UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum

UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/index.php)
-   Components and Circuits (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=40)
-   -   Denco coils substitute (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=193222)

clay shooter 30th Jul 2022 10:56 am

Denco coils substitute
 
It's been a couple of years since I last delved into radio, an accident at work has left me with more time on my hands than I can cope with, so I decided to build a short wave receiver, I found a circuit described by R A Penfold from about 1976 that uses The now unavailable Denco Green dp coils ( and other denco coils).
Are there any modern equivalents that can be purchased or can anyone advise me on to how to wind my own?
I'm reluctant to buy used / nos for the obvious reasons
Thanks
Martin

bc312 30th Jul 2022 11:19 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Martin - some useful information here:

http://vintageradio.me.uk/radconnav/altdenco.htm

Mike

lesmw0sec 30th Jul 2022 11:47 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
They were jolly handy little coil formers - we used them by the hundredweight when I was an apprentice to L.O. Sparkes in the 50's. It is easy to wind similar coils on some suitable tube, but the biggest hurdle is arranging the B9a plugs, if you want them interchangeable.

M0FYA Andy 30th Jul 2022 12:00 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
I'm not sure what 'the obvious reason' is for not buying NOS Denco coils. If it is cost, Wearite coils are usually much cheaper, but aren't plug-in.

Andy

clay shooter 30th Jul 2022 12:33 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
the reason I'm reluctant to use n,o,s is that ive bought items described as this before and they have been either damaged or faulty and due to the "terms and conditions" I was unable to return or get a refund .:-/

joebog1 30th Jul 2022 9:39 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
2 Attachment(s)
This might not be exactly what you are looking for, but should give you an idea. I have the whole article if you are interested, but its a 10 valve radio, so its a bit complex.

Joe

Cobaltblue 30th Jul 2022 9:57 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by clay shooter (Post 1488565)
the reason I'm reluctant to use n,o,s is that ive bought items described as this before and they have been either damaged or faulty and due to the "terms and conditions" I was unable to return or get a refund .:-/

I have bought many Denco coils both used and unused without issue.

Most of the green coils I own have so few turns it hard to believe they are damaged.

Pictures may help us to understand the problems you have had?

Cheers

Mike T

radiograham 31st Jul 2022 4:01 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
The biggest problem i found was finding the iron dust cores.These seem to be unobtainium. Graham.

joebog1 31st Jul 2022 4:46 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
There are two ways to tune a coil. One is with "dust " cores, or in modern speak, ferrite cores. The other is a variable padder capacitor.

As my article described.

Joe

lesmw0sec 31st Jul 2022 8:27 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
1 Attachment(s)
There is an alternative regarding dust cores. I used sections of old ferrite rod, glued to a brass leader screw. Attached is an example which is the input tuner for my linear amplifier. The formers are PTFE.

radiograham 1st Aug 2022 3:14 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joebog1 (Post 1488726)
There are two ways to tune a coil. One is with "dust " cores, or in modern speak, ferrite cores. The other is a variable padder capacitor.

As my article described.

Joe

Hi Joe,yes i have used both at times because i have never found a supply of the original threaded variety.

Radio Wrangler 1st Aug 2022 5:52 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Be a little cautious, Ferrites and Iron dust mixtures are quite different beasties.

On the whole, ferrites have higher permeabilities but offer worse stability.

Ferrites can be used in inductors needing some accuracy, but they rely on the shape including a well-defined air gap in the magnetic path... EG a gapped pot core. Without the gap they are good for RF transformers and decoupling inductors where their value need not be accurate or stable.

Iron dust has effectively a lot of air gaps distributed throughout it. Complete toroid cores are popular in RF work, and have no machined gap at all. Inductance factors are reasonably reliable and the stability is good enough for VFOs.

In coil formers like the Denco ones, high frequency ferrites will not be as bad as you might expect, because of the significant air path. The air path dilutes the overall permeability of the magnetic path, and the permeability of air is very close to that of free space, and is very stable.

Unfortunately a lot of people just aren't aware of the extent of the spread of properties of these materials, they just see something grey and crunchy. I've found it to be the root cause af various people's disappointing projects. There are also mumetal dust toroids and epoxy-coated tape wound iron toroids out there waiting to catch the unwary.

David

David G4EBT 1st Aug 2022 6:21 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joebog1 (Post 1488726)
There are two ways to tune a coil. One is with "dust " cores, or in modern speak, ferrite cores. The other is a variable padder capacitor.

As my article described.

Joe

Not wishing to be pedantic, but iron dust cores and ferrite aren’t the same thing.

You can tell the difference with a file. Iron dust cores are soft and if you use a file on them, dust will come off, but a file will have no effect on ferrite. It’s quite hard to file a nick in a festive rod to snap it. (The cores in Aladdin coil formers of yesteryear were iron dust, as they were in the Ekco A22, but I’ve no idea which material Denco used).

