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Old 28th Jan 2005, 4:16 pm   #1
Chris_C
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Default The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi All,

Does anyone remember the BBC 1 valve radio?

I would guess it was around 1957 ( I was 10 at the time). There was a programme on BBC on Mondays, something like a version of the later Blue Peter (before the advent of washing up liquid bottles and sticky back plastic), one of the projects was to build a 1 valve radio. You sent an SAE for the plan and the construction was shown, on the programme over several weeks.

The set was built on a plywood chassis in 2 parts, with the valve holder mounted between the two. A plywood front panel held the tuning and reaction controls.

The valve used was a DF91 or in my case a 1T4; the coil was one of the green Denco LW & MW with reaction types, the LW not being used.
The tuning cap was .0005mfd and reaction .0003mfd. All powered by one of the flatish Ever Ready combined 90V and 1.5V batteries. I found then that you could get a shock from a battery
Listening was via headphones.
I built one (with help with the soldering) and it did work . This was my first foray into radio construction and I've never forgotten it. Did anyone else build it or remember it?

I don't suppose that anyone still has a copy of the plans?
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Old 28th Jan 2005, 5:07 pm   #2
mikelect
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Yes I'm guilty as well, same age and everything, I'd love to get hold of the plans as well if I remember correctly you had to write to the beeb for them, happy innocent days.

Mike
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Old 28th Jan 2005, 5:17 pm   #3
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Can anyone else remember that there was another 'BBC one-valver' - the plans for which were advertised on the inside back cover of Practical Wireless for years during the late forties/early fifties. Actually, they called it the BBC special one valver but the plans named it the BBC official one valver. That gives you some idea how old the blueprint was: I sent for it, probably around 1953 but decided it was 'too old fashioned' for me. I wish I'd kept the blueprint, though.
-Tony
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Old 28th Jan 2005, 6:02 pm   #4
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

I can remember the construction of a one valve radio being described on the BBC in the 1950s. I thought it was on Blue Peter though, in the days of Christopher Trace. One episode suggesting connecting a torch bulb across the heater pins of the valveholder. If it blew you had HT on the pins and needed to correct it before inserting the valve.

I would like to have built one, but in those days I couldn't afford the cost of postage for the plans, yet alone a kit of parts.

Graham.
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Old 28th Jan 2005, 7:20 pm   #5
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by G4ILN
I can remember the construction of a one valve radio being described on the BBC in the 1950s. I thought it was on Blue Peter though, in the days of Christopher Trace.

Graham.
According to the BBC website, Blue Peter started in October 1958. The radio I am thinking of was definitely a year before this as I was in the last year at primary school. A friend of mine and I took our sets along to the school one day to "show them off"
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Old 28th Jan 2005, 7:33 pm   #6
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

There was kids' scientific programme in those days called 'It's Wizard'.

They did things like show how a pendulum slowed down quickly in air, and then had the same pendulum in an exhausted bell jar not slowing down.

I can't remember whether it was BBC or ITV. I do remember being annoyed when they took it off.

Pete
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Old 30th Jan 2005, 4:37 pm   #7
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi Gents, on a similar vein does anyone remeber the "Radio for Boys" book with its 1 to 4 valve TRF project as well as mains and battery superhets?
I built the 1 to 4 valve TRF and my son, (now 24) did the same when he was 8. I also built the mains superhet, much to my mothers concern. I still have the book and can provide copies if anyone needs them.

Ed
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Old 30th Jan 2005, 7:50 pm   #8
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi Ed

Yes, I remember it well: it was borrowed by me on a regular basis from the school library! Nice book.
-Tony
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Old 18th Jul 2005, 8:00 pm   #9
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hello,

I made one of these too. The circuit etc is lost, but I remember the final words of the instructions to this day. 'Connect aerial, earth, phones, battery. Set now works.' Unfortunately, it didn't. I had tried to get by without doing any soldering!

Michael
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 6:40 am   #10
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Dinning
Hi Gents, on a similar vein does anyone remeber the "Radio for Boys" book with its 1 to 4 valve TRF project as well as mains and battery superhets?
I built the 1 to 4 valve TRF and my son, (now 24) did the same when he was 8. I also built the mains superhet, much to my mothers concern. I still have the book and can provide copies if anyone needs them.

Ed
Yes! I remember reading this at the (primary) school library and drooling over it. I had never seen a HT battery before, and wondered how in earth they got this voltage on them. Sadly, the prices of the parts were well out of reach
We had an old Lissen portable - I guess early-mid 30s - at home, with a moving iron speaker and swing-out frame aerial, but it was not working, and had no batteries.
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 6:58 am   #11
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi Gents, further reaching into depths of memory I'm sure the BBC 1 Valver was published in "Boys Own Paper" or the "Hobbies" paper at one time.

Ed
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Old 19th Jul 2005, 9:39 am   #12
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi all, did the mains superhet circuit use the 40 series valves? I can vaguely remember seeing this book at school (probably while other kids were playing football!) in the seventies already looking very old and tattered and would like to have a look at it again. Did it start off with a one valve circuit using a 6AU6 then gradually add on stages, till it ended with a mains superhet? It sounds like the same book. Can't remember which coils it used but I would imagine they were repanco or the like.

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Old 19th Jul 2005, 11:30 am   #13
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi Biggles, The book used all octal valves for both the battery and mains sets. Battey sets were "progressive" mains sets was a build from scratch as 5 valves. There was also the earlier progressive TRF/ more leathal than an electric chair that was an FJ Camm special in PW.
If you PM me we can arrange a time at the weekend and I can show you the book.

Ed
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Old 20th Jul 2005, 6:47 am   #14
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

The book I'm thinking of was by a chap called Gilbert Davey, and is called 'Fun with Radio'
I've just managed to buy a second hand copy, and it has a range of circuits in it starting with simple one valvers.
Ahh, the memories of childhood....I built one or two of these circuits and they worked quite well.

Regards

Philip
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Old 20th Jul 2005, 7:01 am   #15
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi Philip, Thats it and it has real "blueprints". I believe there was a later one on transistors called "fun with Electronics", also by Davey.

Ed
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Old 20th Jul 2005, 8:49 am   #16
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Yes there was a later book called "Fun With Electronics" by Gilbert Davey, I found this book in a second hand bookshop and paid 50p for it. It has a 1 valve circuit in it using a DF91 and a mains shortwave receiver using a EF91, EL83 and EZ80 rectifier.



Regards

Dave
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Old 20th Jul 2005, 1:02 pm   #17
peter_sol
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hello.
I remember the programme being referred to re. the one valve radio.
The presenter was infact Gilbert Davey
so I expect that the circuit (s) which were discribed in that series are the ones included in "Fun with radio" I have a very worn copy which I had new around 1960.
Cheers
Peter.
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Old 20th Jul 2005, 9:14 pm   #18
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

I've also got Davey's, "Fun with short wave radio" which also features a set based on a DF91 or DF92 and discusses mains one valvers, no doubt variations of the circuits used elsewhere. He does admit though that the one valve circuit is similar to the HAC one valver except that the latter uses a 2 volt valve.
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Old 21st Jul 2005, 2:57 pm   #19
Biggles
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

Hi all, that's the one I remember, definitely with the blue prints. Maybe I'm getting mixed up with another book, using the 6AU6/ EBC41 etc. it's a long time ago!

Biggles
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Old 21st Jul 2005, 4:47 pm   #20
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Default Re: The BBC 1 Valver!

I did an internet search on the BBC one valve radio set.

I didn't find it but read this fascinating story about building a radio in a japanese POW camp, from cinamon sticks and coconut oil.
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