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Another Philips 170A

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Jamie
(@jskinner97)
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I notice rich did one of these sets in the summer...
and while other people's power aarrangements are destroying themselves, My workshop was feeling sad having not been used properly for a while. I decided to pop a wanted ad in the paper and a man rung up on the first day with a '1948 bakelite radio', I thought Oh yeah, probably a 60's set.

I popped round this evening and he was a nice chap, who I discovered used to work for GPO and BT.. There on the table was a 1948 Philips 170A-15. Dad being more interested in his bikes out back. I inspected the set and it all looked fine and dandy, It needs a clean and polish but should come up fine.

So £15 later I was home with this lump on my desk! There's a label on the back stating it was reserved for someone and a date, so the man got the date spot on. The set looks in good condition, all the valves are there.. The wiring is bad, but OK for testing and will be replaced.. The dial is fine, and the knobs are all there too!

The only thing that concerns me is the 'wet' electrolytic which had spewed it's guts out.. Hopefully I can find a replacement

The only thing missing is the back screws and the original mains connector.. but the paxolin looks weak anyway so I will hard-wire it.. and disconnect the socket.

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 8:01 pm
Anonymous
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Nice buy Jamie.....soon be running out of room. ;)

Roger.

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 8:35 pm
sideband
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Excellent radio!

A lot of the rubber wiring will need replacing and the wet electrolytics probably aren't wet anymore! It's up to you if you want to try restuffing them but it is messy and they can be difficult to open cleanly. My set had had the originals removed so I had no choice. Probably easier to neatly wire some 32uF 450V caps underneath and leave the old ones in place. There is plenty of room.

Really excellent performance as it has the addition of an RF amplifier (EF39). It puts many later sets to shame with the sheer number of stations it can find. Shortwaves has really excellent performance.

You can see the fun I had with all the wiring that needed replacing but that's all finished now. I still have to find some speaker cloth and finish the set off and then hope I can remember how it all goes back together. It has a fairly complex tuning drive...complex in that there are a lot of parts to it so take plenty of photos if you take it all to bits.

It's not the easiest set to work on and I'd never suggest one of these to a complete beginner. I don't think you'll have much trouble with it though. Change all the pitch capacitors as they'll be leaky, then work out what wiring MUST be replaced, then what can be reasonably left. I would suggest you rewire the mains and output transformers anyway. Hopefully the pictures I took will help with what may be required with yours.

Rich.

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 9:03 pm
Jamie
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Many thanks Rich, Is it OK if I suitablly cover perished wire? I.E With heatshrink?
The dial cord is fine on mine, just a bit stiff but some sparse WD40 will sort that.
I will get to work shortly. One thing I notice though is the caps in this are the philips black drops? No waxies or hunts like other sets of this model I have seen?

Cheers for now!
Jamie. :thumbr:

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 9:07 pm
sideband
(@sideband)
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Yes those black pitch caps are almost as bad as Hunts now. Of course you can re-sleeve the rubber wiring if you prefer. Heatshrink comes in a variety of colours so you should be able to match the original.

The dial cord is actually wire so is likely to be OK anyway. What you will probably find is that the back of the tuning scale and diffuser are filthy and you'll need to remove them to do a good job. The tuning pointer runs along a metal track which will probably caked with dried grease and fluff so you'll need to clean all that off as well. A drop of oil on the two-speed tuning spindle will probably be needed and then it should all be super smooth.

None of it will be a five-minute job so just take your time.

Rich.

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 9:20 pm
Jamie
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Thanks Rich, Will do.. Most of these sets have a small piece of paper/plastic hung by card as a diffuser but this has a piece of painted plate glass? :ummm?:

I will take my time, I've learnt my lesson and was impressed how the EKCO came out.

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 9:22 pm
Anonymous
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as rich said all those black caps will need replacing nearly as bad as wax ones
rob t

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 9:27 pm
sideband
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Yes it a piece of painted glass. You will need to take your time. I've been on mine for over two years but that is simply lack of time. You should be able to do it in a couple of weeks...much less if there is not so much rewiring. Patience and plenty of pictures!!

Rich.

 
Posted : 22/03/2012 9:28 pm
crustytv
(@crustytv)
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Looking at the data for this set it was released in February 1946 and cost £18. It was also released as the Mullard MAS281 in April 1946.

