Phil's not so old comms receivers

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Not so old Communications receivers

Many years ago I was a keen short wave listener, tuning in at night whenever I was out in my workshjop tinkering around with something. About thirty five years ago I collected a number of 1940's valve receivers and I rebuilt a couple of these. The rest were put away in a dark cupboard in the storage shed. The working valve receivers were side lined by a pair of amazing Sony solid state, very portable receivers. I used these in the workshop and when travelling around Australia and overseas. I bought these duty free in Asia when they were first released on the market. They performed wonderfully, enabling me to get news from home all over the USA and to a lesser extent while travelling in Europe Asia and England.

When I took up working for Geoscience my job required travelling in the back blocks of Australia and so I packed the trusty Sony radios into my luggage and off I went. After a couple of years of this I discovered both were in trouble. When the batteries got down a bit they motor boated and all I could do was to feed in new batteries every night (part of my expenses for the trip). I lost interest for several more years but eventually I needed my fix of short wave listening when on holidays so I did a web search for a clue to the problem with them. My guess was the surface mount electrolytic capacitors and sure enough, I found a great web site that expained these devices had an expected usable life of ten years and as they were by then perhaps fifteen years old then I had done quite well. Now how do you get into these little things without damaging them ?.

The web site I found had very detailed information on pulling the SW1 apart and what to do when you got there. There was also a site dedicated to the 7600D and although it was not as detailed, it would also be a great help. I ordered the offending capacitors and when they arrived I pulled the SW1 apart. To my horror I now needed a suitable surface mount rework station if I was going to do these repairs without doing damage to the delicate insides of these little beasts. I put them both away in the "too hard basket" again and did not think about them again until May 2011 when we were planning an overseas trip.

About the time I was first thinking of trying to fix there "wonders of modern radio" I had to come to grips with euipment with surface mount components at work so I bought a suitable workstation for the offce and some for home. I am an old dog who was just going to have to learn new tricks. I thought I may be forced to slip out of this would before lead free solder and surface mount technologies made my life a misery but luckily this is not the case, I was just going to have to adapt and "retrain" once again.

Sony ICF-7600D I have at last fixed this little beast

More modern communication receivers in my collection !

Drake SSR-1 This one has an intermittant fault and I have not managed to track it down yet.
Trio 9R59DS Nice valve type Ham receiver in good condition. Did not need any restoration.
Trio JR-200 Another valve type receiver, restoration involved making a new dial scale.
The figures were falling off. I scanned the remains of the original glass dial and created a new one that is now printed on photo paper and stuck on the backing plate behind the dial. The artworks can be found on this page.
Heathkit HR-10 Classic valve Ham receiver restored with a 240 Volt power transformer. OK on the lower HF bands.
Heathkit GR-78 Full coverage early transistor receiver, poor performance.
The biggest problems with it were dirty switches and an audio output stage that had popped a germanium output transistor. The built in battery pack had long since gone and I did not trust the tiny little power transformer in the GR78 so I did a few modifications, adding a DC jack for a plug pack and a voltage regulator.
Hallicrafters S38D Very simple valve general coverage receiver that was originally 110 Volt transformer less.
Fitted a transformer from a common mantle set and replaced the valves with 6.3 volt heater types. Looks the part now.
Realistic AX-190 This receiver is a surprise, it is very good, not like the other Tandy/Realistic receivers
Realistic DX-150A This was in very poor condition when I picked it up, read about what someone had done to it.
Realistic DX-160 In very good condition
Yaesu FRG7 The receiver front end is in BIG trouble, the antenna coil on the top band is destroyed and I suspect the FET devices have been destroyed by a lightning strike. Have not had time to have a look at it yet. If anyone knowsanything about these coils help would be greatly appreciated.

Boat anchor Communications Receivers in my collection

My collection of BoatAnchor Receivers include a Hammarlund Super Pro, two Marconi B28/CR100, a Hellicrafters Ultra High Frequency Receiver S27 and two AR7's with more than two sets of coil boxes. These are featured on other pages on this web site. I did have an AR8 that I "souped up", adding all the goodies like product detector, EF50 RF and IF valves, S meter and noise limiter. For some reason I gave this one away many years ago with the matching AT5 transmitter in mint condition. Would like to find another one just for old time sake. The B28 / CR100 and AR7's each have their own web page because they are "work in progress".

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Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 16th September 2013