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Sets, Parts and Service Information Wanted (private buyers only, no swaps) If you need help obtaining components, sets or equipment, post a message here. Private buyers only - no traders. No swaps.

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Old 4th Dec 2017, 3:14 pm   #1
Somogyi
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Default Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

My husband has always wanted to build his own valve radio.

Id like to surprise him by buying all the components he would need,
either real vintage or very good quality modern replicas. The trouble
is I have no idea where to start. Can anyone on here suggest a way forward. I don't want to get him a tacky , cheap mass produced kit from China, nor a kit designed for school science classed.

My Husband is technical, I am not, so please don't blind me with science or technical radio speak

Thanks in advance for any help.

Smoggy
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 3:56 pm   #2
Nuvistor
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

Not so easy, valve radio kits started to go out of fashion about 40 years ago.
There is this UK company I know nothing about them, one kit that looks interesting is out of stock but the web site has contact details and a phone number, looks like they moved locations recently.

http://www.6v6.co.uk

This radio can be run from batteries or an optional power supply, out of stock, perhaps worth asking.

http://www.6v6.co.uk/four-tube-super...eiver-kit.html

Hopefully other forum members will probably know more suitable kits.
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 3:58 pm   #3
Radio Tech
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

Hi Smoggy

It will depend on how many valves he will want to employ in the radio, anything from the one valve type to a five valve superhet. It will also depend on how many bands and if it is to be mains or battery powered, there are some very good circuits in a book called "The Amateurs Guide To Valve selection" these at all recognised Mullard circuits and I would suggest basing his home brew radio on something like this.

Best wishes

Ken
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 4:03 pm   #4
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

Hi Smoggy, once you have the initial present get him to join this forum, where he will get plenty of advice and assistance as well as being able to post requests for parts.
If you have any secondhand bookshops nearby (Hay on Wye?) you may also be able to pick up some constructional books and magazines from the 50's that had lots of radio designs in them for home constructors.
The book Radio for Boys, by Bradley had a super progressive ( 1 valve to 4 valve) radio that was battery operated.

Good luck, Ed
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 4:58 pm   #5
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

It's difficult to say without knowing all the circumstances, but might it be better to buy him an actual vintage valve radio, either fully restored for him to use or unrestored for him to work on? They don't cost much, and a forum member may well have something suitable.

Building a useful valve radio from scratch is a major task, especially for someone with no experience. You say he has expressed an interest in doing this in the past, but it's not clear how serious he was or what his level of commitment is. You don't want to spend a lot of money to buy a kit of parts, only to find he can't be bothered to build anything, or (worse) feels obliged to build it out of concern for your feelings.
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 5:11 pm   #6
Somogyi
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

Hello All

If I were to get him the parts he would definitely build it. He has previously built all sorts of add ons for this hi-fi from kit's or scratch and he is no stranger to a circuit board and a soldering iron.....it keeps him out of my hair for hours..

I have taken the first step of getting the recommended "The Amateur Guide to Valve Selection".

I'm sure he doesn't just want to get a working one, but if anyone has one available which is repairable but not currently functioning that they would be looking to sell for a reasonable price then please email me.

Thanks for all the help so far.

Smoggy
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 6:44 pm   #7
kalee20
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

If he enjoys building, putting something together, using skills as a craftsman, making it work, and enjoying the results, but without needing to understand the how and why, then a kit is the way to go.

Getting a non-functioning or badly-working radio and bringing it back to life is amazing, but unlike a kit, the start-to-finish can't be assessed in advance, and there may be serious stumbling blocks along the way (if an expensive or hard-to-get part has failed, for instance). Often the only way to tell if one is repairable is to repair it. You could get something sold in good faith and hit this sort of problem. (But then, you could still point him back here!)

The kits that Frank Nuvistor has indicated, while they may not end up as brilliant performers, they are still good value for money and can give hours of pleasure. And they don't need lots of test equipment to adjust them.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 2:24 pm   #8
SurreyNick
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

Hello Smoggy
I think I can supply you with a complete set of original parts plus a cabinet to build a Telsen Conqueror 3, which is an early 1930's battery powered TRF receiver. Telsen also sold it as a kit which they called the Telsen 323 (pic attached). I was going to build it myself, but my interests have moved on so I was going to list it on eBay instead.
PM me if you want more information and we can go from there.
Nick
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 5:58 pm   #9
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Where to Find a kit or parts to build a Valve radio

An ideal set to cut your teeth on as well as a nice looking antique.
Will work well initially on PP3 batteries and a later project would be to build or restore a battery eliminator.

Ed
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