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Posts posted by al_kaholik

  1. Slight update on the ITT.

    Stripped the turntable and topside mechanism today, removed all the old squished dinosaurs and lubricated the moving parts with bike chain low friction lubricant. Meths is my current go to cleaner.


    I repacked the main bearing with white grease as I couldn't find the bio-grease I'd like to have used. I presume that its found its way into my brother's shed for his bike... So it will need a proper re-pack when I get hold of that. At the same time I'll do the underside as they are greased  on many of the sliding surfaces.

    Measured with an app on my phone, 45RPM is average 45.6RPM and 33.3 is at around 33.9RPM Not bad results for a cheap BSR turntable. New ST19 stylus on and its sounding way better and more accurate speed wise.

    This is destined to replace the lesser deck which is in the Decca which I believe not to be original as it should have had a four speed but only has a three speed at the moment. It could just be a later model with 16RPM phased out.

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  2. @Roger the Dodger My dad was encouraging me to look at Dynatron. Whilst in some areas they are considered to be superior, the styling is a very big turn off for me. There is something very satisfying about multipurpose furniture that just works wonders in my head. Given I don't have a vinyl collection, its very possible that the interior of the unit will give up its space for booze. At this point in time, its a complete unknown, I have no idea if it even works as the flex is soldered to the chassis, meaning i need to get a bit deeper inside before functional testing. 

    @AVO Smart little unit - I considered pretty much everything avaialble before settling on the Decca, mostly as a storage/size compromise and the cool factor of the flip top. There are loads of radiograms out there for not much money. A non-runner could be a very smart project (he says...) Also, see below!

    @Alpha550t We had an upright piano the whole time I was growing up, nobody ever played it, so I share your pain :hug:


    As an addendum to the Decca, I must confess I have purchased something else too. An ITT/KB unit, c.1973 with some very fancy speakers. They use the same diffusion technique as found in almost all smart speakers to fill the room with sound. Today I wired it up, cleaned the only vinyl I own (it arrived in the post today) put it on the table. Speed: 45RPM, Disc diameter: 7". Selector to "on", input to "gram", table spins. Filled with excitement, I pull the selector to "Auto/Reject, there are some crunchy noises. Its all going to end badly and my beautiful single is about to be scratched worse than a cat attack victim.

     Aaaaannnnd, music!, everything works, and it keeps playing on repeat. I fiddle some more following the instructions. This time at the end of the song, the tone arm returns to its rest, drops gracefully and the catch snaps it tight. The table slows to a stop just like it should.

    Even more excited, I then put a Chromecast into the back with a DIN 5 pin adapter to the tape player input, more music. Worked lovely to fill the garden with noise whilst I was putting down weed control. The speakers are very much destined as outdoor entertainment units connected to whichever unit eventually makes the cut. Excuse the mess, the wife is away for the weekend which means I can put off tidying up until tomorrow!


    Welcome back to (or just to if you are too young to remember it [me included]) the 70s everyone.



    Ninja edit: If anyone can guess the disc, I'll send you a watch! Hint: The A and B side titles are the name of a band and part of a name of their arguably most famous song. This record was released in 1984

    • Like 1

    I introduced this a few days ago, my plan is to gently restore it as best I can and then use it for a music source in my new office. Whilst I'm not expecting miracles, the fact that it has 2x8" drivers should push plenty of air.


    The unit in question is a Decca Sound SRG899. SRG in this case stands for 'Stereo Radio Gram'. And whilst I can't find too much information on the Decca line up clearly they have some experience in audio. The best information I've been able to find on another forum is a page from the original catalogue [posted by dazzlevision on Vintage-radio.net]. This dates it as very late 60s to very early 70s.


    I acquired this on ebay after some extensive looking - these generally don't come up in good condition often. The control panels suffer lots of wear particularly around the most frequently used controls. Its not uncommon to see large areas of the black paint completely removed. This one is in near mint condition here though has clearly been neglected recently. The house I collected it from was full to the ceiling in every room with things. The occupant was clearly a hoarder and the seller had taken on the house including all of the contents.

