Radio Constructor   Magazines   Valve Radios   Transistor Radios
  Military Radios   Portable Radio Index   My Workshop   Manufacturers Index   Radiograms-Record Player   Crystal Sets
  Links   Component Data   Getting Started   For Sale and Wants    EMail   

The Radio Constructor and Restorer.

Where to Start with Learning about Radio

If you want to start with a valve set remember that except for valve portables they are powered by mains electricity which can be lethal if not treated correctly (even some portable Valve sets can use a mains supply).
Some sets also have one side of the mains connected to the chassis of the set making them even more lethal.
So if you are not confident that you would know how to handle one keep away from the mains sets to start with.
Instead get yourself a portable (Battery) set from the mid to late 1950's. The earlier sets will have a metal chassis and are built rather like a mains set but without the power supply.
Such sets are availiable and are quite cheap especially ones with damaged cases.And as the case condition will not matter to much they are ideal sets to learn on. But remember that the batteries have not been availiable for 30 years so you will have to make your own battery pack for it and later on as your confidence grows a mains power supply possibly.
Models to look out for are the Ever Ready or Vidor sets which you can identify from my list. just follow the navigation link or this one Valve Portables.
Early Transistor sets are also availiable very cheaply (not a lot of people collect them) and are a good place to start but remember they do not have valves so the technology is different.
Once you have a set you will need the circuit diagram for it, these are availiable from suppliers in my links section but if you have a problem drop me an email. More to follow.

Radio Constructor

Look at the top navigation bar and follow the link for Radio Constructor.
Very shortly details of sets to construct yourself will appear on these pages also have a look at the links below. The simplist form of Radio is the Crystal receiver which uses no power source. Take a look at the Crystal Sets link on the navigation bar at the top of the page and also the second link on this page. All the parts are availiable in the UK try this link for supplies: Pete Roberts

How to solder Printed Circuit Boards

One of the most important aspects of radio repair or construction. Read all about the right way here:  Soldering PCB's

How do Valve Radios Work

Try this site as well for fault finding and explanations of Valve radios etc Valve Radio

          Two books in my collection that I can recommend.

Both books can be obtained through the Amazon link below.

Vintage Radios: Collecting, Servicing, Restoring.

Chapters: How it Started, Styling Influences, Collecting Radio Sets, Where and How to Obtain Sets, When to Buy ... and When Not To, Cleaning and Restoring the Chassis, Renovating Wooden Cabinets, Renovating Bakelite Cabinets, What Valves Are, How Valves Work, Basic Checking and Testing of Valve Radio Chassis, General Testing of Chassis, Causes of Common Faults, Circuit Arrangements of Typical Receivers, An Example Chassis Restoration, Things To Make, Glossary.

Restoring Valve Radios

Chapters: Part one: (Getting to Know Vintage Radio) Safety considerations, Hand Tools, Materials, Power Tools and Test equipment, Becoming Familiar With Chassis, Home Constructed Sets and the Little Maestro, Beware the Phantom, Initial Checks and Tests with Fault Tracing Charts.Part Two: (Example Restorations from the 1930s), Soldering Techniques. Example Restorations from the 1940s, Using Capacitors to Replace Ballast Resistors, Ekco U76, Marconiphone T18DA, HMV 1117. Example Restorations from the 1950s,Bakelite - The Material With a Thousand Uses,Make Your Own HT Batteries Part Three: (Useful Restoration Projects) Replacing a Broken Glass Dial by Scanning, Repairs to Bakelite, Respraying Bakelite Cabinets, Repairing a Torn Loudspeaker Cone, Creating Nameplates for Push Buttons, Casting Replacement Knobs, Fitting a Replacement Wave-change Switch to a DAC90A

Try this link to the Site 'Fun With Tubes'
Try this link to 'Daves Homemade Tube (Valve) Radio Site'
Some superb homemade valve sets TRF and Shortwave plus a Crystal receiver section as well.

The circuits of Sir Douglas Hall and some circuits from Radio Bygones are availiable at Geoff's site: SPONTAFLEX REFLEX

Mike Smith also has some Crystal and TRF circuits on his site plus information on winding your own coils: MDS975

Adrian has added selected Radio Constructor and other downloads to his portable radio site. The direct link is: Adrians downloads


Last updated 7.2.2007
2003-2007 © Maurice Woodhead