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Old 12-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #1
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Rockers switches on either side of 8 track & stereo

This is on a new-to-me '71 Sovereign. I just got 12V functioning today after installing a new converter. I'm getting nothing from the radio and just a little static from the 8 track. The rockers seem to have no effect on anything that I can tell. Anybody know what are they for?

Thanks
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:46 PM   #2
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Are there any labels on the rocker switches? Unless you have an 8-track tape installed they probably won't do anything. Usually, there is a switch to let you select track 1-4. On the one that came out of my '72-Duster you just push in the volume knob and it changes the track.

Got a model number or picture?
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:23 PM   #3
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Let me see if this works. It's my first time posting on this forum.

You can just make out the rockers. Left of the 8 track and right of the stereo. The same black rockers as the Control Center.

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Old 12-27-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
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Since I'm only getting a little static from the 8 track and nothing from the stereo or Central Control, I may have the blue wire hooked up wrong (72 service manual says this is where the blue wire goes to.

Someone posted a schematic and showed the blue wire going to one of the three + on the new FB9 fuse panel. Maybe it is supposed to be wired to a fuse? I'll have to check with Randy at Bestconverters.

I posted a picture but I think because I'm new the mods need to approve it before its posted.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:06 PM   #5
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I don't see any toggle on the control panel (upper pic) that would relate to the radio/8-track units. They should be hot-wired to run anytime off of their own on-off switches (unless some PO changed it around).

PS - those rockers have to do with the trailer systems as marked above each.

First try the radio & make sure it's got power & the antenna is hooked up with a solid wire to pull in some stations. Then try FM 99.9 &/or 101.1 for some period correct Oldies (although 101 K-Earth no longer plays strictly 50's-60's-70's Oldies anymore ).

Next, clean those ancient 8-track heads with a long Q-tip & Alcohol &/or a head-cleaning-8-track, then try a known playable 8-track in the player. Either the L or R dial/button on it should change tracks when you depress it & the 4 rectangular lights atop the cassette door will show the active track. Cosmetically it's different than the Motorola made VW one in my `73 Porsche 914-2.0, but I'll bet they work the same way, & it's the R dial/button on mine to change tracks. The 8-track pick-up heads, drive bands/gears, transistors, etc. could be bad too - so see rebuilders below if it still won't play a known playable one.

If the radio works but not the 8-track, then you can also try to temp wire the 8-track's power & speakers to the radio to see if it's working otherwise in the wiring.

If still not working, then....

That wiring could've been jacked around over the years, so start with an Airstream wiring diagram specific to your model/year first & check everything is done according to that.

If it still isn't working, then you may need to play the multi-meter test-n-guess game to track down what powers what now!

If the wiring is up-n-running otherwise, then....

It also could be the radio & 8-Track units themselves, & there are places out there to restore them - just look in classic car magazines like Hemmings Classic Car or others, etc. for advertisers, & some come up when you google for classic or vintage radio repairs & restorations. You'll then need to pull both units & send them out to be repaired/rebuilt/refreshed/etc., the reinstall.

You can also find 8-track Cassette converters &/or classic radio plug-in converters out there which allow you to plug in & play modern devices, bluetooth, etc. thru the vintage radio.

Woody's Custom Shop in Costa Mesa, CA is one I know about, which sells both adapters for your vintage radio & antennas/etc. as well as repro look modern units, with both a shop & also has this evil-bay store online:
woodyscustomshop on eBay

Good Luck & Congratz on saving your vintage 8-track & radio!
Tom
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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That stereo radio and 8-track tape deck look like the ones I had in a 1970 Ford Maverick. I don't remember how to change the track. I don't remember ever using the 8-track player. Maybe the rockers are to switch the stereo on and off, but it seems like they would have an on/off/volume control. Maybe the rockers switches are in place of a car's ignition, but seems like on/off/volume would be good enough.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:04 PM   #7
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You can't really see the rockers in that picture, just a slight shadow of them. There is one to the left of the 8 track and one to the right of the stereo. I took that picture a few weeks ago and my main point of the picture was the Central Control and the vintage 8 track and stereo. I can snap a better picture tomorrow, but like I said, I think I have the circuit wired wrong. I think it should be wired to a fuse and not the + terminal as was mentioned in another thread. There isn't a service manual for a '71 but the '72 is supposed to be a close match. I think I'll move the blue wire to a fused circuit tomorrow and see what I get.

