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Old 10th Jul 2022, 7:14 pm   #1
Ben Humphrys
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Default Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

We’re in the process of refurbishing a relative’s much beloved Pye ‘Jewel case’ Q4 which she has owned and treasured for 62 years. There were many missing and broken parts, so we were lucky to win with a reasonably low bid for a donor set on eBay; this to be robbed for hinges, knobs and so-forth.

The set under repair was pretty grubby. The cleaning was done rather zealously and as a result the covering now has a bleached appearance. The donor set is fairly well preserved but is now a manky brown colour. Neither set could be considered to be a ‘jewel’, in any sense of the word.

With the Pye badge and hinges removed, the unexposed areas seem to offer a bit of a clue about their original appearance. Both sets under these parts look much brighter and are similar to each other in colour and gloss (see pics). It looks as though the brown colour of the exposed surfaces of the donor is due to the originally transparent finishing lacquer having changed over the intervening 60 years to a brown patina.

I’m thinking:
-These sets are in a wooden case, covered with a decorative film. The film on the radio body was predominantly airforce blue, or similar, and that on the lid was white, or off-white.
-The surface of the film was a simulated ‘lizard skin’ texture embossed pattern, possibly PVC.
-The textured surface of the lid, now not quite white, is painted or sprayed with a pale grey paint coating.
-The paint seems to have settled in the crevices of the PVC lizard skin texture, making the embossed pattern easier to see.
-The blue body seems to be unpainted.
-The final coating was presumably originally a lot more glossy, perhaps some kind of lacquer. It’s possible that more lacquer was added after the case had been constructed since the hinges seem to have a brown coating on them, too. With a glossy coating, perhaps it would shine like a jewel?

Can anybody confirm or deny these possibilities, or add any information to this?

There are probably no chances of getting back to the original appearance, but it needs a bit of a cosmetic lift, doesn't it? Any tips or tricks would be much appreciated.

There is some blue and some grey Cherry shoe revival cream on its way, what are the chances of success, if we use these, do you reckon?
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Last edited by Cobaltblue; 10th Jul 2022 at 7:36 pm. Reason: C1
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Old 11th Jul 2022, 5:37 pm   #2
Paul_RK
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

It definitely looks as though the lid and base of the set for repair have been painted, which won't be original: what's the inside of the lid like, has that been done too? The snakeskin effect fabric will have been the same inside the lid and outside, and the glimpse you get under the hinges is closest to its original appearance because the hinges offer some protection against atmosphere, dirt and sun exposure... and paint.

I'd not say the casing ever shone exactly, the "jewel case" name came from a likeness to cases in which a lady might have kept her jewels rather than from the case being itself jewel-like

Paul
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Old 11th Jul 2022, 8:28 pm   #3
Ben Humphrys
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Ah thanks Paul, yes that's probably the best explanation of the name 'Jewel case' isn't it? I'd never thought of that. Inside the lid on the donor set is also the same grey snakeskin as the patch under the hinges, it's only the exposed outside surface that has gone brown.

Underneath the lid of the set under repair is somewhere between the inside and the outside of the donor lid.

The grey paint (or whatever it was) is original, but whatever coating Pye put on top of it has gone brown on the external surface and is no longer colourless.

The Cherry leather renovating cream has arrived, we are experimenting.
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Old 12th Jul 2022, 7:21 am   #4
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

It looks to me like a thick film of NICOTINE. For a start give it a good scrub with 'FLASH' cleaner and hot water. No point in putting shoe cream over all that muck. John.
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 10:29 am   #5
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Hi John, Apologies for any confusion. The brown case isn't the one we are working on, it's only the one we bought for spares. The white one is the one we want to rejuvenate. It was originally covered in wax, grey grime, cup rings, snot and who knows what else, so we gave it a scrub and it has now lost not only the grot but also all of its character. The Cherry Blossom may bring it back a bit.

Some may say 'why not use the case from the spare?' Well, I guess we could have a go at cleaning that again but then it's not quite the same as saying 'here's your old radio back, we've renovated it'. It's a good question though, I think it's known as the 'Ship of Theseus' question. The sailors on Theseus' boat replaced all the old rotten planks on their ship one at a time so that none of the original ones remained, so the people ask is 'is it still the same ship'? Philosophers are divided.

