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Radio Started another project… Ferguson 354U

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Lloyd
(@lloyd)
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So I started tidying the workshop yesterday, trying to clear out all the cardboard boxes that have accumulated from last year’s purchases, it was going well until I spotted this manky Ferguson sitting looking disgusting under a cardboard box… it was making the workshop look dirty, so something had to be done about it!

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the front was covered in years of grime, probably kitchen grease mixed with dust and goodness knows what else! Every time you touched it you’d get sticky yuck on your fingers.. I gave it a blast of foam cleaner on the front, which quickly turned to brown liquid that dribbled everywhere, after several shots of foam it started to look quite nice! I thought the dial cover was a piece of cloudy Perspex, but it actually turned out to be just very dirty glass, probably the most expensive part of the radio! So with the front looking fairly presentable I made the mistake of opening the back…

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What a mess! Spider webs, dust, messy wax caps that had spewed all over!

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I thought it’d be interesting to see if there was any life left in the set, so plugged it in via the lamp limiter with a 40W bulb, the bulb very slowly began to glow a dull orange, the dial lamps lit up, and the valves slowly started to glow. There was absolutely nothing coming from the speaker, at least for about 10 minutes, then I could hear a very faint crackle when connecting an aerial, and I could tune a station on MW, no idea what it was! So at least it’s functional, just needs a little work. 

I tried hoovering it out, but the dust was sticky and didn’t want to go up the pipe, using a brush to try and agitate it ended up just spreading it around, so I extracted the guts, and set about it with foam cleaner. That made even more mess, and then it was time for dinner… more to come later!

Regards,

 Lloyd 

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 12:48 pm
malcscott and LSmith reacted
irob2345
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But did you clean the workshop?!!

Parallels what I'm doing at the moment. That Thorn T chassis TV is going to need a hit with the pressure washer, on a plastic table over the yard drain. I'll pull the speaker and hit the whole thing. Sun is out today, 29 degrees predicted, so it should dry out afterwards. 

I cut the cartons into strips so they'll fit in the blue recycle bin and more importantly will come out of it when the bin gets emptied.

New garbage trucks where I live were made by Dennis in the UK...

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 8:23 pm
Lloyd reacted
Lloyd
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Haha, no! The workshop looks worse than when I started! Although, I did get to clear the sink so I could at least clean the rag that I’d used to clean the radio!

I haven’t tried using a pressure washer on a chassis, but I did put a Bush radio chassis into an ultra sonic cleaner once, came out really nice and clean! It was thick with nicotine stains, if you’d licked it you’d probably get hooked on cigarettes!! Don’t know if it worked afterwards, never got round to trying it, in fact I’m not sure where it went! 

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 10:22 pm
irob2345
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I'll have to post a pic of the Kriesler 11/99 (world's last valve mantle radio in production) that I soaked for a couple of weeks in a strong solution of pool chlorine to get rid of the nicotine stains which white ABS seems to have an affinity to. I wish I'd taken a Before picture, this one was putrid.

Reminds me of an HMV F series chassis that, in the late '60s, got pulled from a pub in Balmain. Workshop manager took one look at it, rushed outside and threw up! A lifelong smoker, he quit that day.

The chassis was condemned as a heath hazard, it went into the skip.

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 11:44 pm
Lloyd reacted
Lloyd
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I finished cleaning the cabinet today, looks so much better! The brass trim was already hanging off, so I helped it along and pulled it off completely! I’m not sure whether to polish it or just clean it and put it back, preserving its ‘patina’ (aka, grot!).

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After sorting the cabinet I turned attention to the chassis, well, PCB screwed to a bit of metal.. there were 4 wax caps, 2 right next to the rectifier (stupid place to put them!), one near the power switch, connected across the mains, and another near the frequency changer. All of them had melted and made a mess, so I removed them all. I cleaned the PCB with white spirit and a paint brush, which dissolved the wax and bought up the whole thing like new. 

