Customers Repairs: Murphy Radios

Murphy A689 Transistor 10, Repair No. 41

 The complaint was that the set ate batteries and as I'd already fitted battery eliminators for a local relative of this customer who lived in London, and visited the New Forest on a regular basis, he had decided to invest in this old radio rather than buy a new one. The set ran from two 9 volt batteries from which a thumping 150mA was being sucked at any setting of the volume control. Sensitivity was poor and stability was erratic. Of course it was the old Mullard AF transistors. By now I had stopped fitting replacements, unless instability ensued; merely cutting their case lead connection to ground. This done the consumption, from an external 18 volt power unit, dropped to about 30mA. An external 13Amp plug power supply was supplied and connected to the set via a lead and DIN plug and socket. I fitted a bridge rectifier and a regulator chip together with a diode switch for battery use. Performance was OK but I found the sound quality to be not as good as the Roberts models.

Murphy A689 Transistor 10, Repair No. 147

 This set, which was manufactured around March 1969, belonged to a local chap for whom the old set had nostalgic associations. No less than four AF transistors had developed internal shorts. After sorting out this problem I noted the battery current had fallen from 35 to 20mA. Medium, bandspread Medium and VHF bands were all OK but the Long waveband wasn't. Investigation at the ferite rod revealed that the connections to the long wave coil had never been soldered. After correcting this Long waves worked (for the first time?). Someone had previously been inside the set and had refitted the speaker leads using a hot poker. After redoing these using a proper soldering iron then set was reassembled and performed well.

Murphy A682SR, Repair No. 984

 This was an old radiogram and belonged to a local lady. I had a job finding her as the house was inside the grounds of a large estate that runs residential courses for children with disabilities. I eventually pulled up outside a largish wooden building on a small farm. When I went in and made a passing remark about the room she explained that the house was really a very large chicken house that they had bought donkeys years ago and they thought it too good to give to the birds. This must have been in the good old days before planning regulations or nobody knew they were there! Inside, the building looked very presentable and was probably functionally little different to the log cabins you see in American films.

 As the radiogram needed some special attention I carted it away to the workshop. The record player idler, which was a metal/rubber moulded thing, was hardened and slipped and as I didn't know where to find a replacement, I cleaned up its working surface then increased the tension on the spring mechanism which engaged it so that the wheel would bite sufficiently to rotate the turntable. I wasn't happy however as it wouldn't work reliably when different speeds were selected so decided to scrap the old deck and fit a newer one from a donor equipment. The new deck was a Waltham STM70/72 and as it was different I wrote out instructions so she could work it.

The radio didn't work very well, making crackling noises, but after removing the valves and cleaning their pins it was OK.

Post script:

Many years later I spotted something familiar on the program that presents interesting new builds, Grand Designs. A couple had purchased the land and (presumably) demolished the giant chicken hutch and obtained planning permission for a fancy new house. This is adjacent to the grounds of Avon Tyrrel in the New Forest. I wonder what happened to the old radiogram?

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