Lafayette KT-135 EXPLOR-AIR radio kit

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MORE KT-135 EXPLOR-AIR KITS!
 
Lafayette KT-135
More KT-135s. Because once you've assembled one, you can't stop looking at how other people did theirs.

Notice the bottom left knob is missing the aluminum insert. These are nearly impossible to find.
You have to buy another KT-135 just for the knob, then you have a $100 knob and another radio that needs the same knob.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Second Prize Winner!
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
First Prize Winner!
 
Lafayette KT-135
 
Lafayette KT-135
This came from ebay. It sold for $90 with shipping on Aug 26, 2018. The seller got it at a yard sale, so the builder is now unknown.
 
Lafayette KT-135
Whoever built this one did an excellent job.
The soldering is so good the new filter caps were spliced in so as not to disturb the connections.
 

 
ebay October 2021
Another First Prize winner!
Yes, two winners. This one has the post-1967 knobs and is actually from 1969. From ebay, October 2021.
 
ebay October 2021
Expertly assembled.
Too bad about the electrical tape, but this was sold with the original capacitor included, which can be re-stuffed and reinserted.
 
Lafayette Explor-Air
Notice there is a bushing where the capacitor shaft goes through the front panel on the right. A nice improvement.
 
KT-135 with manual
Very interesting manual cover! Included was the original filter cap, which can be restuffed. The person who won this auction didn't pay for it! It was relisted and someone used the "buy it now" option and grabbed it for $200.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
"This is beautiful! What is that? Velvet?"
 
Lafayette KT-135
 
Lafayette KT-135
Very nice. Very clean. With the maroon velvet background, this is KT-135 porn.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Check out the manual. Black with a white border. It seems to be an older manual, but the front panel of the radio and the knobs (what are left of them) are the newer version.
 

 
The orange wire from the filter capacitor shouldn't on that tube socket, because the original capacitor is still in the circuit.
You can barely see it, to the left of the arrow, under the resistor.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Old style front panel, new style knobs, old style manual. Very interesting!
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Very nice front panel. What happened to the finishing washers in the corners?
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
A nice one from 1972, but lacking the corner finishing washers. This went up on ebay in February of 2019.
 
Lafayette KT-135
Here's the underside. A big metal filter capacitor has been wedged between the coil for Band B and the chassis, held in by the bracket from the original capacitor. Not to worry, a piece of paper has also been wedged in to prevent all sort of short circuit mayhem. The AC cord is bent at an impossible angle and it appears there was a small fire in the volume control, top right. The seller stated it was in "amazing working condition." It sold for $169 + $16.92 shipping.
 
volume control
"Amazing, working" volume control.
Melted wires, and rust where the plating had been burnt off - in a bright orange flash and a loud report.
 
hose clamp
MY EYES!! Aaaargh!!
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
All the disk capacitors in this early model are red! The filter capacitor has been replaced with one made by "Sprague."
Whoever replaced it didn't bother with the DOZEN bad solder joints that made this radio unusable.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Here's the front of the radio that has the red disk capacitors. Very interesting pointer knobs.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Those wide dial pointers are very disturbing.
 
Lafayette KT-135
The set with the wide dial pointers has a speaker grille that extends past the speaker.
 

 
Lafayette Explor-Air KT-135
This one has something in common with the one above. Other than the obvious, what do you think it is?
 

 
Lafayette Explor-Air KT-135
This one sold for $152.50 plus $30 on ebay in November of 2021. It has something in common with the two above.
 
Space Spanner knobs
Notice the "collar" on the small knobs. These knobs are from a Knight Space Spanner. That's 12 Space Spanner knobs on the three KT-135s above! Where do people get Space Spanner knobs? When I needed one I couldn't find one to save my life.
 
Space Spanner
Here's a Knight Space Spanner. What do you think about the knobs?
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
This is a nice one, except for the screws holding it into the case.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Here's one from 1968 with Lafayette tubes.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
From ebay. Let's see a picture of the front, please. Oh wait. There isn't one. Where is the strain relief on the AC cord?
 
KT-135
The capacitor on the left is floating in the air! What happened to the terminal post?
See the chewed up tops on the coils? That's what happens when you don't have a cabinet.
 
Lafayette KT-135
Not sure what is going on here.
There is an extra capacitor on the left. An antique "Solaris" cap on the right is connected to something or other.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Another nice one, except for the Regeneration control knob.
 
Lafayette KT-135
Here's the back. Are the speaker wires touching that capacitor? I am losing sleep over it.
 
 
Speaker wires
 
Speaker wires
 
It's an optical illusion. What a relief!
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Very nice front panel and knobs. The screws holding the front panel to the cabinet are rusting.
Older front panel, newer knobs. What lurks inside? The cabinet looks to be in good shape.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
How is it that the front panel of this radio is completely undamaged but the plastic pointers on the two large knobs are missing?
 
Lafayette KT-135
Filter caps replaced, job well done. There is a red wire, once part of the original filter capacitors, connected to the B+.
You can see the end of it near the AC cord.  When it comes into contact with the chassis, it will be GOOD for the radio.
 
How did this happen? Did somebody just forget to remove the wire?
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Found at the Kutztown PA Radio Show on May 7, 2021. The seller wanted $100.00.
I don't know what the case is covered with. Click on the photo for a full sized version.
 
painted fabric
The covering seems to be made of painted fabric. It actually looks kind of cool. Now I regret not buying it.
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
Very nice front panel! This one sold on ebay for $295 + $13.30 in October of 2020. There were 22 bids.
Three of the four lower knobs are replacements.
 
Lafayette KT-135
Very nice cabinet. The strain relief for the AC cord and the antenna binding post are both broken, but these are easily replaced.
 

 
Needs paint
From ebay, May 2022. Seller stated "Needs paint."
 

 
Lafayette KT-135
My favorite, because the ebay seller stated the condition wasn't too bad for its age. It looks to me like it was brought up on the end of a fish hook from some pond. The bandspread knob (upper right) had been bashed in so hard the end of the tuning capacitor shaft has been pushed right through it. I would really like to see more of this, but this was the only picture. He was asking $50. For some reason it never sold.
 
 
 
KT-135 from Kutztown
I bought this for ten dollars! It was at the Kutztown Radio Show on May 13, 2022.
What a disaster! I've seen knobs with no pointers, but never a pointer with no knob.
See a video of the restoration here.
 
 
TELEFUNKEN 12AT7
 
missing knob
 
The 12AT7 is a TELEFUNKEN that tests better than new. A knob was sitting inside. It also came with the manual that has the black cover. The name on the envelope containing the manual is Donald MacIver, who apparently was a Boy Scout in 1964.
 

 
KT-135 Explor-Air
Very nice front panel, and original screws and finishing washers in the corners. From Ebay September 2022
 
KT-135 Explor-Air
The seller stated it didn't work. There is no solder on some of the connections, and signs of heat on the connections of this resistor
 

 
 
Lafayette KT-135
WHAT THE DICKENS HAPPENED TO THIS ONE??!!
 
Lafayette KT-135
This is a crime! IT'S A SIN!
 
I've seen this exact type of damage on top of a metal cabinet in a detached garage. I hate to tell you, but it was from a squirrel that had died and decomposed there. I think we have a similar situation here. This photo is from ebay. On June 30, 2018 someone actually bought this for $67.60! If it only had been in a cabinet.
 
Next, making a cabinet for the radio.
 
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