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D104 good price?

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MAVERICK54
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D104 good price?

Post by MAVERICK54 » Monday, 04 January 2016, 8:45 AM

I have found a Astatic D104 with a tug 8 base at a flea market. They do not know if it works and there is some pitting on the chrome. It is not mint, looks well used but not abused. They are at $55 was just wondering if this was worth the investment. Thanks. P.S. I do not have a base yet but do plan on it in the future.


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Re: D104 good price?

Post by MDYoungblood » Monday, 04 January 2016, 9:33 AM

Look them over really good, all, the screws in the base, battery connector not corrided, cord is in good shape, the usual stuff. Normally the contacts are dirty so cleaning them up is a must. The good thing about fleamarkets are that is an asking price, you could always make an offer, if they've been there a while the person might take it or just walk away.

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Re: D104 good price?

Post by MAVERICK54 » Monday, 04 January 2016, 11:13 AM

it is one of those markets where someone else run the register but they did call them they were at $60 i offered $40 they said lowest was $55.

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Re: D104 good price?

Post by LadyMermaid » Monday, 04 January 2016, 12:05 PM

offer them $20-$30
otherwise get a nice silver eagle on ebay and you have protection just as long as the listing does not say "selling as parts" or "as is"

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Re: D104 good price?

Post by MrBubble » Wednesday, 06 January 2016, 21:13 PM

I wouldn't buy it if the chrome is pitted, as you said. You can clean and paint and rework some components to get most vintage mikes looking great again. But once the chrome is pitted there is not much you can really do to restore it.


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Re: D104 good price?

Post by dgbacb4148 » Wednesday, 06 January 2016, 22:33 PM

LadyMermaid wrote:offer them $20-$30
otherwise get a nice silver eagle on ebay and you have protection just as long as the listing does not say "selling as parts" or "as is"
:bounce: Times two (2), I was just getting ready to basically advise the same suggestion. I was looking on that website the other day and there were probably no less than 25 foe sale, all in a price range of $50. Much better investment from where you've been, plus warranty coverage. JMHO, good luck.
David g. :cheers:
AKA Southwind,Tripple Nickel, DX 555. Base station Uniden Washington Philippines made/ D-104 Tug 9/ Silver Streak 150/ Pyramid Gold Series Variable 26 amp through "Old Reliable Shakespeare Big Stick"... Mobile- Cobra 25, NMO Firestik.

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Re: D104 good price?

Post by MDYoungblood » Thursday, 07 January 2016, 16:55 PM

MAVERICK54 wrote:it is one of those markets where someone else run the register but they did call them they were at $60 i offered $40 they said lowest was $55.
At that price they will be there a while, next time offer them $30, tell them every time you come back the offer goes down. As far as the pitting, that is a preference on looks compared to performance, painting them can clean up a bunch of nasty.

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Re: D104 good price?

Post by pabxone » Thursday, 21 January 2016, 8:22 AM

MDYoungblood wrote: At that price they will be there a while, next time offer them $30, tell them every time you come back the offer goes down.
of

Wise advise there !

95% of used D104's that aren't coming straight out of the hands of another operator will have problems of some sort, so it pays to buy at the right price.

I buy a lot of D104's off an auction site , Normally they will sell from $15 -> $30 for a T-UG8 or T-UG9 in as found condition - I'd ignore the silly asking prices seen at the present time , Prices will settle back to reasonable when everyone realizes that they aren't selling them at these silly asking prices!

D104's do have a lot of faults but fortunately just about all of them are easy to fix - others have mentioned a few of them , I'll just put my slant on a few off the top of the head.

Cord wiring - Very common to be incorrectly wired at the plug or on the tag strip in the base - either due to being wired for a different radio to yours or from someone messing around with it - The wiring info is all over the net but Google "d104 wiring booklet" and you will have an answer.

Switching contacts inside the neck tube - very common for them to be dirty & or mangled up causing No Tx / No Rx or No Audio - Remove the neck tube - clean the contacts with Microscrub or a relay burnishing tool or spray it with CRC contact cleaner - Check the contacts Make & Break correctly and your good to go.

Low / Distorted Audio - Swap the D104 Head with another GOOD D104 Head - It the problem is still there it's most likely the 4.7uf Electrolytic capacitor on the circuit board inside the base is faulty - Unsolder it & replace it - In fact replace every 4.7uf cap in every D104 you see , They will all go faulty at some stage.

If the Low/Distorted audio is fixed by using another D104 head in place of yours it's NOT your lucky day - The MC320 / MC321 elements inside the head do frequently fail with age - Pull the head apart - check the wiring from the plug to the element , Have a look at the Aluminum foil on the front of the element to see if it's been crushed or pin holed - Astatic haven't made replacements for about 15 years , NOS elements turn up sometimes but are super expensive , Seems nobody makes a suitable Crystal or Ceramic element for D104's anymore - You can use a dynamic element out of just about any standard old microphone - they work but do NOT sound the same and the output is lower - You can use an Electret Condenser microphone as a replacement a little conversion work is needed but they sound almost identical if done right - W2ENY does a nice conversion kit for the D104 that sounds good & is a simple fit up - Google "W2ENY" for more info.

Low output / Noisy / Scratchy volume control - Just about all D104's mike gain pots are noisy , most can be repaired - Flood the inside of the mike gain pot with RP7 / WD40 or whatever your favorite spray lube "Mechanic in a Can" is - rotate the pot back and forward about 20 times whilst the pot is still soaking wet with the spray lube - check also the solder tabs that go onto the pot - some have a tang crimp at the end near the carbon of the pot , gently squeeze the crimp back down if it's loose.
Sometimes that doesn't fix it - pull the metal can cover off the pot - check the brass wiper is gently pressing against the carbon horseshoe track , Using a SOFT black lead pencil colour in all the black carbon track (That cleans the track and gives it some graphite as lubrication) However Don't be surprised if the carbon track falls apart due to old age. New pots are almost impossible to find - try hunting down a good second hand one.

Wiring from the Amplifier to the Volume control and the tag strip - Common problems wires broken or in the wrong spot's - If the wiring looks rough and the soldering is rough - look closely and you should see the problem - The D104's left the factory with neat & tidy wiring and soldering.

9 volt battery snap - these corrode and become intermittent or noisy - if it looks bad - best to replace it.

Feedback and squealing on TX - Usually a few K ohm resistor in series with the white mike audio output wire solves the problem - Lou Franklin pretty much wrote the repair manual for that problem on all mikes in his "Big Dummies Guide"

These are the most common problems - there are others like over travel on the key bar to the spring-set causing TX to squeal or cut out and under travel causing intermittent RX problems.

The amplifier circuit board rarely if ever gives any trouble - it's a reliable solid design and at worst it will be a wire or a 4.7uf cap causing the problem on the PCB.

I think everyone should own at least 1 D104 - They are a timeless classic & a functional collectible piece of art !

73
~ Mark

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MAVERICK54
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Re: D104 good price?

Post by MAVERICK54 » Thursday, 21 January 2016, 9:25 AM

Thanks Pabxone, good info for people like me that have used radios for years but just starting to make it a hobby and looking at some of the vintage items. Not knowing what is a good deal, ok deal and bad deal is what i am finding the hard part. I am wanting to learn how to repair some of this stuff myself but not sure where to start to learn. I have recently started looking for antique cast iron cookware and I am enjoying learning about the history and pricing just like radios. Found a cast iron pot made prior to 1915.


(edited by MDY, removed double post)


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