gold service package only.
all started in 1986 and was based on an original idea for the time - to supply
vintage radios, fully restored, safe and original, (in other words 'as new') to
the general public. My intention was to introduce the vintage radio ownership
to people who had hitherto not been enthusiasts, but who perhaps might consider
a beautiful and unique piece of early-twentieth century history - say, as a finishing
touch to their room .
! ... some shots from our original brochure of 1986, long before
the days of the internet...|
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of all styles and ages from the '20s to the '60s have been restored and the business
has never looked back since. So, if you have an old radio you'd like to use and
enjoy again, get in touch ! You can be sure of value for money and quotations
are free. Unlike many modern 'black boxes', these 'electronic antiques' are as
good to look at as they are to listen to. Nowadays, their individual designs and
beautiful materials mark them out as highly desirable collectors items.
it turned out, I found that one of the best parts of the job was the amazement
and delight on customers' faces when they first saw their old radio 'as new' again.
Real job satisfaction !
customers have not only been private individuals. On one occasion we supplied
at Marconi set to the BBC for the reception area at BBC Radio Essex in Chelmsford
(the original home of Marconi radio), and for a while sets were also available
to the public through the well-known London store Harrods. More recently
we were selected by the National Media Museum at Bradford to supply two 405-line
televisions. One of these was to be left switched on, all day every day.
remember, when you choose Radiocraft you are assured of a friendly, efficient
and personal service at all times. ;-)
YOUR SET COMPLETED
Radiocraft now offers a full range of service options to suit your exact
needs and budget !
Our "gold" restorations
are now covered by a LIFETIME guarantee. That means if your radio or television
should ever need further attention in the future - it will be fixed free of charge,
subject to the provisions on our guarantee.
No one else backs their work with such a guarantee, and
no one else offers a personal collection and delivery service with national coverage,
geared to your convenience. No one else provides our transparent pricing method
for estimates, with the facility for customers to check the figures for themselves
online. No one else can include (when required) in-house cabinet restoration of
the highest standard, returning your set to its original as-new appearance.
No one else also restores pre-1963 televisions including full vintage signal provision.
And no one else provides such an effective solution to enable you to listen to
FM or digital broadcasts on your antique radio. We were the UK's first
full-time radio restoration business and a quarter of a century later, we're still
foremost in the field today !
All-in-all, our aim is to provide a door-to-door,
'turn-key' service to our valued customers. Thanks to us, today you can enjoy
vintage radio and television in your home, recapturing all the original excitement
- with none of the worry !
To follow one particularly ambitious recent
restoration - click HERE. And there's
another HERE... If you have any questions I
recommend you click HERE first for the FAQ.
to let you know that we got the Bush back to Leeds without incident and that the
reception is excellent on AM and FM with little aerial extension. We'll be taking
the set down to Kent later in the summer. Many thanks once again for the restoration;
as well as sounding good it is a beautiful object." G.J. Leeds
"Thank you for
the care you took in restoring my parents' Decca radiogram.
We have given it pride of place in our music room where it
looks as if it was meant to reside. The sound it produces
both from the record deck and the radio is as I remember as
a young boy.
I am so glad that you were willing to undertake the renovation
and that we were enabled to find you through the web."
Emerson radio has arrived safe and sound. What a joy it was
to switch it on and have sounds emanate. Great job. Many thanks
for a superb service. I couldn't be happier." D.K.
NEWS: ANOTHER PRE-WAR TELEVISION SET HAS JUST
BEEN BOOKED IN FOR A FULL RESTORATION. YOU CAN FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF THIS MAJOR
PROJECT AS IT HAPPENS, IN PICTURES, HERE...
American ATWATER-KENT 318 console from the early 'thirties
nears completion. The comprehensive restoration has
taken six weeks and the set was originally in dreadful
condition, both internally and externally.
we see it here, the knobs have still to be fitted. It
also awaits conversion from US 110v to British 240v
this that touched down in the workshop? It's a SPARTON
BLUEBIRD, a very rare American radio from 1936. It's now
back with the customer, having been entrusted to us for
a complete electronic restoration. This is probably the
only example in the UK...
there is time for a 'special project' too. This
strange device I have constructed is called a
Mirror Screw and is now serving as a display device
for colour television.
screw consists of a series of edge-polished strips
of stainless steel. The position of each strip
differs slightly from its neigbour. The screw
rotates and a thin pencil of varying light is
reflected by it. In this way a television picture
is built up, line by line. When the screw is rotating
fast enough, we see a television picture conjured
out of thin air !
feed a signal to the mirror screw, we've needed
to purchase a WC-01 'World Converter' from Darryl
Hock in the United States. A spin-off result is
we now have the capacity to generate any
type of television signal, from any era,
from anywhere in the world. This means we
are not only equipped to service old British televisions,
but we can now also overhaul vintage television
sets from any other country !
to enjoy your own overhauled vintage radio or television.
you'll either already have your own radio or should obtain one (see our Radios
For Sale page for a link to the relevant EBay page). Then email us
using the button further down. We operate a fixed price restoration scheme
subject to conditions. Contact us to find out what the job will cost in advance.
