Scott World’s Record Super 9

Scott WRS9 auction front view
Scott WRS9 auction inside view
Scott WRS9 D F Moranville plate

     I spotted the above photos in an on-line radio auction on Monday, September 23, 2013. The auction was located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and it was set to close in just four days, on Friday, September 27. The radio was described as a 7-tube battery radio, plated “D F Moranville.”
     The radio looked like it had five IF transformers and two audio transformers, indicating that it actually had nine tubes. My first thought was that it was some version of the Remler superhet. However, there was five IF transformers, somewhat unusual for a Remler, and the tube sockets were mounted on dowels to decrease the length of the grid and the plate connections to the IF transformers (a Scott trademark). I started researching Scott radios and soon discovered that the front panel of the radio in the auction looked very similar to an early Scott. The meter on this radio was a little bit lower on the front panel than other Scott’s that I could find, but I figured that the radio must be some early version of the E. H. Scott World’s Record Super 9! It looked like it had the correct “Thor” coupler, and there was only a couple of extra holes in the base panel (a good sign, indicating few modifications).
     I held my breath for four days until the end of the auction, and was totally blown away to actually win it for $26! I was extremely lucky that no one else recognized what the set really was!

Scott WRS9 top chassis view

     Top chassis view of the newly discovered Scott superhet.

Scott WRS9 rear chassis view

     Rear chassis view of the set. I discovered quickly that the radio only had eight tubes. The item I thought was a second audio transformer actually turned out to be a stack of three bypass capacitors. This set has more large bypass capacitors than any other early superhet I’ve seen (nine). This is a good view showing the tube sockets and the Thor coupler mounted on the dowels.

Scott WRS9 Selectone R-400 IF transformer Scott WRS9 Selectone IF transformer

     The IF transformers in the set are the Scott “Selectone” 400 series units. Starting at the front of the IF chain they include: R-400, R-400, R-410, R-400, R-410.

Scott WRS9 front panel

     The panel is a high quality formica type material with a reddish-brown mottled appearance and it has a beautiful engraving. The panel appears to be a variation of the November, 1925, Scott World’s Record Super 9. The panel  measures 26” by 7” by 3/16”.

Scott WRS9 panel view 1

     This is a close up view of the panel near the two large tuning dials. I suspect that the radio originally had Remler tuning dials because of the small holes above the dials.

Scott WRS9 panel view 2

     This is a close up view of the panel at the upper left rheostat control. The set presently has a Carter rheostat in this position but I suspect that it may have originally had a potentiometer.

Scott WRS9 panel view 3

    This is a close up view of the panel at the upper right rheostat control. This control adjusted the voltage on the tube filaments.

Scott WRS9 panel view 4

     This is a close up view of the panel at the bottom rheostat control. The set presently has a Carter rheostat in this position but in the original configuration it had a speaker jack.

Scott WRS9 basepanel underside

     Photo of the underneath side of the base panel. There are numerous extra holes (mostly countersink) all over the place indicating that the set has had extensive modifications! Discovering all these holes was somewhat disappointing but they do shed light on the actually history of the set.
     The radio probably started out as a November, 1925, version of the World’s Record Super 9. The front panel is the best supporting evidence of this, but some of the holes in the base panel also point in this direction. Four of the holes in the base panel, just below the volume control and the speaker jack (see the chassis top view above), indicate that two Benjamin tube sockets were originally located in that spot. That matches the configuration of the November, 1925, set. The radio was probably modified in the mid-1926 time frame into something else. The Thor coupler and the chain of five IF transformers resemble a World’s Record Super 9 that was introduced in April, 1926.
     Why would someone modify a radio that had recently been fabricated? To keep up with the state-of-the-art! The people that built their own superheterodynes in the mid 1920s demanded the best performance that was available, and they were not afraid to modify a recently fabricated radio to make that happen.
     The 1925 World’s Record Super 9 used four Remler IF transformers in the IF chain. Two of the transformers were the untuned Remler type 600 units and two of the transformers were the tuned Remler type 610 units. Scott installed special Remler tuning capacitors on top of the type 610 transformers to peak their frequencies more accurately. The type and placement of the Remler transformers and their modifications are the secrets as to why the World’s Record Super 9 performed so well.
     Scott was not content with the Remler IF transformers, so he introduced his own Selectone series of IF transformers in 1926. The new Scott transformers looked very similar to the Remler transformers. The operating frequency dropped down to 35 KC (the Remler IF transformers were 45 KC) and the peak frequency was matched very close at the factory. The Type R-410 transformer had its own internal tuning capacitor, which simplified external wiring and guaranteed that the transformer would peak at the correct frequency.
     The owner of this 1925 World’s Record Super 9 upgraded his set from Remler IF transformers to Selectone IF transformers. There is nothing new or abnormal about this. Many 1920s IF transformer manufacturers ran magazine advertisements recommending people to upgrade their old superheterodyne with new and improved IF transformers.

