Racal RA-17 Arrived

Grant Youngman nq5t at HOME.COM
Tue Feb 22 00:39:56 EST 2000

All ...

Thanks to everyone who responded to my requests for RA-17 manuals,
if I neglected to get back to you individually.  The radio and accessories
arrived today, in really nice condition.  Manuals aren't here yet, and ---
naturally -- not all is perfect.  I haven't had time to even think about
looking at the VLF converter or ISB adapter yet, just the RA-17C12

There are a couple of obvious modifications.  A panel light dimmer was
added where the right hand 1/4" jack is located.  Fortunately, the person
who did the work very carefully tie-wrapped the jack and wiring up
under the chassis.

And there is an added circuit card (actually a piece of perfboard) added
to the inside of the right side panel above the chassis.  A small added
transformer feeds what appears to be a regulated power supply (haven't
dug far enough with the inspection mirror to see what the silicon is).
There are four mini relays, a few transistors, some miniature variable R
trimmers and one LM339B.  All of this (a wild guess follows) is
connected to some new power resistors, and it all seems to sequence
on some of the radios power.  Does this sound familiar to any RA-17
owners out there?  It is very professionally done and doesn't have that
"cobbled together" flavor of a typical basement mod.

Initially, the radio worked on 75 meters.  Then quit.  Then I was able to
get it to work very well on the 9-10Mc range, and spent some time
listening to SWBC -- and now that has quit.  Also seemed to function
briefly on 7 Mc -- also now gone.  I'm not getting any response from
signals fed in from a signal generator at the antenna terminals.  I
suppose this means the conversion oscillator(s) or Wadley loop needs
work/alignment/etc.  Or that something went south.  None of the other
frequency ranges have produced any signals at all -- in either the tuned
or untuned positions of the front-end.

I was also warned about the metal Brit capacitors -- and the radio is full
of them.  So I guess there is a major recap job ahead.

Anyway -- based on the brief periods of time this radio was working, I
think I'm going to like this one a great deal, even if there's a bit of work
before it can take a place on the desk.  You have to love that Kc tuning
mechanism-- and it just plain looks terrific!! :-)  The whole radio inside
and out simply oozes quality.

If anyone has any magic incantations that need to be muttered over this
thing, or a standard list of pits and pitfalls - please pass them on.

Thanks ... Grant

Grant Youngman / NQ5T
nq5t at home.com
Double Oak, TX -- nr Dallas

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