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 Post subject: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Joined: May Sat 30, 2015 11:49 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Keystone Heights, FL, USA
Some notes on my Ultradyne L2 superhetrodyne, Phoenix Radio Corporation, built from a kit (not by me).

Got this one not working, had had the two audio transformers replaced and they were wired incorrectly, so I figure it never worked again after the transformers were replaced (long ago).

After much study I realized what needed to be done, 2 replacement (period correct) transformers and repairs to the 200 ohm potentiometer winding.
This version is modified from the original with the addition of circuits for power tube (separate B+ and C- hook-up posts). Another change is that the oscillator and detector tube each have their own filament rheostat; the rest of the tube use Amperites.
Here is the schematic, modified to show the changes on this radio.
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This version does not have a jack for audio off of the detector tube, only a jack for 1st audio and 2nd audio. After repairs and the proper power hook up, it works. Always great fun when an old radio plays again, for the first time in years
Here is a picture of it playing, WSM, Nashville.
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Operational notes.
This radio is really LOUD! The potentiometer controls voltage to the grids of the IF tubes and does not give a lot of control. I can see why the original schematic had an option of placing the speaker at the detector, AF1 or AF2, depending on the signal strength.
At first it had a lot of distortion, reducing B volts to 67 on the IF plates helped a lot.
The oscillator produces distortion if turned up too far, works best at a very low filament setting; just slightly turned on. Same with the detector rheostat; turn on until the tube just lights plus a little bit more.
Picks up all kinds of stations, and seems to sound best when slightly de-tuned.

More pictures.
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Will be glad to answer any questions or take measurements if anyone wants.
Very interesting early superhetrodyne.

Jeff in Florida


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Jeff,

I have one that has a wooden chassis, originally equipped with Accratune vernier dials and "matching" (silvered metal skirts) rheostat and potentiometer dials. The set was once part of Frank Paganos collection of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, acquired in '76.

It is not working, there are several bad Amperites, overall filthy, some disconnected wiring, I haven't even checked the audios. None the less it will require some kind of modification to the tuning dials and capacitor mounts.. Therein is the problem.

The Accratune dials have lost some 70% of the silvering and look like, heck. The internal gears are all pot metal and have crumbled, so the gear reduction is frozen. Over the years I have gotten some six :roll: more dials all about the same crumbling gears too, no hope.

So, I have seen on the web various dials on many L2 models, Such as Apex, REL, a large Bakelite vernier with three windows, what looks like National Velvet vernier, and large a Bakelite knob vernier with a very narrow skirt. My panel is engraved with a cursor line hence the vernier chosen should make use of the mark.

Problem is sorta two fold, not only finding the "correct" as it seems, any two of the six types of verniers other than Accratune but also finding "matching" potentiometer/rheostat knobs. The vernier must also successfully satisfy mounting conditions such as there is no conflict with the mounts for the tuning capacitor and the "old" Accratune. Such a conflict would be mount holes that are so close as to be less than a 1/4" away so the hole is unstable in the panel. The replacement vernier must cover any hardware too.

Jeff, what I need to know is what is the brand of the current knobs, verniers on your model L2. The O.D. of both the vernier dial and the potentiometer dials? I would assume the shafts are all 1/4"

Also, what is the type and maximum capacity of the tuning condensers? I may, decide to change out the tuners for S-L-F versions to aid in tuning at the shorter wavelength end of the dial... It is a matter of the mounting holes too.

Apparently, my set was an "apartment" version. Round head wood screws were driven into the underside of the wooden cabinet lid and then wrapped with cotton covered wire for a loop antenna. I think if/when I refinish I may remove this mess and skin the underside with veneer, thus covering all the screw holes...

Blatantly O.T.

I haven't paid too much attention to the volume control but I was surprised to see it controls the IF grids.

I find this interesting. Somewhere buried on a hard drive I have the patent drawings for the fellow who invented AVC. I may review these as there is a battery set directly heated version in a TRF but I think there may be one into a Super.

I have long wanted to build a patent model of the AVC as a battery set... Not that I may/not modify this L2, is seems there are many of them around... Another project, I think...

Regards,

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Joined: May Sat 30, 2015 11:49 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Keystone Heights, FL, USA
Here are some pics. The big dials are 4" Velvet Verniers. Tuning condensers are Federal. Extra holes near the dials only fill holes, so these condensers were changed from something else, I think. I think by type you mean are they symmetrical or asymmetrical rotor plates? These are symmetrical plates, stations get very close together above 1000 kc. Fiddling with the oscillator tuning easily separates the stations, though.
I disconnected one of them and it measures 1.3 nF with the plates meshed; both tuners look to be the same. Not sure of the accuracy of the measurement with a Fluke 87. tThe tuners themselves do not have any marking that I can see except for the Federal label, just an address.
The left knob (antenna tuning?) is 2", looks like just something that would fit, doesn't exactly match anything.
The potentiometer knob and the rheostat knobs inside are all Federal.

