ISSN 084-6209
The Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Club of Western Australia
August 2012
Issue 121
News from the Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Club, Perth. WA.
This issue comprises the March to July 2012 Meetings!
At the March Meeting, Ray Nicholas presented his
experiences in servicing radios in the RAAF during
WW2 whilst at Pearce, Darwin and Borneo.
Rodney House gave a presentation and demonstration of miniature gramophones at the
April Meeting .
Rob Nunn with substantial assistance from members, presented a Powerpoint show on battery
portable valve radios at the May meeting.
Norbert Tourney presented a show and tell on
a 1924 French tube radio in Items of Interest
during the June meeting.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
EXECUTIVE 2009-2010
President: Rob Nunn
51 St Helier Drive, Sorrento, WA 6020
Phone: 0418 922 629 (M) ; 08 94486143 (H)
Email : [email protected]
Vice President: Steve Austin
President’s Report
“Radiogram” is our Club magazine,
published twice a year. This issue
No. 121 covers the period from
March 2012 to July 2012. The
magazine complements our Club
Website, which is very ably managed by Reg Gauci with up to date
information on the Club activities.
Our March meeting was addressed
by Ray Nicholas who spoke on his WW2 experiences in
radio with the RAAF at Pearce, Darwin and Borneo. Ray
had some fine stories and photos to show us. Also, Norbert presented an unusual 1961Saba stereo radio with
auto-tuning correction, and AM-FM station memory.
Secretary: Rodney House,
Email : [email protected]
Vince Taylor (Minute Secretary)
Treasurer: Barry Kinsella
Email : [email protected]
Website: Reg Gauci :
Email: [email protected]
Committee: Rob Nunn, Barry Kinsella, Andrew
Wakeman, Vince Taylor, Tony Smith, Steve Austin, Reg Gauci and Len Lewis.
Appointments: Librarian: Len Lewis
Editor: Rob Nunn; Publicity/Website: Reg Gauci
Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each
month (with the exception of December) at 8pm in
the Veteran Car Club rooms at 6 Hickey Street,
Ardross. Visitors are always welcome!
Our April meeting was coordinated by Rodney House, and
Members brought along ultra-portable gramophones to
show and demonstrate. Some 22 very interesting machines were displayed and the evening was a great success.
I was very pleased with the excellent response from Members to my request to bring along battery portable valve
radios for the May meeting. Thanks to those who showed
us their old battery portables. 35 in total. Thanks also to
Steve Saville for permission to use photos from his collection DVD’s.
In June we had our AGM and Monster auction. All existing
Office-Bearers were re-elected. I would like to again express my thanks to our Committee and all Office-Bearers
Although the main interests of members are wirefor their invaluable support during the 2011-2012 year.
less receivers and gramophones (or phonographs) Our Club works well because there are a few people who
, many members are also interested in amplifiers,
are willing to put some time and effort into the Club. If
telephones, musical boxes, tape recorders, televi- you have not previously done so, please consider making
sion receivers and other associated equipment and contributions to our Website or monthly meetings or
Radio-Gram is currently published twice per year,
in about February and August.
I was unable to attend the July meeting due to being away
with family for a week. However I have been informed
that the meeting went very well, with Richard Rennie givSend articles and advertisements to the editor:
ing his interesting talk on the Transition of 6WF to the
Rob Nunn : 51 St Helier Drive, Sorrento, WA, 6020 ABC, plus a short film by Tony Smith.
Email: [email protected]
Phone : 94486143 or 0418 922 629
Please make sure your ‘copy’ is submitted by the
meeting night prior to the issue month.
Advertisements are placed FREE of charge, but
should be of a non-exploitive nature.
Subscriptions: $25 (payable in June)
(Concession rate: $20)
You may have noticed that I introduced name badges to
our meetings. I think they worked well. Don’t forget to
leave your badge behind as you leave the cluhouse.
My thanks to Contributors to this “Radiogram” No. 121.
Please keep up the good work, and encourage other
Members to do the same! See you at the 28 August
…….Rob Nunn
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
The Secretary’s Report
Some very good meetings held during the last few months with excellent participation by a
good number of members.
In April and May we had valve radios and ultra portable gramophones. A large number of
these items were on display and demonstrated with some interesting descriptions by owners.
Also in May a small auction was held, the highlight of which was a valve radio which sold for $600 – which just goes
to show that there are still sought after items and/or bargains to be had. These small auctions are now a regular feature of meetings where we do not have a guest speaker. I am currently holding 2 wooden cased radios, an HMV and
an STC along with an unusual Hallicrafters multiband receiver in original carton. These will be coming up for auction
at some time in the future.
At the AGM in June President Rob pretty much railroaded all retiring office holders into the same positions for another year and the agony was over in an instant – well done Rob.
At the same meeting a monster auction saw in the order of 100 lots go to mostly willing buyers with some encouragement from auctioneer Stephen.
Coming up are a number of activities associated with the centenary of Wireless Hill which are listed elsewhere in this
issue. I would urge as many members as possible to participate in some if not all of these.
I expect the committee will be meeting soon to formalise the programme for the first half of next year, as well as for
the November social, so if you have ideas please make them known to a committee person or at a meeting.
1. (From Rodney House) It is with regret that I have to advise members of the death of Clive Rutty
It was at his instigation that our club was created in early 1983.
He assisted at the first meeting of about ten people at a private residence.
It was through his insistence that gramophones were included in the club's sphere of interest, as well as radios.
The first Club meeting was in March 1983.
Clive spoke on restoration at the April meeting.
He only participated in the first few meetings and then he bowed out.
2. (From Rob Nunn) I had a phone call from Brian Davis, who is seeking to contact a Charles McLaughlin. They
worked in Govt. and radio some years ago. If you know of Charles McLaughlin, would you please phone Brian
Davis on 93448860.
DATE: Thursday 6TH SEPTEMBER, 2012
KINDLY RSVP TO: PO Box 534 Subiaco WA 6904;
[email protected] or to the President on Mobile Phone 0427 001 793.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Tony Smith
Vince Taylor
Fred Franklin
Richard Rennie
Phil Oxwell
Rodney House
Merv Thompson
Norbert Tourney
Rob Nunn
Minutes Secretary
Vince Taylor
Steve Austin.
- Rodney House
Tony Smith
Andew Wakeman
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Barry Kinsella
Webmaster and Committee
Reg Gauci
Recent Events
March 27, 2012 : Ray Nicholas spoke on his experiences servicing radios in the RAAF at Pearce,
Darwin and Borneo during WW2.
April 24, 2012 : Rodney House spoke and demonstrated miniature Ultra Portable Radios, some disguised as cameras
May 22, 2012 : Valve Portable Radios. Rob coordinated this presentation, and members brought
along many portables of interest.
Ray Nicholas
Rodney House
Rob Nunn
June 26, 2012 : AGM and Auction
July 24, 2012 : From 6WF to the ABC. Richard
Rennie presented the story of the ABC in WA.
Coming Events
August 28, 2012 : Trevor Kelly will tell of his experiences working at the ABC.
