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Who's running a Becker?

Started by 1980sdga, 06 June 2011, 06:04 PM

1980sdga

#15
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19CvEO3Riy0

;D

I picked up an antenna and some contact cleaner. I think I'll bench test the MEXICO before digging into the car.

I hooked it up to power, an antenna and a speaker to test it. The "wonderbar" works but when it got to the low frequency end of the dial it "reset" to the center of the dial and seemed to hang up  :-[  I sprayed the mechanism with some contact cleaner/lubricant and it is getting better the more I use it.

Complicated bugger  :o  It does lock onto stations well and the reception is actually better than my garage stereo.  Not saying much but it is...

I hope I don't kill it doing the ipod upgrade. Got all the parts at Radio Shack earlier...

Big_Richard

Quote from: jbrasile on 07 June 2011, 12:41 AM

I believe the change took place in 77 or 78 and MB went from 4 inches at the base of the dash to 4x6 on the top.



This update only applied to left hand drive vehicles.

right hand drive vehicles of all years have the same arrangement at the base of the dash unfortunately.

jbrasile

Oh really... didn't know that....

Good info to have

Tks,

Joe

1980sdga

Got it!  now have an ipod playing through my Becker Mexico!  (A few weeks ago I had never heard of one ;D)

Lubricating the mechanism helped because the "scan" is working well now.  I can see that one of the Cassette belts is pretty stretched but I'm not really interested in the tape player. I remember when cassettes were state of the art!  Remember 8 tracks?  :P

I just have it hooked up to a single 6" CB radio speaker (8 ohm) and it sounds pretty good.  Just need to drill the hole and mount the socket.  I was thinking about relocating the plug to somewhere like the console but I don't really want to drill a hole. Maybe the glovebox? I still have the ipod charging cable to contend with as well.  I'm excited about getting it back together and putting it in!

Any input? Ideas?

Thanks Koan!!  I followed your writeup and would have NEVER figured it out, nor attempted it.  Excellent write up Koan!

Now to figure out some speakers close to factory specs...

koan

Quote from: 1980sdga on 07 June 2011, 08:43 PM
Lubricating the mechanism helped because the "scan" is working well now.  I can see that one of the Cassette belts is pretty stretched but I'm not really interested in the tape player. I remember when cassettes were state of the art!  Remember 8 tracks?  :P

I replaced a couple of belts in mine but it didn't help, think there's a clutch in there that needs replacing.

Quote
Thanks Koan!!  I followed your writeup and would have NEVER figured it out, nor attempted it.  Excellent write up Koan!

Thanks and good on you for doing the mod and getting the Becker tuning working.

koan
Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!

1980sdga

#20
You guys say that the audio leaves something to be desired but early tests seem to indicate that the tuner is pretty hot!  I'll bet with that huge antenna it really pulls the signals in.  That, and the "Wunderbar", made this setup a serious road-warrior setup back in the day  8)

I think Raptelan has his tape deck working on his.

Koan, did you do any work adding RCA jacks to the radio for a more modern amp?  I'm guessing that one could pick up the low power signal from the front-end of the old amp and go from there? Why in the world is the power antenna driven off the amp?

Got it. I just decided to put the jack on the front:



Dig that funky mellow glow  8)

TJ 450

#21
I have to say that the under dash speaker arrangement is far better for sound quality than reflecting (refracting) off the windscreen, and oval-shaped speakers also leave a lot to be desired... all a massive compromise.

The tuner is excellent... modern units are generally very poor in this regard.

The only thing that really lets the Becker down is the fidelity, and that it has trouble driving modern, low efficiency speakers.

With the right setup, it is quite adequate for listening to AM broadcasts clearly.

The power antenna runs off the amp, because it provides +12v while the unit is switched on... On that not, adding a modern amp is a matter of working out the pinout of the DIN connector to the amp.

