Mike Peebles' Two Tube Regen Kit mashup

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Here are the parts that come with the Peebles two tube regen kit.
Here is a completed kit. This was built by on 11/15/2015 by grandson Matt Knoebel as a school project.
 
I spent days on mine. Matt built his in one sitting.

Looking at the previous page and the above pictures, one would think this went together in a fairly straightforward way.
All you have to do is transfer the kit parts to another wooden base. What could go wrong? Well...  for example:

 
Here is the 58' hank of wire that came with the kit.
...and here is my coil winding jig. It's just a piece of coat hanger to hold the spool
and a clothespin to put tension on the wire as it's wrapped around the coil form.

   The little coil winding jig can't handle a "hank" of wire. It's very important that there are no kinks or twists in the wire. What to do?

     I got this great idea to place the end of the wire in the clothespin and very carefully unroll the hank. I walked from the kitchen (where I was winding the coil) into the living room, then turned into the dining room, walked through the dining room and into the office at the end of the house, unwinding the hank with great care. I then went back into the kitchen.

     When I got back to the kitchen there was no wire in the clothespin. There was no wire on the kitchen floor and there was no wire on the living room floor! About ten feet from the office I found a red bird's nest. The wire had quietly ka-fwanged out of the clothespin, shot through the kitchen and the living room and ended up a tangled wreck. DOH!! Ruined.

   Note: Mike Peebles now supplies the wire on a spool and sent me two free spools with my next order.

 
Next, I tried to get fancy with the speaker hole. I cut a pattern
out with a coping saw. When it came out asymmetrical I
got rid of the pattern, but then the hole wasn't round. Crap!!
To make the cutout round, it was sanded with a tin can
wrapped in sand paper held on by duct tape.

 
DANG!
Waiting for the glue to dry....

 
     This is the first board for the LM386 amplifier. It didn't work, unless you consider the radio going "putt-putt-putt-putt-putt-putt-putt" to be "working." I could not figure out what was wrong with it. After two days I took it apart and made another one.

     See the two black wires? They belong on pin 4 of the socket but obviously are not. No matter how many times I looked at the board I didn't see that they weren't in the right place. I can now build one of these from memory, so at least something was learned.

 
While pondering different ways to turn the set on and off I decided to put the tube filaments on a separate circuit with their own switch. As soon as I did that, the set went dead. I realized after it was rewired that you can't put them on a "separate circuit". All I had to do was to put a switch in line with the battery. DUH.

In this picture I've lifted the tube socket to re-route the connection to the resistor on the right side of the socket. Unfortunately, the resistor  broke when I bent it. Why didn't I just leave well enough alone? Two days later the set was back the way it was before I started.

 
The tuning capacitor monster struck while I was asleep. The radio had been sitting untouched overnight. The next day I found the tuning capacitor had shorted out! You could hear the plates touching.

I wrote to Mike Peebles. He wrote a paragraph back in UPPER CASE (yelling) and said I didn't put lock washers or spacers under the capacitor as he said to do in the instructions. When I tightened it down I had pushed the fiber insulator upwards and distorted the stator. Interesting that he knew that without seeing a picture of the radio. I should hang a sign on the wall that says, "Mike Peebles is watching you."

Putting lock washers under the capacitor while it was wired in place was frustrating to say the least.


There were other issues, too. For instance, my regeneration control had a reverse action and the connections on the back had to be swapped, I had to print out the dial plate about ten times before the spacing was correct, and I ruined the first shaft extension for the tuning cap.
The very last thing I did was to connect the battery for the audio amp, only to find there was no place to put it.

I've found that when building these small sets there always seems to be fix or a workaround for almost any problem. Especially when you cause them yourself.

 
 
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