Marconiphone Model 248

 I must have had this little set for 10 years. I placed it on the sideboard and forgot about it until we needed space to put a christmas tree when things got shuffled around. I noticed something odd.. the back cover was nailed in place and there were no battery leads visible. The set looked to me about 1930ish but had no makers name or model number showing as the back cover was made of hardboard (see it at the bottom of this page) and clearly a replacement. Underneath the set was written "9994 STV" and inside were no less than three serial numbers. On a label riveted to the chassis is "10700C", on the inside of the case is "62394" and engraved on the chassis "20462". My guess is the case was made by a sub-contractor and 62394 is the makers part number; the chassis by another subcontractor with his part number 20462 and Marconis serial number 10700C.

The set is what I'd describe as utilitarian, being of very unsophisticated construction so it was a surprise when I identified it as a Marconiphone Model 248.

 
 Here's the detail of the control knobs and dial where you can see it predates the international treaties which designated broadcast wavelengths. The set was introduced to the market on July 11th 1932 selling for £4:19:6d, not an insignificant amount for those days, and unlike most modern items did include batteries. By the time you've allowed for the price of an HT battery and a 2 volt accumulator plus the profit, the set would have cost less than couple of pounds. Valves were expensive so the selling price is remarkably cheap.
 

 The set is a TRF and uses two valves. One is marked "215P" and the other, also a Cossor valve is missing its label (so therefore both are replacements as the originals would have been Marconi valves HL2 & LP2). In line with the low cost of the set you can see some really basic components. The wavechange switch combined with on/off is particularly basic. The tuning and reaction condensers are solid dielectric types and what can I say about the loudspeaker?

I imagined it would be a moving iron type but the cone has been removed. The design which uses what was referred to as a speaker motor, employs the front panel woodwork as well as the cone to generate and reflect sound through the front fretwork. The front of the set has a metal escutcheon with an adjusting screw for setting the correct amount of movement for the motor mechanism. Alas the high impedance winding is open circuit which probably explains why the back cover was nailed in place.

 
 A view of the side of the set showing the aerial sockets and desgn features reminiscent of Pye sets of the the same period.
 
 This is the rather strange replacement rear cover showing some age but clearly fitted with no plans to get the set working. What, I wonder is the meaning of the letters "STV"?

 

 The Wireless World of 5th August1932 has the following rather glowing report on this little set. Presumably the manufacturer was a valued advertiser in the magazine?
 
 

 Because the speaker cone is missing and the motor winding is open circuit I'll nail the cover back in place and look for another candidate for restoration....

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