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Power to the speakers problem with a GE 3-5286A


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#1 sunshine_ax

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:17 PM

Hey Boomboxers!

I have this great little box and I've completely cleaned and polished it.  It looks brand new.  The problem is that when I run it on either AC or DC after about 3 minutes of perfect play, the sound starts to fizzle out and then there's nothing.  If I turn it off and let it rest for a few minutes and turn it back on, it runs for about 3 minutes perfectly and then fizzles out to nothing.  This happens wether or not I'm using the tape deck, radio or line-in.  It's so consistent that I've thought that it's a component going out when it gets hot.

Interestingly, the sound meter still registers sound even though there's nothing coming out of the speakers.

What I've done:

 

1.  Cleaned all pots and switches (about 4 times)

2.  I've hit every solder point for capacitors on the power/sound board to be sure that they are solid.
3.  Checked every wire connector to be sure that everything's connected. 

I have no idea if the problem IS with that particular board, but it was a place to start.  I'm not an electronics tech, so beyond that Im lost.

 

Does anyone have any idea what this could be?  I really love this little box and want to keep it alive into the next century!
 



I see that I posted the picture from before I fixed it up.  It was a wreck, but now it looks like new :)

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#2 BassHead

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 03:25 PM

I had a similar problem, when playing cassettes, and the Sound would get muddy and muted very quickly.  I cleaned the record bar very well with Deoxit.  It somehow worked.  I don't know why but it worked.  I read other threads on the forum where people have solved similar issues cleaning the record bar.  It's worth a shot.

 

FYI, I wasn't getting volume issues with Radio...only with cassettes.



#3 Superduper

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 04:07 PM

Clean the following really good if they have them:

1) headphone jack

2) external speaker jacks.

 

If the problem is the amp, then it could be overheating.  If so, you can check/verify by spraying it as it's fizzing out (with freeze spray or lots of compressed air).  If it suddenly comes back, then it's the amp and could need either new heatsink compound or new amps.  However, the headphone jack is a more likely culprit.  



#4 sunshine_ax

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 04:46 PM

Clean the following really good if they have them:

1) headphone jack

2) external speaker jacks.

 

If the problem is the amp, then it could be overheating.  If so, you can check/verify by spraying it as it's fizzing out (with freeze spray or lots of compressed air).  If it suddenly comes back, then it's the amp and could need either new heatsink compound or new amps.  However, the headphone jack is a more likely culprit.  

Thanks SuperDuper.  Just so I have this right, to clean the headphone and external speaker jacks, would you spray deoxit inside them from the outside or would you try to clean it from the inside?  Also, for the spraying of the amp with air or freeze spray (just to be sure of what you do) I should spray the brass amp block that's in the upper right of the attached picture?  Where would you find freeze spray around town?  Walmart?  Auto parts stores?  I have no idea what it's normally used for.

If you were to get a new amp for this, where would you look?

Thank you so much for the help!



I had a similar problem, when playing cassettes, and the Sound would get muddy and muted very quickly.  I cleaned the record bar very well with Deoxit.  It somehow worked.  I don't know why but it worked.  I read other threads on the forum where people have solved similar issues cleaning the record bar.  It's worth a shot.

 

FYI, I wasn't getting volume issues with Radio...only with cassettes.

Thanks BassHead.  I think that your problem isn't what's happening to mine, but could you tell me what the record bar is?  I'm very interested in knowing this solution just in case it happens again.

 

Thanks again!



#5 JVC Floyd

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 04:48 PM

The Record Bar is the mechanism that engages when you press record on the deck it also switches between FM tuner auxiliary so it has a lot to do with the functioning of the boombox.  The easiest way to clear these up is just press play+record at the same time and then stop. Repeat this several times and it works the switch back and forth.



#6 sunshine_ax

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 06:28 PM

The Record Bar is the mechanism that engages when you press record on the deck it also switches between FM tuner auxiliary so it has a lot to do with the functioning of the boombox.  The easiest way to clear these up is just press play+record at the same time and then stop. Repeat this several times and it works the switch back and forth.

Thanks JVC Floyd!  I'll have to try that on another boombox I'm working on.



#7 Superduper

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 07:56 PM

Clean the jacks using whatever method is available to you. If it’s open, you have many options. If they are sealed or Inaccessible from inside, then spray deoxit into hole & work the jack with an appropriate plug.

Freeze spray is available in electronics stores or online. Compressed air spray is available from the same or from computer supply stores. Even Costco sells them. However, compressed air is not as effective as freeze spray for troubleshooting purposes.

