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Old 14th Mar 2019, 12:16 am   #1
knoxieman
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Default Opening Burndept BE470?

Hello

Just won a lovely pair of Burndept BE470 London Fire Brigade radios and would like to open them up to pop some crystals in them and tune them up, might sound like a stupid question but how do they come apart? being fire radios I believe they are a little more intrinsically safe, these are the radios with the thumb lever on the side so they are easy to operate with fire gloves on.

There is 1 screw in the back and screws around the volume and channel knobs, removing all of them loosens the top part of the radio but doesnt make it come apart, unless I am being too careful, having paid good money for them I dont want to damage them and I know from searching the forum there are a few folks on here who know a thing or two about them.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 12:42 am   #2
bill knox
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hi
If the radio's are intrinsically safe, the bottom of the radio where the batteries are inserted will have a small screw that does NOT have a slot in it but has two small holes in it so that the batteries cannot be installed or removed on the fire ground, it does require a special tool to undo the screw, but if you can find a small enough pair of long nosed pliers to fit into the two holes you will be able to get the bottom off, if you can find a "normal" BE470 bottom it will fit without any modification.

Fire ground radio's have changed over to Airwave radio's or similar, I do not know if the battery covers for these radio's use the same tool, but assuming that they do not, if you go to a fire station and talk to a watch commander he may have the correct tool in the bottom of a drawer that he can loan you or possibly give you.

Good luck.

Bill KNOX
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 7:24 pm   #3
knoxieman
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hello Bill

Thanks for the reply, it doesnt look like the radios are intrinsically safe from your description although they are fire radios and have the badges on them and the London fire brigade badges at the top.

I have 1 screw in the back and the tray pulls out, any ideas how I open it to put eh crystals in and check the PCB? we also may be related somewhere along the line as my name is also Knox as well.

Cheers

Paul Knox
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 7:59 pm   #4
bill knox
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hi Paul

Is there any chance of some photo's, I always feel they are better than a 1000 words

I don't know of any family out your way, but when I was in the RAF I met another KNOX his Christian name, if my memory serves me was Jimmy.

Regards

Bill
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 8:01 pm   #5
Biggles
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

I used to repair these back in the eighties, even attended a training course down at our depot in Kippax, but can't remember exactly how to open them. I do remember some stock faults such as "supertick" which caused the battery economiser to tick loudly while the radio was in receive standby. I seem to remember that it was possible to tune the crystals onto the next channel up if not careful while using a crystal calibrator. You used to tune for zero beat, but with no frequency counter it was easy to get the wrong channel. Caused no end of fun. The 470 is modular in construction, which doesn't help with repair. The head has four screws to take off and with the head off I think the pcb should slide out, but it's a long time since I have had one apart, I may be wrong. Some had a yellow top button and some had a red one. It could indicate a difference in transmit power possibly? I think the standard power output was about 500mW on a good day, and the 9V batteries of which there were two installed, had three pips on the top, which I assume meant that you couldn't fit them incorrectly. I believe the batteries had to be removed to charge them and were PP3 size, and yellow plastic.
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 9:11 pm   #6
knoxieman
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hello to Bill and Biggles

Thanks for the reply, I have taken some photos of one of the radios, i have to say they are lovely old radios, I have a lot in my collection and these and the PYE PF8 are my absolute favourites that I own, although I only picked these ones up a few days ago.

I did take the screws out of the sides and it does free the head up and I also took the back screw out of the middle of the case, I fear I am probably not being strong enough for fear of breaking something.

