Phil's Valve Radio Site

Welcome to this website featuring a pastime hobby, based about my home built Vintage Radios. As well as cycling and the great outdoor life I have been into Radio for the past 50 years. I built my first working Radio from a Philips Electronic Kit which was popular educational Christmas toys during my childhood days of the 1960s and early seventies. The pictures starting from the top left, in the order of 1 to 2 is a battery operated Short Wave Receiver built on Christmas day in 1977 and is still my most treasured Christmas presents. It was purchased from Tandy, which in its heyday was one of the UK leading high street stores for electronic gadgets until it ceased trading during the late 1990s. Picture 3 is a 1950s Mullard design based on there 20 watt push pull designed for high quality Hi Fi reproduction a bit before the transistor really caught up with us. The original design used the valve line up in the following order. GZ34 Rectifier. 2 EL34 Output valves. ECC83 Phase splitter and EF86 Input valve. This design of mine was built from a Kit purchased from Maplin Electronics which was a popular recommended City and Internet retail electronic store until it went into administration and stopped trading in 2018. It is basically the same circuitry with slight modifications. A solid state bridge rectifier replaces the GZ34 in the smoothing circuit. The pictures in the order of 4 and 5 feature my complete home built superhet valve radio. The circuitry was taken from some of my old electronic magazines and books. The valve line up is as follows. ECF82 is for the frequency changer and local oscillator. 2 EF80 are used for the Intermittent Frequency IF Amplifier. EBC81 is used for the diode detector and audio input stage. EL84 is used for the Output valve to drive a loudspeaker. The Radio covers the Short Wave bands between 1.6 to 30 Megahertz and the standard Medium AM broadcast band. The Short Wave bands used to give me many hours of pleasure but sadly because of the internet boom there are not many Shortwave broadcast stations around as International stations have moved onto the new digital platform. Also all BBC and UK independent radio stations have moved on to FM which gives the Medium Wave band limited choice. The pictures in the order of 6 to 11 feature my home built valve portable Hi Fi or so called Hi Fi system. The reason I mention is because it uses the Mullard range of valve amplifiers, designed for a output power of only 2 watts, consisting of the ECL82 Triode Pentode I call the super micro chip of the 1950s because it was used for the output stage in many radios, televisions and portable Record Players of that period. The 7th picture features the back inside of this design and right of the picture is a stereo amplifier with solid state rectification and the 2 ECL82 valve amplifiers. The left inside of this picture is a combined FM tuner and has Tone controlled pre amplifier bundled with a turntable for the reproduction of records. The FM tuner is also a superhet and uses pulse counting technology for the IF to save winding coils and although a Mono tuner it gives excellent Hi Fi Reproduction on Local and National radio stations. The valve line up is ECF80 frequency changer with a grounded grid RF stage. 3 EF80 are used for the IF amplifier and limiter. The FM detector is a 6AL5 Double Diode, wired as a voltage doubler or correctly known as a diode pump circuit. The Preamplifier is a simple Double triode ECC83 affair for both stereo channels.               

Transistor Shortwave Receiver. My tresured possession, built from a kit, on a table in the living room during Christmas day 1977

Transistor Shortwave Reciever. This is the back view of the previous design and has given me many years of portable listening pleasure.

The Mullard 520 Hi Fi Valve amplifier of the 1950s. This is a homebuilt stereo design I built from a kit and is used for my multimedia listening.

My homebuilt 5 valve superhet radio. I drilled all this Chassis myself and copied the circuitry from some of my radio books.

5 Valve superhet radio. This is the under chassis view of this homebuilt design and it uses modern transistor RF and IF coils, capacitor coupled.

My Homebuilt portable valve Hi Fi system. This is the front view of this design. It has its own inbuilt preamplifier, VHF/FM tuner and record deck.

My Homebuilt Hi Fi System. This is the back inside view. Towards the right is the main amplifier and looking left is the FM tuner and preamplifier.

My homebuilt valve Hi Fi system. This is ovelooking the top of the entire unit during normal use.

My homebuilt Hi Fi system. This is the front of the FM tuner and preamplifier chassis. The top right view is the FM tuner head, built in a diacast box

Home Built Valve Hi Fi system. This is looking at the back of the FM tuner and preamplifier. Taken during its final constuction.

My homebuilt Hi Fi system. This is the underside cicuitry of the FM tuner and preamplifier. Typical old style of wiring, compaired to printed circuits

My homebuilt 2 Valve TRF Short Wave Receiver. This is a working version of the prototype, featured as a construction project on this website.

Transistor VHF/FM Receiver. This is my own design of a Pulse Counting Superhet Receiver. Similar to a 1960s version featured in Practical Wireless.

Please left click on selected picture to enlarge image


Use Advanced Search

Links to other sites related to this page

Component Suppliers 

 Important Electrical Safety Considerations

Electronic Circuit Symbols

Constructional Projects

  Simple 2 Valve Regenerative Receiver

Components List and Chassis Layout For 2 Valve TRF Receiver  NB During the not to distant future this link will be deleted and all information will be transferred to the link above 

Introducing Superhet Receivers' Featuring Add On Converter For The Two Valve TRF Receiver NB Sometime during 2021 this link will be titled 3 Valve. Regenerative Superhet Receiver

Transistor Pulse Counting FM Receiver

 Severn Valve HF Superhet Receiver

Double Conversion Pulse Counting FM Superhet Receiver With 10.7 MHZ First IF Stage NB This link will be deleted in the not to distant future and all information regarding this project will be featured on the following link Transistor Pulse Counting FM Receiver

FM Stereo Decoder Circuit

Single Conversion 6 Transistor 10.7 MHZ Pulse Counting Receiver, Designed For Stereo FM Reception

6 Valve VHF/FM Pulse Counting FM Tuner Using Safe 25Volt DC HT Line

Solid State AM/FM Pulse Counting Receiver

 Simple Radio Receiver Circuits For Beginners

Valve Version Of The 10.7 MHZ Double Conversion VHF/FM Pulse Counting Tuner

 3 Valve 3 Watt Stereo Amplifier

   Site Map Of All My Webpages And Favourite Valve Radio Related Links

Links To My External Sites

Please visit to view pictures and articles related to my tours and travels of the UK.

Please also visit to view pictures and articles related to my walks and cycle tours of The Yorkshire Dales.

News Of Improvement Changes Taking Place During 2021      

After almost 7 years of no activity on this site due to disillusionment with new digital technology I am pleased to say I am back in form with this fascinating pastime hobby. To cut the story short,  The UK coronavirus pandemic also encouraged me to take up this hobby again. There are plans for all new updates to some of the projects along with new improved diagrams. I am going to be experimenting on a new preamplifier for the 3 valve 3watt  Stereo Amplifier based on ether the RCA Circuit or the Mullard 4 valve stereo preamplifier which will hopefully be a new project for this site by around March 2021. These changes will be made gradually as time permits. Also some links marked NB are going to be retitled along with some of the unnecessary pages being deleted. Components lists will also be highlighted underneath circuit diagrams rather then have to open a separate link which will make things much easier. I would also like to tell you some of this is already taking place and you may find links on other page will still have uncorrected titles which will be updated in due cause.