Sometimes It's Something Simple

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
I've a couple of vinyl jukeboxes. I've had them for well over a decade. I didn't pay a lot for them, they'd been in private hands for more than half their lifetimes, so just needed a bit of tarting up cosmetically and a "lube job."

I keep them in this I built thirty years ago at the bottom of our garden (my wife won't let me have them in our small semi, she says with my vintage hi-fi system, my two jukebox wall box/adapter/ipod systems connected to my vintage hi-fi, plus my Tyros 5 leccy piano (sorry! "work station" as they are called now) and my tenor sax, "enough is enough."


These are they, They aren't classics, but you wouldn't want to keep an expensive one in an unheated environment.

1969 Rock-Ola 443 (Motown and similar)

ROCK-OLA 443 - 2019.JPG

1976 Rock-Ola 468 (50/60/70/80s Pop, Doo-Wop, Jazz Standards)


It's quite dry in there, but I keep two inspection lamps burning in the cabinets to provide some heat and I cover them with blankets in the cold months. They are mostly used to provide "gardening music" in the summer months, but I turn them over a few times a week throughout the year. "Use being the best form of preventative maintenance."

Anyway, for the last couple of years, the 468 has been giving me a bit of a problem. When I operated the scan switch to rotate the carousel on any "gardening" or "maintenance" visits, it would often trip out the mechanical circuit breaker, (top left) and I'd have to press the re-set to get it going again. It might do it when I played the first of a number of records, then it'd behave itself.... Until next time.


I've removed the play relay many times, (that "half brick" above the carousel) cleaned the pins and sprayed them and the socket with Servisol and made sure I'd pushed it back firmly as it's quite heavy, but it might still do it the next time I used it.

I went through this chore again a few days ago. But as I replaced the play relay pushing it firmly against the front cover, I noticed the plastic socket "gave" a little. It would seem that the pins weren't ever really going all the way home. I didn't fancy taking the cover off the box. I'm a firm believer in not messing with near forty year-old wiring unnecessarily. So I steaded the top of the socket with a small screwdriver against the front of the box, whilst I pushed the relay home.

Problem solved!

It seems likely that one of the many pins in the relay wasn't making as good a contact as it should. Normally, when you push in a relay, when you meet some resitance, in this case the metal casing against the plastic shell of the relay, you'd think it was properly seated.

It's behaved itself faultlessly ever since.
Here in Manchester, it's like "Area 51" a long way from any knowlegeable jukebox repairers and they don't want to go there anyway except for "an arm and a leg," so I think I've saved myself at least a couple of hundred quid.
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Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
I've been having a swop around in My Rock-Ola 443

As well as some of the more well known artists, there's a few girl groups I like, with whom many people aren't familiar, some didn't have as much chart success, but I think are just as good.
I've not bought any sixties 45s for a few years, but I've recently purchased good copies of these.

I'd have preferred this one by the Cookies, but I don't think they did it as a single, but I've got it on an mp3 ripped from YouTube.

Of course a major problem with jukeboxes, is that if you want to put in a new record, you have to take one out. it can be a hard decision, I've about thirty other 45 that have lost their places, but live in a "retro" record rack on the worktop of a unit in there, they may yet get another chance.

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
Okay, need to know more about the little Japanese building.

Thanks for the interest.

In 1986 at the age of 46, I built this a 3000 gall 5ft deep koi pool. I dug out out with a spade.

New Bridge.JPG

Sadly, that developed a serious leak after 33 years and to replace the liner would mean the removal of all the perimeter rocks, half the waterfall and the "bridge" over the filter return. So last year we had it filled in. It was always the plan if we decided to lose the pool so I designed it so it wouldn't be a problem. Three days after I closed and pumped it out, three men filled it in with 20 tonnes of eco friendly hardcore and paved it. OK the Massarelli fountain came a week later. It sits above what was the pond's pump sump so it was easy enough to wire up to the existing supply under it.

Not difficult for anyone who hadn't seen it before, to be unaware it once was a pool.

The koi went to "a good home," a friend two doors away, who built a pool a few years ago.


Back to 1986.