If the photos help jog your memory I would be most grateful I have put them on a Dropbox link because the forum here wont accept HD images, I can take more photos if it helps.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gdkg3q4vei...be470.zip?dl=0

Thanks

Paul Knox
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 9:15 pm   #7
knoxieman
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill knox View Post
I don't know of any family out your way, but when I was in the RAF I met another KNOX his Christian name, if my memory serves me was Jimmy.l
Hi Bill

My family are all originally from Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire, my Dads Grandad and Grandmother were unsurprisingly both from Scotland and ran a very successful drapery business and were very wealthy before the recession way back then, they were friends with the Author JM Barrie, I dont meet many Knox online so its interesting to find one, so thanks Bill.
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Old 15th Mar 2019, 10:34 am   #8
bill knox
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hi Paul

Looking at the photo's, the control's look like an intrinsically safe radio but the bottom is definitely not the base for an intrinsically safe radio, that is a "normal" battery cover for a BE470.

It has to be at least 35 years ago since looking at one of those, from memory, I think that just taking the screw off the back and the screw either side of the case just underneath the volume control and the channel change knob the innards should pull out, but, as it was distributed as a fire ground radio (these were repaired at Kippax) I am wondering if there are any other fixings under the head, again, just undoing the 2 screws on the side of the head and then gently pull the head straight off should reveal something.

I don't think you mentioned, but when you undid the screws on the case, did you remove the bottom battery cover, this screws directly into the bottom of the battery carrier that is part of the main PCB, if not removed this would stop the PCB being removed.

Regards

Bill
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Old 15th Mar 2019, 11:16 am   #9
knoxieman
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hi Bill

Thanks for the reply, I took all of the screws out of the case and undid the battery cover but nothing seemed to move, I have 2 of these radios so I will try the other one just in case this one is a bit tight.

I intend to fit crystals to these and to tune them up, the seller has sold them to me as working, I have a youtube channel where I test and review modern and vintage radios, I am currently in the process of designing and making a replica Pye PF8 and I am going to do the same with the BE470, the BE470 being a much simpler design to replicate.

I will have another look later and try the other radio, thanks again for your help Bill.

My youtube channel if you are interested is.

https://www.youtube.com/user/knoxiem..._as=subscriber
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 12:13 am   #10
bill knox
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hi Paul

Have just had a thought, when the PCB is fitted into the case I seem to remember that the PCB slides into a slot on either side of the case, if, when removing the xtals, if the person was not careful he may have missed the slot and just pushed the PCB into the case with the PCB going crooked, take the bottom off and have a look up into the battery compartment and see if the PCB is laying flat or looks crooked, if it's crooked you may need a little bit more force to remove the PCB.

Bill
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Old 17th Mar 2019, 12:16 pm   #11
Sparky67
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

My memory of the standard BE470 is remove the rear screw and one screw on each side of the case, loosen the battery retaining plate and wriggle the case off. Some can be tight... The controls fit into a recess in the plastic case sides so their screws don't need removing.


The original BE470 with the red button didn't have a screw in the back. After repairing numerous sets where the soldered antenna connection from the main PCB to the head had broken I realised it was over-enthusiatic screwing-up of the battery cover which was causing the issue. There was nothing to stop the board pulling down. So I wrote a paper and sent it up the HO engineering chain... Not sure if that got back to Burndept, but the extra screw in the yellow-button version made all the difference.


Martin
G4NCE
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Old 18th Mar 2019, 1:22 pm   #12
knoxieman
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Hello Martin

Many thanks for the reply, yes I just needed to be a little firmer with my approach after removing all of the screws the head of the unit simply pulls off, it connects to the base through 6 long metal pins, so pulling up on the head of the radio the head comes off then gripping the metal part of the radio from the sides as it sits in the case the main radio PCB pulls out, I didnt need to undo the battery compartment to pull the PCB out it came out in 1 attempt.

Thanks to everyone who has commented, I am modelling this radio in 3D at the moment and will be making a replica version, I will post the details of the video you can watch on my youtube channel if anyone is interested.

Thanks again

Paul
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Old 18th Mar 2019, 7:40 pm   #13
knoxieman
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Default Re: Opening Burndept BE470?

Thanks again to all who helped, here is my first video I made the other day on this super radio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IptXKPsJ-Dc
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