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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:02 pm   #1
sexton_mallard
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Default Bush TR91

I came across this Bush TR91 today for 2 quid at the local car boot sale. Transistors are not really my 'thing' but this set which looked forlorn and filthy caught my eye.

Following my purchase I got home and once I smuggled it past SHMBO, I popped a PP9 in in series with a DMM to check the current draw. After a few seconds, the current draw fell to about 10mA and I got stations . Current draw at low volume is a modest 8mA which seems to rule out any major leaky components. A thorough clean with Cif/Jif/Vim cream got the grime off in the Easter sunshine. The set runs OK with good performance. The inside looks completely original with back Hunts caps and Plessey red-yellow-black electrolytics.

The build quality is excellent and this set in rather intriguing in that it is not a portable in the sense of having a carry handle but it is also a battery only set with OC series transistors. It is an interesting contrast to the TR82 I also possess. The serial plate is printed in the same colour which gives a quality feel to the set. The battery compartment has a power adaptor and still have the paper QA label dated February 1961. None of the Hunts caps have cracks and the set has good sound quality. Servicing was a squirt of servisol on the switch wafers. I won't change any components until the set shows signs of distress - which it doesn't at the moment. The dial printing is a bit worn off at one end perhaps caused by the pointer rubbing along the glass but this was not happening any more when checked.

All in all a really pleasing little set which has been running all day and is still running as I type nearly 8 hours later. The back of the set is nicely finished, the whole package has a quality feel. I wonder how much this set cost new to buy in the day.
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Last edited by sexton_mallard; 21st Apr 2019 at 9:18 pm. Reason: fix typos etc.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:20 pm   #2
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Must admit, I always had a soft-spot for the first generation of "mantelpiece" transistor-radios. In a way, I feel it's sad that they never really caught on.

I see in yours a few of the red-and-black Plessey electrolytics; these are to transistors what the dreaded Hunts are to valve-radios: I've had more than one turn itself into a 100-Ohm resistor, which is not at all beneficial if it happens to be wired directly across the 9V battery supply, since it leads to customer complaints along the likes of "Why does my battery only last a few hours?".
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:23 pm   #3
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Default Re: Bush TR91

More pictures.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:29 pm   #4
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Must admit, I always had a soft-spot for the first generation of "mantelpiece" transistor-radios. In a way, I feel it's sad that they never really caught on.

I see in yours a few of the red-and-black Plessey electrolytics; these are to transistors what the dreaded Hunts are to valve-radios: I've had more than one turn itself into a 100-Ohm resistor, which is not at all beneficial if it happens to be wired directly across the 9V battery supply, since it leads to customer complaints along the likes of "Why does my battery only last a few hours?".
Thanks G6Tanuki - I will treat this one as a 'rolling restoration'. I will use this set as my bathtime and holiday set but keep an eye on current draw going up and other signs of problems and replace as needed. My other early tranny sets will one day succumb to tin wiskeritus but are still ok - this one don't seem to have the AF117 transistor package.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:30 pm   #5
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Default Re: Bush TR91

It has a pleasingly-well-proportioned output transformer! And the "chassis" construction-style with feed-throughs and components on both sides reminds me of the Bush VHF81, which was probably the last all-valve radio produced by a UK manufacturer.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 9:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Close-up of the top of the chassis deck.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 10:03 pm   #7
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Default Re: Bush TR91

I see the power adaptor was for a Ever ready PP10.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 10:31 pm   #8
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexton_mallard View Post
I came across this Bush TR91 today for 2 quid


I wonder how much this set cost new to buy in the day.

Hi Dom, According to Radio! Radio! 3 Jonathan Hill's excellent reference book the Bush TR91 cost in 1960 15.17s.3d. plus 5.2s.10d. Twenty one pounds and a penny would have been a lot of money in 1960.


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Old 21st Apr 2019, 10:43 pm   #9
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Default Re: Bush TR91

According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, 21 in 1960 would be 475 today.
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 8:12 am   #10
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Default Re: Bush TR91

That's very smart, Dom. As an occasional collector of transistor radios I'm always on the lookout for nice-looking sets like that. The aluminium chassis with point to point wiring using those pins always strikes me as solid and sturdy, and I think Bush stuck to it while most other manufacturers went over to PCB.
And look - the serial plate is actually held in place with screws!
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 9:36 am   #11
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexton_mallard View Post
...this set in rather intriguing in that it is not a portable in the sense of having a carry handle but it is also a battery only set with OC series transistors..
Most UK manufacturers had this idea more or less at once. I expect these "cordless" sets mostly launched at a particular Radio Show (1960-61?), but public interest in battery-powered transistor sets that didn't particularly invite being carried around proved limited, and by a year or two later there wasn't much left of the genre. Dynatron had the Linnet, basically a Nomad in a table cabinet: Dansette the RT60, a much larger table version of their little portables: Ever Ready the Sky Baron and Sky Prince, the first HMV and Ferguson transistor models with FM were in this pattern, there were Philips and Ultra and Magnavox and Defiant offerings to name but a few. I've not heard of any collectors pursuing them as a theme, but it wouldn't be hard.