September 25, 2012 : Brian Peachey will present
his experiences working for C.H Baty and as proprietor of a record store in Perth.
October 23, 2012 : a demonstration of a variety of
internal horn Edison phonographs.
November 27, 2012 : Annual Social Evening, starting at 6.30pm at our Clubhouse.
December— no meeting in December.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Richard Rennie
A Restoration Story by Tony Smith
A friend called to see me one day with a radio tucked under his arm.
"I found it on a verge waiting for the Council rubbish pick-up" he said. It had obviously been out a fair time as the
cabinet was very much the worse for wear because the plywood of the cabinet was starting to split and there was a
lot of dirt inside.
Front view of “5214” as it came to me
off the verge
Rear view of “5214” as it came to me.
Looking at the set it became obvious that here was a very interesting item. It was made in England, branded HMV
model 5214, and is an AC/DC set with "live" chassis. It features a most unusual valve line up, all valves being labelled MARCONI, a brand I had not seen before. All had the heaters rated at .1 amp.
These are the valves installed, with a numbering system foreign to me RF. W107. Converter X142.
IF. W142.
Audio DH142.
Output N142.
The European equivalents turned out to be UF89
and the American equivalents ?
Rectifier U142.
At this stage the age of the set is unknown, but one would suggest it being made just after WWII. In spite of this
strange line-up the set has some interesting features that were ahead of it's time.
The cabinet has a removable bottom with the set being so designed that all general servicing and alignment can
be done without removing the set from the cabinet.
The whole chassis is mounted on four large rubber grommets which are in turn mounted on two steel runners
screwed to the cabinet. The hold down screws under the cabinet are thus not "live". There is a calibrated drum fitted
to the tuning capacitor which enables alignment to be done without having to look at the dial from the front of the
Insulated sleeves are on each control shaft to prevent any chance of touching the shafts between the knobs and
the cabinet. A thermistor was factory fitted to the series ballast in the heater circuit (will explain later) The speaker
is mounted behind a very impressive four piece glass dial system, the printing on which has perfectly withstood
around 60 years. These dial glasses are three bandspread shortwave and one general shortwave/ medium wave.
The set has provision for six dial lights and the original dial cord is still OK.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Now to the strange items.
The RF valve is mounted up on a little sub chassis, almost looking like an "add-on". The rectifier valve
socket is mounted up off the chassis by means of spacers - why? Whilst the dial cord and pulleys are on the
chassis, the large vertical pointer is mounted on runners attached to the cabinet (shades of Philips sets!)
Showing the removable cabinet bottom
The ballast, thermistor and raised rectifier
Now to get it going.
First was to clean the chassis and get rid of all the dust and dirt that had accumulated over the years and from the
roadside verge. The valves were carefully taken out and their pins cleaned. Thank heaven the heaters were intact.
How would you find a 45 or a 31 volt valve today?
The next was to come to grips with the ballast system and the heater circuit. It turned out that part of the ballast system incorporated the dial lights. To my mind this is not a good idea because a change in the globes, or a failure can
alter the heater line-up voltage. The decision was made to remove the dial lights from the ballast system and adjust
it accordingly with a parallel resistor the value of which was calculated. As we have no DC power anymore a small
transformer from an old transistor set would do the job for the lights.
Having a thermistor in the heater circuit as part of the resistive network is an excellent safeguard to the heaters. A thermistor has a reverse heat/resistance feature where the resistance drops as it heats up. This feature prevents any damaging surge in the heaters when first switched on. The only
drawback is that the warm-up time for the valves is somewhat longer than normal.
The set was fitted with stand-off electrolytics. These were
automatically replaced with some good secondhand ones
as a precaution. Originally fitted was a switch-pot for the volume control. The switch had failed, possibly because switchpots do not like DC! As the shaft was quite long and not standard it was decided to forgo the switch on the volume and leave
the set to be turned on and off at the socket.
The stand-off RF end and tuning drum
Taking precautions so as to not touch the chassis it was time to try it out. The old trick of a small globe in series with
the mains was installed, and the set switched on. While monitoring the heater circuit the wattage of the series globe
was then progressively increased until it appeared safe for the set to go direct to the mains.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
The HT came up and then would you believe there came some static from the speaker, and with the turn of the tuning in came the AM stations! I found it hard to believe that this set, chucked out onto the verge, maybe 60 years old
and with very obsolete valves, would come to life. The volume control would not turn the set right down, and this
turned out to be because of a open circuit cathode electrolytic in the audio amplifier circuit. A new one fixed the problem.
With the exception of one SW all bands were working, and as
later found out the eventual performance at night meant that it
appeared unnecessary to touch the alignment. And by the way at
night the six dial lights are spectacular!
The peeling sections of the cabinet plywood were glued down and
then the whole cabinet sanded down to bare wood. Three coats of
a satin varnish and the cabinet looked as though it had just come
off the showroom floor. A set of knobs and some new speaker
cloth and that was it!
The finished set
My friend could not believe it - he may have been sorry he gave me the set in the first place!
…………...Tony Smith
Minutes of Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Collectors Club meeting held at clubrooms Tuesday
March 27th 2012. 26 members present, 3 visitors.
8.10pm. Meeting commenced.
The meeting was opened by President Rob Nunn. Apologies were given for Secretary Rodney House and Treasurer Barry
Kinsella. A welcome was extended to visitors Trevor Kelly, Ray Nicholas and John Doust. A motion was asked to pass
the previous meetings minutes. This was put forward by Richard Rennie and seconded by Len Lewis. Passed.
Secretary’s Report.
There was no Secretary’s report available.
Richard reported that a letter of appreciation had been received from the City of Melville for the clubs help in the assessment process of the Wireless Hill Collection. Richard also tables a copy of Radiowaves Magazine.
Treasurer’s Report.
There was no Treasurers report available.
General Business.
Tony Smith- Reminded the Club that May is Valve Portable night. Bring in your Valve Portable for a mega show & tell.
Tony has info on the kits that are available for powering portables. Tony is also looking for a Collaro crystal pick up cartridge for someone who is repairing an old radiogram.
Richard Rennie- Wireless Hill Centenary Celebrations. New dates for events are;
Sunday July 1st…. Transition of 6WF to ABC, Presentation 2-3pm Katajini Hall, Kitchener Rd
Sunday September 30th … Club Display & Demonstration at Wireless Hill.
Sunday Oct 7th… Wireless Information Day, 10-12am Wireless Hill…
James Wemm- Is looking for spare parts for Denon Amps.
Items of Interest
Norbert Tourney- A top of the line AM/FM Saba Radio receiver. 11valve Frieburg 7, c.1957.
Meeting closed 8.20pm.
Ray Nicholas gave a talk on his reminiscences as a Radio Technician with the RAF in the Pacific from 1941-46.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Minutes of the VWGC meeting held on the 24 th of April 2012 at 6 Hickey St Ardross
The meeting commenced at 8:00 pm with Rob Nunn in the chair Attendance, apologies and guests were recorded in
the attendance book.
