Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Looking for Radio equipment? Got stuff for sale or trade maybe even giveaway .. . Need help with a project??

Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby GordoGibbo » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:07 pm

Thanks Mike, always appreciate your generous posts that help along newbies like me....
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby scott s. » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:06 pm

That would be a nice idea mike....I know about the ward beck user group....definitely a great resource.

I'll archive the comments here also about the 4370. It will come in handy when I start playing with mine.

I haven't got a response yet from Mccurdy....I used the email address on the website. I don't know how long to expect to wait, but it's not necessarily looking good after 2 days, but who knows. I might have to do the trial and error approach for the 8820...which eats up time, but I eventually get there.

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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:37 pm

Pretty certain they wouldn't be working over the four day long weekend but they've always answered whenever I've emailed them.
From what they were in their heyday, the company now is much smaller and only produces a very limited array of product.
When they downsized the first time in the 80's, CHUM hired several of their people to work in our Engineering departments across the country because most CHUM stations used McCurdy exclusively.
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby GordoGibbo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:28 am

You might try calling the 800 number, Scott, and leaving a message there....
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby scott s. » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:02 pm

I would agree I should give it a bit of time, but the lack of recent info on the website doesn't give me a lot of confidence the company is still in business.

No real rush I suppose, I'll give it some more time, and maybe try calling them when I work evenings in a couple weeks.

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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby scott s. » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:28 pm

Interesting email from Paul Hudson at Mccurdy today....

"We no longer have documentaion for specific consoles but we do have some generic documentation which has information on typical TB wiring. That would likely help. We also have documentation on individual modules. Some of this is pdf but the majority is hard paper which we would scan to pdf. I'll look for SS8820 and let you know in a few days what we have."

So there you go.....give you an idea what they have.....

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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby GordoGibbo » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:00 am

So a box arrives at my door in Ontario yesterday from The Knob Fairy. Inside. not one but TWO mixer knobs for my circa-1968 MuCurdy 8 SS4370 together with a potentiometer I was missing. Both are now installed (but not wired up...you have NOT seen me solder....) and with the exception of two missing toggle key knobs the old girl is looking more complete without the glaring ZIT that is a hole in the console front where a knob is supposed to go. Thus, even if this baby winds up being a bar fridge it looks complete from the outside now and pining to be lit up for the first time in 16 years, and I am determined to do so. In fact I'm hoping to have a tech friend over this weekend sometime to have a good luck at the guts and see where we are at.

Which is a good thing, because she is speaking to me, saying "I may be old-fashioned and out-dated by today's standards, but at one time not too many years ago I mattered. In fact, I was a Cadillac of audio boards and the first choice of hundreds of broadcasters, and it's guys like you that see me sitting in a storage room, forgotten, collecting dust and seemingly obsolete. Yet I have soul and heart left to spare, and in the right hands and with a little TLC I can be reborn to serve yet again. Thank you for saving me from total oblivion....."

Anyway, my knob fairy's name is John Mair, a guy who is remarkably intuitive to all things tech, I am told. Reminds me of a guy I used to work with here in Ontario, who took delivery of a brand-new new solid-state AM Stereo transmitter, studied the schematics, found a design flaw, fixed it, and once he got the thing on the air humming, he called the manufacturer, divulged the flaw, and they promptly changed the design.

Anyway, John, I thank you. You are a really good guy, and I hope to be in a position to thank you in a more meaningful way somehow, someday - even return the favour, although I don't know how. How can I contribute to someone who knows so much, and is so generous?

Don't know. But to John Mair and your accomplice in this skulduggery, I thank you.

'Delores' thanks you, too. She's looking alot better these days with the facelift....and looking forward to a day soon when someone will take her out for a spin. She hasn't been out in 16 years....

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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:55 pm

Soldering is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
You'll need at least a 30-40 watt pencil iron, about ten bucks and some good silver solder.
You can still get good resin core 60/40 even though it's banned in Europe.
There are still lots of fine little electronics stores around that will have just about everything you need.
Best: get an old chassis or some PC boards and practice removing the old components and then re-soldering them.
Heat the leads and pads or connectors, then add solder until it melts and makes a nice shiny bond.
At least all your pot wiring is there.
Just make certain the leads get connected to the proper tabs on the pot.
Is John Mair here in Vancouver?
A John Mair was a long time engineer a CKNW but was let go along with all the other engineers in favour of IT people.
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby GordoGibbo » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:18 pm

I have done some rudimentary soldering in my time, to keep my vintage Scintrex cans together. Had them for years, and I use them in my VO booth as they isolate the room nicely and are completely and totally flat - great for VO. And the nice thing is, you can easily take them apart, unlike alot of stuff today. I have done a number of soldering jobs on them, to the point where I have taken them into the tech lab at CHEX here in Peterborough and gave the techs a good laugh with my handiwork. I'm a legend RE: how NOT to solder in their eyes. There was so much solder on those connections you'd swear you were peering into a hopper from a nickel mine in Sudbury. But the last DIY job I did on them several years ago has held up, oddly enough. If I were to do my owl soldering, I would certainly take your advice, Mike and practise on on old circuit boards. But something tells my I could secure some help at this end, especially with recapping the power supplies I do have.

I even have my own soldering gun!

Yes, I believe Mr. Mair is out west in your neck of the woods, Mike. And he is who you think he is. Check with Radiofan.

