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Onkyo TX-1500

Hi all, Just picked up a Onkyo TX-1500 for my garage stereo. My garage is attached and semi heated so it's not a harsh environment. Anyway, the receiver works great and receives all the nearby FM stations great. I live in a rural location about 20 miles from the major towers so this receiver does the job great and sounds really good for a garage stereo.

The only problem the TX-1500 has is the tuner dial lamp does not light. The stereo and tuned red indicators light up, just the tuner dial lamp does not illuminate. I found lamp P/Ns on the downloadable service manual but cannot find the lamps by P/N. The service manual indicates I can get to the dial lamps by removing the 4 top cover screws, then 2 screws for the lamp case. Here's the P/Ns for the lamps; dial pointer lamp - 210015A, and dial illumination lamp 210026.

I work in an electronics manufacturing plant and can get components from DigiKey, but dont really know where to start with "vintage" receivers like this one.

Thanks for any guidance, greatly appreciated.

Reb



Re: Onkyo TX-1500

I downloaded a picture to the site in the Onkyo section. It’s nothing special but show the illumination provided by the Panasonic lamps.

Reb

Re: Onkyo TX-1500

Hi Reb,

I didn't work on a lot of older Onkyo's, so I am not sure about the style of lamp used and the Service Manual wasn't helpful in this regard. The Service Manual did specify that the dial lamps are 6.3V 0.25A and the pointer is a 6.3V 0.05A. The part numbers that you gave are Onkyo part numbers and not generic numbers.

There are sellers on ebay that provide specific lots of all of the bulbs for the popular receiver models. I am not sure if this Onkyo is one of them, but you might check.

I am betting that the dial illumination bulbs used are what are called a "fuse lamp" because of it's resemblance to a glass fuse. If so, this is the part you need.

https://www.parts-express.com/6-volt-250ma-original-style-fuse-type-lamp...

For the dial pointer lamp, these were usually very small bulbs, commonly called "grain of wheat" bulbs. Here is a link to that style on ebay. I have no affiliation with the seller.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-Clear-6v-Grain-Of-Wheat-Mini-Lamps-Light-Bulb...

-bob

Re: Onkyo TX-1500

Thanks Bob,
I did pop the cover and the 3 lamps are fuse lamps. They were "blown" as if they were a fuse but no charred look, just the element missing in the middle. I just happened to have my old very fried Panasonic turntable/Receiver that lived in my last garage for years and finally bit the dust and not at all worth saving. I popped the cover on it and it had 3 "fuse lamps" behind the dial that were the exact same size but look like 4.5V. I put them in the Onkyo and they work, but may not last. They do seem a little dull during the day but they do light up the dial. I'll see how it goes when it gets dark out.

Thanks for the light tips. I was searching by P/N and nothing came up. I would have never found the "grain of wheat lamps. I'll see how the Panasonic bulbs work and if they are dim, I'll probably order the right voltage spec bulbs from your source. I did find a guy on the AK forum that sources LED swap ins. I emailed him to see what he might have to offer. I would think if there are LEDs they would last a lot longer?

Any thoughts on 4.5V or LEDs? I may just stick with the original since that's what will look right.

Most would just leave it without the lights I suppose, but that's why I'm on this forum............

Re: Onkyo TX-1500

Hi Reb,

The 4.5 volt lamps from your Panasonic should burn brighter than the originals because they are receiving about 33 percent more voltage than they are spec'ed for. This will probably shorten their lifespan. As for why they seem dull, there may be a discoloration of the gel material that gives the dial it's color. This is fairly common due to the heat that the bulbs put out. The solution would be to try and source new gel material. The gel material can be sourced from theater suppliers as they are used in stage lighting.

As for the LED replacements, they should outlast the receiver. A couple of caveats, they may require a diode and capacitor added to the circuit to convert the AC voltage from the transformer to a DC voltage that the LED's prefer. Without the diode and capacitor they may flicker. Whether this is annoying or not will need to be tried. The other caveat is that they don't always produce the same light pattern and color temperature as the originals. Some people prefer it and some don't. You may also notice less of an overall evenness to the light and distinct bright spots near where the bulbs are. This is more dependent on the receiver display design. If you search YouTube, you will probably find some examples of what LED replacements look like in vintage receivers.

Hope this helps,

-bob

Re: Onkyo TX-1500

Thanks Bob,
Greatly appreciate all the info. I realized that the garage was filled with sunlight shining in and was washing out the dial lighting. With the doors closed and overhead lighting on it looks well lit with the Panasonic lamps. I loaded a pic on the site.

I’ll give the LEDs a try and see if i can find a warm enough color to look ok. (I posted a picture in the Onkyo section) The dial indicator lamp is also burned out. Not sure how hard that is to replace but will be looking to do that as well.

This is fun stuff keeping this vintage gear going. I know I’m just scratching the surface. Now for some L-36 Decades......

Re: Onkyo TX-1500

Hi Reb,

You can also use an LED for the dial pointer. A nice white or green one usually looks nice. You will need to use a resistor in series with the LED to limit the current.

For the dial pointer lamp you will need to solder the new bulb in. Just cut the bulb from the existing wires and use solder and heat shrink to make the connection. I don't have experience with that model, but usually you need to completely remove the front panel and front panel knobs. If there is a small hole in the knob, then there is probably a hex set screw that needs to be unscrewed to remove the knob. Otherwise they just pull off.

Once you can get to it, you will then find a slide assembly that holds the pointer and lamp and is secured to the dial string. The lamp assembly should be secured to the dial string so that it doesn't move position, but be careful not to disturb it or your tuner alignment will be off. There are usually tabs that need to be unbent to remove the cover that holds the bulb. Be careful that you don't break the dial string or burn it with the soldering iron. It isn't fun to re-string the dial string especially when it was working fine before you started. The good news is you will only make this mistake ONCE. LOL!

-bob

Re: Onkyo TX-1500

I relamped with LEDs from dewojo and all is good. I also deoxed the pots, cleaned the dust(pretty clean for this vintage), and cleaned the face. The Pinter dial lamp took a bit of time. Pretty easy when the face is removed. Thanks for all the help.

Picked up aTX-4500 and just went through the same on that one. A lot more lamps.

Really enjoying these Vintage Onkyos.