Rob reminded members of the coming events connected with the centenary of Wireless Hill,
1st of July from 6WF to the ABC — Richard at Kadidjini Park and repeated at the July Club meeting.
30th Sept Display and demonstrations of 1920s radios Valve radio information day
Richard's book launch and cocktail party
Rodney reported on the programme for the second half of the year June AGM and monster auction
Richard - From 6WF to the ABC A illustrated talk based on the scrapbook compiled by Wally
Aug .
Tre vor Kelly For me r ABC wor ker
Brian Peachey Assembled radios for C. S.Baty and later ran a record store
Amberola night
No Treasurers Report as Barry is overseas .
General Business.
Tony Barb. Suggested name tags. Rob has blank ones and will bring them to the next meeting
They are to be left at the Club and collected and used each meeting.
Steve Austin reported that needles were available, and also styli
Tony Barb enquired whether auction items needed to be paid for on the night — yes
Business having concluded, there was an expanded show and tell of ultra portable gramophones coordinated by
Rodney. Some 22 machines were on display brought in by several members, and quite a number were played.
After the show a small auction was held.
Minutes of Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Collectors Club meeting held at clubrooms Tuesday
May 22nd 2012. 26 members present.
8.07pm. Meeting commenced.
The meeting was opened by President Rob Nunn. Thanks were made to the club members who bought their Battery Portables along tonight with approx 35 examples on show. After the show and tell there will be a coffee break and then a small
auction of donated items. Rob also reminded members of Richards talk on 6WF to ABC on 1 st July. A motion was asked
to pass the previous meetings minutes. This was put forward by Richard Rennie and seconded by Len Lewis. Passed.
Secretary’s Report.
The Centenary of Wireless Hill celebrations are coming along. An application has been lodged with City of Melville to
cover the costs of Richards talk on July 1 st. Rodney has sent an expression of interest for the club to join the Wireless Hill
exhibit day on Sep 30th on the proviso that we have adequate shelter for the exhibit. The club has registered to once again
exhibit at the Seniors Have A Go Day on Nov 14 th. Len Lewis spoke to Peter Waltham and Jenny Seaton who will be
happy to promote the club on their remote radio broadcast that day.
Treasurer’s Report.
There was no treasurer’s report available.
General Business.
Tony Bayliss- Gramophone and Radio collector John Crossland has passed away. Items from his collection are for sale,
see Tony for details.
Richard Rennie- Is looking for radios of the 1929 -32 era to display at the Transition of 6WF to ABC talk on Sunday July
Andrew Wakeman- Suggested that a sticker with the purchasers initials be placed on club auction items immediately upon
sale. This will avoid the problem encountered lately regarding uncollected items.
Items of Interest
Tony Bayliss- 1928-31 Phillips 25/10 radio receiver.
Barry Kinsella- 1973 Barlow Wadley XCB30 Mk 2 Transistor Portable.
Meeting closed 8.20pm. A show and tell was held with club members examples of battery portable radio receivers.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Minutes of Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Collectors Club meeting held at clubrooms Tuesday
June 26th 2012. 24 members present.
8.00pm. Meeting commenced.
The meeting was opened by President Rob Nunn. On this our last meeting for the financial year thanks were extended to
the executive and committee for their work running the club. Special thanks to Steve Austin, Reg Gauci, Richard Rennie
and Rodney House. Also to Northern Territory Member Fred Franklyn for his contributions to the club magazine. The
order of business tonight will be regular meeting, AGM and then an auction after the break. Subs are due tonight and
members must be paid up to bid in the auction.
Secretary’s Report.
The club has been given access to the cottage for the domestic radio exhibit at Wireless Hill on Sep 30 th. Next Sunday
(July 1st) Richard will present his talk 6WF-ABC at Katajini Hall. Richards encyclopaedia of Western Australian Radios
and Gramophones will be launched at Wireless Hill 10.30am 7 th Oct. The Secretary’s report was passed as correct by Jim
Moore and seconded by David Littley.
Treasurer’s Report.
The treasurer’s report was tabled as a separate document. The club has about $2000 in the bank and $5500 in the term deposit. The Treasurers report was moved as correct by Steve Austin and seconded by Reg Gauci. Passed.
General Business.
Tony Smith- 2 radiograms have been donated to the club. One is a blondwood lowboy Phillips valve turntable, tape and
TV (can be delivered in the metro area). The other is a HMV lowboy transistor receiver with BSR turntable.
Items of Interest
Norbert Tourney- Locally manufactured TRF receiver c.1924-26. A copy of a European model, Reinharts reactive radio.
In absence of nominations or resignations the executive and committee stands.
President- Rob Nunn.
Vice President- Steven Austin.
Secretary- Rodney House.
Treasurer- Barry Kinsella.
Minutes Secretary- Vince Taylor.
Website Manager- Reg Gauci.
Magazine Editor- Rob Nunn.
Meeting closed at 8.30pm. A club auction was held.
Norbert, closely supervised by Coleen, shows
a 1924 Reinharts reactive radio
Some of the members present at the June
AGM and monster auction.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Minutes of Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Collectors Club meeting held at clubrooms Tuesday
July 24th 2012. 17 members present, 1 visitor.
8.00pm. Meeting commenced.
The meeting was opened by Vice President Steven Austin. Apologies were given for President Rob Nunn and Treasurer
Barry Kinsella. Welcome was extended to visitor Stewart Harrison. Notice was given of the passing of Clive Rutty who
was one of Perths finest French Polishers and taught a number of people in the club. Proceeds for tonight are the regular
meeting, guest speaker and then a short film from Tony Smith. An auction of donated items will be held after the coffee
Secretary’s Report.
There are 2 copies of the Altronics catalogue to give away. Incoming correspondence was an acknowledgement from the
Seniors Recreation Council of our application to the Seniors Have A Go Day. There was no outgoing correspondence.
Treasurer’s Report.
No Treasurers report was available.
General Business.
Richard Rennie- His talk on The Transition of 6WF to ABC (Sunday July 1 st at Katajini Hall) was very well received with
65 persons attending.
Steven Austin- Gave the talk on Pathe’ he presented at the club to the Motion Picture Historical Society.
Items of Interest
Phil Oxwell- Bought in pictures and information on a radio he recently purchased. 1935 16valve Midwest Radio
(American manufacture 1920-56). A beautiful one owner top of the line console model that took 40hrs in preparation and
Meeting closed 8.15pm. Richard Rennie gave his talk on the Transition of 6WF to ABC.
2012 Wireless Hill Centenary Activities
The Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Club of W.A. invites the public to bring their old valve radios to Wireless
Hill where members of the club will be on hand to assist with identification and dating. They will also give advice
on the care and conservation (and restoration) of these radios.
The club members in attendance will have appropriate reference material on hand. The club will also provide a
small exhibition of radios and components to illustrate their advice. They do not give valuations.
When: 7 October, 2012 10 am to 12 noon
Wireless Hill Museum Cottage
Richard Rennie 9330 1636 Rodney House 9364 6912
The Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Club of W.A. presents an exhibition of historic radios and associated
memorabilia. There will be demonstrations of domestic radios from the 1920s to the 1970s. Club members will be
on hand to discuss with the visitors the history of domestic radio in Western Australia.
