I breadboarded both battery eliminator circuits and there are some pros and cons.
I tried the Buck Converter first and I can indeed get 1.5 volts on the output. However when I put on the scope it was a freak show. This was with four 1N4007 diodes as a rectifier and a 2200uF filter cap. I even tried tossing on a couple of 100nF caps on the input side and the output side with no change.
With the zener diode approach it is more stable and cleaner DC output. However this is with a full bridge rectifier. So this is the updated schematic I will use for the battery eliminator.
With other things such as the strap all I could find was black nylon strapping. Guess one of these days I’ll go buy a cheap brown leather belt.
I also got some Naval Jelly attacking the rust. I wish I could take the whole thing apart and soak the chassis in vap-o-rust. The transformer looks fine so hopfully I can get this going after a recapping.