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I found the power switch was loose, so that was tightened up. Once the chassis was dry I set about replacing the capacitors, one by one, except the mains filter, and the 2 that connect to the aerial and earth sockets, the set has a ferrite aerial, so doesn’t really need the sockets, but I will refit them later. The audio coupling cap was a Hunts brown crumbly thing, and was first to go, that woke the amplifier up a bit, but it was still a bit deaf, so I had another poke and found another Hunts crumble cap, which fed the grid of the triode section of the UCL83, that changed and the set sounded like it was trying to receive something, but it was still far too quiet… I changed the 50uF electrolytic that was the cathode bypass for the UCL83, I only had 100uf available, so used that, but the set was still acting like a lame duck, complete with occasional quacking! I was still using the lamp limiter, with a 40w bulb, so swapped it for a 100w, now it was more lively! Still rather light on bass, and the volume needed to be up full.. After some voltage checks, finding most of them high, I decided the UCL83 was past its best, and put the set back together, awaiting a new one.

I also found one of the CZ2 thermistors was cracked, on power up sometimes nothing would happen, but knock the PCB and there would be some sparks and the set would then come to life!

After sticking it all back together I decided to try it on full mains, to my surprise it came up really loud, and I could find way more stations than before! Looks like the lamp was limiting the heater volts too much, and the poor old valves were not warm enough to work well… lesson learned, ditch the limiter once satisfied the radio isn’t going to short out!

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it looks pretty cool in the dark 🙂 

Last things to do, stick the trim on, change the thermistor, and get some new mains cable!

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 11:54 pm
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Lloyd
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@irob2345

There is a Samsung Slimfit TV in my lock up that had belonged to a smoker, it had a disgusting sticky brown layer on the cabinet that came off on your hands after handling it! It smelt like an old pub when they used to allow smoking once the set warmed up.. I took it apart to wash the cabinet, but didn’t do much to the electronics, just hoovered the dust off, it improved it, but it still smells!

 
Posted : 03/01/2024 12:01 am
irob2345
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Here is the result of a couple of weeks bleaching of the 11-99 case.

I'll have to get around to putting this historic but not rare radio back together.

I have never found an 11-99 that didn't still work, with no attention needed.

11 99 case after bleaching

 

 
Posted : 03/01/2024 12:11 am
Lloyd reacted
irob2345
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Here is a link to the Radiomuseum posting for the 11-99.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/kriesler_11_99.html

Why did it stay in production for such a long time? Now THAT is an interesting story!

 
Posted : 03/01/2024 12:49 am
Lloyd reacted
Lloyd
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Wow, that was in production for a long time!! It does look a nice little radio, I’m sure over here we had a Murphy or KB that looked similar. 

 
Posted : 03/01/2024 11:11 am
irob2345
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It was in production for so long because it just kept selling.

It was built on a very small line that employed older workers who felt unable to transition to newer production methods - Kriesler were like that.

Why the use of the 6GV8 / ECL85 vertical scan valve for audio? Well, originally, Kriesler found themselves stuck with a large quantity of 6GV8s that were rejected from the TV line due to slow warmup causing rolling pictures from cold. Philips would not replace them under warranty. Idea! Use them for audio!

The line was only shut down because Kriesler needed the space for colour TV production. Which ran 3 shifts in those days to handle the boom. And probably because the 6GV8s ran out!

These days, you can go into just about any 2nd hand store in Australia and find at least one of these radios, and, when switched on, it will still work.

It has some cult status amongst collectors, there are lists of serial numbers with where each one of them is.

 
Posted : 03/01/2024 11:31 am
Lloyd reacted
Lloyd
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Just in case anyone fancies a laugh, here's a video of some numpty trying to get said radio up and running! Just over 18 minutes of it, and I won't be held responsible for death by boredom...

 
Posted : 04/03/2024 8:11 pm
slidertogrid
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Excellent job Lloyd! You did a great job in cleaning out the muck! Always a sign of a set that has been reliable and has had a life. I like the illuminated dial! 

I had a HMV record player/radio that used the same 'chassis' I think it was a portable like a record player with a tuning dial not a full size radiogram.

 
Posted : 04/03/2024 10:21 pm
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