When: September 30. 10.00 am to 3.00 pm
Wireless Hill Museum Cottage
Richard Rennie 9330 1636 Rodney House 9364 6912
The Encyclopaedia of Western Australian Wirelesses and Gramophones.
The Encyclopaedia of Western Australian Wirelesses and Gramophones documents the companies that
manufactured wirelesses and gramophones in Western Australia in the period 1900 to 1960. It also provides a
detailed catalogue of Western Australian-made wirelesses and gramophones. It also contains information
obtained in interviews over many years with people; many of whom are now deceased. The launch will be held in
conjunction with an exhibition of rare Western Australian wirelesses and gramophones.
When: 14 October at 10.30 am
Wireless Hill Museum Cottage
Contact and RSVP:
Richard Rennie 9330 1636
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
A construction story by Fred Franklin
Crystal sets or crystal radios
are, generally, the place where
radio enthusiasts start. These beaut little receivers are easy and cheap to
build and operate. They consist of a coil and tuning capacitor, diode and
ear plug or high impedance head phones. All parts except the earplug
are mounted neatly on a piece of wood or other insulating material. In
this case, ebonite. There is no danger from high voltages as they run off the few micro-volts coming down the aerial and
you can not blow them up and they cannot blow you up for that reason. You can build a simple valve or transistor amplifier and add it to the crystal set to become a little basic radio.
The name comes from the old days when a crystal of galena was used as
a diode to half wave rectify the incoming radio signal and present it as a
listenable music or speech signal. The crystal was held in a holder and
the end of a fine wire pushed gently against a spot on the crystal where
there was a conductive area and the signal flowed. The fine wire is called
the "cat's whisker". These were troublesome. Thankfully, manufacturers
were able to make this part into an enclosed, small and reliable "small
signal diode" using germanium and other crystals.
This crystal set was home made during the 1920s. It uses a variometer for tuning the station, a cat's whisker detector and a
knife switch that switches the aerial signal either straight to the variometer or via a 0.002uf mica aerial matching capacitor.
There is no tuning capacitor.
The incoming signal from the aerial passes through a small knife switch
that selects either a path through an aerial matching capacitor or straight
to the variometer that is connected between the aerial and earth terminals, then to a "cat's
whisker' diode and high
impedance head phones.
The variometer is a circuit
tuned to the desired radio
station. It is an insulator to the station's signal and the signal must flow on to
the rest of the apparatus. All other signals are short circuited to earth.
The variometer is made of two coils one inside the other. The inside coil can
be revolved from vertical position to horizontal position to select the station.
The outer coil former is 8.5cm diameter and 4.25cm wide. There are twentyeight turns of cotton covered 21 thousands of an inch copper wire neatly wound onto it.
The inner coil is 6cm diameter and 3.5cm wide. It has twenty-six turns of 21 thousands of an inch cotton covered copper
wire neatly wound onto it.
The windings are in good condition, but the flying leads had severe corrosion between the strands and the metal
"bootlace" sleeve and the crimped on 1/8 inch lug. These wires were replaced with modern cable and soldered lug and no
"bootlace" sleeve to minimise future corrosion. Where the winding wire is terminated under screws, the rusty 1/8 inch
screws were disposed of and replaced with modern zinc plated screws, nuts and washers.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
After all had been done I made up a small quantity shellac varnish and re-varnished the coils. The varnish holds the windings together and on the coil formers. On the front panel the wiring is square busbar and is hooked around various terminals as required. All parts were dismantled and given a good scrub with a small wire brush and re-assembled. The existing
parts of the incomplete "cat's whisker" were re-installed with an OA261 diode installed across it.
All that is left is to do is make a wooden base of radiata pine for it to sit on and it is finished. The base was varnished with
clear Wattle estapol varnish. Happy collecting and restoring. ..............Fred
Ultra-Portable Gramophones on display at April Meeting coordinated by Rodney House
Minature gramophones on display at our April
Merv Thompson demonstrates his
miniature portable gramophone
Some more rare and novel minatures
More amazing minatures
Telescopic horn ultra-portable gramophone
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
National all-in-one!
A story by Fred Franklin, Darwin, NT
No crystal set or low powered radio is complete without some headphones to
listen to it with. Although headphones have many other listening uses too.
A pair of S. G. Brown Limited Type F headphones came my way.
These headphones were made in England by Sidney (sic) George Brown
who specialised in electro-mechanical sound reproduction equipment during the 1920s to1960s. He made headphones, microphones, telephone
receivers and other acoustic equipment.
The headphones in question are probably from the fifties. The terminals
for the leads are inside the body of each phone. Each phone appears to be
made of a black Bakelite or similar material.
The lead wires are extremely flexible to allow for the movement of the
wearer's head and prevent breakage of the wires due constant movement.
The conductors are a mix of cotton and copper strands for flexibility. This is hard to solder or terminate. To terminate the
ends they are neatly bound by winding a fine copper wire around them. Each core is cotton insulated and the pair of cables
are sheathed in a woven brown cotton sheath with black checks woven into it.
After unscrewing the top cover of the head phone the diaphragm should be removed by placing two fingers flat on it and
sliding it sideways until it is removed. Do not pry it up from the edge and peel it back as if opening a can of beans as this
action will bend the diaphragm and it will not work again.
Inside, there is a small "U" shaped magnet that provides a small inwards distortion
of the diaphragm. Wound around each pole is a small coil of many turns of very fine wire through which the signal current
passes to create a pulsing magnetic field that opposes the magnet's field and causes movement of the diaphragm and,
therefore, a sound.
After inspection, all parts were found to be clean and near new. A test with a digital multimeter, set on resistance, each
phone showed a resistance of 2,000 ohms. The phones are connected in series to give total resistance of 4,000 ohms. Reassemble the diaphragm by sliding it back into place and screwing the cover back on.
If an analogue ohm meter, set on thousands of ohms, is used to test the phones a small scratchy clicking noise will be
heard in the head phones
The original diaphragms appear to have been changed at some stage to Richard Thomas and Baldwin ferrosil number 24
diaphragms. Ferrosil is an alloy of iron and silicon with the amount of silicon varying from 15% to 90% depending on the
use. This may have given a more flexible diaphragm and therefore a louder or more tuneful sound. One of the diaphragms
appears to have been trimmed to fit into the phone.
Richard Thomas and Baldwins was formed in 1948 after a merger between Richard Thomas & Co. and Badwins Ltd. Both
companies were manufacturers of sheet metal products.
By way of a bit of fun, connect the hones to the input of an amplifier and talk to them. They work well as a microphone.
Happy collecting and restoring.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Clockwork Radio : Wins BBC Design Award
British inventor Trevor Baylis,
Creator of the world's first clockwork radio, recently won the BBC Design
Award and has been endorsed by more than 20 international humanitarian organisations.
