TV Sets and Radiograms

Alba Model 6301 Radiogram (Made around 1960)

 Tunes VHF/MW/LW

These things will soon be as rare as hen's teeth. Why? Because they're too bulky for people to give them house room. Too big to put in the loft. Too large and heavy to transport to a new home. Add to that the styling that would look out of place anywhere except a 1960's house and the fact that a replacement stylus or cartridge is getting difficult to purchase. No longer are these to be seen on racks in the local Radio and TV shop, now a specialist has to be commandeered to source one.

Even the VHF/FM tuning is disappointing. In those days the part of the band starting now with Radio 1 used to be the province of the local police and few if any manufacturers' included coverage beyond 98 or 100MHz.

One used to place one's entire collection of records on the centre spindle, sit back and listen to the complicated mechanical arrangements plonk each record on the platter then play, hopefully to the end, without getting stuck on one section because of a crack. Even the mechanical noise of the autochanger was amplified by the sensitive cartridge on cheaper versions so it was always with a sense of expectation that we waited to see what was next in store.

Just think of the remains of hundreds of thousands of these now rotting in land-fill sites?




Rio TRP-81



 This must be one of the first Japanese Transistor equipments imported to the UK and it was still in its box with all the original packing and handbook.

I think it must have been in the bottom of a box of stuff I bought at an auction. That street auction alas is no more as the Company running it couldn't make ends meet. The auctioneer uttered at the very last auction those now famous words, "50 pence is the minimum price not the maximum price". I discovered though the biggest of the vendors was the local recycling centre although it wasn't called that then. Whenever I call at the nearby computer wholesaler's to pick up stock I call in to see what's on offer. Unfortunately prices are rising and electrical equipment is now stored in a presentable "building" with mains power so the chap in charge can check the various things. On the last visit (mid-2001) I saw half a dozen new Pace "analogue" satellite receivers presumably dumped by a dealer, and a nice looking CTX 17" computer monitor for which I paid £5, and later fixed.

This miniature radiogram or to call it by the maker's name "8 Transistor Solid State Radio Phonograph", plays 33 or 45 rpm records and has a medium wave receiver. The stylus is called a "needle", there's a preventative maintenance schedule, a complete circuit diagram and a list of transistors (presumably a hang-over from the valve era when one needed to replace the latter regularly). The English in the handbook is full of errors. The instructions for the radio are headed "TO OPERASSET RADIO". Anyone know when it was made or who "Rio" was?

Bush 14 inch Model TV43

 My friend Norman Fung in Liverpool brought this set the best part of 300 miles for my collection. The photo could be better but the set was a bit heavy to carry down four flights of stairs to the dining table where I took the last lot of pictures. The set was probably made in 1954. The Coronation in previous year probably accounts for speeding up the widespread popularity of TV. In Liverpool where I lived we had to use the "Sutton Coldfield" transmitter before "Holme Moss" was built. Early sets could tune to only one channel, being preset by the local dealer and even when new had to be viewed in darkened rooms. Before the start of transmissions the BBC used to show you how to watch your TV by drawing the curtains etc...

Between programmes we were given a potter's wheel to watch and during a really long break a film called "London to Brighton in 4 minutes" which showed a journey considerably speeded up (no doubt the speed adjusted to fill a specific time)

The CRT is a Mullard MW36-24 and the set uses the following 18 valves

2 x EB91, ECL80, 7 x EF80, EY51, PCC84, PCF80, PL81, PL83, PY81, PY82, PY82

This is a 17 inch HMV Model 1892 of 1959 vintage.


 It's complete except for the centre knob that tunes the built-in VHF radio. The set is modern enough to use printed circuit boards. I remember buying this set from the local recyling centre for £1.

The missing back piece is inside waiting to be restored. The set has a 13 channel turret tuner and with the radio option tunes Band I, II and III. It will be set to 405 lines of course so I won't be using it. I thought it would make a nice ornament. These type of sets used to be two-a-penny when UHF started with the result that they are now very scarce. The cabinet is lovely and shiny and would still look nice in anyone's front room. I'm not allowed to have it in mine though!

For anyone that's interested this set uses a Mullard 110 degree CRT type AW43-88 and a typical valve line-up of the period.

2 x EB91, ECC82, 3 x EF80, EF85, EY86, PCC85, PCC89, PCF80, 2 x PCL82, PCL84, PL81, PY32, PY81 plus an OA70 and OA79

An old valve amplifierSee some wind-up gramophonesReturn to entrance>>