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Restoring Meter Faces




 
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Author Topic: Restoring Meter Faces  (Read 18918 times)
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WU2D
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CW is just a narrower version of AM


« on: September 22, 2007, 07:27:14 AM »

I wanted to make some authentic looking meter faces for my 1929-era replica transmitter and had a few old Weston and Triplet meters. These meters are not hard to dissasemble.

Carefully remove the meter back (or front) saving the screws and inspect the glass to meter face bond. It should be tight. If so clean the glass inside and out with windex. Do not attempt to clean the meter face itself with anything at this point!

Stablize the glass to the meter case front with a drop or two of cement. Some meters have a retaining ring which can be snugged back up to the glass. Check the calibration screw device.

Now carefully remove the face of the meter being careful not to damage the needle and again - don't lose the screws! Old meters are a good source for parts to modify and save other meters, by the way.

Now wipe the face of the meter with a clean damp cloth using just water - you just want to remove any dust. Windex could take the writing off!

Now electronically scan the meter face at 300 - 600 dpi and save the file. This is your master. Now use a tool like IRFANVIEW or Photoshop to create your meter and set the colors up. Print the new face using a photoprinter. Install the new replacement face and reassemble the meter.

The final meter was done in a yellow cast to make it look older.

Mike WU2D

 


* meterfaceoriginalrotate.jpg (91.24 KB, 989x983 - viewed 1759 times.)

* meter1aero copy.jpg (85.69 KB, 989x983 - viewed 1665 times.)
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W2FAL
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2007, 10:37:04 AM »

Speaking of meter faces...I'm still looking for a Navigator meter (junker is fine) or a hi-res scan of the meter face to do the same thing as Mike did.

Can anyone help?

Frank, W2FAL 
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w5omr
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2007, 11:03:00 AM »

A few years ago, I scanned a meter face, with the intent of reproducing the exact color and then printing out the mspaint edited image, having it laminated and re-attached to the face of the meter.

this is what I came up with, if anyone can use it.  It's the meter out of a mid-50's built modulator.  I'm sure the meter was surplus, back then.

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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 01:59:41 PM »

Did the same with a 180 degree multi color dial scale from a Browning 35 receiver. Someone had rubbed paint or ink all over the original with a cloth. The original master had been done by skilled hand. It was a very long and challenging project. The hardest thing about bringing up the aged color background it that it never looked quite right. Then I realized that the plastic does not shade uniformly 
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Carl

"Okay, gang are you ready to play radio? Are you ready to shuffle off the mortal coil of mediocrity? I am if you are." Shepherd
k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 09:09:25 PM »

I once ruined a 0-3000 volt Jewel meter face from the late 20's.  I had taken the meter apart to repair an intermittent connection to the movement, when I accidentally left a visible fingerprint on the scale.  I have seen what finger grease does to the silver plating on those meter faces before, so I got the brilliant idea of using denatured alcohol on a cotton swab to remove the finger grease.  It removed the grease ok, but also removed the lacquer coating that protected the silver plating.  I didn't notice it right away, but within a few weeks, part of the meter face turned black where the air could get to the bare silver plating.  Luckily, I was able to find another meter face to replace it.

I have always had a real knack for fu####g things up, especially things that are irreplaceable.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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k3zrf
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2007, 02:06:36 PM »

I have a Hickok 6000 tube tester that the meter face is recognizable, but..........

Anybody got a jpeg, gif of one of these?

Nice work, never thought to do it myself.
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dave/zrf
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K9TR
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 07:39:36 AM »

I had to redo the faded red portion of the scale on my 75A-4 S-meter a couple years ago.  I had some difficulty getting the graphic file to print to the required size with photo tools, but eventually found that scanning the original into a bmp format file then doing a pixel by pixel edit with Windows Paint worked fine for cleanup, although it was tedious.  Printing the bmp file directly from Paint on my Deskjet 990 yeilded a scale that was very close to the original size.  I printed on a piece of photo quality matte coated inkjet paper.  Trimming the coated paper with a hobby knife was a pain as it was difficult to avoid stray fibers around the edges.  Glued it to the back of the original scale metal plate, looks great.  YMMV.

Mark K9TR
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k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 11:02:28 AM »

I have found that the scales of meters with painted-on white faces, particularly those made by Weston, can easily be modified.  Employing an unused double-edge razor blade, the original numbers can be scraped off with minimal damage to the white background, if you are extremely careful.  I would sometimes break up brittle carbon steel blades like Gilette Blue-Blades and use the cutting edge of a small piece to scape, without damaging adjacent lettering or graphics I didn't want to remove. Obviously, the white background was painted on first, then the scale was silk screened over the white coat of paint.  I added my own numbing to the dial scale by hand using a pen or pencil, and the result always had a crude homebrew touch because I never could get all the numbers uniform in size or style, or in perfect alignment.

I have seen meter scales on older, 1920's vintage and earlier meters, with an obviously hand-painted dial scale, but the numbers were perfectly lined up, uniform in size and the scrip more elegant than anything you will ever see silk-screened.  I always felt envious of those artists who were capable of doing such an excellent job.

I wish I knew how to silk-screen, because that way it would be possible to make those meter faces look professional and original.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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This message was typed using the DVORAK keyboard layout.
http://www.mwbrooks.com/dvorak
KM1H
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 09:14:04 PM »

Does anyone have a very early HRO S Meter with a good scale to scan? This is for an early 1935 model where the S units only went to 5 (conforming to the R readings in use then) at mid scale and then just the word "plus" for the upper half. A red NC diamond is below that. My diamond has faded to almost invisibility while the black scale markings are near perfect.

Carl
KM1H
National Radio 1963-69
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