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Vintage Radio (domestic) Domestic vintage radio (wireless) receivers only.

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Old 20th Nov 2010, 12:22 pm   #1
merlinmaxwell's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.
Posts: 7,709
Default Murphy A104, some comments

Hi all,

Having just aquired a Murphy A104 and finding very little on the net here are a few observations on this set that may help someone else fixing one.

Rear cover, to make it look like new a quick coat of clear laquer does the job.

Front, caution, the veneer is very thin easy to 'break through' when sanding, luckily I went through at the side where it is painted black. Looks wonderful now after a few coats of clear spray laquer and lots of rubbing down.

Optics, the glass transparency is a photographic plate, it will withstand washing but you have to let the emulsion side dry naturally, about 30 minutes is enough. There is a location mark in the centre to simplify alignment. The lenses and mirror are quite easy to align, get the image in focus with the middle lens, centre the image with the mirror and get the illumination even with the lens next to the lamp. The 'ground glass' plastic bit cleans nicely in bleach.

Front metal trim, the best match I could get was Peugeot Blaze Yellow from Halfords.

Chassis, built like a tank, very easy to work on, a simple circuit that responds well to the standard recap and resistor changes.

Restring, two and a half turns round the spindles, front of capacitor pulley is the drive, rear for the pointer, the pointer is crimped and glued on with a felt washer running over the scale to stabilise it, to stop the paint wearing through I put a bit of plastic tacked at the ends over the rear of the scale. If you have to restring this bit (I did) it is better to make a new pointer carrier the old one is almost impossible to refit.

Bandspread, this moves the core of the SW oscillator coil, quite clever.

All in all an intersting set that has a good sound, pity it hasn't got a proper switched gram input.

And a photo of it, I think the plain brown replacement 'speaker cloth looks good too.
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 12:41 pm   #2
Ian B
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Arlesey, Bedfordshire, UK.
Posts: 351
Default Re: Murphy A104, some comments

A nice job, these are probably a very under-rated radio.

If I remember correctly, they were launched around the same time as the Ekco A22 in 1947, and at a similar price. The Murphy 104 is a much better performing set, but its appearance is against it. It's rare to see a 104 fetch more than 5 at auction, they are one to keep and enjoy, not make a profit from!

Ian Blackbourn
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 2:27 pm   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 207
Default Re: Murphy A104, some comments

A nice job, well done, i love murphy radios and do have a few, one is the baffle board, with seperate amp/output stage, i paid 99p for this on Ebay, it was not far to collect only about 5 mile, it works great now, enjoy your radiio..kind regards...Alan.

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Old 8th Oct 2014, 5:42 pm   #4
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fareham, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 18
Default Re: Murphy A104, some comments

Sorry to reopen this old thread, but for reference I have just acquired this Murphy A104 from Merlinmaxwell (many thanks)!

The standard of the cabinet finish really is a credit to him and, though I have not opened the back yet, I can only imagine a similarly meticulous electrical restoration, since it performs well on all bands with only a couple of metres of wire as an antenna. Quiet controls too, and the shortwave projection system together with fine tune pointer works really well.

The "baffle board" design really does produce a very different sound to traditional "echoing box" style valve wireless, quite "open" and modern sounding, if perhaps not completely to the liking of the out and out nostalgic...

Personally think the cabinet design of these sets is lovely, and my wife likes it too which is always the acid test. Surprising reaction from my mother in law, who literally burst into tears when she saw it - said it was identical to a set which her father bought when she was a young child, replacing an earlier Sobell set which was in the workshop more often than it was working. Not sure her recollection was quite accurate, since the A104 is actually a couple of years older than her, though concievably he bought it second hand.

Completely at a loss why these sets do not seem to be more sought after/talked about. Would be interested to hear from other owners.

Attached first (and I'm afraid rather poor) photo of the A104 in its new surroundings. Appologies for the lighthouse, which will be finding a new home shortly! Given a few days, should be able to provide some better pics if anyone needs them for reference.

Regards, Rob
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Old 6th May 2015, 6:59 am   #5
robin coleman
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 336
Default Re: Murphy A104, some comments

I have just purchased one of these sets, looking foward to using it

Regards, Robin.
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