Thread Number: 50008
A nice looking GE Versatronic double oven range.
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Post# 722158   12/20/2013 at 07:43 (3,766 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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This is a steal at $50.  Has been on and off my local CL for awhile.  Someone need to save this cutie. 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO polkanut's LINK on Wausau Craigslist

Post# 722215 , Reply# 1   12/20/2013 at 15:13 (3,766 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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Is that a storage drawer I spy under the oven door?

I thought storage had to be dispensed with on Versatronics to house the microwave workings.

Post# 722225 , Reply# 2   12/20/2013 at 17:28 (3,766 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

I wonder if that has an exhaust hood mounted on top of it. Looks like something is sitting on top of the upper oven but it's cut off in the picture.

Post# 722226 , Reply# 3   12/20/2013 at 17:45 (3,766 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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Sure looks like a storage drawer to me.

Post# 722321 , Reply# 4   12/21/2013 at 09:46 (3,765 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE Versatronic Range

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This one would be from about 1970 or a little newer, and yes this is a steal at $50, these were over $1,200.00 new.

This still used GEs 915 M hertz microwave cooking frequency and what looks like a storage drawer is not, this area is completely taken up by the electrical equipment for the MW operation.

This does have the factory installed, dual level ventilation system that is designed to be vented out the back or up through the cabinets above.

I would probably grab this range if I did not already have FOUR of them, I hope someone saves this, There is NO RANGE built today that can do what this range does, including a built-in rotisserie and the hi-speed, self-cleaning combination oven.

GE ran a two page magazine ad for this range where they cooked SIXTY different foods from start to finish in ONE hour, it was a really cool demonstration, maybe someone has the ad and can post it.

Post# 722325 , Reply# 5   12/21/2013 at 09:59 (3,765 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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At 900Mhz did these ovens use a magnetron and wave guide or some other tube and dipole radiators?

That would be on the low end for a magnetron and the waveguide would be rather large.

Also did GE ever specify the RF output power for these units?

What year was the last instance of 900Mhz RF used in an oven?

Post# 722415 , Reply# 6   12/21/2013 at 18:13 (3,765 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE Versatronic Range

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Great Question Phil, GE did indeed use a 3/4" copper tube with a metal rod inside with an antenna in the oven to transmit the MW energy into the large oven cavity.

I know that GE used this system till at least 1975, but after this time they went to the standard 2450 Mhz that every other home MW used. I have had about 5 of these 915 Mhz GE combination ranges and every one has worked just fine. I have dug through the service and sales literature for these ranges and have never seen any mention of power output, they do list a way to test the heating speed by heating a liter of water and measuring the temperature rise.

From my experience it is probably in the 450-550 watt range which is a lot of power when you are using the oven as a combination oven.

John L.

Post# 722421 , Reply# 7   12/21/2013 at 18:38 (3,765 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        
For the Archives:

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I'm sure it's a swell range, but I personally can't get past the color: Dead Leprechaun.

Post# 722432 , Reply# 8   12/21/2013 at 19:16 (3,765 days old) by NYCWriter ()        
Actually ...

I absolutely LOVE the color!

Post# 722439 , Reply# 9   12/21/2013 at 19:30 (3,765 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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Were you around when the Avocado Tsunami hit back in '67?

Some of us who were do not recall those years fondly.

Post# 722448 , Reply# 10   12/21/2013 at 20:29 (3,765 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore) I'm slightly confused. I thought this was a double oven unit but the way you all are talking is as if one of the ovens could also function as a MW. If that's the case...which one did and did it have the capability to operate as one or the other or both at the same time?

Post# 722449 , Reply# 11   12/21/2013 at 20:38 (3,765 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        
900 Mhz

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Isn't that the same frequency as early cordless phones used?   Would there have been interference or signal jamming created when using the microwave option on one of these stoves?

Post# 722456 , Reply# 12   12/21/2013 at 21:01 (3,765 days old) by NYCWriter ()        
Sandy ...

yes I was.

And I enjoyed every SECOND of it!

Post# 722466 , Reply# 13   12/21/2013 at 22:01 (3,765 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Avocado and Harvest gold from the mid 60s-70s.

And that yellow from the 50s and early 60s are three colors I can live without, give me pink turquoise or coppertone, and especially Westinghouses mint aqua!!

Post# 722471 , Reply# 14   12/21/2013 at 22:20 (3,765 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Here is the microwave sprinkler head in my 72 Hotpoint combo range. I love baking and roasting with microwaves, not difficult to adapt most recipes once you get a feel for the speed increase. I would estimate the output at equivalent to 450-500 watt range. Not fast for sure, but very adequate with the superb temperature control system GE used.

The oven needs a self-clean cycle but I needed to do the clock repair. That's done, but the cleaning still isn't.

Post# 722519 , Reply# 15   12/22/2013 at 08:23 (3,764 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Washdaddy, The lower oven has what is called micro-thermal cooking capability. You can cook with heat alone, with microwaves alone or with a combination of both. GE/Hotpoint, Litton, Amana along with Thermador were brands that offered this feature. There might have been more. Combining the two cooking methods can give great results. If ranges with this feature had not been limited to TOL models with TOL prices, they probably would have been more popular.

I like the ability to do frozen French Fries under the broiler in 3 to 4 minutes with high power zapping.