Built to withstand most climatic conditions, The radio, which requires no
batteries, Gives 30 — 60 minutes of clear listening time after only 20 seconds of winding.
Baylis developed the radio so that it could be used in areas with no electricity. He based his initial ideas on the way that old — fashioned wind —
up gramophones work. He had been moved by television reports about
the spread of AIDs in Africa and suggestions that vital health information
could not easily be spread there because of the cost of batteries.
The radio works on a similar principal to an alarm clock, except that— unlike the clock— when wound for about 20 seconds, electricity is generated and the radio stores and distributes the power constantly over a period of time. The BBC's
World Service, realising the Importance of the invention, helped to get it featured on the BBC — TV programme
"Tomorrows World" which looks at innovations from all over the world. Financial support for the project was given by the
British Governments Overseas Development Administration and approval for it came from the President of South Africa,
Nelson Mandela.
In 1997, the new generation Freeplay® radio rolled off the production line in South Africa. Smaller and
lighter than the original model, the new radio has been designed specially for the Western consumer
market and runs for up to an hour after only 20 seconds winding.
The year has also seen Trevor take part in a Sky TV programme "Beyond 2000" featuring his inventions. He has been awarded the President's Medal by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and addressed the Conference of Commonwealth Ministers in Botswana for the British Council.
In October, Trevor was awarded the OBE by The Princess
Royal at Buckingham Palace, where he was also surprised by
Michael Aspel and whisked off to be featured in an edition of
"This Is Your Life". Trevor continues his tireless work to promote the concept of 'personal power', as well as his campaign
to establish a Royal Academy of Inventors.
(Thanks to Merv Thompson for this story)
Merv Thompson demonstrates his
clockwork (wind-up) radio
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
(With thanks to Cathy Day, Gina Capes (Wireless Hill Project Curator) and
Richard Rennie, Rodney House for sending it to the Editor)
One evening, in 1929, two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River
town of Quincy, Illinois , to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be
sure, but one of the women observed that it would be even nicer if they could
listen to music in the car.
Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios (Lear had served as a radio operator in the
U.S. Navy during World War I) and it wasn't long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it to
work in a car. But it wasn't as easy as it sounds: automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark plugs, and
other electrical equipment that generate noisy static interference, making it nearly impossible to listen to the radio
when the engine was running.
One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of electrical interference. When they finally
got their radio to work, they took it to a radio convention in Chicago . There they
met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called a "battery eliminator" a device that allowed battery-powered radios to run on household AC current. But as more homes were wired for electricity, more radio manufacturers made AC-powered radios. Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he
met Lear and Wavering at the radio convention, he found it. He believed that mass-produced, affordable car radios
had the potential to become a huge business.
Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin's factory, and when they perfected their first radio, they installed it in his
Studebaker. Then Galvin went to a local banker to apply for a loan.
Thinking it might sweeten the deal, he had his men install a radio in the banker's Packard. Good idea, but it didn't
work -- Half an hour after the installation, the banker's Packard caught on fire. (They didn't get the loan.) Galvin didn't
give up. He drove his Studebaker nearly 800 miles to Atlantic City to show off the radio at the 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention. Too broke to afford a booth, he parked the car outside the convention hall and
cranked up the radio so that passing conventioneers could hear it. That idea worked -- He got enough orders to put
the radio into production.
That first production model was called the 5T71. Galvin decided he needed to come up with something a little catchier. In those days many companies in the phonograph and radio businesses used the suffix "ola" for their names -Radiola, Columbiola, and Victrola were three of the biggest. Galvin decided to do the same thing, and since his radio
was intended for use in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it the Motorola.
But even with the name change, the radio still had problems: When Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost about
$110 uninstalled, at a time when you could buy a brand-new car for $650, and the country was sliding into the Great
Depression. (By that measure, a radio for a new car would cost about $3,000 today.) In 1930 it took two men several
days to put in a car radio -- The dashboard had to be taken apart so that the receiver and a single speaker could be
installed, and the ceiling had to be cut open to install the antenna. These early radios ran on their own batteries, not
on the car battery, so holes had to be cut into the floorboard to accommodate them. The installation manual had
eight complete diagrams and 28 pages of instructions.
Selling complicated car radios that cost 20 percent of the price of a brand-new car wouldn't have been easy in the
best of times, let alone during the Great Depression -- Galvin lost money in 1930 and struggled for a couple of years
after that. But things picked up in 1933 when Ford began offering Motorola's pre-installed at the factory. In 1934 they
got another boost when Galvin struck a deal with B.F. Goodrich tire company to sell and install them in its chain of
tire stores.
By then the price of the radio, installation included, had dropped to $55. The Motorola car radio was off and running.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
(The name of the company would be officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to "Motorola" in 1947.) In the
meantime, Galvin continued to develop new uses for car radios. In 1936, the same year that it introduced pushbutton tuning, it also introduced the Motorola Police Cruiser, a standard car radio that was factory preset to a single
frequency to pick up police broadcasts. In 1940 he developed with the first handheld two-way radio -- The HandieTalkie -- for the U. S. Army.
A lot of the communications technologies that we take for granted today were born in Motorola labs in the years that
followed World War II. In 1947 they came out with the first television to sell under $200. In 1956 the company introduced the world's first pager; in 1969 it supplied the radio and television equipment that was used to televise Neil
Armstrong's first steps on the Moon. In 1973 it invented the world's first handheld cellular phone. Today Motorola is
one of the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world -- And it all started with the car radio.
The two men who installed the first radio in Paul Galvin's car, Elmer Wavering and William Lear, ended up taking
very different paths in life. Wavering stayed with Motorola. In the 1950's he helped change the automobile experience again when he developed the first automotive alternator, replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The
invention lead to such luxuries as power windows, power seats, and,eventually, air-conditioning.
Lear also continued inventing. He holds more than 150 patents. Remember eight-track tape players? Lear invented
that. But what he's really famous for are his contributions to the field of aviation. He invented radio direction finders
for planes, aided in the invention of the autopilot, designed the first fully automatic aircraft landing system, and in
1963 introduced his most famous invention of all, the Lear Jet, the world's first mass-produced, affordable business
jet. (Not bad for a guy who dropped out of school after the eighth grade.)
Sometimes it is fun to find out how some of the many things that we take for granted actually came into being! It all started with a woman's suggestion!
Definitely Irish—
Patrick walks into a bar in Dublin,
Orders three pints of Guinness & sits in the corner of the room,
Drinking a sip out of each pint in turn.
When he had finished all three, He went back to the bar & ordered three more.
The barman says, "You know a pint goes flat soon after I pull it .......... Your pint would
taste better if you bought one at a time."
Patrick replies, "Well now, I have two brodders, one is in America ; & de odder in Australia ; & here I am in Dublin .
When we all left home, we promised dat we'd drink dis way to remember de days we all dranktogedder."
The barman admits that this is a nice custom & says no more.
Patrick becomes a regular customer, & always drinks the same way ....... Ordering three pints & drinking a sip out of
each in turn, until they are finished.
One day, he comes in & orders just two pints.