As to Denco coils - indeed most wave-wound coils - even with a wave=winder, from my very limited experience, they’re quite difficult to replicate with a coil winder that will wave-wind. Invariably the turns of Denco, and on vintage radio RF coils, are almost always close-wound with the turns lying next to each other. Invariably there is quite a lot of air in the resultant coil. Hence, to get the required inductance the coil ends up being physically larger, and the capacitive element larger.

There are countless YouTube videos of coil winders - some quite sophisticated, but I’ve only seen a couple in which the turns are adjacent to each other, and no doubt the ‘Q’ of the coil will differ.

I don’t think there is any data about the wire gauge of Denco or the inductance of each winding, or the extent to which it varies with the adjustment of the cores. As Joe says, a trimmer is perhaps the easier option, but let’s not overlook Les’s excellent coils, the formers of which are about as close as we could get to Denco.

Of course, in QRP circles, and the home brew signal generator on Paul Stenning’s site, RF coils are often wound on ferrite toroids.

joebog1 1st Aug 2022 7:34 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Thanks David,

Yes I agree with what you have said, and I do know the difference between ferrite and iron cores. When it comes to Denco ( I have never seen them in the flesh ) and many others ( Aegis in Australia for instance that I have seen and used ) The winding tension of the wire used, mostly Litz, but some higher frequency coils are plain enamelled wire, some times SCC, sometimes DCC, sometimes SC sometimes DSS, each pertaining to Q, inductance and repeatability in manufacture. Among other things. Like pure silver wire in the finest coils that I have used/seen. The coil data I put up is for a plugin coil type to be used mostly with TRF radio receivers. These coils are wound on old valve bases or coil formers that were designed specifically for purpose, BUT, not that different to an old valve base. The data is from 1949 when radio was "the king ", especially for people like us that cut our teeth on old radio like that.

With respect, Joe.

lesmw0sec 1st Aug 2022 8:37 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler (Post 1488913)
Be a little cautious, Ferrites and Iron dust mixtures are quite different beasties.

On the whole, ferrites have higher permeabilities but offer worse stability.

Ferrites can be used in inductors needing some accuracy, but they rely on the shape including a well-defined air gap in the magnetic path... EG a gapped pot core. Without the gap they are good for RF transformers and decoupling inductors where their value need not be accurate or stable.

Iron dust has effectively a lot of air gaps distributed throughout it. Complete toroid cores are popular in RF work, and have no machined gap at all. Inductance factors are reasonably reliable and the stability is good enough for VFOs.

In coil formers like the Denco ones, high frequency ferrites will not be as bad as you might expect, because of the significant air path. The air path dilutes the overall permeability of the magnetic path, and the permeability of air is very close to that of free space, and is very stable.

Unfortunately a lot of people just aren't aware of the extent of the spread of properties of these materials, they just see something grey and crunchy. I've found it to be the root cause af various people's disappointing projects. There are also mumetal dust toroids and epoxy-coated tape wound iron toroids out there waiting to catch the unwary.

David

A fair point - but in the example I gave, the Q was deliberately quite low, so the circuit was broad-band and stability was not a factor.

Radio Wrangler 1st Aug 2022 8:44 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
I'd picked up on a comment that would have confused someone not experienced in the field. I've come across quite a number of people, even in the electronics industry who thought ferrite and dust iron were the same thing. If it saves one person from problems, then I think the comment was worthwhile.

David

David G4EBT 1st Aug 2022 10:01 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
As a matter of interest, Tony Nailor of Spectrum Communications can supply both iron dust and ferrite toroids. He also supplies binocular ferrite cores as used in 'Wellgood' clone active antennas, and trimmer caps as needed when padders are used with home-brew coils an an alternative to cored coils, as referred to in Joe's posts above.

http://www.spectrumcomms.co.uk/Components.htm

Forum members may recall the enigmatic 'RF Haigh' who - for some years - was a prolific writer who wrote many articles on beautifully constructed receivers and other projects (Such as the Radio Bygones Wobbulator project). All of his receivers had hand-wound coils, and in one of the magazines he did publish details of how to go about it, but I can't recall when and which publication.

Internet is of course awash with information and publications which can be downloaded such as the one at this link.

However, for the likes of me, within a couple of pages I disappear down a rabbit hole:

https://ia904601.us.archive.org/10/i...ansformers.pdf

Looking back it's remarkable that small firms such as Osmor, Weyrad, Denco and REP were able to do all the calculations, and to manufacture such quite intricate coils. Whether or note the fine wire was actually Litz, as we assume, rather than cotton or silk covered, remains to be seen.