Then I made this out of fine mix concrete and a dyed sandstone colour outer skin of mortar. Keeping to the oriental theme.


If you can build your kid a sandcastle, you could make one yourself for a few quid.


Then this.



Then this, a bit harder.

That's a full-size paving slab it's sitting on. It's 6ft to the top of the sorin.


I 1987 decided we needed a summerhouse at the bottom of the garden. The back of the house faces South so the patio gets a lot of sun.
A summerhouse down at the bottom would mean if it had a veranda it'd be in the shade.

I wanted something that didn't look like a glorified shed as many store bought summerhouses do and I wanted one to have an oriental appearance.
I went to Manchester Central Library and trawled through books of Victorian garden features in country houses, many of which were built by Japanese workers brought over here.
So I sort of compromised, added some idea of my own and decided on something that looked the part. was within my DIY capabilities and nothing too big as it's a small garden. The roof is very sturdy. I re-felted it ten years ago I and my son were up on it and we weigh 25st between us.
So is the floor, there's nearly 600lbs of jukeboxes in there.

The room is 9ft X 6ft. The veranda 9ft X 3ft and the roof 12ft X 12 ft.

It's made of 1" roofing ply and soft wood. The doors have windows of opaque plastic, wth added beading, three sheets per door. They are from recycled shop lighting fixtures. The building sits on brick piers. The "skirts," finish two inches above the path. There's no skirt at the back so it gets good ventilation, hence no rot. It gets a coat of Dulux mahogany exterior woodsheen every couple of years, so is still in perfect conditiion.
The outside doors open inwards and the centre one is secured by four bolts so can be opened in either direction or completely removed.
The windows are each one sheet of plastic with stuck on hardwood beading.

It's still I guess just a bit more than a glorified shed, with a few trimmings.


Theres a 15w fluorescent on the ceiling behind the doors.


It's quite cosy in there.


The TV aerial is in the ceiling void under the skylight. I felted over the window as it gets too hot in there.
The skylight is just a big "box lid." I can remove it if necessary. In the summer I lift up one end and wedge in a ventilator made of two halves of an old dishwasher cutlery box. You can see it in the photo in my Monday post. There's two vents in the bottom of the back wall, but I leave a door open on warm days as it gets too warm.


It's a hard life. innit?

Fridge with Budweiser.JPG

All the lights and the fountain in our garden are controlled by four switches behind the lounge curtains via an armoured cable from the house to the garage under the concrete raft below the patio.

This is "mission control" in the garage.


I should point out that all this construction I did "when I was working and had more time."

Here's this year's tour of our small garden. There's previous years' tours on my channel.

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Senior Member
Nice! Thanks for the tour. Love the Japanese shed. I just googled it and a bunch came up. Cool! I want one. Doubt my homeowners association would go for it.

Yeah, pool/ponds are not low maintenance.

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I rarely get jealous anymore of things posted in threads here. They are usually just nice toys, just different nice toys from what I have.

However, you, sir, have made me jealous as heck. Not only do I love the jukeboxes, but your garden, and shed, are just gorgeous.

Thank you for sharing it with us!

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
I rarely get jealous anymore of things posted in threads here. They are usually just nice toys, just different nice toys from what I have.

However, you, sir, have made me jealous as heck. Not only do I love the jukeboxes, but your garden, and shed, are just gorgeous.

Thank you for sharing it with us!
Thanks for that.

I'm a firm believer that even if you only have just basic tools, you can build something that will last far longer than over-priced store bought items.

This we call "the rabit shed,"

I built it to house hutches for our six year old daughter's wish to have more than her single rabbit. As she'd cared for this one for over a year, religiously going outside first thing in the morning in all weathers to clean out the hutch and feed it, before going to school, I thought she deserved it.
It's made of recycled timber and roofing ply, plus some second-hand windows.

I took this photo last year when I replaced the roofing felt.


She left home at 18 to train as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

She's now 52 and a mother to four kids.

The rabbits have long passed on, the shed has been used to house my garden tools for decades.

Back to my jukeboxes.

I've recently received this mint copy of a 1963 record which I was lucky enough to buy for $6 on eBay.
OK the postage from the USA was much more than that, but worth it.