I hooked up a new Boondocker and fuse panel and plugged it into my Honda generator (no power at the RV storage place I'm at). Every circuit worked perfectly except the one for the front fan, the stereo and the Central Control and these are all on the same blue wire. All I got was a little static from the speakers from the 8 track.

This 8 track and stereo have on/off and volume operated from the left knob which is why I can't figure out what these rockers are for.

I don't think the PO messed with anything on this AS. I just changed out the old Univolt IV. It's a complete time capsule. All the appliances are original, even the LP valve by the tanks.

K-Earth 101 now thinks 80's is old. It used to be 60's and early 70's. Geez I'm getting old. Woodys looks great. I'll check them out when I get ready to fix the stereo.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCA View Post
You can't really see the rockers in that picture, just a slight shadow of them. There is one to the left of the 8 track and one to the right of the stereo. I took that picture a few weeks ago and my main point of the picture was the Central Control and the vintage 8 track and stereo. I can snap a better picture tomorrow, but like I said, I think I have the circuit wired wrong. I think it should be wired to a fuse and not the + terminal as was mentioned in another thread. There isn't a service manual for a '71 but the '72 is supposed to be a close match. I think I'll move the blue wire to a fused circuit tomorrow and see what I get.

I hooked up a new Boondocker and fuse panel and plugged it into my Honda generator (no power at the RV storage place I'm at). Every circuit worked perfectly except the one for the front fan, the stereo and the Central Control and these are all on the same blue wire. All I got was a little static from the speakers from the 8 track.

This 8 track and stereo have on/off and volume operated from the left knob which is why I can't figure out what these rockers are for.

I don't think the PO messed with anything on this AS. I just changed out the old Univolt IV. It's a complete time capsule. All the appliances are original, even the LP valve by the tanks.

K-Earth 101 now thinks 80's is old. It used to be 60's and early 70's. Geez I'm getting old. Woodys looks great. I'll check them out when I get ready to fix the stereo.
Yeah, I started listening to Kearth in 1971 & now I turn them off when the gen-Xers go to the 80'S! Kearth used to proudly proclaim on-air "No Disco Here!" - now it's a big part of what they play. I guess they don't realize that the Boomers have spendable cash for stuff other than (or in addition to) viagra, etc.!!!!

Since you `71 AS - anything could've been messed with, hopefully not. A 72 manual/diagram should be close. Also there's a guy in SF Valley on evil-bay who sells old trailers/RVs/etc. manuals on CD, so you can look there (I found a near close match for our 190 Avion thru him).

I can see the rockers now that I know where to look, & if the backside of the panel to which it's all mounted shows them wired to the 8-trak & radio, then they're probably there to cut them off completely to prevent slow vampire drain on the house battery.

If you can dismount the panel with the 8-trak/radio intact & take it home, then you might be able to test it with some temporary wiring to your car, or directly to the house battery (you'll still need an antenna hook-up for the radio - coax I think).

I can also partly read what seems to say track change or something under the right know on the 8-track.

Woody's has the vintage look repro stereos & plug-in adapters for the old school originals plus various other stuff. They don't fix/restore them, but you can get a bunch of shops that do that by googling or in the classic/vintage car magazines.

Vintage Trailer Supply sells a repro AS radio antenna - if that turns out to be the problem.

Good Luck!
Tom
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:39 PM   #9
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Are my arrows pointing to the rocker switches? I can barely see them. If so, it looks like something Airstream added, maybe speaker switches for front / rear or inside / outside control? I'm guessing they're aren't any labels on them.

If the wires from them go into the plug for the radio/8-track I'll be they're for speaker control of some sort. I don't see anything on either unit for speakers, just the balance.

Have you tried an 8-track yet? If the radio isn't working then either it's totally dead or else the antenna wire isn't hooked up. You should be able to see the antenna connection in the back. unplugged?
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:07 PM   #10
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Yep, those are the rockers.

