More Battery Operated Sets

A Russian Selena

 A very scruffy example. I sold a brand new one, still sealed in its box, last week (June 2000) to a neighbour who was emigrating to Portugal. I did warn him he'd only get the BBC World Service in Russian.

Vega Portable

The second Russian set is a Selena Vega B212

Invicta Portable Model 30

 This very early transistor portable was bought for £3 in late August 01 and must have been a once treasured possession as it came complete with a service sheet and an instruction leaflet. Very worn and with a piece of string for a handle it has clearly had lots and lots of use. It isn't included in Radio & TV Servicing so I'm not sure of its date. I guess it's 1957, and is one of the first transistor portables.



 The ancient all PnP germanium transistor line-up which originate from Newmarket/Pye is worth quoting:-

Frequency changer.....V6/R4M

1st IF amplifier...........V6/R2

2nd IF amplifier..........V6/R2

Audio amplifier...........V10/50B

Output.........................2 x V10/30A

Conveniently it uses 4 x U11 batteries.

It tunes the medium waveband and has a single preset longwave station. Neutralisation, or the stability of the circuit was a problem in the early days because of internal feedback paths within the early transistors and its data sheet goes into the procedure with lots of detail.

Below...What Harrods would refer to as "previously owned"

 It appears that this set is quite interesting. The first British transistor portable was designed by Pye and marketed under their PAM subsidiaries label as the "PAM710". When it seemed that transistor sets may come to be accepted Pye then sold them, slightly redesigned, under their own name as the "P123BQ".

My set has the Pye front panel, with the same "Transistor" badge but fitted into a heavyweight picnic-portable style rexine-covered wooden case. As with the Pye model this uses six transistors, saving two over the PAM's eight. This was achieved by having a self-oscillating mixer and using a diode detector. Strange that none of these three receivers had a proper name? It was as if the drive behind these things was led by engineering rather than marketing. Not a lot of imagination... let's call it the "Model 710"; the "P123BQ; the "Transistor Portable Model 30"... yawn. Stilll... most other British radio manufacturers did the same. Not all though... some UK firms such as Ever Ready chose names rather than security codes and Grundig in line with most other European and Asian manufacturers coined all sorts of names for their sets... Micro-Boy, Yacht-Boy etc.

Home built TRF set

This set, probably built in the 50s from old components is missing it's valve

An Ever Ready Sky Casket

 This is a 4 valve "handbag" portable from 1957 using gilded fittings on a cream leathercloth-covered case.

It originally cost almost £15, a lot of money at the time, certainly more than a weeks wages for some. When battery requirement is considered it puts these type of sets well and truly into the luxury market.

Consider current-day values.

Today the set would cost the equivalent of £300 and batteries say, £20. Incredible!

Ferranti picnic portable radio, Model 815

click the picture to see more

 A rather bland symmetrical design using 4 small battery powered valves with a frame aerial built into the lid.

This set has chrome-plated fittings and has a lizard-skin covered plywood case.

It originally cost about £12 or so in 1951.

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