dirt in the gaps add to the creaking and loose feel.
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This radio has been opened many times before. Infact when I first worked on it, it was missing screws and had miss matched hardware. Also, the wiring was a rats nest of loose wires all of which add to the overall BUZZINESS of the radio's sound. Having wires loose in the case is never good. Over time you may end up with wires rubbing on metal components and eventually shorting out. When I reinstalled the transformer I took time to zip tie everything in place eliminating the chances of wires rubbing, but mostly to keep them from banging on the case and causing noise during playback.
These wires are for the clock power and antenna connection. I will deal with them later.
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The rear case had the typical paint splatter and grime. It took some elbow grease, isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush to get it all clean. It came out REALLY good!
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Time to pull everything out. I take pictures of where all the plugs go to make sure I know where it all goes when it's time to put it back together.
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With all the electronics out of the front case, it's time to do some serious cleaning. The HX-4700 has many lines and grooves in the front that require cleaning with a toothbrush.
Once cleaned, the front case really started to show what this radio is going to look like.
The alarm system component's on this radio were all broken and loose. The red cover was another source of rattles and the prism inside was broken with parts moving around. All these things add up to what I call "Sound Fuzz".