Or, where I cone from, they say it's like Trigger's broom, it's the one he's had for years but he's had it so long that he's had to replace the bristles five times and the handle twice.

Another important question is whether or not after having his body dismantled by the transporter and reassembled elsewhere from different atoms, is the original Captain Kirk now dead?

I tell you what, we'll give that brown case a clean and see how it ends up. It doesn't smell at all like nicotine but we'll have a go with some surfactants to start with.

Last edited by Ben Humphrys; 13th Jul 2022 at 10:33 am. Reason: trigger's broom added
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 10:31 am   #6
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

I've got one of these sets in decent cosmetic condition. I've attached some photos which will give you some idea of what it should look like.
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Old 13th Jul 2022, 11:49 am   #7
Ben Humphrys
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Alan that's really useful, thank you so much.
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Old 24th Jul 2022, 9:35 pm   #8
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

This may be a bit off topic but I got one of these sets in 1961 for passing the 11+. It is in reasonable condition and still works well on MW but LW is poor - R4 is way off where it ought to be on the scale and there is a hetrodyne whistle part way through the band. Looking inside there are some aerial wires adrift from the coils on the ferrite rod. Would Alan or Ben please post a photo of the aerial connection wires and show the relative position of the coil formers so that I can reconnect them. Like Alan, I also cleaned the outside of the case a few years ago with Fairy liquid and warm water and was very annoyed after I’d done it - it made it too pale and it has only recently come back to its correct grey colour so be careful if you contemplate doing such cleaning, many thanks, John
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 9:46 am   #9
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Hi John,

You must be approx. the same vintage as my relative!

I have two such sets, one treasured family heirloom, and one less important being dissected for parts from Ebay. One of them has Pye transistors that look a little bit like metal Rennies tablets with legs, as shown on the circuit diagram from RadioMuseum, and the other has black glass tubular OC series so maybe that one was the later version.

I will photograph both of the different sets ferrite wires and upload them later, with some notes about which goes where. Just give me a little while, please!

Ours was dead, but came back to life when we changed the electrolytic caps. Actually we changed one of the Plesseys first because the voltages differed from the schematic, and it burst into life straight away. It was still a bit crackly, popping and erratic when the wax capacitors in the audio section were tapped. so we are substituting them for modern ones right now.

Do you have any missing / cracked bits? Ours had been through the wars but between the pair of them there may be some useful leftovers if you need something in particular.
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 2:12 pm   #10
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

John,

I don't know whether it should be a new thread? Moderators, what to do?

Here are some attachments:
(1) A picture of the set with OC series transistors, chassis no. 739569
(2) A crude sketch of the wiring of it
(3) A picture of the set with Pye (branded NKT) own-brand transistors chassis no. 773267

Please let me know if you need more detail.

Although it has a higher serial number, the set 773267 just looks a little bit older, e.g. it has mostly dog-bone resistors. Also it has an interesting pale blue silk-screen of the traces on the component side as well as the component ID silk screen. I'd imagine the sort of thing that bean counters would just probably be desperate to stamp out. I wonder, could this be? Can earlier sets ever have higher chassis no.s?

I can't find any dated components but 739569 has Plessey electrolytics, 773267 has CCL and TXC brands instead.

Isn't it interesting to see designs evolve with time?

Ben
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File Type: pdf oc set.pdf (123.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: pdf wiring.pdf (84.4 KB, 16 views)
File Type: pdf pye set.pdf (123.7 KB, 20 views)
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Old 25th Jul 2022, 7:25 pm   #11
Johnbarn
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Thank you Ben that will be very helpful, especially your sketch of the wiring. My set has the serial number 737166 which is close to one of yours. It has the black glass Mullard OC series transistors apart from the two OC81s in metal cans for the audio amp. The leather of the carrying handle is a bit cracked and the PYE small Perspex symbol on the lid is also cracked but otherwise it’s not too bad. Your info on the aerial wiring will help me get the LW sorted. A year or so ago I replaced the yellow Plessey electrolytics with modern ones and that helped greatly. I’ll let you know how the LW goes and thanks again for your help, much appreciated, John
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Old 26th Jul 2022, 8:10 am   #12
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Hi Ben, looking at the two pictures you sent of the OC and the PYE sets I think they are both the same photo. And does the red wire from the pin of the aerial socket join with the white wire on the coil former? Thanks again for your help, John
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 8:04 am   #13
Ben Humphrys
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Whoops: I messed up the image file manager. I'm sorry.

