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Old 14th May 2018, 10:21 pm   #1
silver_bolt
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Default Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Hello to everyone! It's my first post here, so let's make it a good one...

A lazy sunny Sunday afternoon, Battersea car boot in London. There were some curious things, but nothing that would give me that "I gotta have it!" feeling: a knackered Roberts, a rather hefty National Panasonic, some plastic 80s pocket multi band radios, a grand old Beocord 1500 reel to reel.

I had passed by that stall several times and I had seen nothing even remotely radio connected. On my last tour something had appeared magically out of nowhere, that was most definitely NOT there before - laying on the ground on top of some skiing equipment was a Bush TR82D. Not a reproduction, decent, complete condition, including a set of original AF117s and a duff PP9.

Having a grand total of 2.50 in small coins I decided to chance it. The seller agreed ... I was happy.

Fast forward to my home on the other side of town. Straight out of the door and into a dive towards the desk and the good PP9 currently powering in a Hacker. Connection, contact...almost total silence. There was some noise from the scratchy volume control, but no signal. The stories I had read about AF117s had proven true, but in the same places I had seen that tapping the faulty transistors sometimes does the trick.

So the butt end of my trusty screwdriver comes into play ... and my ears almost got blown off when the Bush popped into life. Mr. Murphy had played his part and I had left the radio on maximum volume.

In the beginning it was quite sketchy - it would stop an go on its own accord. Sometimes upon switching it on it would start immediately, sometimes after a few seconds, or not at all unless I tapped it. I think this is also the place to mention that all the AF117s still have their screen leads attached appropriately. The second problem is that it really sounded like it needed new electrolytes - the sound is nice and clear, until you decide to cut the treble and turn the volume up. That's when quite a bad distortion appears.

After a couple of hours things had improved considerably: the controls were clean and no longer making loud noises, the exterior of the radio scrubbed to the best of my ability. Most importantly, the AF117s seem to have woken up and now the radio plays reliably.

The old Bush is now in its second evening of providing music and it seems to be doing quite well. I've also managed to find a sweet spot on the tone control where it has just enough bass, without distortion. Now, I know exactly what I'm supposed to do in such a situation to fix all its issues. The problem is that all my equipment and supplies are on the other end of Europe, so the Bush will stay like this for the foreseeable future. Besides I'm curious just how long will those transistors keep working.

Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, here's several of them ... and a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSkkOt69awY&t=

P.S. The clip was shot right after I came home and the radio started playing, so it's pretty much at its worst in regard to cosmetics.

P.P.S. How in the world does only ONE of the letters lose its paint entirely, while the others remain in good condition??
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Old 14th May 2018, 11:14 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

It is very easy to change the AF117s in these sets, and they are very tolerant of different types as replacements.

A very good buy for 2.50!
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Old 14th May 2018, 11:22 pm   #3
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

My TR82 originally belonged to my late parents-in law, also using AF117s and is in almost identical condition to yours.

One of the AF117s went intermittent short to the can, so I cut the screen wire. That was ten or more years ago. If any of them give further trouble I will short EBC together and zap the whiskers with some current.
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Old 15th May 2018, 8:04 am   #4
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

That looks beautiful, and nice write-up.

What a bargain too. I paid about the same for mine at a jumble sale 30 odd years ago!
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Old 15th May 2018, 1:21 pm   #5
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_bolt View Post
P.P.S. How in the world does only ONE of the letters lose its paint entirely, while the others remain in good condition??
At a guess as it's nearest the tuning dial I would say it was just the way the original owner tuned it, perhaps leaning the set back slightly with the left hand with possibly his thumb resting on the 'H'
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Old 15th May 2018, 8:12 pm   #6
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

I have to say this feels like one of the easiest to work on radios I've seen. When I was cleaning it I had the chassis out on the desk in under 2 minutes, with most of the time consumed by the removal of the dial knob.

Another thing I noticed is that the alignment is pretty damn good, with stations appearing exactly where thy should be. On medium wave at night RTBF from Belgium comes in exactly where Brussels is written on the dial. On long wave BBC 4 is right in the middle of the old "Light" marker; the same goes for RTL from Luxembourg.

@Sideband: yes, that seems like a reasonable assumption. If the radio is sitting to the left of the owner (as it does on my desk) it is possible to tune it like that.
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:58 am   #7
60 oldjohn
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Regarding the backs of these nice sets, Why do many od them have melted backs ? they are after all a battery set. Many have chips out of the backs (and fronts) around the edges. Consider yourself lucky is yours is not affected in either of these ways.