Post# 722539 , Reply# 16   12/22/2013 at 11:50 (3,764 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Greg, thanks for the photo of the antenna. I remembered many years ago John showed me one of these ranges but my memory was foggy.

I have to assume that they used a magnatron as the RF generator, but its odd to couple a magnetron's output into the oven cavity with a feedline/antenna system. At this low frequency though the waveguide would be very large though, a rectangular guide would be about 5" x 10" for example. Its also possible that they used some other form of power tube that could directly feed into the feedline/antenna. Today we could easily do 500 watts of RF at this frequency with 2 LDMOS transistors!

It is possibly, although unlikely that these ovens could interfere with 900Mhz cordless phones (and intercoms etc). In ITU Region 2 (North and South America) the 900Mhz ISM (Industrial, Scientifie and Medical) band ranges from 902-928 Mhz. It appears that industrial heating was usually placed at 915Mhz. Cordless phones use 2 frequencies one going each direction to and from the base (duplex). These were always placed high and low in the band so they were ~12 Mhz on either side of the the typical heating frequency, probably far enough that interference would never occur.

If anyone has a schematic or other service docs for the RF portion of one of these ovens I'd love to see it. I'm still curious why they picked the low frequency. One reason may have been that the shielding of the cavity is relaxed because of the much longer wavelength. There are likely cooking advantages too as the lower frequency will penetrate deeper into food, but I'm not sure how much difference that makes.

Post# 722855 , Reply# 17   12/24/2013 at 06:42 (3,762 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
That is one great stove

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I got one for my Mom who just loved it,  from John years ago the Americana model;  but it didn't have the micro thermal it had an actual storage drawer. After a few rentals it was falling apart so its gone now but I miss that stove. Loved the eye level glass oven,my only complaint was you were limited to the pot size due to the over hang and on Cape Cod the lobster pots won't fit on the stove.



Post# 722858 , Reply# 18   12/24/2013 at 07:10 (3,762 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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From the schematic diagram. If you'd like the whole art of three diagrams, let me know and I'll email them!

Post# 759052 , Reply# 19   5/23/2014 at 06:02 (3,612 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        
It's still available in Minocqua, WI.

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Here's the CL link.  No pic this time though.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO polkanut's LINK on Wausau Craigslist

Post# 759058 , Reply# 20   5/23/2014 at 06:46 (3,612 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Interesting thread - I didn't know that about the Americana's...will be able to spot these now. Versatronic - meaning they can cook both ways. Nothing like that today in stoves, eh?

Post# 759059 , Reply# 21   5/23/2014 at 06:50 (3,612 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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"....they can cook both ways."

Yep, rated for AC-DC. :)

Post# 759063 , Reply# 22   5/23/2014 at 07:16 (3,612 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Sandy - LOL! AC-DUC? Hmm, "Stove Chat" is too hot for me. :-)

It's a cool stove. My visual side is wondering of course, wouldn't this stove look much better in a nine foot high ceiling? It has a lot top-heaviness with the oven and dials...some height in a room would really help alleviate that presence(that's just me).

Post# 759065 , Reply# 23   5/23/2014 at 07:20 (3,612 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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In a kitchen designed for them, with the cabinets built around them, they looked fine.

Americanas were very decent performers, and I used one for a time once with no real issues, but they did have their little quirks.

One was that the presence of the "upper deck" restricted visibility of the rear burners somewhat, at least for me - I'm six-four.

And the other was that the upper oven put heat right in your face when you were using the oven at the same time you were using the cooktop.

Neither drawback was so bad that I would say "Never another Americana," but both were there.

Post# 759070 , Reply# 24   5/23/2014 at 07:37 (3,612 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Ok, I'll take your word on that - would you take those cabinet to the top of the unit or to the ceiling and build a cabinet over the top of the stove? I don't know the Versatronic's height.

Your height could be the issue for the rear burner views. I'd take the inconveniences that sometimes come with height - just to be taller((I know, my two friends are 6'7" and 6' 2"). But nothing like wishing for things that are hopeless...and I'm not going to platform shoes for anyone's solution. :-)

Just curious....if those two issues weren't issues, do you think you'd still be using this stove or are you like me, who enjoys change?


Post# 759149 , Reply# 25   5/23/2014 at 18:32 (3,612 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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Yes, my height was the cause of the issue with rear burner visibility, no question.

So far as my having another Americana, I would never say "never." It is nice having two ovens, and it is even nicer to be able to have them in a 30-inch space - more kitchens can handle that configuration than can handle my top choice, a 40-incher.

The issue with heat coming off the door of the upper oven was sometimes fairly problematic, such as large "company" dinners where you have everything blasting away at once. A taller woman could have even more of an issue with it, because a lot of women wear makeup, and the heat and perspiration would affect it.

If I were ever to have another Americana, I would want one of the later ones whose upper oven had the removable liner panels that can be put into the lower P*7 oven for cleaning. That's what I had before. I would, however, ask that any new Americanas weren't Harvest, which is what that one was.

Post# 759156 , Reply# 26   5/23/2014 at 18:45 (3,612 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Good info to think about - as usual Sandy, you expand my perceptions and help me to see a bigger picture otherwise not always accessible. Thanks a lot!

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