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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 10:13 am   #12
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Default Re: Bush TR91

These were the last of the 'Farm Receivers' that date back to the 1930s. Farm houses were usually quite spacious and the capital outlay was not such a problem.
Company mains was often not available and a good radio was required with similar performance to an all mains model.
This was well catered for in the 1930/40s with battery receivers housed in quite substantial wood cabinets, push pull output and a full compliment of valves. The 1930s radio stood on a small oak table, behind it the batteries and accumulator sitting together on a piece of wood in a shallow lead tray.
My Aunts 'chocolate box' cottage at Pateley Bridge Yorkshire had this arrangement having only a water pump in the front garden, no gas or electricity and a chemical outside toilet. That was in the 1950's. I well remember the decorative oil lamps and the Staffordshire dogs on the huge mantle shelf. I was 9 years old at the time..
The Bush TR91 often replaced this style of receiver and was one of the last 'table receivers' before the portables popularity forced it into the shadows. John.
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 10:15 am   #13
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexton_mallard View Post
According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, 21 in 1960 would be 475 today.

Not bad for your 2. This style of battery powered transistorised table top radio are fairly rare today, as they were in their day. Most of the transistor table top radios were mains powered, the battery ones were classed as portable and usually had a handle.
Pleased you have been able to keep it all original. It looks in excellent condition and you have cleaned it up well. Excellent find, Lucky you.


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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 8:24 pm   #14
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Thanks John, It's not perfect, there is a piece broken out around the back, a few marks and the dial printing is a bit faint but I will try and mend the ding in due course. It makes an interesting contrast to my Ekco A455 in which the Ekco is a mains only transistor radio but in a valve radio case.
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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 9:41 pm   #15
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Default Re: Bush TR91

The good thing is the hole is towards the rear of the set and hardly noticed when on a shelf, yes you know its there butif it were at the front everyone would notice it.



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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 8:08 am   #16
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Your Bush TR91 is a nice smart clean looking radio, the alternative "large" battery PP10 is interesting, I have never heard of one of those..

KB released the cheaper TR11 "Tango" at about the same time, as is usual they were aiming at the budget end of the market. 11:5:1d + 3:19:5d PT (Radio Radio)
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 8:27 am   #17
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Default Re: Bush TR91

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KB released the cheaper TR11 "Tango" at about the same time...
Mike
I've never met one of those, they can't have sold nearly so well as the Gavotte whose case they inherited. Emerson was another company whose cordless transistor model adopted the case of a probably more popular valve set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackle View Post
... the alternative "large" battery PP10 is interesting, I have never heard of one of those.
Several models used it, enough at least that you could still buy one readily (unlike say the PP5) in the early '70s. It was the specified battery for the first generation HMV and Ferguson transistor table sets with FM, 1421 and 626BT respectively. HMV also made the 2104, a big MW/LW portable with a reversible battery connector, a plug for a PP10 on one side and snaps for a PP9 on the other.

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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 8:30 am   #18
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Other things aside, Purchase Tax was a high percentage (35% if I've done my sums right?) of the basic price. At today's VAT rate of 20%, that TR11 would only have been 13.51 instead of 15.225-a considerable saving in the 1960s
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 9:51 am   #19
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Default Re: Bush TR91

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackle View Post
Your Bush TR91 is a nice smart clean looking radio, the alternative "large" battery PP10 is interesting, I have never heard of one of those..


Attachment 181688 This example was repainted.
https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/kolste...ngo_tr_11.html

Mike

The PP10 is three times larger than the PP9.


John.
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Old 23rd Apr 2019, 7:26 pm   #20
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Default Re: Bush TR91

You will discover 3 X PP9 batteries wired in parallel inside the case! I think Roberts used the PP10 in one of their models [RT1?]. Customers used to bring them in for repair not realizing that it was powered from a battery! It lasted ages, years in some cases used only an hour a day. John.
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