You would spray the amp chips, which would be the chips screwed into the aluminum heat sink. The brass thing is the AC transformer. However, again I don’t think the amp is the problem because you have 2 chips, one for each channel and it’s unlikely they both go bad together.

Other components could suffer from overheating issues too such as zener diodes, etc. You may be able to isolate the bad component if sound is restored after you spray it.

BTW, a dirty record bar like others mentioned can also be the problem. It looks like a rectangular bar, usually around 2 to 4” long. There is a plastic spring loaded actuator at one end. Spray deoxit into one end, hopefully so solvent works it’s way down it internally via gravity, then work the plunger vigorously, 20 times or more, depending on how dirty it is.

#8 sunshine_ax

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 09:02 PM

Clean the jacks using whatever method is available to you. If it’s open, you have many options. If they are sealed or Inaccessible from inside, then spray deoxit into hole & work the jack with an appropriate plug.

Freeze spray is available in electronics stores or online. Compressed air spray is available from the same or from computer supply stores. Even Costco sells them. However, compressed air is not as effective as freeze spray for troubleshooting purposes.

You would spray the amp chips, which would be the chips screwed into the aluminum heat sink. The brass thing is the AC transformer. However, again I don’t think the amp is the problem because you have 2 chips, one for each channel and it’s unlikely they both go bad together.

Other components could suffer from overheating issues too such as zener diodes, etc. You may be able to isolate the bad component if sound is restored after you spray it.

BTW, a dirty record bar like others mentioned can also be the problem. It looks like a rectangular bar, usually around 2 to 4” long. There is a plastic spring loaded actuator at one end. Spray deoxit into one end, hopefully so solvent works it’s way down it internally via gravity, then work the plunger vigorously, 20 times or more, depending on how dirty it is.

Thanks for the info.  I'll see what I can do.  I imagine the heat sink is the aluminum three sided rectangular wall that's just to the right of the three black cables.  That's what I thought it was.  And I'm not sure what "the chips that are screwed into it" are, but I'm guessing that the 4 screws (two on each long side) are the chips or are the chips the components inside this heat sink area?  The components inside the ehat sink area are not screwed into the aluminum wall, just so you know.  I'll have to break into that box again and see what I can find.

Sorry for all the questions, but I do want to be sure I'm doing this right.  If there's a chance to fix it, that would be great!

 

Thanks again! 



#9 sunshine_ax

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 09:50 PM

I couldn't fine any spray freeze anywhere in my city, so I ordered it online.  Can't wait to get back to my boxes and work on that old GE.  I hope to figure out this problem.  This boombox is the perfect size and the sound is really good.  For some reason, I really love the built-in strap connector loops.  It's a nice touch.



#10 sunshine_ax

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 03:38 PM

I've swapped out the one capacitor and it now stays on for 10+ minutes.  I'll swap out the other large capacitor on that board and see what happens.  I've got enough capacitors to swap every one on that board and I'll do it if I have to!



#11 lazol

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 08:17 PM

Hello everyone, i'm new in the forum but i lately got the boombox bug and i'm somehow handy working with electronics (i was more into vintage stereo components before).

I know it's a old thread but maybe my experience can help someone else, so i figured i would post.

This problem is due (at least in my case) to a damaged selector switch.

Upon unsoldering it (quite easy task in this boombox actually) i noticed that one of the pins was basically melted down, losing its ability to make proper contact.

Probably this is due to the switch almost constantly set in the same position and the electric current warming it up.

I tried pushing it back but that's impossible: the solution i found was soldering a drop of solder on top of the little metal round plate, to make it sticking up higher so to be able to somehow reach the "original" position and make a good contact when that side of the switch was selected.

Mounted back the switch, resoldered and problem fixed.

I added some pics, the first showing the solution, the others two showing the problem.

 

P.S.: when you open the switch box you will most likely break the little plastic tab that holds it together: i did, but i just crazy glued it back with no problems (it's not really necassary because when you solder it back it's forced to stay in place anyway).

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#12 Fatdog

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 12:15 PM

Welcome aboard, lazol!  That's a pretty good fix.  It would be a prime candidate for the "Makeshift repairs" topic here:  http://boomboxery.co...rs-lets-see-em/



#13 lazol

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 01:50 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome Fatdog!

It would be a prime candidate for the "Makeshift repairs"

Hahaha that's awesome!! I didn't know about that topic!
It would be an honor to be part of such resourceful projects:)
I can get pretty creative when needed, i'll sure remember to post there next time!

#14 Transistorized

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:06 PM

Welcome aboard! Nice to have another makeshift member :-) I love to MacGyver stuff when needed