After various fits and starts since I dragged its nicotine-dyed carcass home 3 years ago, I finally got my Rock-ola 440 working essentially as intended! The carousel operates, the selector finally works*, the amp finally works on all channels in balance with no garbage, and the lights work! So it's more or less ready to start "dressing up" a bit.
(* Except, when I select U8 or V8, the whole playback mech just... quits after the record is placed on the turntable. I have to hold the operation switch in "SCAN" to get it to clear out, then everything works again. So why would that happen on just U8/V8?)
Seems Rock-Ola's aren't as loved as the other brands, but those are commensurately pricey... whereas for a few hundred bucks I got a 160-selector that looks schizophrenically weird but retro cool, and sounds good enough for my random 45 collection:
The front glass translite was shot, and since it's unlikely I'll find a replacement I cut the center part out to reveal the mechanism. Which my kids agree is way more interesting I'll probably create a baffle for the fluorescent tube to reduce glare. I also centered that tube properly: for some reason these were originally mounted such that only "_OCK-OLA" would light!
I custom painted the photo/art disc panel (was originally black... felt?) and the "Stereo" badge. There are optional color wheels behind the discs that will turn to make them change "psychedelic" colors once I get a motor reliably mounted - the effect looks really cool when simulated manually. I'm going to hide an LED strip around the inside of the lower grille frame for a similar color-change effect there (the reflective textured grille behind the "Connect Four grid" seems ideal for it).
But anyway, my main concern now is how grungy the title strip holders are, I think more from heat discoloration than nicotine. The clean white ones on the ends are previously replacements from old/junked units. But I can't seem to find new replacements *anywhere*, which is hard to believe. Anyone have a source on these? Has anyone tried "retrobrite" methods on these? They are *incredibly brittle* which is why I suspect the yellowing is from heat, and I'm afraid to push my luck trying to clean them.