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Old 15th May 2024, 10:50 am   #1
john600601
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Default Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Hi, I initially posted about this radio on the Facebook group, a lovely radio I bought from Retrotech to match my Pye record player which has the same covering. A new battery pack has been made up by the person I bought it off which I understand is correctly done to get the 90V (HT), with a D cell for LT. The radio works well. The batteries have been soldered onto directly and you can see some of the tops of the batteries look as if the tops have melted as a result of the soldering, does this look safe/OK? Also this is the first battery valve set I have and obviously I'm in the mindset to always unplug my mains valve sets from the wall socket when I'm not there. Does the 'off' switch (by closing the lid) make this entirely switch off or would it be worth adding a connector block to the HT wires so I could easily disconnect the batteries (as would need to unsolder as it stands). Also when changing batteries does it matter if LT is removed before HT or vice versa? I'm keen to learn. I am aware that there may be some components in the amp that warrant changing but to be honest I won't use it all that much, it's more for display so that side of things is for another day but I want to know it's safe to be left with the batteries in as shown. Thank you.
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Old 15th May 2024, 10:58 am   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

That isn't unsafe, but soldering directly to the battery clips is bad practice because it makes battery replacement difficult. Batteries of this type can't supply enough power to constitute a fire risk, unlike the lithium batteries found in laptops and power tools.

The batteries will be disconnected when the radio is switched off.
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Old 15th May 2024, 11:03 am   #3
Beardyman
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Generally speaking it is not advisable to solder directly to any battery connection unless there are tabs specifically for that.
Personally I do not like the look of that battery pack, again, personally I would change them & use snap on battery connectors as it was meant to be.
The "off" switch on battery sets usually only switches off the filament current, as without any emission the valves are effectively an open circuit.
As for changing the batteries make sure the switch is in the off position first, take out the LT cell. If you are replacing them all then HT reconnected first then the LT. Remember, you can still get a decent jolt from 90V DC.
Enjoy your radio, the HT cells seem to last forever!
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Old 15th May 2024, 11:04 am   #4
Electronpusher0
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

It is quite common to solder wires directly to the battery terminals but it has to be done quickly so as not to melt the plastic or damage the cells.
To be honest the quality of the soldering on the pack you have leaves a lot to be desired, the terminals seem to have been got so hot that they have completely melted the plastic mount and fallen off. Also bare tinned copper wire has been used and are in danger of touching the metal case.

Personally I would not trust them and would junk the cells and make my own from fresh batteries and use insulated wire links.

As to leaving them in the set, if you are only going to use it as a display item the batteries will eventually leak and spoil the set.

Peter

Edit, crossed with the previous replies.
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Old 15th May 2024, 11:53 am   #5
john600601
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Thanks for the replies, I've seen a 90v battery pack available from classicradioshop (the man who does the repair shop on BBC). I think I may replace this existing battery pack with that one which I'd hope to be a neater affair (and it comes in a replica Ever Ready casing). It isn't cheap but I'd have to buy the batteries anyway if I was replacing myself and would feel more confident than trying to make up my own pack.
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Old 15th May 2024, 12:24 pm   #6
kalee20
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

It's a crummy battery pack, as others have pointed out. Soldering direct to the batteries isn't good - the rivetted connections can loosen if nothing worse.

That said, you might as well leave it as-is - it does work after all! - and upgrade when the batteries have died.

The switch does disconnect the batteries from the circuit entirely in this radio.
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Old 15th May 2024, 2:33 pm   #7
John10b
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

It’s interesting to note that some manufacturers switch off only LT others switch off both LT and HT. I never gave it much thought but this post got me thinking as to why ?
John
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Old 15th May 2024, 2:35 pm   #8
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Sorry, but that's at the 'bodgertronics' end of the hobby spectrum, and it isn't necessary.

You can buy robust double PP3 connectors on Paxolin fairly cheaply to cut into two and make 'bridges' to connect PP3s in series.
The male and female terminals of each connector can be soldered across, then the bridges can be used again when the PP3s eventually run down.

These for example at £1.00 each will make two couplers:

https://www.silicon-ark.co.uk/pp3-double-battery-clip

(Minimum order value £10.00.).

There are other out there.

The attached pic shows what I mean.

Just my take on this.
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Old 15th May 2024, 2:36 pm   #9
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Quote:
Originally Posted by John10b View Post
It’s interesting to note that some manufacturers switch off only LT others switch off both LT and HT. I never gave it much thought but this post got me thinking as to why ?
John
With the filaments switched off, the valves draw no HT.
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Old 15th May 2024, 2:40 pm   #10
Cobaltblue
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Providing there is no DC path other than through the valves switching off the LT means no HT current consumption (until the wax caps go leaky at least).

It means you can have a simple switch (single pole) rather than have to have a proper switch if you want to isolate both.



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Old 15th May 2024, 3:19 pm   #11
60 oldjohn
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

This is my way of connecting PP3 batteries together. Quickest, cheapest and easiest. Just needs a positive and neg terminal soldered to the radio HT leads, the top of an old battery cut in half is one way. I admit this approach will not work in sets where space is limited.

John.
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Old 15th May 2024, 3:45 pm   #12
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

You can buy 10 PP3 snaps from eBay sellers for little money.

I agree with one of the comments above - you may as well continue to use the current battery until it goes flat, and replace it then. It may last for many months or even years with light use.

Oddly, the 1.5V battery installation is quite neatly done.
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Old 15th May 2024, 4:02 pm   #13
John10b
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Thanks for your replies regarding switching. So I presume it’s down to manufacturing cost.
John
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Old 15th May 2024, 4:04 pm   #14
vidjoman
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

Simple enough to do - here's my battery made with insulated snaps that had wires fitted. Just join the red - black on the next battery. Add a bit of heatshrink for insulation.
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Old 15th May 2024, 4:11 pm   #15
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

I also dislike removing the original battery plugs to use a modern battery pack. Either use sockets recovered from old HT/LT batteries, or make them from brass rod/strip and plastic insulators.
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Old 15th May 2024, 6:25 pm   #16
Andrew B
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Default Re: Pye P114BQ Battery safety question

I always save the snaps from old batteries, laer on make use of them for a job like this, I have even been known to "borrow" the batteries from recycle bins, just to return them next day minus the "snaps".
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