Be sure to check out our FAQ lower down this page too.
In general, even the 'gold' restoration of an old radio
will only fall into the same price band as say, having your car serviced. Whereas
garages charge far more than us per hour, we need far more hours than them to
do the job, so things balance out. For further discussion on this, please
see the section on pricing lower down the page...
charge for overhauling TRANSISTOR RADIOS (1955-1963) is currently just £99.95
+ battery - with a 12 month guarantee.
BE SURE ASK OUR COMPETITORS FOR THEIR
(if they have one) - THEN COMPARE >>>>>
restorations are available on all valve radios and
British-made televisions, from 1925 to 1963.
Setting the standard when only the best will
overhauls are available on all valve radios, from
1946 to 1963 (except Philips radios, 'piano-key'
sets and radiograms).
Thorough and professional renovations at keen
clean and physically restore chassis.
internal mains connections (when possible).
Re-stringing of dial mechanism
included, when necessary.
available for more than one set at a time.
and restore knobs.
of all resistors.
of dial lamps.
of all linkages and potentiometers internally packed.
or reforming of all electrolytic capacitors.
of all waxed tubular (or equiv. eg: Hunts) capacitors.
except in some
Philips and late continental sets.
Lubrication of dial mechanism,
wafer switches, valve bases,
Testing and replacement of valves
fusing added to 110-volt fed receivers.
& IF re-alignment.
& tighten if necessary all screwed earth tags.
of internal mains wiring when necessary
at no extra cost.
60ºC thermal reset to mains transformer.
of power transformer inter-winding insulation
and replacement (at extra cost)
fault finding, rectification, replacing capacitors
output valve for grid emission.
coupling capacitor to output valve grid.
new mains lead, plug and 3 amp fuse
of any designed-in points not up to current
Soak test for 6 hours.
Typical ball-park cost
for an electronic service to a radio.
The actual cost will depend on
age and complexity of your
set, and could range from under
half, to over double these
need a little 'Aurora' plug-in box to work with
can be supplied for £275, if required.
- radio only
per return mile for national pick-up & delivery
for total peace of mind.
|A SPECIAL NOTE ON
We are the only radio restorer in the UK that specialises
as much in cabinet restoration as much as in electronic restoration. We use the
original materials, namely cellulose lacquers (high-build, pigmented and clear)
with compressor and spray gun, to achieve 'as-new' or 'better-than-new' results.
As an alternative, especially suitable for continental 'piano key' sets, an ultra-high
gloss two-pack spray finish is also available.
SERVICES ~ also available as separate services except where marked.
new capacitors within old (in radios) ||
of magic eye and rewiring to suit, as necessary ||
& fabrication service for damaged or missing parts||
and fit vintage style mains lead covered in gold fabric||
repair and re-creation of a new dial from a damaged original|
(gold or white print is not included in
repair and re-creation of a new internal label||
of VHF/FM & DAB coverage*|| |
preparation, toning and re-spraying of cabinet**||
only) - providing a complete 405-line signal with programmes****||
work: rate per hour|| |
*the supplied kit will work with any number of radios at the same time
and does not affect their originality.
**depends on size and complexity
- large radiogram and television cabinets may be more.
Either in bright nickel
(which looks like silver/cadmium) or super-bright zinc (which looks like chrome)
- as requested.
****includes Modulator/Converter, DVD player, power
supply, all leads, with free DVD of vintage programmes, strictly for private viewing
All prices + postage/carriage. If you prefer to phone,
our tel. no. for queries is 01386 882280.
EXAMPLE OF OUR SPECIALIST SERVICES... HERE'S WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED WHEN A WOODGRAIN
EFFECT PRINTED ONTO BAKELITE HAS TO BE RE-DONE. NOT AN EASY JOB....
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ASK FOR AN ESTIMATE !
The best might not cost as much as you think. What you'll find here is
straight dealing, attentive personal service and work to a standard that will
on the radio button below to email us. Please be sure to include the make
and model number of your pre-1963 radio or television and tell us if you'd
like a quote for transport included too (mainland UK only) .
regards RADIOGRAMS, we cannot help unless they come from the 78 rpm-only
era, (ie. no LPs or 45s). That means they will date from the very early 1950s
note I run a business. This is an estimating service, not a 'free information
about your set' service. Thank you for your kind understanding. :-)
a rapid reply, please use this button to email us - this is normally quicker
than a response by phone.