Please find the missing Pye/NKT transistor set pictures attached.

Handle: I only have one, so I need it myself I'm afraid.
The little round Pye badge: I have one cracked and one not cracked. So am also hanging onto the crackless one jealously sorry. The spare one is still in one piece- but has a central star crack.

The aerial wires:
I have been studying the OC transistor set, i.e. the one we both have. I compared what I can see to the RadioMuseum schematic. I was a bit confused, because there are a lot of pink, violet and black wires and some are buried in wax. Then it dawned that the physical terminals on the wafer switch are not in the order shown on the schematic, i.e. if the terminals on the physical switch are numbered 1-9 clockwise, then on the schematic they are shown in the sequence 4 6 5 7 9 8 1 3 2. Then I'm starting to feel convinced the wiring & the schematic tie up perfectly with each other. Also confusing is that the terminal labelled 'P' is a pink wire which actually goes to the point 'O' So I guess you have to be a bit cautious, just in case physical assemblies may differ.

Oddly, the other set, the one with Pye/NKT transistors seems to have a different layout but maybe not when you stare at it long enough and trace it all out. That's a job for a rainy day when there's nothing on the telly.

Anyway to cut a long story short, in answer to your question the ext aerial red wire goes to the coil L3 and the black to chassis, which is the batt positive terminal. But they both land on the ferrite.

If you look at the ferrite, you can see two coils together each wound from enamelled copper wire both on the same former. the one nearest to the end of the ferrite is L4, the next being L3. There are four tag terminals on this former. If you look at them from the top clockwise, starting from pink, they are wired in the sequence pink, then white to wafer switch, then red to ext aerial socket, then common. The common has a black going the the PCB where it meets the chassis earth, a violet going to the wafer switch, another violet going to L2, and black for ext aerial, all four joined to the same tag.

If this description is confusing then apologies, I have drawn a more detailed sketch and taken some more pictures. I'll upload them when I get a chance.

I haven't yet got a working sig gen to do alignment, but would be interested to find out how you crack it. We'd both better get a move on before radio 4 LW burns out (<<sob>>).
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 12:59 pm   #14
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Here are some photos of the ferrite connector tags as discussed in the previous message (#13). And a more detailed sketch of the "OC transistor" set wiring.

If the terminals are numbered 1-9 clockwise on the back of the wave change wafer switch, then the connector number sequence of the wave change switch shown on the schematic is in the order 4 6 5 7 9 8 1 3 2. The last image is an annotated copy of the schematic bearing the same information. The four ferrite connector tags are marked a, b, c, d (my letters, starting clockwise from pink) with d as a common connected to (+ve) chassis.

--------

e&oe ha ha.

--------
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 5:30 pm   #15
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Thank you so much Ben. The photos, diagrams and the detailed info on the switch will be great to work through. Isn’t it nice to get to work on sets where things are well spaced and the tracks on the pcb are broad and substantial. I also love the look of the shiny chrome top plate when you first open the lid - they did things well in those days!
Thanks for looking for the handle and the PYE badge from your spares but I won’t worry about changing from the originals, they’ve been there since 1961 so I reckon they can stay a while yet! I’ll let you know how I get on with the work on the LW coverage. Thanks again for your help, John
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Old 28th Jul 2022, 7:01 pm   #16
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

The photo I couldn't find of other side of the ferrite showing the common connection has turned up.
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Old 28th Jul 2022, 8:03 pm   #17
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Default Re: Pye Q4 Jewel case refurb

Well Ben, your info was great - I have R4 on LW now at about the right place on the scale, clear and with plenty of volume. All we can hope now is that the BBC don’t shut it down, John.
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