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 Radio Reception dramas.
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 6:39:39 PM on 29 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hi all,
Recently I restored a Kriesler 1177 chassis.
Now the unit had not been turn on since 1966 and had been stored in a ladies garage until I came along and bought it off her .
My plan was to restore it to be used every day so I replaced all resistors and caps .
The unit was started up on the dim bulb or the sucicide cord as I call it and apart from 2 resistors that I had mixed the colours up all went well and after replacing those with the right ones it fired up fine!
Now I live in the northern beaches and radio Reception here is absolutely hopeless!
So to try and improve it I ran a wire out the door and around my Fence line and the reception improved greatly,, but it is still not as good as I feel it should be .,, Night time is not to bad , but day time is full of crackles!!!! I had to replace 2 mica caps on this unit because I was getting backfiring through the speakers and after replacing those 2 micas it stopped doing it .
But this still leaves the reception issues of course ,, now my question is do you guys normally have to tune the I.F cans after a rebuild of that size? I have only read how to adjust a I.F Can and have never actually done it.
I do have a couple of wooden tools I made for the job , but so far I have not done it.
My other thought was , should I even be adjusting the I.F to do a aliment in a area that is known to have shocking reception?

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 7:55:15 PM on 29 April 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4337

By far the greatest cause of deaf sets is the alignment: Most manufacturers recommend the set be realigned after changing parts in the RF section. The other point being that at its age, the coils are apt to change. I will not send a set out without checking the alignment.

I am rural so I mainly have to content with what is here & RF from the miles of HV aerials. The crap can come in from the mains as well as the antenna. I have filters on the mains principally for lightning & RF.

The standard antenna length for most of those old sets was 25ft. Albeit mine is closer to 40m and uses bare fencing wire and electric fence insulators. Those insulators come in a variety of useful forms and are good for around 10KV or better. I have used these to string an antenna under the eaves. There is such a thing as too long: Having said that, the really long wire antenna's here are designed to be hit and finish in flexible cable with pulley & a dead weight to keep the wire taught.

Night reception from around 5pm is always better.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 8:26:31 PM on 29 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Thanks Marcc,.
Interesting what you said about mains interference, because any radio in the house will be affected by the turning on of any light switch in any room.
My Antenna wire is about 40 or 50 meters long, But the best reception I can get is if I plug the wire into the TV wall antenna socket in the lounge room, note there is no antenna on the roof it's long gone but the wiring for it is still laying up inside the roof with no antenna on it.
The strongest station I get is 2ch , The others are there ,but it's a bit to many crackles....right across the dial the stations are there but just not that clear.
I'm told that reception here has always been bad.
Well I might look into tweeking that alignment a fraction each way and see if it becomes clearer.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 10:04:17 AM on 30 April 2019.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 409

Another thing to consider is that many AM radio stations are running far less power than they used to.
Probably to save money and have listeners in their own demographic.
That plus so much RF noise through “modern” appliances have made most AM reception marginal.
JJ


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 11:35:15 AM on 30 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hi Johnny,
Yes I really feel it's the area I live in and I'm sure if I took my Radio over to Ryde or somewhere the reception would be fine.
All the houses in my area are plaster with Antennas everywhere and the locals all complain about bad reception.
A wire running across the peak of my roof might work better perhaps. , But I'm very high up here on a hill with only bush behind me and if you go the other way it's the ocean.

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 12:52:23 PM on 30 April 2019.
Normf's Gravatar
 Location: Erowal Bay, NSW
 Member since 19 June 2018
 Member #: 2256
 Postcount: 87

Hi Pete
I'm on the south coast NSW, I get a lot of background buzz on the BC band and mainly pick up the ABC RN station and 2GB.
No background buzz on SW.
Took a friend's Sony 8 transistor radio out to Cargo near Orange and was able to pick up about 8 BC stations with very little background buzz.
Have just got my Calstan radio going so will take it out there when I go again later this month and see how it performs there, it seems to be more sensitive on BC.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 4:47:30 PM on 30 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hello Norm,
That's pretty good ! Orange is way out in the sticks!
I think 2ch seems to be the strongest signal as people seem to pick it in many places.
Ian lives not far from me and he also was struggling to get a good signal and he ran a wire around his fence line.
Mind you I shouldn't whinge too much , lucky to still be getting Am and I'm dreading the day it stops,, if ever?
I can't test modern radios here , because the most modern Radio I own is a 1962 Blaupunkt...and I still struggle to spell it , but it has AM FM and the Reception is not as good as my rebuilt Kriesler.