    Yesterday evening, I set about making a start. Not really knowing where was best. I decided a clean on the teak veneer was a good idea. Diluted white vinegar and water to start which would have the added bonus of getting some of the musty bouquet out.

    There were plenty of areas of crud which was hard and stuck relatively well to the veneer, dust and fluff. And a few more challenging areas such as the biro on the lid here 



    And clearly the mice or rats have been at the cable. I cleaned this irrespective of the fact I know its never going to be serviceable - this is an in progress shot showing just how dirty it all was. This is reflective of the overall level of dirt. The hardboard back has warped likely because of moisture and I'm confident can be flattened.



    I took the opportunity to remove some of the interior panels to help with cleaning. In the below photo, I've removed the internal divider that can also be set up as a shelf for a tape player and the front access panel to the tuners. There is plenty of space in this closed compartment should I want to make any stealthy additions. Amplifiers and the like would easily be concealed in here. One thing is certain, I'm not the first person in here. All of the screw heads have been chewed to pieces and I'll be looking to get new ones. Most frustratingly, the lift strut screws had been glued in place and snapped. I drilled them out and have temporarily placed some in there to make working a bit easier.



    The biro was a stubborn mark which has imprinted the veneer slightly. I managed to remove the colour with a couple of applications of meths with a cloth and some ear buds - its not perfect at the moment but I'm happy with the result. I'll use the cloth and heat method to revive the veneer later. That is probably the time when I'll tackle it further.



    I left it as initially cleaned and called it a night. This morning the garage doesn't smell half as funky, so its an improvement.



    • Like 3
  4. At the moment just generally phone and mask, sometimes earbuds.

    Smart lock on the front door and Google Pay £45 limit allow for anything within walking distance to be done without other items to hassle me.

    I miss commuting sometimes which made my EDC somewhat greater but it has been refined and paired down over a few years.

    • Watch
    • Phone and work phone
    • Train ticket / Oyster card (Neither will go on the phone for various reasons) / wallet / car keys
    • Contigo stainless travel mug. Excellent because they really take a beating and I've never had one leak. Think I'm on number 3 now as they have a hard life getting knocked about
    • 10000AH power bank - about the size of a 20 pack of cigarettes and a multi ended charging lead
    • Lamy Logo multifunction pen, customised (of course) with a metal tip and blue/black/highlighter inserts
    • A5 notebook of whatever flavour work has in the cupboard
    • 2015 MacBook Pro
    • Mints/gum
    • Bike multitool
    • Mini umbrella
    • Lightweight packable rain jacket
    • Work essentials, ID and hi-vis
  5. 5 hours ago, Roger the Dodger said:


    @al_kaholik Not sure many are aware of Bosch blue (Professional) and Bosch green (DIY) variants. My Bosch blue SDS drill lasted for 20 years on site and in the workshop before it finally gave up the ghost in a cloud of smoke. New Makita version still going strong after 10 years use, though as I'm retired, it won't get used much now....:(  My Bosch blue 115mm angle grinder is still one of my favourite tools, however...and the all metal gearbox blue jigsaw is still awesome at 28 years old... 

    Drill press table.

    Worlds apart indeed.

    I've a clutch of 10.8v/12v Bosch Professional tools. My favourite is the cordless circular saw. It has no trouble breaking down boards in a carpark if you need to and with carefully measured cuts, I did sink and hob cutouts from both sides on laminate worktops before finishing with the cordless trim router.

    If you go to any hire shop, there is a reason a lot of the tools they hire out are Bosch Pro or Hilti.

    1 hour ago, KAS118 said:

    I tend to side with @Roger the Dodger point of view. OK I didn't buy the Yema set - but they're cheap and they bent and they were likely to damage the watch (at least its screws) or even cause an injury. In the long run it's actually cheaper to buy quality tools, and more convenient, because you don't have to wait whilst you order replacements. 

    I do see that, but to me the delta I perceive in value wouldn't be worth while. If you have lots of straps that have screw links or intend to get deep into the watches, buy away. I think I only have one that has screw links = not value in my eyes. Plus I'd never tinker in a watch I cared about that much as I know my limitations.

