EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

I have an AM only Philharmonic but feel I am not getting near the reception it is capable of on the broadcast band.  I have a Sloper antenna installed outdoors and although we live in a very wooded area I feel I get pretty good reception on the short wave bands.  While the Sloper works somewhat on the broadcast band the distant reception is not great, certainly not what you would expect the Philharmonic was designed to get.  A maybe 20 foot long wire strung randomly around the room seems to do better than the outdoor antenna, but the outdoor has a fairly long lead in because of where the radio is located relative to where the antenna comes in.  It is especially noisy below 1000 KHz.  I realize you would expect this with all of today's electronic devices running but I haven't been able to find the really noisy culprit.  I was hoping that someone had a good suggestion for improving the BC band reception. I'd appreciate any suggestions.    Mike

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I use a simple 100 foot longwire antenna strung across my back yard and a good ground connection to the receiver.  My BC and SW reception on my AW23 is excellent and regularly pick up stations from all over the US and Canada.  Radio Shack used to sell longwire antenna kits but I don't know if they still do.  The lead from my antenna to the radio is about 20 feet and my house is full of modern electronics.  I do know that having a good ground connection is very important on my set;  I have a copper rod in the ground outside the house that is used only for my radio.
Hi Mike:  I would follow Curtis' advice on a very effective anttenna - I also have a 100 footer, with 100 feet of lead-in and a good ground -.  Are you confident your set is aligned and peaked properly and is operating as it should?  Could you have a weak RF tube?  Try a new tube in its place and do you note any difference?  Just a couple thoughts, good luck, steve
Hi has the radio been recaped?Could be a aligment thats needed on the AM band..Check the tubes..Another thing is the band switch could be acting up  IE could be dirty or not making good contact on the AM band clean it with alcohol a few times.Big heavy set to be moving around i know..Mine works great on a 20 ft wire to a 100 foot longwire.Get so many stations from all over USA Canada Mexico ect..Good luck.. Angelo

Hi:  You raise a good question -- I recently refurbished an AW15 and I debated whether to disconnect the capacitors cased in stainless steel little capsules riveted to the chassis and wire in new capacitors at their locations.  I decided to go ahead and do that to be sure the capacitors were new and to provide a baseline, but I wonder if anyone out there has left the originals in the circuit and finds them operating as they should.  Considering the quality of the set, I would think the originals would perform just as well as the new ones.  Has anyone left originals alone? You run the risk of a breakdown/short in a bypass cap, but maybe that isn't a valid worry given the quality of everything else in the set.  The caps in the power supply and the two filters in the main chassis should always be replaced, as a matter of course.

best, steve

Angelo said:

Hi has the radio been recaped?Could be a aligment thats needed on the AM band..Check the tubes..Another thing is the band switch could be acting up  IE could be dirty or not making good contact on the AM band clean it with alcohol a few times.Big heavy set to be moving around i know..Mine works great on a 20 ft wire to a 100 foot longwire.Get so many stations from all over USA Canada Mexico ect..Good luck.. Angelo
The only caps that I have replaced are those that, if they failed, would cause serious problems.  The rest are all still original.
There are many paper caps to replace.Some are a bit hard to get too like the IF cans and RF cans..I recapped mine Philly 30 back in 1980 took me a few days and i found many bad caps..Once i was done i had to adjust voltage to reciever  as they were way off.I spent a good week going thru it befor i was done..Well worth the effort tho.. I need to do it again ..Alignment i left alone tho,. While i was at it i cleaned the set too and waxed everything.Time to clean it again! May be time to recap it and check alignment..Iset all my voltages to what service data said they should be ...Angelo
Thanks for all the good ideas.  I have not messed with the radio at all since I have owned it.  I believe it was probably worked on in the past.  It plays pretty well and I have enough other projects so I didn't want to start any work.  I have played around with it a bit in the mean time.  I dug out the schematic and realized that the BC band uses a different antenna terminal than the short wave and I may have had that wrong.  The other thing I tried with pretty good results was a loop antenna.  I got to thinking of the large indoor loop antennas that were used in the early days of radio, some almost works of art themselves.  I threw together a test rig of a triangular shaped form of 3-4 strands of wire over a couple of scraps of wood clamped together.  The triangle is maybe 5 feet high.  I connected one end of the antenna to the antenna terminal (left-most one viewed from the back) and the other lead to the antenna terminal marked ground.  I also ran a "cheater" ground to the same terminal from a three wire plug with the hot and neutral leads taped up and not connected.  I realize this is a poor ground but metal cold water pipes or radiator steam pipes are pretty rare in new houses.  As you'd expect the loop fairly directional but you can adjust it as I'm sure the old timers did by rotating it.  Bringing back the one loop lead to radio ground really seemed to clean up the noise, I'm thinking because of the low resistance seen between the loop leads.  I'm thinking about building a nice looking copy of a classic loop from wood since I don't own one and can't recall seeing a lot of them for sale.
Hi somewhere on the web is a site for old loop ants you can buy or build..Old standby is a hulla hoop ant nice big loop ant! Ihad the web site for loop ants but removed it try googling it.. They had a nice classic wooden one you could buy or build..There are some new modern ones out there too that work very well and are small .. AES sells one..Angelo

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