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TO EMAIL US NOW
corner of our modern air-conditioned workshop - visitors are welcome.
It is the customer's responsibility to read, understand, and agree to
the following terms before engaging our services.
- All "gold" restored radio sets
are covered by a written lifetime guarantee!
- All "silver" overhauled radio
sets are covered by a written 1-year guarantee.
Any chargeable repair work
carried out after the guarantee has elapsed
is then protected by its own 3-month guarantee,
but covering the repair only. Since the
'gold' is already cobered by a lifetime
guarantee, this applies to 'silver' sets
only. In all cases, the guarantee only runs
from the time that payment for the work
has been received.
'Gold' chassis restorations
include both electronic and physical restoration.
Cabinet work is also available, and is of
the highest grade.
Quotations for restoring
your sets are free and without obligation.
Cabinet work and restoration of the electronics
are itemised separately. These quotations
are accurate - subject to the following
Bush TV1 from 1947.
Another restoration completed !
- The estimate must have been approved within three months of submission
date, unless a special offer is in force which stipulates earlier.
set is a practicable proposition to restore, with no parts inaccessible for service.
"Piano-key" continental-style sets can sometimes present problems in this regard.
- The set is complete, with all its unobtainable parts in restorable
- No wound components (transformers, chokes, coils, speaker
coils, motors, etc.) are found unserviceable when the rest of the job has been
completed. Such faults will not normally be revealed until the job is otherwise
finished. These will be subject to a normally modest surcharge to cover parts
and fitting. If this occurs, the original faulty components can be returned alongside
the set for independent inspection.
- The set has not previously been tampered
with or otherwise modified. If it has, extra
charges may apply.
- There are no very rare and
valuable valves that need replacement. Such valves are occasionally found in upmarket
radiograms and just a few table sets. We'll warn you when this is likely to apply.
'Magic Eyes' also come into this category.
- In the unlikely event
that an original valve is completely unobtainable, no additional work is involved
in adapting the set to use a non-standard valve.
- In certain cases,
we may ask for a deposit before starting work and may also ask for the work to
be paid for in stages as it progresses.
- Quoted prices for cabinet
work will assume all the original veneers and unique fittings/escutcheons etc.
are still present and the original speaker fabric is restorable. If they are not,
an extra charge will be made. In extreme cases we may decline the job.
- Any work set out in the blue 'specialist services' section (further up this
page) shall be at extra cost, subject to prior approval of the work by the customer.
- Television sets are only accepted for service on the understanding
that the cathode ray tube and line output transformer are already in good condition
and that service information can be sourced.
Because vintage radios are fragile items, when in
the UK personal delivery and collection of your set are always to be preferred.
So if you wish, we can come to you. A mutually convenient time for meeting will
always be agreed first.
This service covers the mainland UK, but does
not include the new inner-London congestion zone.
The cost of our personal transport service is
kept to an absolute minimum. For 'gold' and
'silver' restorations it costs 60 pence per
mile (counted both ways on the journey) to anywhere
on the mainland UK. In addition, when the return
distance exceeds 400 miles, there is a standard
surcharge of £100 to pay for overnight
hotel expenses. We will always quote you the
cost first. The cost of a transport run becomes
payable at the time of providing it. This service
is only available for transporting sets which
are being serviced by Radiocraft or being fitted
with FM converters. Email
us with your location now and we will get back
to you with a precise no-obligation quote for
transport without delay !
Of course, please remember this
transport service will be required twice if you are using us to both collect and
later return your set.
For international customers we will quote by
email for the items' return once we have received your goods.
Our prices are kept as low as possible bearing in
mind the care and the time that goes into each job. When evaluating prices, remember
the time involved in a restoration is usually far more than say, a garage would
spend doing a major job on your car. But since our overheads are less than at
your garage, we can charge a lower labour rate which compensates for this.
reserve the right to adjust our prices from time-to-time. Please note that once
a quotation has been accepted it is fixed and should not later be considered as
'an opening figure for negotiation'. Restoration charges are calculated transparently,
in a special area of our web site. A link to this area will be included with every
estimate. There is also a discount structure available which can reduce this quoted
price. This applies when more than one set (radio or tv) is submitted for gold
restoration at the same time. This discount is: 4% off (both) when two sets are
submitted; 7% off (all) when three sets or more are submitted. This discount structure
only applies to valve sets. It does not apply when the job is paid for in stages.
If you are a new customer, a deposit of 25% of the total
may be requested as advance payment, especially when the final total is expected
to come to over £800. If it later proves impossible to complete the job
for any reason, this will be refunded in full. Otherwise it is non-refundable.