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 5:40:07 PM on 30 April 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1378

I'm not that surprised about Orange, since the station there on 1089 is audible all day in Sydney.

As for crackles, the first thing is to find out where they come from - inside the radio, or picked up by the antenna. At least the ones from in the radio can be cured.

There's nothing wrong with an IF adjustment, as long as you know what you're doing. The main thing is there will most likely be 2 peak points, you want to use the outer one.

I'm sure you should be able to receive AM perfectly well, no matter how bad FM/TV reception is. It's been discovered that you can run a longwire along the ground, and it still works.

I'd firstly make sure your radio is working with no crackles, and correctly tuned up, then try out some more antennas.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 6:20:19 PM on 30 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Robbert,
Interesting , how do I do a crackle test on a Radio to determine if the crackle comes from the radio or the Antenna Reception???????
I would like to do that.
Thanks pete.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 7:10:31 PM on 30 April 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4337

Extremely complex, disconnect the antenna & perhaps short it out with a 0.01mfd cap. Any noise is then derived from the set or mains if that's what is powering it. Mica's tend to "hiss" as well as crackle, valves, dirty connections and dry joints are never out of the question especially if work has be done on it. The highest probability of a Mica fail is where there is High voltage. The highest probability of a NP cap fail is the OP plate bypass.

I did find a factory dry joint on a set that had been repaired at least 3 times, on a 6V6 heater pin of all places. Beware of the modern Electrolytic when used with 5Y3 / #80 feeding heater valves. I will not use 450V ones.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 7:22:03 PM on 30 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Thanks Marcc,
Ok , I can do that ....thank you.
All new Silver Mica caps in this unit , because the higher voltage one had issues so I replaced all , 4 or 5 in total by memory.
Hmm records play very clear on this unit.
Thanks pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 7:23:39 PM on 30 April 2019.
Robbbert's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 18 September 2015
 Member #: 1801
 Postcount: 1378

Basically what Marcc said. Turn the volume all the way down, if there's crackles the problem lies between the volume control and the speaker, i.e. the audio amplifier or perhaps the power supply. If it is constant dead silence, turn up the volume and you can pull out the IF valve for example to determine if the fault is upstream or downstream from there. Once you figured out the stage, look for the old resistor, or bad joint, or dirty valve pin, or mica cap to test. I've had a few cases where the crackle originates inside one of the IF cans. Here you have to look for bad joints inside the can, or perhaps wires touching things they shouldn't.

Fortunately most crackles are caused by mica caps that have high voltage across them, so pretty easy to find.


EDIT: looks like we posted at the same time.

Sometimes crackles can be the very devil to find though. Even faulty valves can crackle.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 8:49:16 PM on 30 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Thank you both,
I did the test, but the unit is very quiet even on full volume , All I could hear was the slightest hum no crackles as such even at full volume so than I played with all the pots and it was minimal noise ,, very quiet unit even at full volume.
So I best make a better antenna and then I will check the Alignment. I might re-make the one I have in the backyard and make a good Earth by buring it.
I read somewhere by Buring Cooper wire makes a excellent earth for Am reception .
I think it's just a matter of making a good antenna. I may even run a wire across the roof ,than connect coax to it and earth it into the ground.
I will have play around with it and see what works best.
In the mean time 2CH signal is listenable .

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 11:34:40 PM on 30 April 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4337

Brad may be better at explaining the regulations re domestic earthing, however, I can recall discussions on their failure to measure up. These can arc in the ground.

As I am rural, when we upgraded, we did actually bury copper wire. The HV pole once was SWER. so it had a grid. The new system has its earth wires principally in an old creek bed where there are springs. The water was an issue when we were trenching. The best earth was at another house, I had, where it was connected to bore casing 120 ft into the ground.

The metal of this studio is also well earthed into a water course (computers are not in the house). I don't seem to have any issues with RCD's tripping when they are supposed too (often deliberate).

Marc


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 7:51:11 AM on 1 May 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Marcc,

Something like this guy made on YouTube may work well , see link
Rated G
https://youtu.be/4b4QZuuBA4k

I also read a interesting article late last night which relates to what Johnny said in his post regarding modern appliances causing interference.
TVs computers and my house is full of CF light bulbs too ,but from what I read a 20 dollar noise filter on the antenna can help.
It might be fun to make a antenna and just see what I can pick up with it .
Pete


 
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