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Old 7th Jun 2022, 12:18 pm   #21
stevehertz
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

The combined volume control on/off pot is stuck fast. No amount of force shifts it. It's a 250k Log pot plus the switch. I have a 500k log pot with switch that actually reads 420k. Would that be ok as a replacement?
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Old 7th Jun 2022, 2:05 pm   #22
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Should be no problem, just a slight change in frequency response.
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Old 7th Jun 2022, 2:09 pm   #23
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

A few comments, which might be of interest.

Firstly, I'd agree that applying a waterslide transfer of that size would prove a challenge, so a better alternative might be to use Inkjet Printable Glossy Self Adhesive Vinyl Sticker Paper, which is claimed to be waterproof, true photographic quality, instant dry, and scratch & tear resistant. It's said to be suitable for all standard inkjet printers with all dye-based and pigmented inks. The printer settings to use to achieve optimal results are on the back of the insert sheet in each packaging for optimal results.

I'd hasten to add that I've no personal experience is using this product.

It would be fine for creating dials which don't need to be translucent, but to what extent the paper would be semi-translucent for back-lit dials, I've no idea. It will be evident from the examples shown that the paper is intended to make stickers to apply to a solid background where it doesn't matter that the paper is opaque. (There's a short instructive video):

https:///www.amazon.co.uk/PPD-Inkjet...63339772&psc=1

It's had more than 2,000 ratings, some of which are unfavourable, but the overall average is 4.5 stars.

On the question of printing white, it's true that no domestic printers of any make or model, be it ink jet or laser, can do that. But provided the design is to be printed onto white paper or white decal paper or vinyl sticker film, as I've mentioned before, in a program such as MS Paint, on a coloured background you can choose white as the text colour, in which case no ink is applied but the text will appear as white. See attached example.

That said, I don't think white text is relevant to Steve's dial requirements.

I guess that whereas dials in the Ecko A22 appear to have been acrylic or polycarbonate, dials such as Steve's, which are discoloured and distorted, were made of celluloid, which is inherently chemically unstable:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celluloid

Overall, the restoration looks an ambitious one, so every good wish to Steve for a successful outcome!
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Old 7th Jun 2022, 2:32 pm   #24
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Thanks David. I already have printable sticky sheets, I used them to experiment with dial scales for an AC74. It all worked fine apart from the sheets having a blueish tinge that made it unsuitable for the AC74 dials - and probably in this case too! I have the PDF of the ACT96 dial scale, but it's the cream background that's the problem. But as per a previous post, cream coloured printable sticky sheets are available, so both issues should be solved with those.

The restoration is ambitious, but quite 'do-able'. I'm surprised how a few hours each day has brought the restoration on in leaps and bounds. In my case I'm quite happy with the rust specks on the chassis being neutralised with Kurust, a purist would have stripped the chassis down and repainted it etc.

I'm presently blackboard black painting the new aerial side cheeks in preparation to swap them with the rotten ones. In that respect I was wondering how to swap the large rectangular coils of wire (or copper tape as I think they are) onto the new side cheeks. I have devised a cunning plan. It seems the coils are wound onto six 4BA bolts spaced at each corner and along one edge of the formers. I will sharpen the protruding threaded ends of the bolts and place the new former on top, then tap down with a hammer at each corner. This will leave drill hole impressions on the new former. One side of the old former will be removed, and a new one put in its place. I will repeat for the other side. I wonder if it will be as easy as it sounds?!
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Old 7th Jun 2022, 10:28 pm   #25
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

It doesn't take many turns to form a frame aerial of that size so it should be easier than you are imagining.
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Old 8th Jun 2022, 7:15 am   #26
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

PJL, in what way will the frequency response be affected? A tad more treble I would have thought?

Regarding the frame aerial, yes if necessary I can rewind it/them.
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Old 8th Jun 2022, 4:44 pm   #27
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Two new side cheeks made and painted ready to transfer the windings over from the rotten aerial coil. Will replace one cheek at a time, keeping windings in place.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 6:03 pm   #28
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Back from holiday now. As well as the aerial side cheeks job that's underway I've also started work on making a new dial scale. I have some inkjet printable 'parchment' coloured A4 sticky label paper and I have the dial scale pdf that is presently being 'worked on' to achieve the size and a few minor other details for me. And i have some 1.5mm thick perspex to apply the dial scale sticker to.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 1:06 pm   #29
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

A pdf of the ACT96 dial scale exists on the forum. However, when printed out the size isn't quite right. I blew the pdf up as large as I could on my LCD monitor, then I took a screen grab of it. The resultant image I could then drag onto an empty word doc and adjust its size by clicking on it to create a surround grid, then push/pull on the corner of the grid to achieve the required dial scale size. I did a few low res tests prints onto paper to ascertain the right size.

