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 Post subject: Greetings just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 that needs repair.
PostPosted: Jan Sat 12, 2019 12:23 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 12, 2019 12:11 am
Posts: 2
Hi there, this is my first post and I'm glad I found a forum filled with retro radio enthusiasts as I have NO idea on anything like this. I'm willing to learn though!

I just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 which doesn't even turn on, and the band spreader needs to be repaired as well.

Anyhow I'm wondering where would I go to find a manual for this? Is it even worth trying to repair, I like to think I can fix it with enough determination, but so far I've been finding that these particular radios are often prone to problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 that needs rep
PostPosted: Jan Sat 12, 2019 1:50 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 19, 2011 2:31 pm
Posts: 6420
The receiver looks better than it works but it isn't horrible and should be repairable.

You can order the manual from Peter Markavage aka "the Manualman"; I believe you can find the schematic at the radiomuseum site. Pete also worked for Lafayette and would be your best source of information about most of their products in addition to supplying very good quality manual reprints.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 that needs rep
PostPosted: Jan Sat 12, 2019 2:08 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4499
Location: Eschew Obfuscation Virginia 23005
I picked up one of these a while back off of CL. Here is the URL where you can get the manual (as mentioned by Rodger and where I got mine): https://www.manualman.com . I agree that it looks better than it works, but it is fun to operate.

GL,

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 that needs rep
PostPosted: Jan Sat 12, 2019 3:56 am 
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Joined: Oct Fri 09, 2009 9:25 pm
Posts: 317
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
The switches and controls in this receiver are sub-par in quality. Even if the receiver has been in regular service recently, you may find most all of them will need to be cleaned (i.e. DeOxit) a few times before functioning properly.

Also the receiver is susceptible to overload from strong signals. Of course the RF gain will help, switching in the ANL (noise limiter) will improve the situation as well, although of course that was not the intent of this feature.

The dial stringing, if found to be or restrung too taut, will make main tuning a pain in the behind. Thankfully, the bandspread works pretty well....

Todd
ka8gef

_________________
'Itoshiki oshieo idaki'
-Let us never lose the lessons we have learned.


Last edited by KA8GEF on Jan Sun 13, 2019 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greetings just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 that needs rep
PostPosted: Jan Sat 12, 2019 5:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 12, 2019 12:11 am
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Wow thanks for the help so far! I've found a review on another site that said this about the radio and gave it a rating of 3/5.

"Hi. Please be aware there is another review of this radio, but it is listed as "BCR 101". The "-" was left out.
Anyway.... I have a lot of Lafayette and Allied receivers. I had been wanting a BCR-101 ever since I spotted one in Osterman's book "Shortwave Receivers Past and Present".
Fred called it an "interesting" radio. It is that. I found a nice example on good ole' ePay, er eBay. It only took a couple of hours to return it to near NIB condition.
I must temper this review with the fact it has not yet received it's alignment. I have a Manual coming.
However, I KNOW an alignment will NOT fix some of it's negative attributes.

Positives:
- Sharp looking little radio
- Extremely sensitive
- Great coverage from .17 to 30 MHz (with gap from .4 to .53 MHz)
- Front firing speaker
- 500 and 50 KHz markers built in
- A Noise Blanker that works (more in a minute)
- Excellent AM and SSB audio
- Construction appears excellent (except for Main Tuning)

Negatives:
- Unusual dial cord arrangement/execution causes HUGE amounts of backlash (Main Tuning only)
- Noise Blanker has unusual effect on received signal strength
- A bandspread that I STILL can't figger out!

Allow me elaborate on the above Negatives, in case you are contemplating getting one of these radios:

1. Dial cord execution... after making it's way around the usual collection of pullys, the Main Tuning cord/mechanism terminates at the Main VFO cap. This is probably the WORST mechanical design I have ever seen in a radio! And I've seen a LOT! The cap itself is very nice looking and mounted quite nicely. Unfortunately, Lafayette put a small split gear / reduction mechanism on the front of the cap. What makes it bad, is that the shaft exiting this small mechanism, is about 4" long and has NO support. Just the dial cord tension pulls that shaft to the left about 1/2". When rotating the Main Tuning back and forth, this shaft loads, unloads, wobbles and you expect something to break. Fortunately, there is a fix for 'most' of the problem. I have a small machine shop, so I made a support bracket out of Delrin. This pulls the shaft back to the right, so now there is no deflection. Being Delrin, it has low friction and does not impede the shaft rotation. Using both an existing screw hole and butting part of the bearing against a convient stop, ensures NO possible movement.
This is a terrible design, and it looks like someone either rushed the radio into production, or the Mechanical Engineer was out sick when this part of the radio was designed.
If this was a 'common' radio, I would make up a batch of these bearings......

2. Noise Blanker.... Turning the Blanker on, actually improves reception. Unfortunatly, at low settings, it causes the S-Meter to go to 30db/S9 and to cause severe intermod, and hiss.

3. Bandspread....... The band spread is marked 0-500 amd 500-0 KHz. Since I don't yet have the Manual, I played around with it.
It appears that you start by placing the dial CCW at 0. However....as you turn it more CW, the sensitivity drops off, but that's corrected with the "Tracking" control. What's UNUSUAL, is that you tune the Main tuning BELOW the target freq, and dial the Band spread from 0 up. I understand it's adding to the Main Tuning, but every other radio I have ever used, you tune ABOVE the desired freq and tune down. I have tried the opposite method, and the radio is very deaf at the other end of the Band Spread, regardless where the Main Tuning or Tracking is set.

Confused? Welcome to my world. Yes, it's easy to learn, BUT if you use a different radio for a while and go back to the BCR, ya gotta start learning again. PHHHHEEEWWW!

Yes, this is an interesting (and cheap) radio, but my FRG-7 is an order of maginitude easier to use.
Enjoy and have FUN!!

ron
N4UE
"

Seeing how this is my first radio like this, I'm feeling a bit over my head. I've got a feeling that I have a lot to learn here. I'll look at that ManualMan site and pick up a copy of the manual. Looks like it might be totally worth it to read the manual.

FWIW I have very little electronic knowledge apart from building PC desktops which is fairly simple. I've never soldered anything or really studied much about electronic components and how they work so maybe I should dust up on that before attempting anything with this.

Thanks again for the Replies so far!


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings just bought a Lafayette BCR-101 that needs rep
PostPosted: Jan Sun 13, 2019 1:16 am 
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Joined: Nov Sat 07, 2009 11:37 pm
Posts: 2086
Location: Sayreville, NJ 08872
The receiver is interesting to play with, but as you point out, there are some strange design anomalies that are confusing to understand. My understanding was that there was only one lot of these receivers received and sold. My understanding also was that there were a number of design changes in a proposal stage but as the bankruptcy curtain started to drop on Lafayette, the changes never went anywhere. Since it was a short lived product, I never received any service parts or service parts list for it even though I asked numerous times.
I owned a few here over the years and they all worked the same and with the same types of deficiencies. Didn't hold on to any of them.

_________________
Pete, WA2CWA - "A cluttered desk is a sign of genius"
http://www.classicradiomanuals.com


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