A stage payment schedule can sometimes be arranged
when the project is large and you would prefer
to pay out over a longer period. Such stage
payments are made in advance and the relevant
part of the work is then carried out. Any stage
payment schedule must be agreed in advance,
before the project is started.
is not chargeable. For international and postal
customers, all outstanding balances must be
settled in full at the time of job completion
and before despatch. For other customers, if
there is a delay of more than two weeks before
the goods can be collected or delivered, settlement
of the invoice will be required at the time
of completion. Radiocraft holds a 'repairer's
lien' on all items until such time as full payment
for the work has been received.
any special discounts or offers apply to a particular transaction, these are contingent
on payment being received in timely fashion on completion of the job, normally
within seven days of receipt of invoice.
Naturally we accept cheques
or cash as payment; however you can now also pay online by credit card using the
secure PayPal system. Payments are processed in pounds sterling but are automatically
converted to your own currency when billing. Click on the icon below when you
want to go to the credit card payment page.
Our very highest
priority when we service all vintage electronic devices is to ensure safety -
both from fire and from electrical hazards. To date there has never been an accident
caused by equipment we have serviced. However it must be understood that vintage
electronic apparatus often run at high internal temperatures and at high voltages
in comparison with modern equipment.
all such serviced equipment solely on the basis that we cannot be held liable
in the event that personal injury or damage to property results from operation
of the equipment, and that the operator will exercise common sense at all times.
In particular, faulty equipment must be disconnected from the mains at once and
not re-used until repaired by us. Also, any equipment must never be left connected
to the mains whilst unattended, must never be used in damp surroundings, nor left
in the sole company of minors or pets.
When transport of
your treasured radio is required, we strongly recommend you use our personal transport
service, which has never yet caused any damage to a radio in transit.
the unlikely event of a radio becoming damaged or mislaid whilst in our custody
or using our personal transport service, our liability as to compensation shall
be limited to the original market value of the radio and will not extend to any
notional added value which may have been created during the course of a restoration.
We do not recommend any radio is posted by mail or sent
by carrier, even if well packed. Liability for safekeeping of the radio whilst
in the hands of any other transport service (such as the postal service) shall
be borne solely by the carrier concerned, in accordance with any compensation
terms they may or may not provide.
The acceptance, or rejection
of a job in the light of further facts coming to light before commencement, will
be entirely at our discretion. The customer will be assumed to have read and consented
to these terms. Your statutory rights are not affected. English Law applies. E
HAVE A POST-WAR RADIOGRAM FOR DISPOSAL... IS IT OF VALUE ?
No, it's worth very little I'm afraid.
If you have
a radiogram you wish to dispose of, however lovely, please do not contact
us. If you do, there will be no reply.
and stereograms dating from the 1950s onwards are offered to vintage radio collectors
constantly. They are often in beautiful condition, having been well-cared for
all their lives and commonly become available as part of an estate, with executors
desperate to find someone - anyone - who will take them !
of their bulk, unremarkable styling and the sheer quantity of them available,
'50s and '60s radiograms are not sought after by collectors and are consequently
of zero market value. If you wish though,
pre-1950 radiograms (which are generally of higher quality) can
be restored by us - and will provide a lot of pleasure as a centrepiece in the
home. However we never purchase - nor accept as gifts - any radiograms.
desirable radiograms always date prior to 1950 and even then are strictly
limited to very rare editions or the ultra-high-grade early Decca, Dynatron,
RGD, and pre-war HMV models. Otherwise there will be absolutely no
What you can do is to:
- Trawl the relevant sections in our directory
for other possible buyers.
- Try the local bric-a-brac or charity shop but don't
expect too much enthusiasm.
- Try advertising it in the local paper.
it up and sell the valves and knobs on Ebay.
- Dump it at the tip.
to keep it after all.
HAVE A VINTAGE UNIT FOR SERVICE THAT YOU DON'T HANDLE. WHAT CAN I DO ?
This depends. If it's a car radio, tape recorder, record player or vintage audio
item, do have a good look through our on-site directory
of specialists. You're sure to find someone who can help there. If it's a television
set not manufactured in Great Britain, you'll have to explore the web for local
repairers who can test and align TVs using your own national transmission standard.
However, remember there are many types of set we are delighted to service,
unlike some other repairers who won't or can't handle (for example) Philips sets,
FM radios, television sets, car radios, etc...So give us a call. Our aim is to
YOU SELL RADIOS ?