I moved the blue wire to a fused circuit. Still just static from the 8 track. I did put an 8 track in and the orange 1 light came on but nothing played. Switching to 2, 3 and 4 did nothing, not even a light. Chances are this is a belt driven 8 track so I didn't really expect to hear anything.

Still nothing from the radio. Not even a light.

I'm going to remove the radio and 8 track and put something there with an iPod jack. I'll keep these just because.

On another note, i got the credenza tambour door open and I found a personal massager (woo hoo!) and some supplements from November 1971 National Geographic.





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Old 12-29-2014, 06:06 PM   #11
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Or an idler wheel that has become hard with time and slipping- or a broken/loose belt-
Is it really worth fixing it?
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:23 PM   #12
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Or an idler wheel that has become hard with time and slipping- or a broken/loose belt-
Is it really worth fixing it?
That is the real question. The software (8-tracks) hasn't been around for what, 30 years? Why bother fixing the player? Or even the radio? New technology is waaay better. You can get a remote controlled one!

Pull those old pieces out, keeping track of the power and speaker leads, and put in a new CD/MP3 radio. You'll gain some space, and have an up-to-date music centre.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:26 PM   #13
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That's what I'm going to do, I was just hoping I would hear something so I can say that part of the wiring is functioning.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:48 PM   #14
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A regular battery, AA, C, D, even a nine-volt will tell you if you have a speaker and good wiring. just look in your schematic for the colour of the wires going the the speakers, find them. Hold one wire on the + or - of the battery, and tap the other wire on the other battery terminal.

The speaker will click audibly. Repeat for the other channel. Job done!
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:14 PM   #15
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The 43 year old speakers are probably rotten, too. The paper comes and rubber surrounds have most likely "perished".
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:29 PM   #16
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On another note, i got the credenza tambour door open and I found a personal massager (woo hoo!) and some supplements from November 1971 National Geographic.
Looks more like a time capsule than an RV

You need to check out some new hardware, regardless of the wiring, which wouldn't hurt to replace either; probably corroded. Just replace it all and if funding is an issue, get a decent head unit and moderately priced speakers now. You can upgrade later.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:19 PM   #17
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I'm sure the speakers are no good. I'll find something to replace them and a decent head unit. I don't expect great sound, but I do have a 4 channel amp that I'm thinking about using.
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:17 AM   #18
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The radio is worth a quick look. That era has far better tuning on AM for example and Motorola is a very solid brand. It's a keeper IMO.


from the AIRphone
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:21 AM   #19
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Wish I had known there are still folks using 8-tracks. I would have kept all my old tapes.

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Old 12-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #20
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That's what I'm going to do, I was just hoping I would hear something so I can say that part of the wiring is functioning.
Craig - if that's the way you're going to go, then go with Woody's in Costa Mesa, or one of the other vintage looking units sold by the vendors in the classic cars magazines & online - based on what looks right to the OE Mororola. He sells speakers too, but get the antenna from VTS as I said above, so it looks like the OE AS one - but keep the original if it still works, since it's probably better made back then.

Do NOT get rid of the originals though, cuz the vintage trailer crowd values them & they can be restored - even the idler wheel & drive band/belt on the 8-track! Plus they make 8-track cassette looking inserts which then will run the modern stuff off a usb, 3.5mm or other jacks, or else the backside connected ones that Woody's sells.

Slowmover - I also like to have REAL dials for volume & tuning in my cars that I can use without taking my eyes off the road to watch a dang touchscreen, like all the new cars have today. A safety/driver distraction hazard IMHO - aside from the text & other on-screen control distractions!

Perry - saved all of my 8-tracks & still have an old shelf unit under my home office desk that can play them - but I don't, figuring the old magnetic material on the tapes might have ONE play to try to transfer them to a new cassette &/or digital format!

I'll have my original `72-ish VW/Motorola combo AM/FM/8-track refurb'ed & put back into my `73 914-2.0 at the end of the resto, & plan to have something for continuous play at car shows - whether an 8-track, look-alike digital insert, or back of the unit digital add-on! Gotta keep it looking period correct!

Have a Safe & Happy New Year All!
Tom
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