All the other regulars in the bar notice! & fall silent.
When he goes back to the bar for the second round,
The barman says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief but I wanted to
offer my condolences on your great loss."
Patrick looks confused for a moment, then the penny drops & he starts to
"Oh no," he says, "Bejesus, everyone is fine !
Tis me, ......................... I've
Quit Drinking !"
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Alcock’s Escriphone
Alcock & Co Pty Ltd
Billiards Experts to Vice-Royalty
Richard Rennie
No 5 Queen’s Place, William Street, Perth
Alcock & Co. (now Alcock, Thomson & Taylor Pty. Ltd. of Prahran Victoria) were and are still the manufacturer of
high quality billiard tables. However in the 1920s they also made a range of gramophones.
In Perth Alcock & Co. had a Branch at No 5 Queen’s Place, William Street.
Of particular relevance is ‘Alcock’s Wonderful Escriphone - Combination Gramophone and Writing Desk’.
Escri = writing
Phone = sound
This unique machine combines a wind-up 78 rpm gramophone and a writing desk. They use a steel needle to play
However Escriphones were probably not really designed for playing records while you were working at the desk.
Opening the gramophone lid would be inconvenient and would disturb things on the desk. Also the user of the desk
would be sitting too close to the gramophone horn and it would thus be too loud. 5
The first advertisements for Escriphones appear in October 1922. “WAIT FOR THE ESCRIPHONE-COMING
SHORTLY.” By February 1923 large detailed advertisements were describing the features of the Escriphones with
models from £15.10.0 to £75.0.0
An advertisement in the Northam Advertiser of December 15, 1923 offers the Escriphone No.4 Special Model for
£59 and the No. 6 Portable Model for £18. Their agents in Northam were C.A.
Robertson Music Store Fitzgerald St Northam.
The last advertisements for Escriphones appear in late 1927. Samson House in
Ellen Street Fremantle contains an Escriphone.
Advertisement in the
Sunday Times on 11
February 1923
Escriphone No. 4 Model in Samson House,
Fremantle (courtesy of Western Australian
Alcocks Escriphone needles
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Battery Portable Valve Radios were the subject of the May Meeting.
Coordinated by Rob Nunn with great support from Club members
A good turn-out of Members attended the Meeting
Some of the battery valve portable
radios brought in by Members
Airporte valve portable
Batyphone valve portable
Barry with battery valve
Hotpoint Band-Master “Ultra-sensitive receiver”
(Left) Andrew talks on a
battery valve portable
(Right) Norbert gives the rundown on a battery valve portable and need for a modern
electronic power supply
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
How to power valve portable battery radios?
Norbert Tourney
How to make early portable battery radios work: for most of these radios, suitable
batteries haven't been manufactured for many decades. The battery-only radios
have become quite useless. I like to see them working again, either as mains operated sets or as battery sets.
One thing should be considered: is the set to be used as a working display, or as an everyday household radio?
For a working display which is only used to impress my friends and fellow collectors, I prefer a mains power
The trick is to design a hum-free power supply. The biggest challenge is the filament supply (2 Volts on very early
ones, 1.5 Volt on post-1938 sets). In original contemporary designs, large electrolytic condensers and filter chokes
were used. Often this wasn't enough to get rid of hum; so the manufacturers recommended to leave the batteries
(buffer) in during mains operation. This was fine while the batteries were available - but what now?
My solution to the problem: find a discarded VCR on the side of the road - it's got to be one of the older bulkier ones,
which has still got a mains transformer. These transformers are quite small and fit the radio in most instances. The
35 Volt winding now can be used thru a voltage doubler to produce the 90 Volts for the anode supply. The available
voltage will be 70 X 1.41 = 98.7 Volts. This is the terminal voltage of a brand new 90 Volt battery.
To make a hum-free 1.5 or 2 volt filament supply, a lot more effort is required.
By trial and error, I found the following method, the best - as this method gives you an absolutely hum-free power
supply. Select the 12 Volt section of the transformer, but use only a half-wave rectifier. The filter condenser should
be between 2200 and 4700 uF depending on the current requirement. Following the rectifier and filter capacitor a 3
pin, 5 Volt 7805 regulator should be used.
The reason is as follows: these regulators provide first class electronic hum rejection and are available for $1.50 each
from any Jaycar store. To bring the voltage down to either 1.5 or 2 Volt, a dropping resistor has to be calculated. Ohms
law states: voltage = current x resistance. For example the radio has 4 common tubes, 3S4, 1S5, 1T4, 1R4; in this
case the total current is 100mA, + 50mA, +50mA, +50mA, a total of 250mA. 3.5 Volt at 0.250 Amp has to be dropped.
In accordance to Ohm's law, 3.5+0.25 = 14 Ohm, for the dropping resistor.
In practice, the value of 12 Ohm is appropriate, as allowances for voltage drops in the radio's wiring have to be
made. I usually add a 1000uF condenser after the dropping resistor for extra hum-filtering. This also protects the
If the voltage needs to be 2 Volt (this usually applies for radios designed for use on farms), the filament current is
rather high; commonly 120mA per tube and 240 mA for the speaker tube. A totally different approach is necessary. I
usually use 2 x 240 Volt to 12 Volt transformers; one needs to be c6iiter tapped, thereby giving me 2 x 6Volt turns.
Now the second transforther needs to be connected back to front, the 12 Volt turns are connected acrosSip 6 Volt
turns of the first transformer.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
Now if the first transformer is powered up, the second transformer will produce approximately 110 Volt. Rectified and filtered, it produces approximately 145 Volt DC current, which is just about right. These radios normally use
3 x 45 Volt batteries (135 Volt). This is now the anode (plate) voltage.
Because 2 Volt valves are rather power hungry, hum-filtering is much more problematic than with the efficient 1.5
Volt tubes. A total current of approximately 0.8 Ampere is to be expected. A bridge rectifier, across the (so far unused) second 6 Volt winding, followed by a large filter condenser (the largest you can find), is to be used. This is important because a b44e rectifier produces 100 Hertz. Instead of the 7805 regulator a LM309 or similar should be
used, because they are higher-rated and come in a large TO3 metal case. The dropping resistor needs to be calculated the same way as with the 1.5 Volt tubes.
To get the set 100% hum-free, a large electrolytic after the regulator, and another one after the dropping resistor are essential.
If you are keen enough to drag your 1938, 15-pound portable radio to the beach, an inverter-power supply is required. This time the filament voltage isn't a problem, because two quality 1.5 Volt "D" type batteries will do the job.
Jaycar sells the battery holders for $3.85.
Twenty years ago, I found it important to use icy 1940 Astor Monarch portable radio for my regular car rallies
(with thy 1939 Austin 8 Tourer- a beautiful convertible car). The radio had to operate off batteries, and off the 6
Volt car battery; an inverter had to be designed and constructed.