No. We are restoration specialists. If first you need a radio
to kick things off with, there are plenty of people selling 'raw' sets on their
web sites and over Ebay. For example one reputable dealer, Steve Harris, can be
found HERE. On our
'Radios For Sale' page you'll find direct links into
the Ebay pages. Happy Hunting ! Once you've acquired your pride and joy;
then's the time to bring it back here and we can transform it into a condition
to use and enjoy.
WHAT ABOUT THE VALVES ? CAN YOU STILL
GET THEM ? ARE THEY UNRELIABLE ?
Most valves (known
as 'tubes' in the USA) are still available. Large amounts were originally manufactured
and today these stocks are largely in the hands of specialist collectors and dealers.
Since relatively few vintage receivers are in use today, this remaining stock
will probably serve indefinitely. Just a few types of valve are now becoming rare
and this is reflected in their prices. Otherwise valves remain plentiful and cheap.
It's a common mistake to regard valves as fragile and unreliable.
Although it's obviously a bad idea to drop them, the fact is valves are far more
electrically robust than transistors and will stand much more abuse. In general
they're pretty reliable too. They don't 'pop' like light bulbs but wear gradually.
Their average service life might be between 10 and 25 years for a set in regular
I HAVE A VINTAGE RADIO TO SELL. WOULD YOU LIKE TO
BUY IT ?
No. However you might find clicking HERE
useful to find out what your set is likely to be worth...
DON'T YOU JUST REPAIR SETS RATHER THAN 'RESTORE' THEM ? SURELY THAT WOULD SAVE
Actually we do now, under the bronze and silver
schemes ! However to answer the question, it's far better to 'restore' rather
than 'repair' sets for two reasons: the economic use of time - and set reliability.
To take an example, imagine you brought in a vintage set for repair with the instructions:
"Just get it going".
First, we would have to spend an appreciable
amount of time in fault-finding - usually working through one fault after another.
This process would work out more expensive than the standard 'component replacement'
method we currently use. Also, once you've 'woken up' an old set by curing the
faults, a lot of stress wiil be put on the other (original) components.The end
result would be a set which would be likely to go wrong again, making it impossible
to guarantee and later on even more expensive and troublesome for the customer.
So, if you want a reliable job which will give peace of mind, there really is
no alternative to a full 'silver' or 'gold' overhaul.
BUT IS IT WORTH HAVING MY SET RESTORED ?
the number of our completed restorations heads toward the thousand mark, it's
certainly interesting to consider why so many people have considered the answer
to this question to be 'Yes'. There are at least three ways of looking
The first is to ask: "Would I get my money back
if I were to sell the restored set on the open market ?"
answer here generally is "No". The situation is analogous to having a much-loved
old car restored with the aim of enjoying using it again, rather than just storing
it as an investment. Although the market value of your set would certainly increase
substantially once restored properly, just like with classic cars only if it is
a rare sought-after model would you find the value (say at auction) had increased
so much that it would pay back the restoration fee. Having said that though, it's
worth remembering we guarantee to redeem two-thirds of what you paid us
as trade-in against another Radiocraft restored set from stock, so long as your
set is still in good condition.
The second approach is
to ask: "What would it cost me to obtain something else which would be as useful,
provide the equivalent service and carry a comparable guarantee ?
answer here is probably "A decent home entertainment system." This would
cost many hundreds of pounds, probably far more than the cost of restoring your
The third is to ask "What else could give me
as much pleasure in ownership, or have as much character, or would be as unique,
or as well-made, or would carry with it as much history ?"
frank answer to this is "Nothing". These qualities are hard to find at
any price. And as your Radiocraft 'gold' wireless set endures, it will become
rarer and rarer, probably still working perfectly for your descendants and becoming
a true investment for your family.
YOU SEEM TO BE AT THE 'TOP END' OF THE MARKET. DO YOUR
PRICES REFLECT THIS ?
Perhaps. But it's most important that
we keep our prices keen for the level of service we
provide and that our estimates are transparent. No business
would grow or prosper otherwise. We have found the best
way to gain new business is to receive recommendations
(and repeat commissions) from our existing customers.
Therefore we always try to offer 'something extra' in
terms of value - to keep ahead of the competition. For
example, nobody else in the business offers a lifetime
When comparing prices, think of what
you local mechanic or plumber would charge for a job
taking a similar time - then you'll realise we're actually
WHAT SORT OF PERFORMANCE CAN I EXPECT FROM MY VINTAGE
There are two major types of performance
to consider. These are: 'how good will it sound ?' and:
'how many stations will it pull in ?' Vintage
radios vary greatly in performance according to when
they date from, who made them, and how expensive they
originally were when new.
