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RADIO REPAIR GUY
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WHAT DOES IT COST.....(See - Flat Rate Specials)

Possibly, not a lot. I repair and restore as a semi-retirement small income activity. For example, if you have a table radio manufactured between 1940 to 1965 that was for normal AM broadcast reception and you simply want the radio repaired to work and sound correct, the total charges (not including return shipping) will be $65.00* to $130.00. This at a minimum includes new electrolytic capacitors and [at additional cost] a new line cord if required for safety.  (Warning!). See How to have a smooth repair Experience

MINIMUM - MAXIMUM REPAIR COSTS***

Following are some ranges of anticipated repair costs based on different classes of Radios.

1936-1944 console radio - good speaker - good power transformer. $250 - $395 [average $345]

1936-1944 console radio - bad speaker - bad power transformer. $505 - $875 [average $585]

1932-1943 Tombstone or cathedral radio $285 - $525 [average $325]

1940 - 1964 table radio $65 - $375 [average $145]

1948 - 1955 AM/FM console $235 - $775 [average $405]

6-8 tube  [German] Radio          $285.00 to $525.00  [average $375]   

***  High End Costs reflect possible un-anticipated problems that cannot be determined until the radio is on the bench. All ranges could increase due to a  "Hack Charge".

 

DETAILS:

I generally charge for parts and labor. My labor rate is $25.00/hour. Most consumer home radios average around 1-3 hours to do the initial filter capacitor replacement. ( See below - How costs can escalate.) The repair deposit is a minimum of $65.00 for all radios sent to us.

IMPORTANT! Read Minimum Repair Considerations.

Amateur or Ham radios with considerably more complexity can take many more hours to restore. For example, a Hammarlund HQ-180AC  or Hallicrafters SX-42 in very poor condition can require 10-80 hours or more (worst case).

Very early (Old) radios from the 20's and 30's though of simpler design, can be somewhat expensive because of scarce parts availability and the high failure rate because of age.

Radios manufactured in 1939 and older, blur the distinction between repair and restoration. The "repair" of a typical 1940's or 1950's radio requires new Electrolytics, one or two other capacitors, and one or two tubes. A "restoration" of one of these radios would entail replacing all "marginal" capacitors, resistors, and tubes which could run into 300-475 dollars. On very old radios (1939 and older) the line between "repair" and "restoration" converges, in that many of the components may have to be replaced just to make the radio work. See Repair vs Restore.

 

All estimates do not include return shipping charges (see Payment and Return Shipping.)

 



*
The $65.00 figure sometimes applies. Many small Table radios spring to life after simply replacing the filter capacitors. I offer a $65.00 filter capacitor replacement (flat rate) when someone sends a radio in to me for an estimate. If the radio then fires up, you can elect to do further restoration, or have the radio sent back to you. This $65.00 filter capacitor replacement rate applies only to small 5 tube or less table radios.

 

HOW COSTS CAN ESCALATE..

We will accept just about any radio for repair (tube radio). There are some similarities between all radios (usually super-heterodyne circuits, 120VAC, etc.), but drastic differences in the way they are put together and how serviceable they are. What appears to be a "simple" little portable AC/DC radio can be a nightmare to even open up for servicing. And very littlie room to add Electrolytics. Also read about the dreaded Silver Mica problems that can run up costs or make the set un-repairable.

SPECIAL TOOLS  I have had one supposedly simple table radio that took 2 hours to maneuver to the point I could even test it, and required the purchase of $38.00 of special tools to remove the radio from its cabinet.  Another example - I had restored 30+ 500/600 series Zenith trans-oceanics, all of which have a chassis  bolted in with two bolts reachable only through holes in the bottom of the cabinet. Then, I got in a H500. It had one of the standard size bolts replaced with some odd size metric, requiring the purchase of deep socket metric sockets. Very Expensive. That radio would qualify for a HACK CHARGE.

MODIFIED OR INCOMPLETE RADIOS  Many older radios have been "worked on" to the point that they  are not in conformance with the original schematic for that model. It can take many hours to decipher how the radio was "Tinkered" with as opposed to the original manufacturers specification. It can take many hours to decipher the remaining circuit and how that has been modified by someone. This is  true of all radio receivers, small table radios, and particularly true of low end Hallicrafters (S-38X), Hammarlund, National, etc. Could be subject to an additional "Hack Charge" in order to continue with the repair/restore.

