Gilbert Davey suggested some quite
rough-and-ready construction methods,
such as bending a metal chassis on the
back step! CONSTRUCTION RESOURCES
This page was formerly called "Your Studio ‘E’ Rebuild", and carried information and suggestions specially relevant to the Studio ‘E’ one-valver.   But much of this content is likely to be useful for many other Davey designs, or indeed many radio projects in general.   So, in step with the ongoing expansion of this site to cover Gilbert Davey's wider work, the page has been re-written and will be added to over the course of time as useful information and sources are found.   This page now includes two designs for tuning coils: a versatile Davey medium/long-wave coil (first published in Boy's Own Paper and reproduced here by kind permission of Lutterworth Press), and a simpler medium-wave-only coil.


Welcome and introduction,
contact details, disclaimer,
rights notice, BVWS link,
site map.
The man who introduced radio
construction to several generations
of boys, many of whom became radio
or communications professionals.
The history of the famous
one-valve circuit, 1948-78.
The Studio 'E' 1-valver and
the Focus Transistor radio:
downloads for these famous
designs, and lots more!
A growing resource for those who
built Davey designs years ago, or who
simply wish to know more about them.
Davey sets built by contributors -
including designs that could have been
lost but for some prolonged detective work.
(This page)
Two home-made coils to use in place of the all-too-scarce
commercial types, suppliers for other components, and
other sources of useful information.
Latest news, links to other sites of interest,
and news archive.
Hover your mouse over the
navigation buttons above for
brief page contents.
Pages marked  >  give access to
one or more subsidiary pages -
see also Site Map at bottom
of WELCOME page.
Controllable daylight,
good general artificial light,
adjustable task light(s)
    Site author's small electronics work area.

Gilbert Davey was writing for young readers who often lacked all but the most basic tools and equipment, and so never set higher standards of workmanship for beginners than he thought they could reasonably achieve.   Although he stressed the need for sound soldered joints and reasonable care in wiring layout when necessary, he suggested some quite rough-and-ready construction methods to use if the ideal tools were not to hand, such as chain-drilling holes for valveholders and chiselling out the scrap with a hammer and screwdriver, or bending a metal chassis on the back step!   Success in achieving a working set was the first concern; a polished final appearance was a lower priority.

If you want to spend significant amounts of time building or restoring sets, you will want better than basic facilities, and they will repay their cost in increased pleasure and comfort while working, and a higher standard of end-result.   Below are some ideas to consider when setting up a work area. The main information section follows.

Please note:
It is your own responsibility to ensure that you work safely and that equipment (especially mains-operated sets or power supplies for battery sets) is soundly built and adequately housed.   If you are in any doubt about your understanding of the information given or referred to on this page or about your ability to work safely, you should seek the help of a qualified person.


* a work surface at a height suitable to sit at, with small vice.   The Stanley Multi-angle Hobby Vice is worth a look - see http://www.stanleytools.co.uk/product/159659;
* power sockets sufficient for soldering iron(s), task lighting, equipment under test, mains-operated test gear if used (protection by a residual current device should be considered a necessity);
* good lighting: controllable daylight, good general artificial light, adjustable task light(s);
* an adjustable magnifying glass or magnifier light;
* adequate heating - one can get very cold sitting at an absorbing task;
* storage for components;
* soldering iron(s) in safety stand, with sponge for cleaning bits;
* cored solder, desoldering braid or pump, sprung heat sink such as "Lady Jayne" hair clip;
* basic test gear: analogue or digital multimeter, continuity tester;
* aerial and earth for AM reception, FM aerial;
* tools: a basic kit might comprise screwdrivers, pliers (electrician's and pointed), small side-cutters, wire stripper, files (including warding files), junior hacksaw.


I have not used all the suppliers mentioned in the following table, but those I have used gave me good or satisfactory service.   However I cannot accept responsibilty if you receive unsatisfactory service; please pursue any complaint with the supplier.   All are UK-based.   Items are in aphabetical order.

Battery:
 
  As the old combined HT/LT types are no longer obtainable, many constructors make up replicas, with rechargeable batteries inside cases carring colour scans of the old covers.   See www.the-thompson-brown-family.co.uk/batteries/batteriesframe.htm   In the left-hand navigation, under "Valve", there are battery case scans - these are copyright, for non-profit use only.
 
Battery eliminator:
 
  A design for a self-build mains-powered eliminator can be downloaded at http://www.vintage-radio.com/projects/battery-set-psu.html.
 
Battery plug, HT/LT, 4-pin:   I have never seen these on sale anywhere except at the National Vintage Communications Fair (q.v.).   For connection details, see www.the-thompson-brown-family.co.uk/batteries/batteriesframe.htm (in the left-hand navigation, under "Batteries", see "Some battery info" - the centre image shows B114 socket connections, size, voltages.
 
British Vintage Wireless Society:   The British Vintage Wireless Society has 1700 members throughout the world who share practical, historical or technical interests in vintage radio and television.   A beautifully-produced Bulletin is published four times a year, containing articles on all facets of the subject, Society news, and details of events.   These include swapmeets and auctions held in various parts of the country, and the National Vintage Communications Fair (q.v.).   The Society produces DVDs containing archive films of technical and general interest, and members can purchase a range of fixed capacitors suited to restoration work.
 
Capacitors, variable:
 
  Many air-dielectric types are usually to be found on ebay, but the solid-dielectric types are getting hard to find.   Until recently, Mailine Group offered new "Dilecon" solid-dielectric capacvitors, but their site has disappeared.   Hopefully this signifies only a temporary problem.
 
Capacitors, fixed:   Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society (q.v.) can buy from a range of small-value and electrolytic capacitors.   Vintage types often appear on ebay.
 
