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Old 6th Feb 2020, 4:49 pm   #1
Sam Hill
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Default Ultra Electric Ltd. 101

Hello,

I'm new here and to vintage radios so please forgive my lack on knowledge.
I need some help if possible.

I recently purchased a Ultra Electric Ltd. 101 radio at an auction.
It was labelled "working just requires and ariel'.
Yes it plugs in, lights up, all the switches and dial work but I can hear nothing but a distant noise.
There is a place to insert and aerial but I have no idea what type of connector I need to plug into the hole.

I have taken some pictures so please have look.

Thanks
Sam
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Old 6th Feb 2020, 5:51 pm   #2
Paul_RK
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Default Re: Ultra Electric Ltd. 101

Hello and welcome Sam,

The connector is what's known as a wander plug, but at least for trial purposes you wouldn't need one - stripping a short length at the end of a few feet of wire, bending it back on the insulation and pushing it into the hole would work well enough, and bring in a few stations on a decently working set, along these days with a lot of interference.

Having said that, very possibly the radio hasn't seen much use for years, and almost anyone here would advise against plugging it in at all before conducting a few basic tests. Even if the radio were to work to begin with it might well stop working, and suffer serious damage, within minutes of powering up, for want of one or two small components being changed first.

Paul
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Old 6th Feb 2020, 5:52 pm   #3
Herald1360
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Default Re: Ultra Electric Ltd. 101

The connector needed is called a Wander Plug. An obsolete type that essentially consists of a 1/8" split pin with a collar and screw on plastic cover to retain a single wire.

All is not lost however, take a piece of insulated wire about 6 feet long, (something like one core of a length of lighting flex), strip one end back by about half an inch (13mm) then use a matchstick to poke it into contact with the metal inside the socket marked "AERIAL" ( not Ariel- that's the name of a mythical character), the one with the scuffed circle round it. That should get enough signal to be able to receive something though in a modern environment full of electrical noise from wall warts and other electronic equipment the results may be disappointing, along with limited choice of stations!

Edit: What Paul said only a bit slower
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Old 10th Feb 2020, 8:47 am   #4
donutty
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Default Re: Ultra Electric Ltd. 101

Yes, as Paul RK says - don't power it up in its current state for more than a minute or so unless you can verify that it has been electrically restored.

Many sellers (car boot, charity shop, even antique dealers) will say something is 'working' after powering it up having been dormant for 50 years and seen (dial lights) and heard (crackles, whistling) signs of life when in reality a lot of components will have aged and will not take kindly to that jolt of electricity!

"Working" they might be, but often they are not sold Refurbished or Restored
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Old 10th Feb 2020, 10:36 am   #5
ajs37
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Default Re: Ultra Electric Ltd. 101

It looks to be in very good condition for a 101 (I have a not-so-good example awaiting restoration) - follow the advice above and you won't go wrong - just beware that this sort of activity (buying old radios) can become addictive!
I am sure there will be someone in your neck of the woods who can help you if necessary
Cheers
Andy
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Old 10th Feb 2020, 4:18 pm   #6
Gabe001
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Default Re: Ultra Electric Ltd. 101

Search the same auction site you bought the radio from for 3mm male banana plugs. The 3mm banana plugs are not technically classical wander plugs but should fit in the same socket. Finding the 3mm ones can be a struggle, and there is much more choice on AliExpress if you feel comfortable ordering directly from China. Some require soldering and some have got a screw for a solder-less connection. Good luck. (Note: one of my radios needed a 4mm banana, so sometimes best to order both the 3mm and the 4mm pin size.)

Last edited by Gabe001; 10th Feb 2020 at 4:27 pm.
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