Being the first model in the post war range for Philips, the Mullard version was housed in a wooden case not as they describe it "plastic" which the Philips used.

Chris

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Posted : 23/03/2012 6:22 pm
Jamie
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Thanks Chris, Already have the data

I'm still convinced it has been repaired sometime in it's life, a lot of the caps don't look original and there are signs of re-soldering. Plus a lot of the wire is PVC? Also signs these have been re-soldered. :thumbl:

The chassis looks in good condition though ;)

Will be popping to Maplin tomorrow for some caps.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 6:27 pm
Anonymous
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Caps in Maplin are the same or lower quality than ones online at 1/10th the price. I can't afford Maplin anymore.

PVC started in 1940s. I've seen sets that are "original" from early 50s with mix of 3 kinds of wire. The rubber (aka cab tyre) all perished though.

Brown and Blue mains cable though is "modern".

I've not had one of those Black tar covered Philips Radio caps that wasn't as bad as wax paper though. They are bad.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 6:33 pm
Anonymous
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Hi Jamie,

I think PVC (certainly some type of plastic) wiring came in quite early after the war with some manufacturers. I have a 1946 Roberts P5A and the 1947 Dynatron Ether Conqueror, both of which have original PVC wiring.

Keith

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 6:39 pm
Jamie
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Hi Keith and Mike, Thank you both for clearing that up with me.. I assumed it was still rubber until the 50's.

And Mike, Yes Maplin is expensive.. I only go there for the odd thing that I can't be bothered to wait for!

Jamie.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 6:44 pm
Anonymous
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PVC in theory could be in a 1921 radio. Unlikely, but not impossible. Invented in 1872!
There are Pre "Pearl Harbor" US sets made of plastic & aluminium, not Bakelite.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 7:21 pm
sideband
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There is a mixture in mine, more rubber than PVC though. Ther's a number of the black tar caps in your set Jamie so I'd heave those out first, sub the smoothing caps and then see what happens. If you are lucky, the valves will be OK with perhaps the exception of the rectifier.

Rich.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 8:09 pm
Jamie
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I have a known substituion for the rectifier in my Philco A536-W..

My set is 1948 so later than yours ;)
Will shift those caps when I have time, Talent Show this week so I become stage technician for a week!
:O

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 8:14 pm
Spot-Wobble
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Jamie,

I have an AZ31 if you need one.
I also have a 170A on the to do pile along with a similar looking set that has only 3 controls on the front, along with a Mullard set of similar design.
One of my first radio repairs as a youngster was a 170A the first radio I fixed rather than ripping to bits and destroying! I remember plugging it in and with the back off noticing fireworks inside the rectifier valve. I managed to get a replacement which fixed it. Later the wet electrolytic went which I had to replace and a while later the EF39 died, Fortunately a friend had disemboweled a radio with a similar valve lineup and I was able to get a replacement from him.
I have actually had 3 of these sets including my present one. I have obviously taken a particular liking to them.

Good luck with yours

Andy :D

ps I think I was about ten or eleven when I got my first one from our then Scout jumble sale.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 10:42 pm
Anonymous
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My AZ31 lights up.

But it has on the valve base anode tags 2 x 1N4007 with cathodes in mid air to a series resistor on the cathode tag.

I read that AZ31 are not very long lived... but I dunno if it's true.

 
Posted : 23/03/2012 10:59 pm
Jamie
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Well there's one in my 1946 Philco A-536W and as far as I can tell it's original.. That's still going fine!

 
Posted : 24/03/2012 9:15 am
Jamie
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Been a long time, But I got this down from the shelf and started where I left off..

I have already replaced C32 With a modern replacement neatly tacked under the original, However i'm rather confused with C31..

On the data sheet (R&TS) It only has two tags (One to chassis and one to R22 (and S28 etc)
However, In reality this capacitor has one tag on top of the chassis going to the top of an EF39 and four tags underneath the chassis..

One to a resistor, one to a tag board and one to a pin on the ECH35 (The spare pin is wired to this one)??

So where on earth do I solder my 2 legged modern replacement?!

 
Posted : 27/08/2012 6:32 pm
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