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Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 4:18 pm   #1
Radio_Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK.
Posts: 2,496
Default Ever Ready Sky Emperor

I found this radio locally for just £25. Initially I planned to leave the electronics alone but knowing the rarity of this radio I thought Iíd be best to tap into the wealth of knowledge on this forum and ask for advice. In that thread I was surprised when I was advised to change all the capacitors but once I took a few out and tested them I could see how bad they were and so went on to change the lot including electrolytics. Apart from a squirt of switch cleaner here and there no other work was needed to the chassis

The cabinet need more attention. The rexine was very dirty, had some chips and knocks, including a few dart holes. Washing up liquid didnít touch the dirt. I so I reluctantly used Flash spray bleach to clean it with very soft nail brush. I did my best to fill the holes and damage with acrylic paint and then polished it with appropriately coloured shoe cream. The end result is far from perfect but I pleased with it.

The brass knob bright were polished and lacquered but the fittings for the carry handle were brass coloured steel so minimal cleaning and polishing was all I could do.

The white print on the tuning scale is incredibly delicate and it can be seen where itís lifting from the glass. The gentlest brush over with a yellow duster was all I dare do, but it cleaned off the dust a treat.

The twin aerials were bent and had lost their red tips. I was really nervous bending them straight and many times I thought they were going to snap but I got away with it in the end. I made new tips from wooden dowel spun in a drill and shaped with sandpaper. I spayed them white and then dipped them in red glass paint that I had brought years ago to paint some nixie tubes. I am very happy how they turned out. Thereís two bits of incredibly delicate plastic trim that go around the aerials and they were both cracked and broken. I repaired these with superglue and where there were holes I filled it with superglue and bicarbonate of soda. Strangely somebody in the past has brush painted them with some sort of varnish. I wanted to remove it but decided to leave them as they are because of their fragility.

The radio came with a home made battery eliminator but when tested under load the HT was a bit high at 120 volts so I decided to make a replica B103 battery using 60 AAís for the HT and 4 D cells for the LT. Later on I may revisit that battery eliminator and make use of it.

Well here it is 5 pictures. Itís not perfect but Iím pleased with it. Sounds good too!

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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 8:35 pm   #2
Mike. Watterson
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Limerick, Ireland.
Posts: 899
Default Re: Ever Ready Sky Emperor

Your B103 looks well and these are not really an everyday listening set like Noval piano key L/M/VHF sets, the valve life is about 1/10th. So while I have battery eliminators, I only use replica batteries on my battery only valve sets inc the Sky Emperor and Vidor Vanguard. I only demo them to visitors.
I have an AEG 4 band valve mains set for everyday VHF-FM
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 8:50 pm   #3
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Default Re: Ever Ready Sky Emperor

Originally Posted by Radio_Dave View Post
I found this radio locally for just £25.

Well here it is 5 pictures. Itís not perfect but Iím pleased with it. Sounds good too!

Some people have all the luck! Well done preserving this. I keep hoping that one day I'll have either one of these, the Vidor Vanguard or the Berec Commander. The Sky Emperor is the best one though because of the push-pull output stage.
On Spike Milligan's headstone......I told you I was ill...
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 11:19 am   #4
Mike. Watterson
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Limerick, Ireland.
Posts: 899
Default Re: Ever Ready Sky Emperor

Ah but the Vidor has a built in loop for VHF, LW and goes loud enough. The Ever Ready just goes louder and needs the awkward aerials extended.

However in reality both are collector items and really for demo, not everyday listening. Neither is as good as many Continental models (German from 1953 with DC90, various 1955 onward DF97).

1959 was the last year for new models of DF97 based valve VHF radios and 1960 the last production. From 1961 the AM/FM portables were all transistor.
The USA never did any valve portable AM/FM sets, though had Band II FM from 1945. It was sold for HiFi. VHF-FM was popular in Germany from 1949/1950 due to Allies taking so many AM allocations. However it was mains only till the DC90 was available in 1953.

The Vanguard is unusual in using the VHF Osc/mixer DF97 as AM LO and the FM 1st IF as AM Pentode mixer, so no DK91/DK40/DK92/DK96

Just create a custom search with email on eBay and be prepared to buy a wreck. That's how I got my Sky Emperor cheap. The Vidor Vanguard cost more and in good condition apart from tuning knob but was still under £30 ex. shipping. It had a dodgy wavechange switch as well as bad paper caps.

My Philips Collette had big hole in the front panel Bakelite, but fortunately it's vinyl cloth covered so car body filler and acrylic paint fixed it.

It's the Grundig, Schaub, Akkord, Metz etc battery valve AM/FM sets that go for €80 to €300. The Philips Annette range seem to go cheapest, though can go for up to €120, a battered one might go for under €25. All those need the DEAC replaced by a 3500mAH NiMH C cell as the NiCd DEAC is the LT regulator on mains.

Vidor and Ever Ready liked selling batteries. Though quite a few Vidor sets did battery/mains. After WWII only Ever Ready's BEREC Fiesta did mains?
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 10:29 pm   #5
Phil G4SPZ
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Location: Bewdley, Worcestershire, UK.
Posts: 4,366
Default Re: Ever Ready Sky Emperor

Dave, that’s a great restoration of a rare set, and some very good photos to boot. Well done!

ďThe place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylumĒ - Havelock Ellis
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