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Old 7th Sep 2023, 8:03 pm   #1
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Default Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Just purchased an Amplion Table Model 1932 just in time. Does anyone else have one? Quite extensive woodworm and talk of putting a modern radio inside. Oh no!

First priority to treat the woodworm for safe storage. The left side virtually fell off. Thankfully the front panel salvageable. Need to replace the left side and maybe the bottom. Thinking cut out of scrap old plywood/oak veneered furniture that would be a good match. The side cheeks salvageable. Back missing so picture would be great. Probably plywood. Only picture I can find is in the book “Radio Radio” that has a forth central knob. Mine just has a hole with nothing behind it and no floating wiring where something removed/disconnected. Just a redundant bracket on the chassis. Hopefully just needs a blanking plug? Got the whole thing stripped down. Didn’t fight me too much. Gave it a liberal coat of paraffin because I have plenty and when dry woodworm treatment that I already have a bit of. Maybe need more. Read the thread on woodworm: keep it dry and watch out April-June!

All valves (4) missing. Concentrating on the cabinet but grateful for any technical information.

Astonished to find the tuning scale marked “UTILITY”. 9 years before the 1941 WW2 Utility scheme (CC41)! Was that a company that made tuning scales?

I think its an important, great, piece of period art/design. The fretwork depicting the way radio transmissions were illustrated in graphics of radio transmitters back in the day. Thrilled to own it.
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 8:06 pm   #2
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

What a stunning front!
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 9:14 pm   #3
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

One of my very favourite cabinet designs of the early 1930s, which means it's one of my very favourite cabinet designs ever, so I'm delighted to hear of this one finding its way into safe and highly appreciative hands.

You're right about the tuning scale: the 1933 Broadcaster Trade Annual lists Utility as a trade name belonging to Wilkins and Wright, Ltd., of Utility Works, Holyhead Road, Birmingham, and "knobs and dials" are among the products they supplied. The same annual volume lists Amplion (1932) Ltd. among newly formed companies, "Manufacturers of and dealers in wireless", with capital £600 - perhaps the lowest sum of any of the roughly 200 new companies listed - and registered office Sentinal (probably a typo) House, Southampton Row, WC1.

Paul

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Old 7th Sep 2023, 9:42 pm   #4
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Does the set have an on/off switch, might be whats missing from the chassis
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Old 7th Sep 2023, 10:25 pm   #5
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

So Utility was part of manufactures address. Interesting. Thanks Paul.

I’ll look tomorrow. Wave change, tuning/reactants and volume. Maybe if on/off not combined with volume. Looks like something might have been on bracket.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 1:20 pm   #6
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

"Looks like something might have been on bracket."
If not a switch, maybe a light?
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 1:32 pm   #7
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Quote:
Originally Posted by sortedradio View Post
If not a switch, maybe a light?
That would be a rarity on a battery model. I was a little surprised by that, there were still plenty of battery sets being made in 1932/3 but many companies didn't produce them and the Radio! Radio! Amplion Table Model is for mains operation.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 2:46 pm   #8
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Left Knob clicks fully anti clockwise. Therefore on/off volume? Centre Knobs tuning. Right knob turns wire loop track. Only floating wire length that could have come from redundant bracket goes to a thick wire coil (pictures). Numbered wires loop Ariel. Rest too long. Doesn’t appear to be any wave change switch. Got red and black terminals for battery (two pronged forks) I think. Not obvious where battery went inside. It has a back light socket.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 3:24 pm   #9
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Looks as though there's a little bundle of leads coming from the set in the second image on your first post, and horizontal bars near the back of the set on which a battery shelf probably used to rest: and there's a "grid bias" tag on a lead in the third photo. A set like this will have had usually a 2 volt accumulator to which the spade terminals were attached, plus most likely a 120 volt HT battery with one or two further leads connected to lesser voltage taps on the battery, and a 9 volt grid bias battery again with three or four connections in use.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 4:46 pm   #10
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

I actually own one of these but it's the mains version. Standard 3 valve plus rectifier design typical of the time. Took almost twenty years to find one . Much rarer than a round Ekco and arguably more stylish.

Lee
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 5:10 pm   #11
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Looks amazing! Beautiful design and I hope you can get it restored.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 6:07 pm   #12
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

A lot of batteries and wires. Think probably just a looker for me for the time being Paul. Piece of art. Enjoying working on the cabinet.

What a stunner Lee! Left right and lower middle knobs look like they match as I think they should. They don’t in Radio Radio. Probable got a wrong one. If I need one I’ll look into 3d printing or cast one up in resin. Done that before. Painted to match. Looked ok. Does yours have a back? Any chance of a picture if it has. Thanks.

Tried removing some veneer with a dry iron. Didn’t work but I thought, for thin ply, ironing the woodworm, until too hot to touch, may kill the eggs and grubs. Both sides if possible.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 6:47 pm   #13
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Hi,
The knobs on mine may or may not be original. They look the part but are different to the ones on the set shown in the book"Radio Art" . It's very difficult to tell with these early low volume manufacture radios as they are so scarce.

My set has no back and it doesn't look as though it ever had as there are no fixing points or any witness marks where they may have been. Potentially dangerous on a mains set but some Philips radios of the same era had no back either.

Good luck with your set, it's well worth the effort. Cabinet work will be the trickiest part but at least the front panel is good.

Lee
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 7:50 pm   #14
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Mine has got two brass tubes let into the bottom panel presumably for locating pins in the back. The top panel has two turn tabs to retain the top. Maybe never made two sets the same.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:17 pm   #15
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Very intriguing...seems as though a back was fitted to your set. Here are a few pics of mine showing the chassis and rear cabinet details. Seems odd that the battery set had a back but not the mains, you'd assume it would be the other way around.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:21 pm   #16
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

The dial on my set is calibrated in metres for both long and medium wavebands rather than just a simple 0-100 Deg scale.
Seems as though amplion just used whatever parts they could get their hands on at the time.
I believe these sets were given away in exchange for cigarette coupons.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:27 pm   #17
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Quote:
Originally Posted by leemck84 View Post
Seems odd that the battery set had a back but not the mains, you'd assume it would be the other way around.
Then again, if the batteries including a lead-acid accumulator indeed sat on a shelf that rested on those supports in the cabinet, you'd not want them falling out were some unwary person to tilt the set backwards.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:43 pm   #18
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Thanks for pictures. Would part back maybe shaped to give place to lift by hand in the centre rather than putting your hand further inside? Got a small round disk also on the bottom panel. My back, I suppose, would be made for easy removal for access to batteries. Both would make sense back in the day.
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:43 pm   #19
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Quote:
Originally Posted by leemck84 View Post
I believe these sets were given away in exchange for cigarette coupons.
I've not heard that, and it would surprise me. The little KB Masterpiece is probably the best known set distributed that way -

https://www.radiomuseum.co.uk/masterpiece.html -

and it's said there to have required spending £12 on 500 packets of ten to get it. Sets like the Amplion models will have retailed at something in the region of £12, so even quite a dedicated smoker would have needed years of puffing away to earn one.

Interesting about the different dials, but just at this time the prevailing fashion was changing very fast. Psychon was a manufacturer of similar obscurity to Amplion, a little different in that their sets were promoted as being especially good at receiving voices from beyond the grave: my example has a small tuning dial calibrated 0-180, while another in much the same cabinet sports a rectangular scale presumably with full wavelength markings at least.

Paul
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Old 8th Sep 2023, 8:52 pm   #20
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Default Re: Saving an Amplion Table Model 1932

Make a full length back and shelf from ply then. Cigarette coupons rings a bell somewhere. Must have smoked a lot to get one of these!
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