John.
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Old 16th May 2018, 9:53 am   #8
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60 oldjohn View Post
Regarding the backs of these nice sets, Why do many od them have melted backs ? they are after all a battery set. .
John.
I guess they were popular as kitchen radios and tended to wander too close to the cooker. Our TR130 certainly suffered from that kind of 'thermal distortion' for that reason.

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Old 16th May 2018, 10:00 am   #9
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

They were relatively expensive sets when new and would have been treasured possessions, but many have led a long and sometimes hard life as they fell out of fashion, spending years on kitchen and bathroom windowsills or in garages and workshops.

When I was at college around 1980 one of the night shift lodge porters would bring a TR82 in with him to help pass the time. I remember wondering why he was using such an ancient old radio rather than something newer with FM.
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Old 16th May 2018, 7:18 pm   #10
silver_bolt
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Mine is fortunately not melted, but it has quite a large collection of cracks and chips, including a piece that broke off the back panel during cleaning.

An idea as to how so many end up with melted backs: as it's a portable radio, think of how many were forgotten in cars on hot summer days.

@paulsherwin: when you say the Bush TR82 was expensive, do you know any specific prices for the period they were made? So far I've been unable to locate information about that on the net and I'm curious how it compares the income of the time. A quick and dirty Google search reveals the average weekly wage for the period to be around 10-20.
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:04 pm   #11
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

From the Trader service sheet (82B), released May 1959, price 17/8/11 + PT.
The low running costs would have made up for that in part.
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:19 pm   #12
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

(In case you don't understand Imperial currency, that's about 17.44 plus purchase tax.)
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:20 pm   #13
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

As a comparison, the 1959 Ever Ready Sky Baronet was just over 9 plus tax. The running costs were obviously higher with a battery valve set though.
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:28 pm   #14
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Re post#11,don't forget that the purchase tax would have been 25 or 33% then which would be quite a sum out of the wage.Peter.
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:30 pm   #15
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC/HL View Post
From the Trader service sheet (82B), released May 1959, price 17/8/11 + PT.
The low running costs would have made up for that in part.
Frightfully-expensive when you consider that back then a "white collar" desk-clerk-type job would typically have paid 500-600 a year (ten pounds a week) .
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:33 pm   #16
60 oldjohn
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_bolt View Post
An idea as to how so many end up with melted backs: as it's a portable radio, think of how many were forgotten in cars on hot summer days.
One theory I have but no proof, as it is often in the same area of the back, was there a holder on the mopeds of the time that was near the exhaust?

John.
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Old 16th May 2018, 8:33 pm   #17
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

10 was the average weekly wage in 1959. People in low skilled manual work would have been paid a lot less.
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Old 16th May 2018, 11:02 pm   #18
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Bargain! And not without virtue ... e.g.. a nice clear tuning knob!

If you're miles away from home base and your bench - my advice would be to snip off the AF117 screen leads and [assuming you have access to a multi meter] .... check the quiescent - otherwise you may find that the thing is devouring PP9's !!

Plenty of these turn-up in various states of disrepair and therefore you will probably/ultimately find both decent front and rear case/cabinet shells on basket case examples in the fullness of time.

The 'Bush' lettering simply pushes out of the front case shell - and most people remove each character, clean it and then spray it with silver paint. (Carefully gluing silver kitchen foil to each character and then carefully trimming off the excess gives a better result ..... but requires considerable patience.)
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Old 16th May 2018, 11:10 pm   #19
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

As I said earlier, it is really, really easy to change the AF117s in these sets, and just about any HF transistors will work. I used some ex equipment 2N1307s in the last one I did, scavenged from some 60s lab equipment. You really can get away with almost anything.
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Old 17th May 2018, 6:25 am   #20
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Default Re: Bush TR82D: Knock, knock...anybody in there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractionist View Post
The 'Bush' lettering simply pushes out of the front case shell - and most people remove each character, clean it and then spray it with silver paint. (Carefully gluing silver kitchen foil to each character and then carefully trimming off the excess gives a better result ..... but requires considerable patience.)
The chromed brass letters on the early cabinets may remove, but do the letters on this later cabinet push out? I thought they were part of the moulding.

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