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greg_simons 29th Oct 2020 1:04 pm

Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
Hi guys
Been asked to repair/restore a ferranti 355 radiogram, apparently it has not unsurprisingly failed a pat test by the care home in which it's to be used, i don't think this can be repaired to any modern standard but would like another opinion, especially on the legal aspects of repairing stuff for others.

Herald1360 29th Oct 2020 1:43 pm

Re: advice needed
Best approach with something like this to be used by others is to restore/repair to original specification. That takes care of its legality in case of any problems. At least this set has a double wound transformer psu so there's no live chassis problem to consider.

The problem with PAT testing this sort of equipment (two core mains input, floating electronics unless an earth is plugged in to the RF earth socket) is that it doesn't conform exactly to either class 1 or class 2 present day standards. You could make it class 1 by fitting a 3-core mains lead and earthing the chassis and record deck but then you've modified it and lost any legal "grandfather" rights as to its safety even though it may well be "safer".

Ultimately it comes down to the stance of the care home management on the issue of PAT testing- there's no legal requirement for PAT testing as such, only that equipment provided must be safe; PAT testing provides the telephone directory down the trousers for them as regards to their due diligence in providing that safe equipment. A risk analysis carried out on the set which confirmed that it was exactly as original and met the safety requirements of its day would do just as well but finding a qualified person to sign up to that might be "difficult".

If the care home wants "period" equipment as part of a special environment for dementia sufferers or the like, then they'll have to bite the bullet on this, otherwise it would be much easier to go for the modern equivalent to a radiogram.

Good luck!

Skywave 29th Oct 2020 1:54 pm

Re: advice needed
Yes, you can do the necessary repairs to produce a successful PAT, but you must then get a PAT carried out by someone who is qualified to do that. Considering where this item will be used, doing a PAT yourself - if you are not qualified for that - is just not worth the risk, to its users and yourself (from a litigation viewpoint).


Cobaltblue 29th Oct 2020 2:27 pm

Re: advice needed
I seems from Gregs description the care home already has a recognised PAT tester.

So that will give the independent test of the completed work.


Mike T

greg_simons 29th Oct 2020 6:41 pm

Re: advice needed
Thanks guys, I don't think I'm going to go there, the legal risks seem all too obvious.

G6Tanuki 29th Oct 2020 6:50 pm

Re: advice needed
That's a wise move, given that your "Care-home PAT tester" is probably younger than your radiogram and won't really understand what-was-accepted-safety-practise-in-the-50s-and-60s.

Sometimes not-doing-anything is the best solution.

Station X 29th Oct 2020 7:00 pm

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
It would be interesting to know which part of PAT Testing it failed on.

John10b 29th Oct 2020 8:40 pm

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
This is an interesting topic, Iím sure itís been discussed on this forum before. I have read the H&S electrical /PAT requirements so I have a fundamental understanding.
Iíve never received a satisfactory answer to the question : should I ď upgradeĒ a vintage set in an attempt to make it satisfy PAT, or leave as original with a written statement explaining the possible hazards of using a vintage set.
When I repair a vintage set today, which is becoming far less often, I tend to ďupgradeĒ it, if the design permits, it may be wrong but I feel Iíve attempted to make it more safe to use.

greg_simons 29th Oct 2020 9:04 pm

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
It's a tricky situation but digressing slightly I'm reminded of a certain model of jaguar car currently being remade to the original spec by the manufacturer, as they stand they cannot be driven on a public highway because they don't have the original type approval granted when they were made in the sixties even though they're new vehicles, so coming back to our radiogram any modifications made also don't conform to the original specification, hope that makes some kind of sense!.

duncanlowe 29th Oct 2020 9:27 pm

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
Although I usually deplore the 'repurposing' of vintage tech with a bluetooth player or whatever, I wonder if this is one of those times where it's appropriate to be replacing the innards with something modern and provably safe, while keeping the external appearance appropriate for the customers?

paulsherwin 29th Oct 2020 9:50 pm

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
I agree with Duncan. This is a hopeless quest. If you have an unsympathetic PAT tester who doesn't understand the issues and context, then you will never get this approved. You may as well rip out the guts and fit a 99p Chinese class D output module powered by a wall wart. Nobody here will be very happy about that, but the care home residents are unlikely to be bothered.

Lucien Nunes 31st Oct 2020 10:29 am

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
Herald1360's post #2 is a good summary. ISITEE (in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment, the modern name for PAT) is not of itself mandatory but it is a recognised way to fulfil statuory obligations under PUWER and EAWR to maintain equipment in a safe condition. Because it is a means to an end and not seen as a desirable thing to do, ISITEE contracts are something of a race to the bottom and often carried out in a slipshod or deficient manner.

The radiogram should go through triage like this:
Is protection class II symbol displayed: No
Is it equpped for earthing to class I: No
Is it made to applicable alternative BS: No
Fail for inadequate protection against shock.
It should never get as far as being tested.

But anything could happen. Having worked in the industry, I cannot help but observe that many test operatives have minimal knowledge and training, often do not follow the ACOP and sometimes don't even bother testing at all, since the contracting firms often expect a barely-possible throughput of work. It might well be failed for:
'Cadbord part'
'Wire is thin'
which are all failure reasons I have seen in real commercial ISITEE results.

My suggestion, steer clear!

greg_simons 31st Oct 2020 10:45 am

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
The deed is done and the repair refused, the real risk of legal liability for helping out is too great to risk, many thanks to all who have contributed their learned thoughts to this thread.

Nuvistor 31st Oct 2020 10:50 am

Re: Ferranti 355 radiogram. PAT Test advice needed.
Might get in trouble for this suggestion.

Get the home to buy a Crossley portable type record player or similar, brand new, no problems with safety, sit it on top of the old gram and play records, they could even play a Bluetooth mp3 player through the Crossley on some models.

The local dementia cafe didnít have radio gram but the Crossley served its purpose extremely well. The clients enjoyed the music, brought back memories which was what the intentions were.

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