Broadly, most mains-operated radios
manufactured after about 1934 will meet up with modern
expectations. Before that, loudspeakers tended to be
'squeakier' and signal sensitivity poorer. Operationally
too, very early sets can require care and a deft hand
with the controls. And these controls may not do exactly
the same thing as the Volume and Tuning we're all familiar
By 1936, domestic valve radios were,
in the technical sense, fully evolved. Mid-market and
up-market radios from the late thirties and on can give
excellent sensitivity and tone. In fact the sound from
these sets on 'AM' - that is the medium, long and short
waves (for which they were designed) is generally far
deeper and clearer than the sound from a modern transistor
radio or ghetto-blaster - where AM is an afterthought
and FM listening is primarily intended.
British-manufactured sets which always
be counted on to give exceptionally good results include
Murphy, Philips, R.G.D and Dynatron. But many others
too will deliver really satisfying listening. And such
radios need not cost a lot to obtain. In fact the more
'collectable' and valuable radios, where cabinet material
and design are the primary considerations, also tend
to be the poorer performers. It's a fact that you'll
often get a better sound from that restored 'brown box'
you originally picked up for a tenner than from a Round
Ekco worth a thousand ! This is can be worth bearing
in mind when deciding whether a restoration of your
old set will be 'worth it'.
HOW CAREFUL WILL YOU BE TO MAINTAIN THE ORIGINALITY
OF MY SET ?
Very. However there are two things
even more important. First and foremost is safety.
Sometimes we will have to make discreet modifications,
particularly to the power circuitry, mains cabling and
earthing, to ensure your set will be completely safe
- for your (and our) peace of mind. The other consideration
is reliability. For example our 'gold' sets are
guaranteed for life. This is far longer than even when
they were new. So, many of the hidden under-chassis
vintage components will be replaced. This is always
done neatly and in workmanlike fashion. You also have
the option to request that new components are hidden
inside the old if desired.
Vintage radios one day will be centuries-old
antiques. Just as the case is with such antiques today,
evidence of professional attention previously received
does not detract from their value but just becomes an
intrinsic part of their long history. In the future
we believe this will be how Radiocraft-restored sets
will be seen.
HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I GET MY SET BACK ?
For the past several years our backlog
of work has remained steady at around four or five months.
However, if you don't want your restored set back within
this time-span you may specify any point in the further
future which you prefer. For example, you might not
need the radio for your classic car to be ready until
the car itself is expected to be coming together, say
in the following spring. Handing your set in a long
time in advance has the advantage that we can generally
plan accurately for a deadline far into the future and
'slot the job in' to be ready exactly at the time you
Alternatively, when you require your
set urgently this can sometimes be arranged too, since
other customers might not be in so much of a hurry.
Let us know your requirements. We can generally work
I SHALL HAVE TO PACK UP MY SET FOR DESPATCH. HOW DO
I DO THIS ?
If you can't bring your set to us personally,
or don't want to use our transport service, or perhaps
live abroad, then packing up and posting your set becomes
the only option. This needs to be approached with great
care. Your old radio may have a fragile or finely-finished
cabinet. Certainly it will contain delicate glassware
(the valves) which can easily become dislodged and smashed.
How then to go about it ?
Basically, the safest is advice is
"don't!". Even a radio, packed correctly as
detailed below, can arrive damaged. Remember, the box
could tumble over and over during handling and the set
might be travelling upside-down or on its side. Valves
may become dislodged from the shaking and the dial glass
can get broken because it has to bear unusual stresses
as the chassis tries to move around inside the cabinet
against its rubber mountings. It's impossible to insure
anything classed as an 'antique' or containing glass
in the Parcelforce system. Radiocraft will no longer
post radios or send them by carrier under any circumstances.
Either deliver them here yourself in person or get us
to pick them up !
If you really must pack up your radio,
the test is to create a package that you would feel
absolutely comfortable throwing down on the floor !
To pack to this standard you must:
- Remove the back and pack around all the internal
parts and valves with soft material or rolled up newspaper.
The idea is that nothing will become dislodged in
transit! Be very careful when doing this
since it is easy to damage fragile parts such as fine
windings attaching to coils etc. If you're at all
unsure, get a more knowledgeable friend to help. If
the set has any valves larger than your thumb, remove
these and pack them separately alongside the set..
Tune the set to the long-wave end of the scale to
close the tuning capacitor vanes. Make sure nothing
can become dislodged or move inside the set, even
when it's upside-down.
- Replace the set back. Put cardboard guards over
the vulnerable bits: ie the dial glass, speaker fabric
and any delicate knobs. Use rubber bands to seat them
against the set (not tape, which can strip the finish
- Put the set in an unused bin-liner or similar.
- Place the assembly into a generous sized stout
cardboard box. Pack around it, top, bottom and sides,
with plenty of packing materials, preferably using
the type of bubble-wrap with large 'bubbles'. Ensure
the set is well separated all round from the box sides.
