Help Fixing Pilot Radio
My Grandad passed away recently. When clearing out his house I found this old Pilot radio.
I'd love to get it working.
I have a basic knowledge of electronics but I'm out of my depth here.
It turns on and you can hear static, but that's it.
Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
Hi Paul, welcome to the forum. 👍 You've landed in the right place, there's plenty of members here with radio expertise.
First things first, could I please ask you to provide the model number of the Radio? Pilot made many sets and to assist us to assist you, we need to know the exact model. The number should be printed on the fibre card back. If you're not sure take a good clear, focused picture of the front and rear, so we can help figure out which it is. Once we know this info, I can make the service data available to our group to enable them to guide you through the repair.
I suggest for now you don't turn it on again, this is just in case there is a fault with the audio coupling capacitor. You might also get a fright should the mains filter cap across the line lets go with a very loud bang.
If the audio coupling capacitor is electrically leaky, it could be putting +ve volts on the output valve's grid, which is not good long term for the health of the valve. Also, we want to protect the output transformer, as both of these are sometimes expensive and occasionally difficult to source. This is all the worst case scenario, so don't fret.
I thought I had added pictures but can't see them.
It looks to be a "Clipper Mark II"
Well at least it has a proper mains transformer so uses in isolated chassis. It should be relatively straightforward to sort out provided certain components are attended to. Chances are it will need a handful of capacitors. Unlikely any valves will be faulty but even if you do need any, they are readily available. The fact that you heard static is at least a good sign since it means that the output stage is working and something is at least happening in the receiver stages but as Chris says, don't switch it on again yet to avoid possible damage to critical components.
What is your level of expertise? Do you have a test meter (needn't be anything special)? Are you OK soldering and reading circuit diagrams?
I suppose first thing would be to obtain the circuit, then carefully vacuum out the worst of the dust and then remove the chassis from the cabinet.
A stage at a time is best!
One thing I've just noticed is that it's an Irish model - the UK "Clipper" was a set with FM, which this does not have.
No matter, that makes it easier to fix!
A bit of research reveals this radio was made in Ireland on licence by the Brownlee Bros and has a way different valve line-up than one might expect. 12AH8 6BA6 6AT6 6BW6 6U5G 6X4. This made tracking the circuit difficult. The "Clipper" T118 was not a match. However, the Pilot Mariner MKII uses the exact same valves. Interesting that too was made on licence by the Brownlee Bros of Ireland. Interestingly reading the RM article it states the Mariner MKII was based on the UK Pilot Blue Peter, but location components differed somewhat.
It's all rather incestuous, but I'll see what I have in my library, you may end having to use bits of all the cct's.
Thanks for all the help 🙂
OK, the following might help, the plan view of the top-deck looks to sort of match your set, there are some minor differences as detailed above. The next is the underside plan view, does that match in any way? If so or very close, then the cct below is likely to be of help. As I said above you're going to have to be creative with this to piece together all the info.
It looks a nice radio. As mentioned, it should be straight forward to get working with just a few replacement capacitors. Of course, that is easy for me to say, but as you are not familiar with equipment such as this, it may seem a bit daunting to begin with.
One thing to be VERY careful with, aside from the afore mentioned precautions, is that the ferrite rod aerial that is hanging out from the set is extremely fragile. There are some very fine wires attached and it must not be allowed to knock into anything. If and when you remove the chassis from the cabinet, I would be inclined to wrap the rod in bubble-wrap to protect it.
To understand the black art of electronics is to understand witchcraft.
Not to mention the ferrite rod itself. Very brittle.