Scott WRS9 Thor oscillator coupler

     This is a close up view of the plug-in Thor oscillator coupler. The fading pattern on the green wire indicates that the chassis spent decades out of a cabinet. I could tell that the cabinet was not original to the chassis shortly after receiving the radio.

     Kent King, noted E. H. Scott radio collector and historian, said that if this radio has a factory 1925 Scott World’s Record Super 9 panel then it is the second of only two known to exist. A “World’s Record Super 9” may be engraved on the panel under the “D. F. Moranville” metal plate. I tried to remove the metal plate and find out, but the plate is glued to the panel and I didn’t want to damage anything by trying to remove it. Regardless, there is no doubt in my mind that this radio has a factory Scott panel.
     Should I attempt to restore this radio? If so, what would I restore it to? Should I restore it to the original 1925 configuration? Or should I restore it to the 1926 configuration? There is nothing really left of the 1925 configuration except for the front panel and the base panel, and perhaps the metal brackets holding the two together. On the other hand, the 1926 configuration does not follow exactly any of the Scott published plans.
     There is a possibility that this radio started out as a World’s Record Super 10. The Scott IF transformers may actually be the original transformers used with the set in 1926. It wouldn’t take much to restore the radio to that configuration; add a couple of Thordarson audio transformers and a couple of tube sockets is about all. Maybe get rid of some of the bypass capacitors. . .

Scott WRS9 Weston voltmeter

Close up view of the panel meter. In the present configuration it only uses one range.

This page was added November 8, 2013

December 13, 2013 update

     The following table records the resistance measurements and the pass band properties of the IF transformers in this radio. The secondary winding of all the transformers were referenced to A-. There were no surprises here because a peak frequency of 35 KC was expected. I suspect that these 400 series IF transformers are some of the earliest transformers that Scott sold.

Type

Peak Freq.

Lower 3 dB

Upper 3 dB

Bandwidth

Relative gain

Pri. ohms

Sec. ohms

#1, R-400

35.8 KC

23.5 KC

55.7 KC

32.2 KC

10.0

34.9

109.6

#2, R-400

35.5 KC

22.3 KC

57.8 KC

35.5 KC

9.4

33.7

110.0

#3, R-410

35.89 KC

34.10 KC

38.01 KC

3.91 KC

8.6

19.8

530

#4, R-400

35.2 KC

22.2 KC

61.4 KC

39.2 KC

10.6

35.1

111.2

#5, R-410

36.95 KC

35.00 KC

39.11 KC

4.11 KC

7.0

19.8

569

     The first transformer had a .0001 mfd capacitor connected across the plate and F- terminals of the transformer. This capacitor was in the circuit when the measurements were made. I don’t think it had much effect at 35 KC. I suspect that the capacitor was installed here to bypass higher frequencies from the IF amplifier.
     The second transformer had a 10 K ohm 2-watt resistor connected across the plate and B terminals of the transformer. When measured like this, the transformer stage showed a low gain and very little change with frequency. The resistor was removed for making the measurements. I have no idea why this resistor was ever installed like this. It was a poor idea and I’ve never seen it before.
     The fifth transformer pass band did not measure very well because the corner tube socket has dirty contacts and I could not get the filament current to its normal .5 amps (for two tubes in parallel). I increased the filament voltage a little bit but the current was still only .46 amps.

August 30, 2015, update:

Restoration of the Worlds Record Super 9

     For a long time I was not going to attempt a restoration on the World’s Record Super 9. For one thing, I didn’t know what to restore it to. I was somewhat certain that the radio had been modified from its original configuration with four IF transformers into a later configuration using five IF transformers. There was nothing remaining of the original audio section, the way Scott had intended it to be. Should I restore the radio  to the original 1925 configuration, or should I restore it to a later 1926 or 1927 configuration? I wanted the radio to resemble more of what E. H. Scott had designed, but I also wanted to keep as much of the current radio intact as possible. In the end I decided to restore the audio section to “blueprint” configuration, but leave the front end and IF sections as-is. One reason for this is because I wanted to retain the five IF transformers as a complete set. The radio ended up being wired about the same as an early Scott World’s Record Super 10.