    And as previously discussed, the Bergeon strap tools are worlds apart from cheaper ones, good value.

  6. 3 hours ago, scottswatches said:

    both about £90

    That is the rub for me - Don't get me wrong I love good tools (I've plenty of Bosch blue and a lot of quality hand tools, levels, socket sets and the like) but for me I can't justify £90 on some very specialist tools. I assume Scott that you use them for work as well as pleasure? If I were in that boat, I'd be right up there with you, but being a tinkerer at best with watches a cheaper set has been just fine.

    I've got this for if I'm a bit limited https://www.amazon.co.uk/visenta-Interchangeable-Precision-Screwdriver-Eyeglass/dp/B07GYRRMKW used it for taking a MacBook apart, and numerous computer components. Given they are all low torque applications, I've found these fine too and the fit acceptable.

    As they say, your mileage may vary. But @KAS118 if you aren't doing too much, have a good think about what you perceive value to usage to be.

    • Like 1
  7. Probably the worst photo to show this off, but I picked this up on Saturday - a four hour round trip and a very early start. It was actually really nice to be up super early as I've not really done it since lockdown. And the drive was very nice too.

    It's a Decca Sound SRG899 stereogram. BSR deck (not really turning at the moment, but should be a simple fix), AM/MW/FM radio tuners with twin built in amps. In remarkably good condition, particularly on the control panel. Having a twin-flip lid is really nice, so just the controls can be accessed without the whole top having to be lifted.

    All untested at the moment because of an old style plug on it and the rodents have been at the flex.

    Plan is a sympathetic restoration, we'll see how it sounds, I may change out the speakers, and possibly the amp(s) if needed. But I will keep everything reversible as best I can

    Decca SRG899


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  8. 22 minutes ago, BobJ said:

    I'm going to have a go at cleaning up a load of old family black and white photos that we scanned onto a hard drive years ago.

    I've already downloaded GIMP and had a go at a couple, it's taking me hours to do one. I'll be plenty busy. 

    I do love GIMP, though its not as good on the Mac as it was in Linux. Frustrating that I don't take as many photos to use it these days

    • Like 2
  9. @chocko It's been a long time since I've seen that sign and the memorial! Used to live in Trefechan, amongst other locations but had friends that lived near the campus in Llanbadarn. Between the Gog and the Lion we were pretty set there!

    I used to frequent Anthony Motors quite a bit for parts for my clapped out Polo too.

    Almost made it back in a few weeks but the start haven't aligned :(

    This week I've been mostly French - worked out the discomfort I was experiencing is nothing to do with the strap and just a flare up of my ganglion and wrist strain so its back on steel (this is an old photo). Roll on a proper desk in the impending garden office.

    Yema Navygraf


    EDIT: Anyone else having issues with Flickr BB code? worked just fine as a 'share' link if people are also struggling

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    • Thanks 2
  10. I've enough trains to play with through work so I don't need any more... But there is always something.

    A Beetle on the drive, an old turntable that needs some attention (to be sold) and likely another on the way, a few bits around the house as ever and the constant churn of me getting down the rabbit hole on something else!

    • Like 2
  11.  Being a fan of the earlier Streetfighter games (II Turbo being my favourite!) I see what the've done. The Zangief looks looks more like Ken for me. 

    The Blanka is pretty cool, but not one I would wear. I appreciate the detail and its a nice collectors piece


    • Thanks 1
  12. Generally I leave it out the way and look at it when I want to, not when it summons me. It's never off vibrate and I don't even know what the ringer sounds like. Same for the work phone, but that lives next to me when working.

    It is a very frustrating thing for people when I don't look at their messages, like I say to them, either ring or come and ring the doorbell.

    • Like 1
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  13. On 24/08/2020 at 08:33, Alpha550t said:

    Al_kaholic.     Seems like the ideal companion!


    Honoured! Only just seen this.

    Drinks I'm good with, I'm useful around the house and garden but I can't guarantee the conversation will be up to much!


    @Roger the Dodger and @BobJ seem like resourceful companions so I'd go with one of them I think. At least we could chat about tools.

    • Thanks 2
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