The simplest solution was a small center-tapped 6 Volt transformer, driven by 2 transistors in a multi-vibrator
circuit. To power the inverter, I used a small 1.3 Ampere-hour lead-gel battery. It was possible to operate the
radio for about 5 hours before the battery ran flat. While driving, the radio was powered by the car battery (also
6 Volt). Despite the extraordinarily simple circuit, it performed well and still works like it did on the first day.
My beloved Akkord Pinguin 59, which I use regularly, has got a high efficiency, professionally-made inverter. This
one was bought on Ebay France some years ago for Jurp 4 It Ciirpe yvith ciPa4ty instructigns, in easy to read
French. When I decided to buy two more, the guy informed me the retail value is Euro 33. He also mentioned that it
was my lucky day, getting one for 13 Euro. Irrespective of the fact that this radio is only 12 years younger than me, it
is a top performer? it has got FM and a very en -ectlye short wave band.
This radio originally came with rechargeable batteries, and an inbuilt battery charger. Originally it was designed
for mains and battery operation. It was a pleasure restoring it to its former glory, and now I use it regularly. Even
though it uses 7 tubes (valves) its current drain is about the same as a similar Australian one with only 4 tubes. The
reason is that most portable radios made in either England or Germany use the power saving 25 mA tubes. As a
result, these radios use half the battery current compared to Australian sets. It appears that batteries were a lot
cheaper here than in Europe. In the US, both the 5OmA and the 25mA tubes have been used.
As Germany had FM radio since 1949, a number of tubes had been designed for FM-only use. England had FM
since 1951 and followed the same way. There are three of those in the D96 series, the DF96, DF97, and DC9O.
They were mostly made by Mullard, Philips and Telefunken. FM was introduced to Australia in 1977, therefore you
won't find any of these tubes in Australian sets.
My Akkord Pinguin uses the DF97 in the FM front end and a DF96 as an extra IF amplifier: this is the reason why 7
tubes are required.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
The 67.5 to 135 Volt batteries have been a problem since the 1930s, mainly because they are bulky and expensive
to make. The common concept was to make invertors that change the voltage of a low-voltage battery to the high
voltage required by the radio. For economy, only rechargeable batteries were used - usually 6 Volt car batteries.
The main component in those invertors was a mechanical
device called a vibrator. The same concept applies to car
radios. The manufacturers tried to get away from noisy invertors. Since 1957, tubes that work comfortably from 12 Volt
and in the case of Philips, ones that even work from 6 Volt
batteries were manufactured. This made invertors obsolete.
These low voltage tubes never made it into portable radios,
probably because after 1957, transistors took over slowly,
making new tube designs unnecessary. All tube development
ceased after 1974, except in Russia; where a number of extraordinary new developments took place right up to 1990.
In the predawn of modern radios, a thing called a spacecharge tube was invented. These tubes worked comfortably
off a 6 Volt battery. Portable radios were moderately sized
suitcases, then. The best known one of thosespace-charge
tubes was the Telefunken RE074D.
During WW2 the German industry developed the space-charge concept again, for special purpose equipment. Two
of them exist: namely the RV2,4P45 (a space-charge pentode) and the RV2,4T3 (a space-charge triode).
About 20 years ago, in Peter Lankeshire's book about
early portable radios, I found his story about the "Hiker"
kit set. He built this one from a kit sold in New Zealand in
the late 1930s. It uses an American space-charge tube. I
copied the design and found it is possible to make a tube
radio, running of a small 9 Volt battery. I've still got it and
it works surprisingly well.
I've included several circuit diagrams, of some of the
power-supplies which I made for my own radios. The invertor, I have made for my Astor Monarch may be of interest to those who like to copy the design. Its main advantage lays in the fact that it can be constructed from
parts out of the junk box. It works from either a small rechargeable battery or from a common 6 Volt lantern battery.
…………………..Norbert Tourney
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
The June AGM and Auction meeting proved popular with Members.
White Astor Mickey mantle valve radio
Philips Bakelite mantle radio for auction
Old-style multimeter for auction
Sony record player and control unit for auction
Some of the items up for auction—which
proved very popular
Mantle valve radio for auction
Cream Astor Mickey valve mantle radio
More very popular radio bits and pieces for auction
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
…………………BY PHIL OXWELL August 2012
Act 1
In March of this year I had the opportunity to purchase a 1935 USA Midwest 16 valve
console radio from a person who I had visited to look at a couple of Bakelite mantle radios. I wasn’t too excited initially as this would have been the first wooden console radio
that I have ever bought and I knew by looking at it that although structurally sound and
in good condition it would take a lot of time /effort /patience and money to bring back to
its former factory presentation standard .Anyway I worked out an acceptable price with
him that he was happy with and we loaded it into the back of my SUV (it took 3 of us to
load it and I think one of the helpers has ended up with a hernia trying to lift it hahaha………just kidding.)
Midwest Radio Company started
in Cincinnati Ohio in 1920 and was
originally called The Midwest Radio Corporation and also had a
brand called Miraco and sold all
their products initially as mail order
catalogue/word of mouth only with
the intention of cutting out the middle man/retailer to reduce
costs/overheads .They also
evolved into making refrigerators
and televisions at a later time. A
particular year radio chassis could
be ordered and then a cabinet
model selected to go with it, hence
the chassis would generally fit
many models and later made cabinets.
This radio cabinet is modeled on the Empire State Building and also Art Deco Egyptian themes, and it is a 5 band
radio that has several additional premium functions that were very advanced for its day. The speaker is a 12 inch
Magnavox made in Fort Wayne Indiana USA with the original patent sticker applied still in good condition .(The original boom box of its day )
It has variable tuning and a system called tunalite whereby when the station dial when selected picks up a station the light dims rather than getting
brighter .The dial is very “flash “and lights up like a aircraft cockpit panel
when turned on. In trying to source information from collectors in USA the
radio in this condition would be an extremely rare model and example. In
1935 the average USA wage (according to a 1935 USA census report) was
$1,500 and this model would have been well over $150 plus and at the
height of the great depression. It has the lift up top to have accommodated
a phonograph and It competed in the top end of the market with
Scott/Philco and Zenith radios .The seller advised me that it was originally
his fathers and had sat in his lounge for 18 years since he had passed
away and he was unsure where his father had obtained it from although his
father was an amateur ham radio operator. The radio is a 220-240v model
and advice received is that some were made in this configuration for the
export market.
Act 2
After stripping the radio and sending off the chassis for restoration I then
started on the cabinet after taking several deep breaths .I used a water based paint varnish stripper doing a very
small section at a time and this worked out well and then I started to hand sander the cabinet first with 120 grade
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
then 180 then 220 and finally wet and dry sand paper .As I work full time and sometimes long hours I generally used
to devote a couple of hours on a nightly basis until completed
The only item that needed replacement was the small circular wooden feet and these were purchased from a wood
workers hobby shop in Bentley. All up to get to this point it
had taken me close to 34 hours of sanding /preparation etc
and I decided then that I would then send the cabinet to a
professional furniture restoration spray shop to have 5 coats
of satin based blended lacquer finish .The colour chosen was
as close to original as possible
and was a variant
of Burnt Umber
colour base
which was
sourced over the internet. After 3 weeks it was completed by the furniture shop (I am still not game enough to this very day to tell my wife the
cost of this process!!!!!)