Attached is the resultant parchment coloured sticker stuck onto perspex and ready to cut out. I'll then cover the face of the new dial scale with some clear sticky plastic as the sticker paper I got was matt. I used the parchment colour because I had difficulty finding cream, and on reflection I think I prefer it because it kinda replicates the ageing process whereby an old dial scale has become darker due to UV.
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Old 25th Jun 2022, 3:00 pm   #30
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Here's the finished new dial scale temporarily fitted to the chassis. The old one shown for comparison.
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Old 25th Jun 2022, 7:53 pm   #31
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Neat job, Steve. Well done. Jerry
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Old 26th Jun 2022, 9:21 am   #32
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

That's looking very smart with the green and red lettering ,well done Steve , Mick.
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Old 26th Jun 2022, 11:18 am   #33
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Thanks for the comments guys. I'll keep posting as various tasks are completed and hopefully it will of help to others working on this set now and in the future. On those lines, I can now supply dial scale stickers for this set (as first photo post 29), restorers will just need the perspex to stick them to. I'll post that in the parts for sale area in due course.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 9:04 pm   #34
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

I've completed the replacement of wax caps and the like from the main, upper chassis. A few of these were buried beneath components and a cursory look at them now doesn't really portray the battle it was to fit them or even cut the old ones out! The chassis now looks much better than the mould and spider's web ridden mess that it was a few weeks ago.

I've managed to find a spray paint that for all intents and purposes matches the monkey metal arc that embellishes the dial scale. The arc has now been cleaned off and awaits undercoat and brown topcoat.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 7:35 am   #35
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

I agree with your method of using the original wire snipped off close to the old capacitor ,sometimes it needs a scrape to get it to tin properly ,at a guess the paint is Ford Rio brown .Mick.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 8:16 am   #36
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

Correct on both counts Mick! I snip the old caps as close as possible to their body ends, slide off the insulation from their severed leads and reduce the formers' length by about 3mm, scrape and tin the ends of the leads and replace the insulation. Using small round nose pliers I form a 'tube' on the ends of the new caps' leads and solder them in place onto the original components' leads. So the original joint is not even touched with a soldering iron, avoiding heat damage to components and retaining a degree of originality. There's a fair amount of judgement needed to assess and address the size of the gap between the cut old leads vs the size of the new cap and its leads. But it's not rocket science.

Yes the spray paint is Halfords Ford Rio Brown.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 6:32 pm   #37
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

The main smoothing cap block (which was long gone anyway) has now been 'replaced' with two 10uF caps and a couple of other similar electrolytics have also been replaced in situ where the contemporary replacements were, but this time they fit nicely.

On examination, the previously mentioned speaker mounting board was only delaminating in one corner and otherwise is perfectly sound. So using a thin knife I applied PVA wood glue between the delaminated layers and clamped it up overnight. It's now fine and accordingly I've remounted the speaker to it and bolted the whole assembly back onto the chassis and reconnected all the associated wiring.

Turning to the rotten aerial coil assembly, I have now removed one of the wooden side cheeks and what a mess it is! Anyway, it's going to be a long job but I'm optimistic about using the original coils by accurately drilling the new side cheeks to accept the coil mounts and transferring the coils over. The aerial comprise an inner coil (or coils) of insulated wire, and an outer 'wrap' of flat copper.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 6:33 pm   #38
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

More photos of aerial coil.
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 5:06 pm   #39
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

The restoration of the rotten aerial coil is now complete. Basically it involved placing one of the new side cheeks on top of the old aerial and applying pressure so that the threaded rods marked their positions on the new one. Of course, the method wasn't a perfect science, and a lot of the hole centres had to be marked 'as best as I was able' by guile and careful estimation. The two new cheeks were then strapped together and holes drilled as appropriate, different sizes needed for different things. I then removed one side of the old aerial, replacing it with a new one and bolting it in place. It was then turned over and the process repeated, replacing old with new. That's the simple explanation, there being lots of snags, hiccups and reversals on the way. The photos show the process, the last one showing the aerial temporarily fitted in place. Still to be applied is the cloth tape that covers the outer coil of copper foil that can be seen avec surface corrosion. The adhesive being 'dead', the original tape came away easy, so to keep both sides looking the same I'll apply spray adhesive and refit it. Both aerial coils (one each side of the set) need to be rewired to their connecting wires.

I will now spray the metal dial arc, otherwise I'm kinda stuck until I get a replacement 250K log pot with mains switch with a flat (shallow) back and switch. All the valves have been tested or sourced. The original speaker cloth is in excellent condition albeit for some mould in the area that was touching the wooden speaker mount.

One of the knobs has a stuck mounting screw, but after over a month of applying penetrating oil it has at last moved (with eye watering force) a couple of degrees. At this rate I should have it removed in time for Christmas.
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 11:57 am   #40
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Default Re: Ekco ACT96 restoration

I've made and fitted the aluminium screen to the side of the frame aerial, also re-applied its (now cleaned) original cloth tape over the copper foil winding. The metal dial arc has received a couple of coats of primer and will be Ford Rio Brown by the end of the day.
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