Thanks for your interest. Listened to some of the super bowl on it last night. Westwood 1, good announcers. Reminded me of listening to world series when I was in high school. Great fun.
Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Mon 05, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Location: Hollywood, Maryland
The Accratune vernier dials that you often see used on the Phenix Radio Ultradyne L-2 come in two versions, those with, and those without pot metal gears. I have managed to find ones that have brass gears and they work as they should, but the pot metal ones are more common.

R,

David W.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 1:46 am 
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David Willenborg wrote:
The Accratune vernier dials that you often see used on the Phenix Radio Ultradyne L-2 come in two versions, those with, and those without pot metal gears. I have managed to find ones that have brass gears and they work as they should, but the pot metal ones are more common.

R,

David W.
David,

How is/was the silver plating? I'd had heard that brass gears were inside too, but I thought it was a rumour.

I may still pass on looking for the brass gear model if the silver plating is shot...

Jeff, thanks for all the knob info.

I listened to part of the SB 52 on the SR-I. After listening to the Eagles getting the firct points and the next few plays, I turned it off. Said to my wife the Eagles have got it... I also said someone will be hurt.

Time to get the old men off the team :shock:

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 3:28 am 
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Chas, the dial scales are easy to remove and switch out so it you have a unit with all brass gears and a bad German silver dial you can switch them is minutes. Most of these dials are less than perfect be it a REL, General Radio, or an Accratune. Bad German silver or not the Accratune is the best looking of the correct verniers for the L-2.

David


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 3:39 am 
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Location: Hollywood, Maryland
One of the three Ultradyne L-2's in my collection. This one uses the Accratune verniers with rough condition silver dials. This is a nine tube radio with push pull WE 216's to provide ample volume. Uses rheostats like the L-1 and is almost as big as a Leutz Model C.

David W.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 3:41 am 
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Here are a couple pics of my Ultradyne L2. I have not done anything with it since I bought it.
Just too many irons in the fire in my life right now.

It appears to employ Apex Vernier dials. I suppose it was what the builder used?

-Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 4:07 am 
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Apex verniers look good on radio!

The paper is harder to find than the radios. One of the few Phenix Radio pamphlets that I have been able to purchase.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Tue 06, 2018 10:29 pm 
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Joined: May Sat 30, 2015 11:49 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Keystone Heights, FL, USA
By coincidence, looks like a set of coils for an L-1 on eBay. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2444342981


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 1:49 am 
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Oh goody! A chance to show off my homebrew replica!
http://www.sparkbench.com/homebrew/Supe ... adyne.html

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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 2:26 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 30, 2012 3:35 am
Posts: 195
Location: Phoenix, AZ
It's been a number of years now, but the last time I powered up my Ultradyne L2, I was amazed at its sensitivity. Stations all over the dial (and some images as well, but still ...). I have a lot of respect for Lecault and others of his time in what they were able to design and accomplish with triodes only. I have numerous different battery-powered superhets in my collection, but for some reason the Ultradyne L2 remains my favorite.
R/ John


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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 2:59 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Central VA, 23005
Thanks for starting this thread! It reminded me that I picked up an Ultradyne L2 a few years ago and that I need to move it to the front of the restore line. Here is a picture of it that I took this evening:

Image


BR,

Terry


Last edited by radioterry on Feb Fri 09, 2018 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 11:54 pm 
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Location: Vieques,PR 00765 USA
UV201 wrote:
It's been a number of years now, but the last time I powered up my Ultradyne L2, I was amazed at its sensitivity. Stations all over the dial (and some images as well, but still ...). I have a lot of respect for Lecault and others of his time in what they were able to design and accomplish with triodes only. I have numerous different battery-powered superhets in my collection, but for some reason the Ultradyne L2 remains my favorite.
R/ John

I'm thinking that it was Lacault that had an ad praising the images because you had a choice of signals that might have less interference :)

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Visit my homebrew page
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 Post subject: Re: Ultradyne L2 Notes and Comments
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 2:35 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 30, 2012 3:35 am
Posts: 195
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Umm, I'm not sure whether Lecault advertised the virtues of images, but I guess it wouldn't surprise me.
Speaking for myself (and perhaps others too), I missed seeing your postings on this forum over the past several months. I gather that electrical power has been restored to your neighborhood. Good to have you back.
R/ John


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