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Silverline Polisher Fail

Commutator
Commutator

Since I seem to be the local go-to for any dead electrical equipment, this brand-new Silverline polisher has landed on my desk. Purchased cheap from an auction this was dead on arrival. Checking the fuse revealed nothing suspect, so a quick teardown to find the fault was required.
Above is a photo of the commutator with the brush holder removed, and the source of the issue. The connection onto the field winding of the universal motor has been left unsecured, as a result it’s managed to move into contact with the commutator.
This has done a pretty good job of chewing it’s way through the wire entirely. There is some minor damage to the commutator segments, but it’s still smooth, and shouldn’t damage the brushes.

Chewed Wire
Chewed Wire

A quick pull on what’s left of the wire reveals the extent of the problem. It’s entirely burned through! Unfortunately the stator assembly with the field windings is pressed into the plastic housing, so it’s not removable. An in-place solder joint was required to the very short remains of the wire inside the housing. Once this was done the polisher sprang to life immediately, with no other damage.
This unit probably ended up at an auction as a factory reject, or a customer return to a retail outlet. If the latter, I would seriously question the quality control procedures of Silverline tools. 😉

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Mercury 30A Ham Radio SMPS

Mercury 30A SMPS
Mercury 30A SMPS

After having a couple of the cheap Chinese PSUs fail on me in a rather spectacular fashion, I decided to splash on a more expensive name-brand PSU, since constantly replacing PSUs at £15 a piece is going to get old pretty fast. This is the 30A model from Mercury, which seems to be pretty well built. It’s also significantly more expensive at £80. Power output is via the beefy binding posts on the front panel. There isn’t any metering on board, this is something I’ll probably change once I’ve ascertained it’s reliability. This is also a fixed voltage supply, at 13.8v.

Rear Panel
Rear Panel

Not much on the rear panel, just the fuse & cooling fan. This isn’t temperature controlled, but it’s not loud. No IEC power socket here, the mains cable is hard wired.

Main Board
Main Board

Removing some spanner-type security screws reveals the power supply board itself. Everything on here is enormous to handle the 30A output current at 13.8v. The main primary side switching transistors are on the large silver heatsink in the centre of the board, feeding the huge ferrite transformer on the right.

Transformer
Transformer

The transformer’s low voltage output tap comes straight out instead of being on pins, due to the size of the winding cores. Four massive diodes are mounted on the black heatsinks for output rectification.

 

SMPS Controller
SMPS Controller

The supply is controlled via the jelly bean TL494 PWM controller IC. The multi-turn potentiometer doesn’t adjust the output voltage, more likely it adjusts the current limit.

Standby Supply
Standby Supply

Power to initially start the supply is provided by a small SMPS circuit, with a VIPer22A Low Power Primary Switcher & small transformer on the lower right. The transformer upper left is the base drive transformer for the main high power supply.

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Thorn Ultra 6816 B&W CRT TV Teardown

Thorn Ultra 6816
Thorn Ultra 6816 (Stock Photo)

The other day at the local canal-side waterpoint, this TV was dumped for recycling, along with another later model Colour TV. This is a 1970’s Black & White mains/battery portable made by Thorn. It’s based on a common British Radio Corporation 1590 chassis. Having received a soaking from rain, I didn’t expect this one to work very well.

Tuner
Tuner

Being so old, there is no electronic control of the tuner in this TV, and only has the capability to mechanically store 4 different channels. The tuner itself is a cast box with a plastic cover.

Tuning Lever
Tuning Lever

The mechanical buttons on the front of the TV push on this steel bar, by different amounts depending on the channel setting. This bar is connected to the tuning capacitor inside the tuner.

Tuner Compartments
Tuner Compartments

Unclipping the plastic cover, with it’s lining of aluminium foil for shielding reveals the innards of the tuner module.

Tuner Input Stage
Tuner Input Stage

Here’s the tuner front end RF transistor, which has it’s can soldered into the frame, this is an AF239 germanium UHF transistor, rated at up to 900MHz.

Tuner IF Mixer Stage
Tuner IF Mixer Stage

As the signal propagates through the compartments of the tuner, another transistor does the oscillator / IF mixing, an AF139 germanium, rated to 860MHz.

Tuning Capacitor
Tuning Capacitor

As the buttons on the front of the set are pushed, moving the lever on the outside, the tuning capacitor plates intermesh, changing the frequency that is filtered through the tuner. The outer blades of the moving plates are slotted to allow for fine tuning of the capacitance, and therefore transmitted frequency by bending them slightly.

Mains Transformer
Mains Transformer

Being a dual supply TV that can operate on either 12v battery power or mains, this one has a large centre tapped mains transformer that generates the low voltage when on AC power. Full wave rectification is on the main PCB. The fuse of this transformer has clearly been blown in the past, as it’s been wound with a fine fuse wire around the outside to repair, instead of just replacing the fuse itself.

Chassis Rear
Chassis Rear

The back of the set has all the picture controls on the bottom edge, with the power input & antenna connections on the left just out of shot. The CRT in this model is an A31-120W 12″ tube, with a really wide deflection angle of 110°, which allows the TV to be smaller.

Main PCB
Main PCB

The bottom of the mainboard has all the silkscreen markings for the components above which certainly makes servicing easier 😉 This board’s copper tracks would have been laid out with tape, obviously before the era of PCB design software.

Components
Components

The components on this board are laid out everywhere, not just in square grids. The resistors used are the carbon composition type, and at ~46 years old, they’re starting to drift a bit. After measuring a 10K resistor at 10.7K, all of these would need replacing I have no doubt. Incedentally, this TV could be converted to take a video input without the tuner, by lifting the ferrite beaded end of L9 & injecting a signal there.

Flyback Primary Windings
Flyback Primary Windings

The flyback (Line Output Transformer) is of the old AC type, with the rectifier stack on top in the blue tube, as opposed to more modern versions that have everything potted into the same casing. The primary windings are on the other leg of the ferrite core, making these transformers much more easily repairable. This transformer generates the 12kV required for the CRT final anode, along with a few other voltages used in the TV, for focussing, etc.

Rectifier Stack
Rectifier Stack

The main EHT rectifier stack looks like a huge fuse, inside the ceramic tube will be a stack of silicon diodes in series, to withstand the high voltage present.

Horizontal Output Transistor
Horizontal Output Transistor

This is the main switching transistor that drives the flyback, the HOT. This is an AU113, another germanium type, rated at 250v 4A. The large diode next to the transistor is the damper.

I’ve managed to find all the service information for this set online, link below!
[download id=”5616″]
More to come if I manage to get this TV working!