There may be the occasional Silvered Mica capacitors that have aged beyond tolerance, in which case they too will be replaced at cost. I will also undertake any authorised safety modifications if not already implemented … e.g. replacing the three wire-wound resistors in the PSU; fitting an HT fuse and implementing two safety mods in the second VFO.
There is however one thing that I will not do and that is modify your RA17 to incorporate any of the so-called SSB modifications. Please do not ask me to do this.
There is unfortunately one component in the majority of RA17s that is becoming extremely difficult to replace, and that is the panel meter. (North American models like the RA17C and the RA117 are fitted with a different meter and are not affected.) The original meter was manufactured by Ernest Turner. Due to a manufacturing error, corrosive varnish was used to coat the meter movement winding. This resulted in the fine copper wire deteriorating, with the result, it is very common to encounter meters where the movement is open-circuit. It may not always be possible to replace a faulty meter with an authentic one.
As each module or section of the RA17 is refurbished it is tested in line with Racal’s original instructions as described in the appropriate maintenance manual. Modern technology has overtaken some of the procedures, with the result, I use a sophisticated Network Analyser to verify the alignment of the 40MHz Band-Pass filter. This same Network Analyser is also used to ‘shape’ the 6 different filters in the 100KHz I/F.
Turn-around is usually within 28 days. However, in reality, the actual time taken can be as little as 10 days. 60 hours is around the time taken to complete the work, provided there are no illusive faults. This is one justification for the price increase. If I were to charge by the hour, and these days £30/hr would be considered very reasonable, I would be charging upwards of £1800 for each RA17 refurbished. Obviously that is an unrealistic price. Even if I reduced the rate to £10/hr, that would still mean charging £600 a time and since it is my aim to make the service affordable to all, I have decided to set a base price of £350 for RA17s and £370 for RA117s.
Another justification for the price increase is the investment in what I call competent test equipment. The RA17 is a sophisticated receiver employing innovative frequency changing techniques and filters which require precision alignment. To this end I have invested in a suite of sophisticated high-spec test equipment (see next page) and have plans to construct a range of special-to-type test fixtures along the lines of Racal’s original test fixtures.
The cost of transporting your RA17 remains the same. Most couriers have now increased their maximum box weight to 50Kg so I can offer a one-way transit fee of £60 which includes a triple-thickness corrugated box and an inordinate amount of bubble-wrap.
RA17, RA17MK2, RA17L and other variants ............................... £350.00
RA117 .......................................................................................... £370.00