Effect of high heat (fire) on tubes and crystals?

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W7UUU, Nov 20, 2020.

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  1. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Had a ham buddy, Sid Hudson, who suffered a fire in his garage/ham shack.

    His stuff was all Collins radio (Sid, now an SK, was a USAF O6)

    The biggest issue was smoke damage.
    Quite the mess to clean up. I'd worked on the KWM-2 and such since 1972 (decades) , so we pulled the chassis and cleaned, cleaned cleaned. We were able to salvage a lot of the radios, but not all.
    If you have ever tried to clean a radio from a heavy smoker, multiple that by 10X and you'll have an idea of what you face.

    If the crystals, esp the FT243 are not discolored, I'd pop them into a tester to be sure they will light up. Most should be fine. There are 'crystal testers' (kits even) that will test the xytl and give the frequency that it plays on.... Maybe the Insurance johnnies will pop for one (insert laughter here)

    Best of luck on this. You do have a long row to hoe. Wish I was nearby to give you a hand...

  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    SUCH a nice post, Don. I too wish you were nearby! That would be really nice.
    Just gotta take it "one step at a time" I guess.

    I still do NOT know that if I "claim the item lost in the fire" (no way to test) do I A) dump it B) allow the insurance company to "claim it" as lost but paid for, or C) Abandon in place - in which case I can claim the loss but also be allowed to "try to rescue it even though they paid a 10 cents on the dollar settlement"

    Tough stuff....

    Bad times but could be worse

    Could have been a LOT worse

    But THIS thread is about "heat damage to the items in the subject" so let's keep it to that.

    KL7KN likes this.
  3. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Old odd ball FT-243 military crystals are cheap.. so long as the quartz slabs haven't cracked it should be possible to clean and rehome the quartz to cleaner holders. That's assuming the old Bakelite holders are charred and not suitable for for reuse. I guess for the tubes you will have to individually evaluate each one for physical condition...

    I'm a bit surprised your insurance is not doing better by you. Most policies these days cover replacement costs. And, regardless of age, you have expertly restored many of those radios to collectable condition. That is really kicking a man after he is down.
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even if the Crystal is damaged, IF the holder is still good (Bakelite & metal).
    IF the crystal was rectangular ...
    install a crystal blank by W1REX /QRPme that was special ordered at 7.015 MHz
  5. WB9TEN

    WB9TEN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another consideration is smoke damage. Years ago I worked for a company that had suffered a devastating fire. However, the test equipment that survived destruction by flame eventually suffered from corrosion and circuit board contamination from smoke. Consider giving the area around the tub pins a good scrubbing even if the rest of the tube is smoky.

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