It should be quite possible to mount a couple of RCA jacks on the chassis of the Becker for this purpose.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

1980sdga

#22
I can see how having the speakers pointed at the footwells could result in better sound.  With them on the dash they are right in a corner with the windshield directly above. Can't be good for acoustics.

I was thinking about just getting some generic replacement speakers with the same ratings as stock. Any one have any idea what they used?  Seems like most replacement speakers are rated at 50-100 watts and have the HUGE magnet.  I can see how they may not work well.

I'm not looking for super hi-fi or anything. I just think it would be cool to experience the sound close to the way it was when new.  Anyone can stick a loud stereo in a car. It takes skill to replicate mediocrity  ;D

A video of the Wunderbar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIIXuvfRZnc

I'm fascinated with the thing...

Casey

I have a working cassette player, in an aftermarket Clarion stereo.

I had a fully-working Becker in my 1976 300D (no casette, stereo-only unit), and while a manual tuner has some appeal to me, realistically it wasn't very good at all.  The Clarion has grown on me, but in the future I intend to upgrade to a Pioneer with external amp.  That's real low on my priority list though...

Casey

Quote from: Raptelan on 08 June 2011, 01:24 PM
I had a fully-working Becker in my 1976 300D (no casette, stereo-only unit)

Sorry, I lied.  It was a mono unit, not stereo.  Mercedes put a single speaker in the center of the dash.  Pretty astounding really...

koan

I don't think the Becker is too bad, it was respected in it's day. The Wunderbar is great, love the mechanical way of doing things.

I'd get the signal from the radio where the DIN plug is fed from. The feed to the power antenna just controls a relay in antenna, no volts down, 12 Volts up.

Easiest way would be to chop off the DIN plug, put a pair of RCAs on the end and organise a relay on the 12V up/down line to switch power to the amp from a decent, heavy gauge wire supply.

koan
Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!

1980sdga

I was thinking about picking up the signal from joints within the amp housing and adding a pigtail. I've kind of bonded with the radio so I can't bear to chop it's tail off.  :P

It only has +R, -R and +L,-L for the audio output I guess, so I'd just need to know the inputs.

I only wear mechanical watches so I reckon I prefer gears over electrons as well Koan  ;D Never mind the fact we're talking about stereos  :P

I think this will work fine for daily use especially if the scan continues to work.  You can choose 3 sensitivity levels on the radio plus 2 settings on the antenna so you have SIX different options for reception!  WTF?  With the aux in I can still listen to CD's with a portable player as well as an ipod. I was streaming Pandora internet radio from my phone over it earlier  ;D

I read up on "Wonderbar" radios a little. Seems they've been around since the 50's and were pretty well over by the time my car came out in 1980 having been replaced with solid state tuners.

Looks like they came out in the US and Germany about the same time. I wonder who was first?

koan

Quote from: 1980sdga on 08 June 2011, 02:17 PM
I was thinking about picking up the signal from joints within the amp housing and adding a pigtail. I've kind of bonded with the radio so I can't bear to chop it's tail off.  :P

What about getting a DIN socket to suit the lead, mount it in a little box along with the RCAs and relay etc. ?

My watch is mechanical too, shame the cheapest digital watch beats it hands down in the accuracy department.

koan

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!

1980sdga

Quote from: koan on 08 June 2011, 02:27 PM


My watch is mechanical too, shame the cheapest digital watch beats it hands down in the accuracy department.

koan



Great aint it!  I don't mind having to interact with my watch every couple of weeks though  :P

I don't think i'd ever find a DIN plug like the one on the cable. Plus I need new speakers etc.  I may come back to it though...

s class


i bought this Mexico off SELfor50, sans amplifier and with its umbilical cord alread snipped.  I did a pre-amp out mod on it, the only tough part was finding a spot on the rear panel to mount the RCA's with enough room on the inside.



[color=blue]'76 6.9 Euro[/color], [color=red]'78 6.9 AMG[/color], '80 280SE, [color=brown]'74 350SE[/color], [color=black]'82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro [/color], '81 500SL