NO SCHEMATIC/DOCUMENTATION No schematic. A lot of trade name and off brand radios were manufactured by contract outfits and there is no way to identify the actual manufacturer/model of a particular radio. This makes troubleshooting very time consuming, and in the worse case, we may be unable to fix the radio. Incomplete documentation is particularly bad in restringing dial cords.

DIAL CORD RESTRINGING  Any radio or repair that requires restringing the tuning dial cord, costs $45.00 to restring and in some cases $95.00. If you have never tried to do this then you cannot appreciate how frustrating and time consuming it is. If you think the price is too high - be my guest and do it yourself. Restringing can involve multiple hours and delays due to research [ Many radio documentation sets do not have adequate dial string diagrams.] A radio that has a particularly difficult dial cord setup can in the worst case consume 20-30 hours of actual clock time. We do not bill for this time.

SIZE - NO GUIDE  The size or original cost of a radio does not determine the cost of repair or restoration. I have repaired a large professional amateur receiver weighing 46 lbs, with an original cost of $350.00 in 1960 for the sum of $135.00. I have repaired a small table radio, weighing 4 lbs, with an original cost of $17.00 in 1954 for $255.00. The difference is that the small radio had almost nothing working, had been modified almost beyond recognition, and was missing parts.

Cost Considerations - Old Radios
Minimum Work Done

Cost Ranges Most Radios

 

These types of problems is why the Prepaid Electrolytic Replacement is such a great deal. Even if it takes 2 hours just to get the radio unpacked and in a position to service - the flat rate still applies.

FLAT RATE SPECIALS

Due to prior experience or general familiarity with class or types of radios, we can offer the following flat rate specials (no additional funds other than return shipping) on the following:

RCA 17K - Complete Electronic Restoration - $525.00

All capacitors replaced. All out of tolerance resistors replaced. Tubes tested and replaced with tubes that test "very Good" or better. Dial cord restrung with heavy duty dial cord. All moving parts cleaned and lubed where necessary. All wiring replaced where marginal. Alignment checked. Instructions provided on how to set push buttons for stations in your area. New line cord. In-line fuse installed. Radio will be guaranteed for one year and will perform like new. Installation of a in-rush current limiter to protect the tubes. [Radio can be non-working but must not be "trashed". Water damaged or physically abused "smashed" - not accepted. Speaker must be shipped to us with the radio. New Speaker $195.00. Radios with dead power transformers additional $195.00.]

BENDIX 646 - Complete Electronic Restoration - $295.00

All capacitors replaced. All out of tolerance resistors replaced. Tubes tested and replaced with tubes that test "very Good" or better. Dial cord restrung with heavy duty dial cord. All moving parts cleaned and lubed where necessary. All wiring replaced where marginal. Alignment checked.  New line cord. In-line fuse installed. Radio will be guaranteed for one year and will perform like new.  Installation of a in-rush current limiter to protect the tubes. [[Radio can be non-working but must not be "trashed". Water damaged or physically abused "smashed" - not accepted.  New Speaker additional $85.00. ]

GE MODEL 511 - Complete Electronic Restoration - $190.00

All capacitors replaced. All out of tolerance resistors replaced. Tubes tested and replaced with tubes that test "very Good" or better. Dial cord restrung with heavy duty dial cord. All moving parts cleaned and lubed where necessary. All wiring replaced where marginal. Alignment checked.  New line cord. In-line fuse installed. Radio will be guaranteed for one year and will perform like new. Installation of a in-rush current limiter to protect the tubes. [ [Radio can be non-working but must not be "trashed". Water damaged or physically abused "smashed" - not accepted.  New Speaker additional $85.00. ]

CROSLEY MODELS 11-100U  11-101U 11-102U  11- 103U  11-104U  11-105U
Complete Electronic Restoration - $180.00

All capacitors replaced. All out of tolerance resistors replaced. Tubes tested and replaced with tubes that test "very Good" or better. Dial cord restrung with heavy duty dial cord. All moving parts cleaned and lubed where necessary. All wiring replaced where marginal. Alignment checked.  New line cord.  Radio will be guaranteed for one year and will perform like new.  Installation of a in-rush current limiter to protect the tubes. [[Radio can be non-working but must not be "trashed". Water damaged or physically abused "smashed" - not accepted.  New Speaker additional $135.00. ]

To take advantage of these flat rate specials, please email us at john.obrien@radiorepairguy.net and include at least one photo of the radio.

I HAVE A RADIO - WHAT SHOULD I DO TO GET IT REPAIRED? (Just sends us an email with the radio you have, what you want done, and we respond with how to get it repaired)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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