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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 19th Jul 2019, 8:14 pm   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 163
Default Ekco U332. Fiver well spent!

Car boot score from a weekend ago. Seller originally wanted ten for it but after I pointed out the severely flaking paint from the dial glass a reduction was soon offered!

Good thick layer of dust and original Mullard valves suggest little to no fettling.. and I hoped also nobody had tried to power it up although it had a serviceable plug with 13A !!! fuse in it.

Brought up with my lamp limiter for just long enough to confirm work was viable, I changed all the waxy Hunts and the 1x molded Hunts and the two TCC metal canned caps for LCR 1kV rated axial units. I was going to stuff the big Hunts but the LCRs were a very tight fit (they would have gone with some shoving!) and the yellow bodied replacements looked suitably fitting so I didn't bother.

A couple of resistors were changed to fix distorted audio (pic of the 150R one which is 20% out of tolerance).

All the tuning drive was given a dab of oil (not the string, of course!) and valve holders got a shot of Kontakt 60 + wash + lube sprays.

Dial glass was tackled by brushing away the white bits and where not quite flaky enough it was scraped at with a fine screwdriver. I hoped to preserve the the black station ID printing but this was found to be too fragile and some important bits came away so I decided to get shot of the lot. I scanned in the glass at high resolution before removing the remaining print.

I used the scan to reproduce the scale with the font of choice being Gill Sans (it was important that the Ms etc. had the pointy descender bit). This was exported to a vector and loaded into the industrial sign / label printer at my work to reverse print onto clear vinyl stock and plot out the shape to fit into the clear part of the dial.

Matt white spray paint was used on the border areas, the see-through bit being masked off.

The cabinet was in good physical condition (no scratches, chips etc) but I couldn't justify spending more money on finding a matching browny-red spray can (wonder if there is much choice now that there aren't many Ladas left on the roads ) so just decided to scrub it up as best as I could in a bowl of warm soapy water. Wonder why they used that colour paint as it isn't far off the natural Bakelite.

Upon getting round to reassembling... where are the damn case screws and that metal handle insert bit!!?? I must have spent 2 hours looking for the bag they were in.. it had fallen off a chair they were on and got re-routed into a bunch of cables on the floor!! The back card was not toasted like others I have seen but it might be a matter of time with that dropper resistor!!

Just after I had it all back together, the gold metal insert fell out of the vol/power knob. Got it back in there with some Gorilla foaming cyanoacrylate.

Overall, I'm very happy with this set. Very easy to work on, nicely made, sounds good and good sensitivity (was picking up some French and possibly Dutch stations a few nights ago. Not much on LW now but I was listening to a bit of Irish broadcasting at the top end of the dial). I also like the serviceability (bottom tray that can be slid away to get to all the bits under the chassis). Only minor annoyance is the lack of dial lamp. Scale is readable, but when on it looks a bit 'dead' without anything lighting up round the front!

I certainly won't pass up another if I see one at a bargain price...
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 10:10 pm   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Wigan, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 7,902
Default Re: Ekco U332. Fiver well spent!

I had a couple of these, only one now. The story on those was just the same as yours, nice and easy to work on, standard design and work very well.

Great job you have done of the radio.
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