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Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 3:02 pm   #1
mark2collection
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Default The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

A sorrowful tale initially, though with patience, a touch of bravado & hint of dashing do, the ending is a happier one!

A Ferranti U1003, (also known as an Ekco U319), either model I was keen to obtain, I like the look & one came up ‘on-line’ at a sensible price with shipping. On the face of it, the set would have cleaned up lovely. From the description, the set required replacement of ‘time expired’ components, bit of a buff up and, ‘jobs a gooden!’ It was a worker, but a very quiet one … I was the highest bidder & before we knew it, the set was on its way.

However, the delivery person presumably had a bad day & must have fallen from a whopping great height, tumbling a considerable distance using my boxed-up wireless, as a cushion! Arriving home, my ‘signed for’ parcel was found under the car port, so at least it was dry, & of course, had arrived!

Opening the boxed revealed all was not well, the dubious dent in one corner of the box a clue as to the sets fate. On the plus side, all the ‘bits’ were contained! Yes, the bakelite cabinet had not fared well, & was in 3 large pieces, with debris in the bottom of the box. The dial glass had a corner missing, bits also in the bottom of the box, the chassis was bent and the only thing holding everything together was the now slightly misshapen, back cover. The mains lead although original, was incredibly short too …

On making contact with the seller, providing photos of the set & photos of the box, I was given a full refund & told to ‘keep the set’ & ‘he was very sorry to hear it had arrived in such condition’. I can only imagine he then claimed from the delivery company so was not out of pocket financially, as the set was insured.

Spotting the date inside the set, 22nd November 1957, work began in December 2016, this radio has to live to see its 60th birthday!

The smaller bits were gathered, bagged, the larger parts carefully removed from around the chassis, placed safe to one side … Once the chassis was free, provisional checks carried out & I was happy that it was ‘doable’ connecting things up, power was applied via the Variac. Sure enough, there was life … just not an awful lot & yes, she was very quiet. Still, this proved the active parts of the set were a viable project, this being placed to one side for the time being. Up to now, the radio looked totally original & untouched from new …

Attention was given to the poorly cabinet & dial glass. There were enough parts of a sensible size to make the cabinet & dial glass presentable. The cabinets’ saving grace? Being made to stout dimensions! I was able to drill 2mm holes along the ‘neat’ breaks on opposing faces, & I managed to find some 1.6mm screws of a decent length to make dowels. Once I found a dead-flat surface to work on & enough clamps to form a jig, out came the Araldite! Cutting the heads off the 1.6mm screws, marking, checking, rechecking, trial fitting, nope, not right, trial fit after another trial fit, mainly keeping things ‘square’, over the course of a week (leaving the glue 24 hours each time) thin beads of adhesive were placed on the broken edges while the new holes for the dowels were filled with Araldite.

While the cabinet was coming together, attention was given to the dial glass. Simply laying this flat & using a small amount of glue to hold the bits in place was good enough to handle. Once dry I used flowable silicone sealant on the outer face, as the idea of cutting ones digits open whilst traversing the dial in search of content left Goosebumps!

Leaving the cabinet & dial glass for a further week to fully harden paid off. The cosmetics were given a good clean, the cabinet coming up quite nice with little effort, & indeed, the dial glass, save for the grime, would have been a perfect example, had the set not been posted! Sadly, the set was just too far away to make a special trip to collect in person …

Once we had a sound enclosure, attention was paid to the chassis, which really was nothing more than replacement of time expired Hunts capacitors, a couple of waxies & a good number of higher value resistors. Anything from 470K was up in value by some margin, & anything 680K was in one case, up by an order of magnitude …! The blue upside-down capacitor is Y-rated & one used for the Gramophone input (the other one hiding), the manufacturers data sheet shows this devices’ failure mode is open circuit … a wise choice for a ‘possible’ live chassis … The mains lead has been replaced & incorporates a moulded plug, fused at 1 Amp, like all my radios. (RS part number for the fuse is 412-986) No association, just a very long standing, happy customer.