- Seal the box. Now place it inside a second (larger)
stout box, with more bubble-wrap separating them.
- Add any paperwork before sealing this second outer
box. Ensure the sealing tape covers all the
flap-ends and corners of the box.
- Clearly mark the outer box with with our address:
RADIOCRAFT, 56 Main Street, Sedgeberrow, WR11 7UF,
England. Ensure your sending address is
also shown. Mark the box 'FRAGILE - GLASS. WITH CARE.
KEEP UPRIGHT.' and add pointers around the box to
show which side is the top.
- Lastly, ensure the package is adequately ensured.
Radiocraft admits to no liability whatsoever, for
any damage howsoever caused, even when following these
instructions ! Vintage radios should always
ideally be transferred by hand, but generally if you
take this kind of care, you should be all right.
I SIMPLY WANT SPARES FOR MY VINTAGE SET. WHERE CAN
I GET THEM ?
Try Andrew Emmerson's excellent online
of stockists, now situated elsewhere on this site. It's
the biggest resource of its type on the internet and
you'll find virtually everything you could think of
(and more) there !
Please note, Radiocraft does not supply spares nor can
we provide advice on sourcing for individual cases.
Please use the directory referred to above.
I DON'T LIKE WHAT'S ON THE MEDIUM
WAVES THESE DAYS. HOW CAN I LISTEN TO MY OWN
MUSIC ON MY VINTAGE RADIO ?
always Radio 4 (the Home Service) on Long Wave...but
seriously, it's a fact that today the majority of content
on British medium wave stations is one of two types.
Either it's the 'shock jock' variety, consisting of
phone-in voice broadcasts with the opinions of the 'hoi
polloi' very much in evidence, or it's compressed, blaring
rock music complete with cocky and gobby presenters
- perhaps acting an opiate for the masses. Well, I suppose
it helps some people get through the day, but the sound
of it just makes me feel bleary-eyed and run
down. Rant over ;-)
But there is another way. It's quite
easy to play anything you like over your vintage radio,
be it a digital or FM station, or your very own CDs.
The DAB+FM kit (see the green box further down) will
accept most types of audio input. So you'll be able
to tune your vintage radio into whatever you like!
In this connection, you may have noticed
I have recommended the Guild series of CDs on
the home page. I have no connection with this company
apart from having already amassed over 50 of their CDs
and being a very satisfied customer. These CDs consist
of collections of re-mastered original recordings of
Light Music - once often heard as radio and television
themes, newsreel film backgrounds, and television interludes.
This sort of music is full of melody, lush instrumental
texture and atmosphere - and it sounds great through
old radios! It also has to be said it's refreshingly
different and 'un-cool'. Today, increasing numbers of
people are rediscovering this wonderful, tuneful music
from the pre-pop era.
HOW CAN I LISTEN TO FM STATIONS
ON MY VINTAGE RADIO ?
see the next section.
HOW CAN I LISTEN TO DIGITAL (DAB) STATIONS ON MY VINTAGE
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio
is the latest way to listen to radio in the UK. This
way you can receive all the stations previously radiated
by FM (frequency modulation) and many more besides.
We now can supply a two-part package consisting of a
portable DAB+FM radio (also usable on its own)
and an AM Modulator obtained specially from the
USA but assembled here in the UK. This is widely considered
to be the best AM modulator available. You'll want for
nothing in sound quality and you'll be able to continue
using your vintage radio indefinitely into the future
The result is that you can now tune
any vintage radio in your house into your chosen FM
or digital (DAB) station. You can even have the same
station on several radios at once if you like !
No connection is needed to your set(s). You simply tune
in your selected FM or digital station just like any
other medium wave station.
your vintage radio! Be assured of high quality listening on Medium Wave for ever,
on any station, on all the radios in your house - regardless of what 'they' do
to the band.
complete three-part DAB+FM vintage radio adapter kit with power supply costs £249.00
including postage to anywhere in the UK and will set your mind at rest. This consists
of a modulator box, power supply, and a small DAB receiver.
kit can be used with any vintage radio, whether previously serviced by
us or not. You can either listen to digital or FM radio stations or plug your
CD player straight in - for your own choice in music. Performance is superb -
it uses the same compression (adjustable) and frequency characteristic of real
AM stations, for that totally authentic sound. This is the best solution for the
non-technical person who doesn't already have a digital radio to plug into the
if you already have a preferred source of signal or your own DAB radio receiver,
you can order the modulator box and its power supply alone for just £189.00
including UK postage. Delivery normally within 3 weeks. CLICK BELOW TO ORDER
FM/DAB PACKAGE c/w power supply: £279.00
WAVE GENERATOR BOX ONLY, c/w power supply: £199.00
RADIOCRAFT ordering page will open in a new window and this page will remain
UK orders only please. You will receive an acknowledgement email
a short while after your order has been received.
