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Old 29th Jan 2023, 10:10 pm   #1
dryjoint
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Default Ekco U245

Hi Y'all,
I realise that there have been loads of comments before on this particular set so sorry to dig over old grouund again.
I have a particular question re the quality of reception one can expect from the U245. I have managed to coax life out of this old set, have cleaned the wavechange switch contacts and the waxy mess left by the cap-across-the -mains exploding at some point in the set's history and can receive some stations on MW but very little on LW.
It seems to be extremely good at receiving just interference (usual mains buzz etc) and although I understand that this is more than likely due to the environment rather than a receiver fault does it suggest that realignment may be necessary? Have checked the AGC line and that does vary with station strength and have changed (as a matter of course) the wax / paper capacitors.
Sorry to ask what is probably a daft question, but do I have another odd probelm here as I understand that these sets are capable of giving a half-decent performance.
Thanks for any advice
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Old 29th Jan 2023, 10:24 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Ekco U245

U245s work very well.

Realignment shouldn't be necessary unless a previous owner has been twiddling. You probably just have lots of local interference from the usual sources.

Southend is a long way from the Droitwich transmitter.
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Old 29th Jan 2023, 10:52 pm   #3
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Default Re: Ekco U245

MW is virtually unusable here. I'm hoping to get some sort of half-decent aerial up this summer away from interference generated by all the gadgets and next doors alarm system......He's got so much stuff in his loft, it's virtually swamping everything. Short of working in a Faraday cage, there isn't much you can do.

You could try tracking the main source of interference by using a portable AM radio if you have one. You will be surprised at just how much interference is generated by most of what we have around the house....particularly plug-in power supplies. If you can disconnect certain items nearby, you may be able to reduce the interference to an acceptable level. LED lights can also be a source of noise but it does depend on type and brand.
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 11:32 am   #4
dryjoint
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Thanks very much for your advive and comments and confirming what I suspected. I'm repairing if for my brother-in-law and want it to "do its best". Maybe it will flourish in a different environment. I have noted just how noisy LED lighting is and that's without the SMPSUs in virtually everything these days. Southend seems a long way from anywhere at times although I guess someone has to live here!
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 11:51 am   #5
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Just a reminder that the ferrite rod is directional, so rotating the radio allows you to peak the signal and/or null out interference.

These sets are full of the dreaded Hunts Mouldseal capacitors which may need replacement. Anything between 0.1uF and 0.001uF is suspect.
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 12:03 pm   #6
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Also be aware that items plugged into the same extension/double mains socket/nearby sockets etc can make a big difference to reception. Notably phone chargers, wireless doorbell ringing units, kitchen equipment (eg coffee machine that goes on standby), power supplies, TVs etc.
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 12:45 pm   #7
Mr 1936
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Hi

Did you replace the 'cap across the mains' ?

It will reduce some mains borne interference
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 2:58 pm   #8
dryjoint
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Hi Mr 1936
I did temporarily "tack" a high voltage poly cap across the mains to see if it made a difference but nothing noticeable. BTW what would the most suitable type of cap to replace C31 (on Trader Sheet) - it's the one that ties the aerial E socket to (hopefully) the neutral side? Was thinking about a Y2 here...but haven't seen anyone on other threads raising this.
Thanks Paul and Gabe for further advice
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 3:04 pm   #9
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Yes, use a class Y. Alternatively, disconnect the external aerial and earth sockets if they're not being used. They aren't really needed in a set like this, and will always be a potential safety hazard.
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 8:00 pm   #10
dryjoint
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Thanks again Paul - your suggestion sounds like the safest bet.
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Old 31st Jan 2023, 2:23 pm   #11
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Hi Re Ekco U245 I have the same set and as you say the sound on this model is normally very good apart from the interference in the house. But I can take my Ultra Coronation Twin down the garden and receive perfect reception on MW & LW on mains or battery and as noted these sets are very directional. TAB
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Old 31st Jan 2023, 4:56 pm   #12
dryjoint
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Thanks Clockman. I took the set down my garden with a long extension lead this afternoon and the performance was much better. Still rough on LW though.
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Old 31st Jan 2023, 6:18 pm   #13
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Default Re: Ekco U245

LW performance should be pretty good. Here in Oxford I get a listenable signal from RT1 in Dublin, which is only borderline on most radios. As I said earlier, you're a long way from Droitwich though, being on the far side of London. What is R4LW like on other radios?
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 2:27 pm   #14
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Default Re: Ekco U245

I've been told that a weak LW can be a symptom of a weak oscillator/frequency changer valve, so worth checking resistors voltages around V1, and perhaps trying a new valve if you've got one spare.
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 2:46 pm   #15
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Ekco U245

If it really is bad, then the most likely explanation is that the LW coil has moved or been disturbed on the ferrite rod, causing an RF misalignment.

There is much less to listen to on LW nowadays of course. The big French language transmitters have all gone.
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 5:11 pm   #16
dryjoint
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Default Re: Ekco U245

Thanks again for all the advice. I have gained immense respect for the ladies who used to fit the tuning drive cords to these on the production line. They must have had very nimble fingers! I live literally just around the corner from what was the old Ekco works, which is now a housing estate.
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