Following my efforts, the set was assembled, a run though the setup revealed only a mild ‘nudge’ to bring things in line & there she sat, pretty much unused until November 2017, her 60th! The set was used (rather than a fleeting test) over the 2017 Christmas break in my ‘escape room’, & the longer she ran … the quieter she became … odd, ‘never have a valve radio do that before’ was my initial thought … winding the volume control higher & higher, eventually giving in when the hum was louder that the programme! Testing the original valves on my Windsor/Taylor valve tester showed UF89 & UABC80 when left to fully warm, were very low emission, yet from cold, didn’t look too shabby … In my box of used goodies, I found a UF89 & UABC80, both Mullard, & both checked out as goodens! Promptly replacing the duffers, the sound is very impressive indeed, great tone, lots of volume now & she pulls in lots of stations, & weather permitting, lots on AM too!

Like many of us here I would imagine, in our workshops we have many ways of tuning in to TV &/or radio. Yet despite the shelf-load of projects, of all the things missing from my workshop, was a genuine/working vintage radio to use, since they normally end up at the main house. Needless to say, you are now looking at my ‘workshop’ radio, a charming set. I know not a rare example or worth a wodge of cash, but the extra work involved fulfilled the creative bug, which this hobby at times, requires!

The original instruction booklet was acquired January 2018, funny how we take these things under our wing(s) …

Mark
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 3:03 pm   #2
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

After photos ...

Mark
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 9:56 pm   #3
AD360 Rob
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Excellent work there Mark. I have 2 of the Ekco versions, one is (or was, not powered it up for some time) working very well but was missing an inner knob. the other was in a right state when I bought it but was complete with all knobs. I took pity on it and cosmetically it has come up really well indeed but is fairly quiet especially on FM (a NOS ucc85 got FM working but it's still quiet) and AM is ok but won't peak. The main trouble with that set is that the metal thing that the chassis fastens to has no thing to grip on the case. I too have a soft spot for these sets as they do sound rather nice.
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Old 25th Jan 2018, 11:08 pm   #4
kalee20
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

They're quite decent radios! AC/DC, yes, but there is a reasonable attempt to give isolation for the extension speaker output and the pick-up sockets.

The cabinet is a fair size, so the dropper resistor does not cook the circuitry or destroy the cabinet. And the sound is correspondingly good too.

Well done for saving this one, it will repay you with many hours of listening pleasure.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 11:06 am   #5
OscarFoxtrot
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

I remember that radio from my childhood, and as a teenager I replaced a couple of capacitors in mine. (in fact I wondered why the radio was making funny noises, then I realised that I was listening to the radio as I was soldering it ... not a good idea).

Sadly in the intervening years my mother cleared it out with lots of other 'junk' and I inherited a Bush DAB 'vintage' radio in shiny plastic instead. :-(
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 2:48 pm   #6
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Very good to see that you got such a good result.

We all know that Bakelite radios don't post too well unless the packing is exemplary, but these 4-sided types (i.e. ones with an open bottom) seem particularly prone to disaster, especially if the chassis is heavy.

Keep your eye open for a replacement dial glass as that would really make your repairs virtually invisble.

Cheers,

Nick.
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Old 26th Jan 2018, 7:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Well done! A lot of people would have given up on a radio as damaged as that. I'm now very reluctant to have a radio, especially a bakelite one sent to me in the post from past experiences. On the rare occasion I do I now contact the seller/sender and politely express my preference for a very well insulated parcel, since adopting this strategy I've not had any problems.
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 9:25 am   #8
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Nice job there Mark - I really like the look of these radios and I have the Ekco version in my living room! I got it for £5 from a car boot sale, cleaned it up, replaced the capacitors and away it went!

Lately though I've noticed that on FM, it's difficult to 'peak' on the station you're tuning. Almost as if there's 'backlash' in the tuning drive. AM is OK though. Not sure why that is and haven't investigated it. Too many other things on the go!

John
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 10:08 am   #9
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Check the electrolytic in the FM detector, could well be leaky.
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 10:10 am   #10
kalee20
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by wireless_john View Post
Lately though I've noticed that on FM, it's difficult to 'peak' on the station you're tuning. Almost as if there's 'backlash' in the tuning drive. AM is OK though.
Mine does that too - always has. FM is permeability tuned by moving core slugs; AM is capacitively tuned by a variable capacitor.

One day!
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 6:15 pm   #11
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Default Re: The Story Of My Ferranti U1003 Repair

Thanks for the advice there. I'm sure I will get to it one day ... !
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