Your order will be expedited
urgently. The kits are imported and then built to special order. Please allow 28 days for delivery.
A second confirming email will be sent to you when despatch has taken place.
When ordering, you can either use a pre-existing PayPal account, or
simply pay using your credit card.
ABOUT THE 'OTHER' SORT OF DIGITAL RADIO (DRM) COMING ON AM ? WON'T THAT
SPOIL THINGS ?
Digital radio is being promoted as the next step in the development
of radio. Currently Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is available through various
means, including over the Band III VHF frequencies formerly used in the UK by
ITA for 405-line television. However there is also a scheme afoot to also
apply a related technique on 'our' AM (amplitude-modulated) long, medium, and
short wave bands. This would combine 'near-FM' standards of audio quality with
the international range associated with the current AM bands. The system is called
Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and is already being tested in Great Britain.
You can't receive DRM stations on vintage radios.
DRM stations will sound like a slight increase in background
hiss on traditional AM radios - that is, if you listen
for it. Incidentally, it's no longer looking so promising
for DRM as it was. DRM receivers are turning out to
be fussy to use and slow to recover when the signal
drops out. And with the increasing competition of 3G
and 4G mobile phone networks for data transfer and internet
radio, there's another nail in the coffin of DRM! It
seems likely traditional AM stations will remain present
on the medium waves for some years yet.
As regards the Short Waves, it is here that the most interference
might be found, though not from the DRM digital stations but from something much
worse - use of the National Grid for carrying broadband internet. This is an incredibly
leaky and inefficient way to do the job. With broadband coverage now approaching
saturation in the UK using more conventional means, here's hoping this horrible
technique will never be used !
The UK has pinned its digital hopes
on DAB (radiated on Band III VHF) fot the future of
domestic radio.The current plan is for AM and (national
coverage) FM stations to cease broadcasting by 2015.
However, many doubt this will happen.
ISN'T MEDIUM WAVE
AND VHF/FM RADIO NOW EFFECTIVELY FINISHED HAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY VINTAGE SET WHEN
IT GOES ?
The government is now encouraging the switch-off
of the AM and FM services by 2015 and their replacement with DAB (with sets ready
for DAB+, a more efficient form of DAB). At that time some ultra-low power local
stations are still to remain on FM. However because of the sheer numbers of AM
and FM radios in use and the reluctance of broadcasters to suddenly forfeit a
large chunk of their audience, this schedule is likely to prove hard to achieve.
But let's suppose it will actually happen. Even then, there
will doubtless still be many foreign stations to enjoy, so there is no need to
panic. But... you want to listen to British stations don't you ?
Still no problem; if you already have one of our FM/DAB outfits (see further up)
this issue won't concern you at all. Moreover we are also working on still
more solutions which will be in place long before then. Doubtless, by 2015 there
will be no problem at all in continuing to enjoy an old analogue radio if that's
what you want to do. And we hope you will...
DO I NEED TO OPERATE MY VINTAGE TELEVISION ?
televisions will only produce results from a long-obsolete type of television
signal. This means that not only is the picture made up of fewer 'lines' (405
instead of 625), but also the radio carrier wave used is of far lower frequency
than the one used today. So what's involved ?
must arrange an appropriate 405-line picture signal for the old set. This is generally
achieved by stepping down the modern 625-line signal down to 405-lines, through
the use of something called a standards converter.
the 405-line picture has to be carried into the set atop a radio carrier of the
appropriate frequency. This task is performed by a modulator.
excellent unit is available that combines a standards converter with a modulator.
This is called the Aurora
Apart from a source of programmes such as a DVD player or digibox, it's all you
need to get set up for 405 !
In addition, if you live within
the London M25 area (or even farther afield), there's now a distinct likelihood
that soon all you'll need to do is put an 'H' aerial on your chimney, plug in
your restored vintage set, and switch on! The BHTG
obtained a provisional licence to radiate 405-lines on Band I. The first test
transmissions took place in May and June 2011.
information on this topic, be sure to visit our own Vintage
Television site. or if you might prefer instead a modern 'retro' colour TV,
take a look at the Retrovisor. Please note these
are no longer in production though sometimes one can become available.
HOW HAS THE COST OF LIVING CHANGED SINCE THE DAYS OF
THE FIRST DOMESTIC ELECTRONICS?
You can find out - with this handy calculator !
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Main Street, Sedgeberrow, WR11 7UF, United Kingdom.