Saba Freiburg WII – restoration from the scratch.

      So here’s the story behind all this. As I always wanted some Freiburg, I didn’t think much when there was auction with Freiburg WII. Apparently seller tried to restore it but as he said he didn’t have time for it, radio was slightly dismantled, nevertheless, not counting rear cover, it seemed complete. Poor Freiburg apparently was covered in rust and dirt and someone sprayed the front with red paint. Here’s the sorry state it was in:

      Many of collectors would probably take some parts and tubes and throw it away, but not me ;)

      The seller did paint silver layer on top of the chassis (but in some places on to the dirt) but nothing more. So I knew – radio has to be completely dismantled and:
      1. remove rust
      2. remove old paint
      3. clean all parts.
      After few pages of drawings and pictures I started to dismantle whole chassis. As it was mentioned here, in this series of Freiburgs it’s relatively easy to remove electronics. So when the chassis was bare, it took a few days to clean it with sandpaper and acetone. As I found out earlier, one kind of silver aluspray very well matches the color of original paint. You can see the results here:

      Of course loudspeakers had to be dismantled too. Luckily I did it many times before, so there was no danger of destroying the membranes. If someone’s interested, I can write more accurate description how to do that. It’s easier to clean the magnet and coil this way, so there’s no scratching sound later.

      Slowly I’m building electronics into the chassis:

      As I started writing this, during cleaning of the tone switch I noticed it looks like this:

      Is there something wrong with it, as this small ball isn’t in place?

      Best regards,
      Hello Piotr,
      it´s impressive how you took the challenge to restore a radio in this sad condition. Very good work indeed! Especially - as no one in our Saba-Forum did it before (?) - the disassembly of the heavily rusted speaker chassis would be of interest to some of us. A few words on this topic would be much appreciated.

      Best regards
      Viele Grüße
      I didn't take many pictures from dismantling of the loudspeakers, but process is quite simple.
      I will try to describe it as best as I can.
      In Saba loudspeakers lower suspension is screwed with two bronze screws - membrane is much easier to remove than in those which have suspention glued.
      So here are the steps:
      1. Unsolder lead wires
      2. removing of felt around the membrane - I usually do this by hand, in some places I have to work with scalpel.
      3. When the edge of membrane is visible, you have to pour some acetone around the rim (not whole circle, few centimeters at the time) and quickly put loudspeaker in plastic bag. The Acetone dissolves the glue and you can raise edge of membrane and also clean remaining fibres of felt.
      4. Slowly you raise membrane around the perimeter, be careful not to use excessive force and not to bend it.

      Then you just unscrew lower suspention and that's it.

      When it comes to putting it all together, you must first center the cone around magnet. I use bands of photographic film cut in ca. 4mm inserted between magnet and a coil.
      Then I glue membrane again with acetone glue - to provide possibility of removing it again.
      Next step is to quickly glue felt bands and leave loudspeaker under something heavy for the night.

      I repaired quite a few loudspeakers this way and they play just fine.

      I hope this description is clear enough, if you have some questions, feel free to ask.

      Best regards
      so after few weeks I finished restoration of this poor Freiburg. I'm just waiting for small transformer (it's being rewound) and the work is done. I also need to make a rear wall, as original one is sadly missing. Here's a couple of pictures:

      It looks almost like an original:

      Now I'm starting collecting parts for its older brother - Saba 212WL:

      For those of you interested - rewinding data for this small transformer:
      Primary - ~2400 windings
      Secondary - 87 windings.
      Size of the wire I'll know, when it returns from the winder.

      Best regards
      Currently I'm waiting for destroyed WIII, but with rear wall and loudspeaker material intact.
      I also inserted rewounded transformer and radio play wonderfully on FM. But there's a problem with AM - it plays only when Taste "Breit" is pressed down. Also magic eye works good only with that button. If none of these buttons is enabled, or when in "Schmal" mode, eye is fully closed, so much that both "wings" are overlapping, never mind the signal. Similar situation is also when TA is pressed down.
      I don't really know what could be the reason, I checked both resistors - 500R and 100R near the switch - they are good.
      Is this some kind of unwanted oscillation?
      Dear Peter,

      For the AM problem: I see some old capacitors with "black" filling. It is coal tar. Try to change these capacitors. The are predestinated for a low dc resistance. My suspicious one: 500pf near U7 and ECH81.

      You should replace all old capacitors to new ones. The performance of your SABA should be much better. And: old capacitors can rise up tube currents what reduces tube life time.

      in the picture all capacitors are original, because at first I had to put it all together then I replaced them. I can't imagine replacing them when all circuitry was bare :) . I never turn on the radio without changing or restoring old capacitors.
      I solved that problem quite some time ago, but to tell you the truth I don't remember now. I think it was some problem in the contacts...