Restoring an R1155 Receiver (/cont.)
This is the finished article! Apart from a minor issue with a bad solder joint in the heater wiring, it worked first time. Alignment and calibration was very straight-forward as per Peter Holtham’s instructions. I haven’t had time to verify the D.F. Circuity. I was very fortunate to get hold of a perfect condition Direction Indicator Meter just a week after buying the receiver! But I will wait until I have built a suitable loop antenna before final testing. Since The D.F. Circuitry was left largely intact I am not expecting any problems.

The R1155 is truly iconic ... just mention ‘Lancaster Bomber’ and some go weak at the knees! Different people have different motives for wanting an R1155. Some don’t even care if it works or not. My own reasons for obtaining one were two-fold. Firstly because I foolishly let at least two go, and secondly because I wanted to see how one would have performed when new. The R1155 represents a leap forward in aircraft communications for several reasons. It is relatively light (only 25 pounds), It covers a wide frequency range WITHOUT the need to physically change coils, and it provided for the first time, a reasonably accurate means of radio navigation. In fact there are more controls on the front of the receiver relating to the latter than to the receiver itself!

I admit that I was at an advantage when I started this project since my receiver was unmodified. Had it been otherwise, i.e. If it had been mutilated; had sections removed and/or modified etc. I have no doubt that I would still have completed the task, but the fact that the job was carried out from start to finish in only 25 days is testimony to Peter Holtham VK4COZ and his excellent book ‘Restoring The Marconi R1155 Receiver’. The dismantling process can be a bit disconcerting though, especially if you just paid serious money for your receiver! Peter guides you through the process of testing the various parts as they are removed before leading you into a carefully thought out re-assembly procedure. The bare chassis is remarkably light and I found it curiously satisfying to feel it getting heavier as the build progressed. I would stress that this is not a project for the inexperienced. The original R1155 was not particularly well made. In some cases the term ‘point-to-point wiring’ was applied literally. The area around the Master-Switch and immediately behind the Jones connectors is a good example of this. It won’t do your receiver any harm to take time to plan wiring routes so that you can eventually neatly bundle groups of wires together. Neat wiring will serve you well in the future should you need to do fault finding. Plenty of information on the R1155 is available on the Internet with original documents and diagrams freely available for download.