Act 3 final
I had sourced via the internet the colour of the cream insert that was
originally applied/painted on the 2wooden tuning knobs and this turned
out to be Art Deco Kyanize Lustaquir light ivory finish. This was replicated as close as possible with a paint finish bought from a craft shop.
As you are reading this you will have picked up that I wanted this radio to
be as close to original as possible, hence all the work involved. Recently
on ebay USA, two of the chrome knobs for this model sold for over $140.
Finally I needed to reline all the interior section where the lid lifts up (it
had a 1950s style record player installed inside which has now been removed) and I did this with a marone coloured baize felt self adhesive
material that I had sourced from a wood craft shop in Melbourne, and
this also worked out well but took up a lot of time. The authentic radio
speaker cloth was sourced from a radio collector in NSW and blends in pretty good and compliments the colour of
the radio cabinet.
After 13 weeks of ongoing effort the cabinet was finally completed enough to have the restored chassis reinserted
and after borrowing a chain block and tackle to lift the chassis back in (hahaha only joking again) the radio now has
a nice home in our living area of our house where it is played and listened to every day of the week.
Would I do it all again???………….yes, but only when I know I would have sufficient time as it took on a life of its
own once I started and was all consuming .If anyone would like any additional info you are quite welcome to email
me on [email protected]
You can also find additional information on the net at
............Phil Oxwell
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
A Summary of Richard Rennies presentation.
Perth science-teacher-turned-history-author and founder of the Light and Sound Discovery
Centre, Richard Rennie, tells the story of how Perth's radio station 6WF became the ABC's
first broadcasting outlet in Western Australia. Much of this is based on the scrapbook kept
by the esteemed radio pioneer and 6WF founding engineer, Wally Coxon.
This talk coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Wireless Hill Centenary
Celebrations in 2012.
Richard's presentation featured antique
radios from The Vintage Wireless and
Gramophone Club, to illustrate the equipment available during the pioneering era of
radio in WA. The talk was given on
Wednesday 18th July, 2012 at the monthly meeting of the Australian Museum of Moving Pictures and Television (AMMPT). The same presentation was made at a variety of venues, as part
of Richard's role as an educator, particularly using his skills to inspire young people and young teachers alike.
In 1924, Westralian Farmers Cooperative Limited (Wesfarmers) began
operating radio station 6WF on an A-Class licence from the top floor of
the company's Wellington Street building. 6WF was initially a long-wave
station with 5 kilowatts of power on 1250 metres, 240 kHz, until the
Australian Broadcasting Company took over five years later and it left
long-wave and moved to 690 kHz on the medium-wave band on September 2, 1929. The chief engineer of 6WF was Wally Coxon, who designed and installed the station facilities, including the transmitter, with
a broadcasting capacity of 600 miles.
Our Club put on a great display of
antique radios
In 1929, the radio station was taken over by the Commonwealth
Government with the Australian Broadcasting Company providing
content. The station then moved from the Wesfarmers building to
the first floor of the English, Scottish and Australian Bank (E.S. &
A.) building at the corner of Hay and Milligan Street, Perth. After
three years, the company had increased the licences from 3,900
to 12,500 by 1932.
In 1932, the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act was
About 65 people attended Richards
passed, following which The Australian Broadcasting Commission
talk at Katadjini Hall
took over the premises from the Australian Broadcasting Company,
and the 6WF transmitter was relocated to Wanneroo (now called Hamersley).
In 1937, the ABC studios moved to the Supreme Court Gardens at Broadcast House, located behind the Department
of Agriculture, now the site of Council House in Perth. In 1960, the ABC moved from Broadcast House, to much improved facilities, on the former site of Rose Hill House, at 191 Adelaide Terrace in Perth.
By 2005, so much had changed with a much reduced work force, that was spread between different buildings, which
were showing signs of age and needed much maintenance. There was a need for a smaller and more cost effective
site, designed to suit a multitasking workforce with TV, Radio and News integrated within the one building, using the
latest digital technology. The proceeds from the sale of the Adelaide Terrace property helped subsidise the digital
installation at the new ABC site in Fielder Street, East Perth.
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
A Story of 2 battery valve portables from Fred Franklin
I picked up a car load of radios as a "job lot" from a mate. His garage was full of all sorts of partly
started "gunna do" projects. His wife had bought a new car and it was parked outside where fruit bats
would crap on it nightly damaging the paint work. She spoke to her husband, as only a wife can,
about the problem of her car and all the "rubbish" in the garage.
Consequently, I got the radios. Amongst the goodies were a couple of portable valve radios.
The National portable
The National antenna in the lid
The National chassis
One is a National in a very plain, box looking affair with a lid that opened to reveal the dial and two knobs, tuning and
volume/power switch. It is clad in light brown leatherette with an eight inch speaker grill in the middle of the front.
The other is a splendid looking Peter Pan clad in dark brown crocodile skin
leatherette. On the front is a fashionably lop sided square speaker grill hiding
an eight inch speaker. The speaker grill has a lance flying a pennant on it. On
the top is the handle, dial, and two knobs, one each for tuning and volume/power switch.
Peter Pan portable
The National appears to be a cheap version of the Peter Pan as the Peter Pan
is a much better construction with a rigid, pressed aluminium chassis. The
National has a flat aluminium chassis with supporting aluminium parts made
of aluminium sheet metal bent at right angles. The parts are "pop" riveted
together with only one rivet per piece. It appears to have been a good project
for an apprentice.
Upon reading the circuit for each radio, I was amazed at how identical the two
were. Even the parts used were identical.
The main job was to change all electrolytic and dry capacitors along with any
dodgy resistors. The output transformers were mounted on piece of insulation
material with the frame connected to the B+ high voltage rail, presumably to
prevent electrolysis between the primary coil and the frame.
The filament voltage of 1.5 volts is turned on and off by the power switch. When
the switch is off, the valve filament/cathode is cold and the valve does not conduct. The 90volts B+ is left "on" to lie around in the high voltage areas of radio.
This includes the output transformer primary winding. Dirt, vibration, humidity
and high voltages cause electrolysis and the primary winding breaks down.
I replaced these transformers with a tapped public address system line transformer. They work well and fit well.
Peter Pan chassis and antenna
.................Fred Franklin
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012
The small crystal set, as shown below
(approx 6.5 in x 3.5 in by 3 in.)
May be leatherette covered.
Photo wanted for inclusion in the
Encyclopedia of Western Australia Wirelesses and Gramophones.
Please contact Richard Rennie 93301636
It was reported in the Sunday Times on May 10, 1936
that Wally Coxon said "I am opening Perth's first
commercial recording studio devoted purely to recording for all commercial purposes.". (See Below)
Has anyone seen a custom record (aluminium or acetate) with a label that mentions the name "Coxon" or
Contact Richard Rennie 93301636.
Note : Advertisements are placed free-of-charge, but
should be of a non-exploitive nature. (Editor)
Radiogram Issue 121 August 2012