Nordmende Rigoletto

This radio really is a beautiful piece of Craftsmanship from the very late 1950s.  A friend bought it, not working, from a boot fair for the incredible price of only 20€ (I really should go to more boot fairs!)  It came to me to see if I could get it working.

After a cursory inspection, there was nothing glaringly obvious and so I powered up the radio using a series lamp limiter.  Nothing was hugely wrong, and so after a short period, I switched out the limiter and the radio responded with a hiss, but no stations could be received.

The next stage was to remove the chassis from the case in order to take a closer look at what was wrong.

Once out of the box, I set about making some measurements and found that the filter capacitors had seen better days.  The filter capacitor can contained (as was common at the time) three seperate capacitors in one can, and although I was able to source a replacement it would have cost quite a bit more than the radio had cost its owner.

After discussing possiblities with the owner, it was decided to replace the filter capacitor can with modern equivalents which could be placed under the chassis.  Once these were replaced the supply was much more stable, but still no stations could be received, so clearly there was a further problem.  Measuring the anode voltages on the valves made the problem apparent.  The anode voltage on the mixer was much too low.  Closer inspection revealed the problem.

The 0.1µF Capacitor had lost its innards, and one of the adjacent capacitors wasn't looking a lot better.  The faulty caps were removed and replaced.

This time, upon switch on, I was greeted by a medium wave station - and what a wondeful sound! However, I wasn't 100% happy with the performance and in the absence of a valve tester decided to swap the mixer and see if that improved things.   I was rewarded with a significant improvement and VHF worked as well and therefore the chassis was returned to the case.

Of course, a soak test was necessary :) and so the radio was transferred to the living room and used for a couple of days to ensure that no more problems manifested themselves.  By the time these two days were over, I was very reluctant to give it up - but the repaired radio was returned to its very satisfied owner.  For the price of a couple of new capacitors, and a new ECH81 this radio will give good service for many more years.  What a shame the same can't be said of most modern electronics!