Radio Wrangler 1st Aug 2022 10:31 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Litz wire was made in fair quantities back in the day, though it wasn't cheap. It was only later into the seventies that the price went eye-and-right-arm expensive. I modified some Denco coils and those were at least proper Litz.

David

clay shooter 1st Aug 2022 11:47 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
1 Attachment(s)
I found a winding data chart for the coils, it appears that I need just a few turns of wire per winding, a friend has offered to turn some formers on his lathe so I think I will give this at try first,.
The last coil that I bought was described as NOS, but arrived with damaged winding and the silk // cotton insulation rotted away

Restoration73 1st Aug 2022 12:23 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Damage is rare when the coil is supplied with data sheet in the original aluminium can.

mickm3for 2nd Aug 2022 12:24 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Hi i use this from Wilkinsons their own multy colored felt tip pens at 1.00 when i last got some, green yellow etc cut to length wind as per details (i have file if needed ) use the white top and glue plastic nut into this use threaded plastic bolt with a dust iron slug fixed to the end reasemble then glue to b9a modifyed valve pin saver (ebay ) makes a very close copy of a denco coil, i have found it makes little improvement to use wave wind and litz wire i will give more details if required Mick

saddlestone-man 3rd Aug 2022 9:06 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
If you want plug-in coils, an alternative is Eddystone (and equivalents) octal-based formers, and ready-wound coils. There are a few on eBay and they aren't too expensive. You can often pick them up for peanuts at radio meetings.

They are much chunkier than Dencos, so easier to handle and to solder to.

The coils are air-cored.

Best regards ... Stef

clay shooter 5th Aug 2022 2:40 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Thanks for your inputs but I'm having a rethink on this project, for two reasons,
Firstly as I said I had an accident @work and had to have a skin graft to the back of my right hand, and a tendon replaced, so winding coils is out, I can just about manage to insert component into stripboard.
Secondly, the prohibitive cost of the Denco coils
However, I've found a circuit that I have most of the major components for that uses rRF chokes that are readily available for a pound or so,

Thanks again for your input, it has been appreciated.

Ed_Dinning 5th Aug 2022 3:11 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Hi, they should work just fine, if you search the forum you will find that other members have also used these inductors as RF coils

Ed

joebog1 5th Aug 2022 9:54 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler (Post 1488973)
Litz wire was made in fair quantities back in the day, though it wasn't cheap. It was only later into the seventies that the price went eye-and-right-arm expensive. I modified some Denco coils and those were at least proper Litz.

David


While doodling around on eBay, I came across lots of Litz wire, and very cheap too. Many gauges and combinations. I only looked quickly, but I would "guess " perhaps 200 types. As I say, it was very cheap. The quantities were also excellent, in some cases a full reel for about $20 Au. They give lengths and weight as well as construction.

Joe

Ed_Dinning 6th Aug 2022 8:27 am

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
Hi Folks, a lot of this "Litz" wire is actually "bunched" wire where the individual cores are simply grouped together.
It is a lot cheaper than Litz and is 95% as good as Litz, as well as having a slightly lower resistance.
Litz is actually laid up so that each strand occupies every possible position in the layup and will normally be an odd number of strands. (fitting circles inside a bigger circle)
The Bunched wire is typically 25, 50 etc strands
I did quite a bit of work on the use of bunched in SMPS, operating up to 1MHz and found that there was no significant increase in losses below 1 MHz. For higher RF it will still be advantageous.

Ed

regenfreak 7th Aug 2022 1:01 pm

Re: Denco coils substitute
 
If I were to build an SW receiver, my starting point would not be about getting holding of stock Denco coils or winding my own. I would ask myself questions. The main consideration would be the topology; is this a regen, direct conversion, TRF or superhet? It it a valve or solid-state? The next consideration would be the chosen SW band or would be a multi-band SW receiver? Finally, what is the air gang turning capacitor available on hand or is it a varactor-tuned? This dictates the coil requirements, and RF/oscillator/VFO tracking calculations. If it is a SW suphet, things would get complicated. I would have to consider the IF frequency and the IF transformers. Denco coils came with both valve and transistor versions catered for different receiver topolgies. The Denco coils intended for superhet configuration would only work with air variable gang having a specific tuning ratio and padder capacitor value to fulfil the three-point tracking solutions. In contrast, the tracking problems for the regen and direct conversion receivers are much easier.

Often the coil windings information in articles are useless if they only stated the number of turns without the diameters of the coils. The inductance also depends on the core types. At a high-frequency SW band , thicker strands of Litz wires start to become lossy as the skin effect is frequency dependent, and solid core copper wires may be more desirable:

https://www.hflitzwire.com/frequency-as-per-awg-size/


All times are GMT. The time now is 9:07 pm.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2021, Paul Stenning.