Scott WRS9 in pieces

     The first step of the restoration process was the complete disassembly of the set. The individual parts were cleaned and a list of missing/needed parts was made. On top of the list for needed parts were two Thordarson 2:1 audio transformers, two Yaxley rheostats and two Yaxley phone jacks, two Remler 4” tuning dials, three Benjamin tube sockets, and I needed to fabricate six spacers to mount the tube sockets on. One of the Remler tuning capacitors had some broken teeth in the gears so a new tuning capacitor was needed also.

Scott WRS9 IF transformers

     After removing the IF transformers it was noticed that each one had the number 590 penciled on the bottom. The five IF transformers were obviously a matched set. There were indications that the numbers had been changed on two of the transformers. I’m wondering if this is some type of serial numbering system.

Scott WRS9 panel repair

     The front panel had several holes that needed to be filled/repaired. I investigated several different ways to repair the holes; hot-melt resin (with different colors available), black epoxy, and precision cut hole plugs. The method I decided on was black epoxy. I don’t know if that was such a good idea now. Shown here is the epoxy method in action. There is a .5” thick piece of glass clamped to the front of the panel. On front surface of the glass is a very fine coating of McLube mold release. The device clamped to the back of the panel was fabricated to put pressure around the hole, yet provide a way to put epoxy in the hole.
     I made practice repairs on several different holes before attempting to repair the Scott panel. It was good to do this because I found several things to try and avoid. For one thing, the epoxy I was using was made for potting, and it would wick or bleed into the tiniest of cracks. If the glass was not clamped very tight to the panel the epoxy would bleed between the glass and the panel. Another thing is that you have to make absolutely certain that the epoxy if fully cured before removing the clamp. In my test runs I would let the epoxy cure for 24 hours, remove the clamp and notice a perfect repair, only to see the repair get an ugly concave look after the epoxy cured more. In the final repairs on the Scott panel I would let the epoxy cure for four days. Even knowing some of the pitfalls does not guarantee success!

Scott WRS9 engraving

     Removal of the “D. F. Moranville” metal plate revealed the World’s Record Super 9 engraving on the panel. Repairing that hole by the “D” in record could prove difficult, so it was saved for the very last repair.

Scott WRS9 engraving after filling holes

     Photo showing the repaired panel. It did not turn out as well as I had hoped. The epoxy bled out a little bit between the glass and the panel on the left hole. It also has a small void. This photo really highlights the repairs as it really does not look too bad when looking at the panel in person.

Scott WRS9 rear chassis view after restoration

     Rear view of the chassis after restoration. The front end (consisting of the oscillator and first detector) and the IF amplifier are essentially the way the D. F. Moranville constructed it. Much of the wiring in this area is the original wiring. Obviously some of the wiring had to change because one rheostat was eliminated, and the conglomeration of paralleled capacitors was eliminated. This set is essentially wired up like an early Scott World’s Record Super 10. This is complete except for the wires going to the main batteries.

Scott Worlds Record Super 10 schematic

     Schematic diagram of the early World’s record Super 10, as copied from the Chicago Evening Post Radio Magazine, for Thursday, October 14, 1926 (courtesy Kent King). My set is wired up slightly different because it does not have the milliamp meter and my set has a 4.5 volt battery for the first detector bias. The grid bias for the oscillator and the first four IF transformers on my set goes to A- instead of a bias battery.
     My set also has a switch that cuts in or out a .0001 mfd capacitor across the primary of the third IF transformer. This schematic does not show the switch and capacitor, but Kent King’s WRS10 had them, and so did mine originally. At least there was a hole in the front panel for the switch. I believe the switch was intended to connect a capacitor across the primary of the transformer and de-tune the transformer slightly, thereby possibly controlling oscillations.

Scott WRS9 front end

     Close up view of the oscillator, first detector, and IF amplifier sections. This part of the radio is much the way that D. F. Moranville made it.

Scott WRS9 audio section

     Close-up view of the second detector and audio amplifier section. The second detector and audio section (four tubes) was restored to the way it was originally intended to be. I did not have to drill any holes at all into the base panel. All the holes were already drilled in perfect order to fit these parts. I got lucky with the two bypass capacitors visible in the upper left of the photo. I believe these were the original capacitors that fit in this exact spot, but D. F. Moranville had them wired in the conglomerate of capacitors near the front end. All bypass caps were re-stuffed Thanks go to Kent King for providing me with detailed photos of his World’s Record Super 10 that helped me reconstruct this set.

Scott WRS9 inside angle view

     Angle view of the chassis inside its new cabinet. My Het-Duo-Gen donated its cabinet for this radio, until a better cabinet can be found.

Scott WRS9 front angle view 1

     Front view of the completed set in its new cabinet.

Scott WRS9 front angle view 2

     Another view of the completed radio.

E. H. Scott

E. H. Scott

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