Friday, March 7, 2014

Auds 'n' Ends 3/7/14

After four months of having my R8 on the injured reserve with dead electrolytic capacitors, I received it back from the repair shop yesterday. It's great to be able to tune a receiver again.

So, first the R8. I was out mowing one warm day in early November and my wife stopped me on the mower to let me know that radio was making loud, crazy sounds and the volume control didn't work. I came in to hear the radio making an extremely loud synthetic-type buzz. Volume knob didn't work. Tuning still worked, but the tone didn't change as I turned the knob. I unplugged the radio and tried it again. Nothing. I tried it later and I lost the display.

I couldn't find much information about it, but apparently a couple electrolytic capacitors in the Drake R8 (not the R8A or R8B) are prone to leaking. Are its voltage ratings too low for its use in the circuit? Were these particular components more short-lived than most? I have no idea, but they evidently fixed the problem in the later models.

The bottom board of the R8. The leaky caps are to the bottom right...the round circles that are silver in the center and black on the outside. You can kinda see it, but there are small puddles of residue around the bottoms of those two caps.
As you can see from the pics, I opened the case and pulled the top board. I hoped that I'd be able to access the lower board to replace the caps. Nope, it was beyond my capabilities to extract the bottom board.

So, I sent it out and had the caps replaced and the radio realigned.

It's working and it's great to be able to tune through the bands again.

* The Crystal Ship has a great looking shirt available at and there's only a few more days left to buy one. $19

* Pseudoradio says that their QSLs are finally about ready.

* And speaking of QSLs, Dr. Benway of Undercover Radio said tonight on the air that he's been working on QSLs and should soon have more sent out.

* I've forgotten to mention this, but the SWL Winterfest is a shortwave listening convention that's held in Plymouth Meeting, PA (near Philadelphia). It's next weekend (3/14 & 3/15). Here are the details. I haven't heard what pirate listeners will be there, but some always attend.

* Radio song of the day: Chely Wright "Listening to the Radio"

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