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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:13 am

Greetings Everyone,
Good to see the McCurdy is getting the facelift and closer to take-off so to speak. Good luck Gord with it! Yes Mike that is good advice on soldering and practicing on old circuit boards. Once you get the hang of it, soldering is not difficult, does require a certain amount of patience sometimes especially desoldering some stubborn components!! Certainly have taken a lot of components off circuit boards from various types of equipment over the years! After testing some worked well, others were for the dumpster! With older equipment it seems easier than some of the much more sensitive ICs. Surface mount components require specialized tools and soldering carefulness to an extreme. But older tube equipment is much easier. The main thing is not to use too much solder on anything even pot connections, just enough to get the job done and you are right Mike, a shiny look to it is important. Dull looking solder connections usually mean poor connections electrically!

Yes its too bad that good radio engineers are let go by some big corporate stations these days. Some of them have a lot knowledge and experience, definitely not Johnny Come Lately Techies!!!

Anyway interesting reading on this thread, enjoying all of it!!!

73s, Take care, Eldon (Oh on a technical note there was short but intense lightning and thunder storm on Monday night and it knocked the CHEX TV NEWS at 11 PM off with technical difficulties for about 10 minutes. The station transmitter and antenna were working okay but I think some problems downtown Peterborough at the main studios. Apparently some power outages in the Peterborough area from this brief but intense storm, it was cool and damp temperatures too, not that warm)
Bye . . Mr. CFAY "Frequently On The Frequency"
The CFAY Website: http://cfayradio.wordpress.com
CFAY Radio: http://tinyurl.com/l9qqmh
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby scott s. » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:06 pm

Just a quick note to say thanks to Gordo publicly for sharing what he has for the 4370 to me in Pdf's This is a great discovery for me to actually have something to work with and hopefully will save a lot of trial and error in getting it going. I'm not as nervous to hook up a power cable and see if it works as before.

I'm told from the guy I got it from that mine was "new in 72" and were popular out here in the Maritimes:

"Those mono McCurdy boards were used in a lot of stations. CKDH's was new in 1972.
CIHI in Fredericton, CKCL Truro, CKCW in Moncton ( which was left behind for a French AM station to use when they moved to 1000 St.George ). Bruce Clarke, now deceased, was the engineer for the French station when it closed. Even CTV in Moncton had one. And, I think CKDU signed on with one in the 70's."

Makes me wonder how long they were in manufacturing production...probably into the mid 70s.

I myself have a local electronics shop I get components from on a regular basis. comes in Handy, as The Source has virtually no components anymore compared to when they were radio shack, but they do still sell soldering irons. Always good to have one place you can go to when you start to play with this stuff.

Still looking for specifics for the 8820. It's weird, as 3 of the modules seem to be working well, the 4th is questionable. I can hear module hiss, even noise turning up the pots, but will not pass audio on the existing cables left on the terminal strips. I speculate that the 4th power module somehow powers the input portion on the faders. I also suspect the plug in connector in the rack is shot, as it seems very loose whenever I try to plug it in. It's a 24 pin amphenol connector and after some research, found the details on the exact part online. Will order in a replacement in the near future to see if that's the case. Once I get all the power modules working well, that will be the major hump unless another hurdle awaits. Ahhh, the joys of playing with vintage gear, and to think I still have a head of hair...:)

Thanks again for all the input folks.

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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby GordoGibbo » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:17 am

You are most welcome Scott, and I''m pleased the information has been helpful so far. While I continue to familiarize myself with the guts of my board, it's still Greek to me as a non-tech and I'm going to try and enlist as much engineering help as I can at this end to give me a hand with it. There's a few potential 'consultants' reasonably close by provided I beg, plead and grovel, beyond Mike Cleaver flying out here for a week with his trusty soldering gun ;-). It's such a lovely specimen, I would hate like hell to break it.

Still looking for the AT 263A that sits at position A 19, the small transformer that sits at position T 11, and the PS 877 power supply that sits at PS 1, and the PS 878 power supply that sits at position PS 2.

FYI, I found out that the mono McCurdy 10 I trained on (and opped, for a few years as I cut my broadcast teeth) in Lindsay was installed in 1968. According to the schematics these boards were designed in 1967, so the Lindsay install would have been progressive indeed for a small-town station, to have acquired what was deemed at the time 'the Cadillac of Consoles' so soon in the life of the line. My stereo SS4370 eight channel was purchased new by the original owner in the fall of 1973 or the Spring of 1974, but was not commissioned until 1977 as they waited for studios to be built (a university). It was used for 20 years, then decommissioned in 1997. Been in storage ever since, but beyond a few capacitors that look rough and a bit of 'custom wiring' and other buttons that are obviously not stock, it appears to be in pretty decent shape.

Hopefully I can source the parts I need and won't have to resort to a work-around...

Gord
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:02 am

Ex McCurdy guy Hector Card was hired by CHUM in the Engineering department after McCurdy's first downsizing.
He may still be around somewhere unless he's gone home to Newfoundland.
Former CHUM Chief Engineer Bruce Carnegie was still around a few years ago in Ontario working as an engineering consultant and on a contract basis.
Both of these guys know McCurdy stuff inside out as does your BC benefactor John Mair.
There were a lot of those boards out there, both in Canada and the US so there are parts if you can find them.
Ebay used to allow you to post "items wanted" but I don't know if they still do this.
The CJOC board went in in '69, replacing a Gates SA40 tube board from the '40s!
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby GordoGibbo » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:45 am

Thanks, Mike - I'll keep those guys in mind if my local connections don't pan out.....
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Re: Vintage McCurdy broadcast desk

Postby 78rpm » Wed May 01, 2013 6:50 pm

I have an old McCurdy board that you might want for parts.
Contact me at scradio@yahoo.com
support community radio-send all your money now.
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