Coil, medium/long wave,
to Davey design
(Boy's Own Paper, Jan 1961):
 
If made as well as the example pictured
here, it will enhance any set!
This versatile coil has aerial, medium-wave, long-wave and reaction windings.   Like most homebrew coils, this is a bulky item at around 4 inches high and 2 3/4 inches diameter.   But this genuine Davey design is a worthy substitute for the commercially-made coils (Teletron D/R, Repanco DRR2) which gradually went out of production in the 1960s and 1970s.   If made as well as the example pictured here, it will enhance any set!   This one was kindly made for me by Hugh Castellan, whose own version of the Davey triode one-valver (see YOUR DAVEY SETS) uses the same coil design.   I look forward to using this splendid coil in a Davey design in due course.

The design for this coil was first described in the January 1961 edition of Boy's Own Paper, and subsequent editions described its use in transistor and one-valve sets.   The one-valver circuit diagram and components list are included in the download; the circuit diagram has been corrected (April 2014) for two errors recently spotted.

By kind permission of Lutterworth Press, the PDF download below carries full details of this coil, and is available for your personal non-commercial use.   Please also read the copyright notice on the WELCOME page.   If you wish to pass it on to a friend, please send a link to this web page.   He will then have access to the viewing and printing suggestions as below.

The download contains:

* the full January 1961 BOP article, including a crystal circuit using the coil;
* one-valver circuit diagram and components list from the June 1961 edition;
* notes on the design and its publishing history.


Davey LW/MW coil, A4 PDF file PDF file:   (You need Acrobat Reader installed on your PC.)   File size is 3Mb, and a broadband connection is recommended.

Click the icon to download the PDF file.   If Acrobat Reader opens within your browser, use the "Back" button to return to this page when download is complete.   If Acrobat Reader opens in a separate window, close that window to return to this page.

Images and text are positioned so that when printed on one sheet of A4 paper, the sheet can be folded to form an A5 leaflet.   Some enhancement has been applied to parts of the images to increase legibility.   The BOP images are sized at around 85% (linear) of true size.


Coil, Teletron D/R,
home-made substitute:
  When I came to rebuild my Studio ‘E’ one-valver, I was fortunate in having kept many of the components that went into my original set.   Of these, the Teletron coil is the hardest to find these days, so here are details of the home-made coil which I tried out in my "conjectural" set, built before the Studio ‘E’ leaflet came to light.   It is simpler and less bulky than the Davey-designed coil above, but in common with the Teletron D/R coil for which it is intended as a direct substitute, it only offers medium-wave reception.

This is a medium-wave-only coil, to
match the function of the Teletron coil.
    Experimental Teletron D/R substitute coil, after adding extra turns to the reaction winding.



This coil was inspired by the one described for the first (February 1948) version of the Beginner's One-valver, but took account, using other published data, of the wire I had to hand.   It was then altered as described below, in the light of trials on my set.

The coil former is a 2-inch diameter cardboard tube from kitchen roll, the same diameter as a toilet-roll tube, but more to hold on to (the surplus length can be cut off on completion).   There are three windings (to replicate the Teletron coil), all of 26swg enamelled copper wire.   All windings are close-wound, and all in the same direction – on my coil they form "right-hand threads", spiralling clockwise and away from the viewer looking from above.   I included tappings as below for experiment, formed by twisting a small loop in the wire at the completion of a turn, and then continuing winding.   These loops were scraped clean of enamel when the coil was finished.

During winding, the supply reel was placed on a screwdriver held vertically in the vice so that it could turn freely, minimising the possibility of kinking the wire.   At the beginning of each winding, a pair of small holes about 1/4” apart was punched through the tube with a needle, about 9” of wire was threaded through (in one hole, out the other) for connection, then turns wound on as below.   When each winding was complete, the wire was cut to leave another 9” for connection, two more holes were punched, and the wire threaded in and out.   The gaps between windings are about 1/4”.   The windings are:

Reaction (top), 30 turns initially.   After trials I added a further 8 turns at the top, leaving the original start as a tapping at the 8th turn of a 38-turn winding.
Tuning (centre), 65 turns, with tappings at the 55th and 60th turns;
Aerial (bottom), 20 turns, with tappings at the 10th and 15th turns.

The drawing sums up these details.

The numbers in quotes correspond to the 
tag numbering on the Teletron coil.


The numbers in quotes correspond to the tag numbering on the Teletron coil.   The destination of each connection is given for the Studio ‘E’ one-valver.   Note that for this set, connections "2" and "4" are stripped of enamel for a short distance (say 3/8”) where they leave the former, and are then twisted together and soldered.   This forms the grounded connection between the aerial and tuning windings, with two long leads from the junction.

To mount the coil to the chassis, I made a hardwood block, about 1 3/8” wide and 1/2” thick, with curved ends for a push-fit inside the former, and drilled fixing holes.   With this block bolted to the chassis, the coil slips over it.   Take care that the block does not foul the end of the aerial winding where the wire is inside the former.

After trials, I found that the full complement of turns on both the aerial and tuning windings worked best, so the tappings on these were redundant.   With the reaction winding as first made, I found that reaction was rather less lively than with the Teletron coil, so I wound on the 8 extra turns as stated.   Using all 38 turns, performance seemed to be about the same as with the Teletron coil, although I could not of course make instantaneous comparisons.   The tapping so formed was therefore also redundant.

If you are using the same gauge of wire and don’t want to experiment, you can just make the coil with the full number of turns (38, 65, 20), without the tappings.   If you use a different gauge of wire, you may need to experiment with the number of turns for each winding.   You may also want to consider painting the completed coil with clear polyurethane varnish, to strengthen the former and fix the windings in place.

My correspondent David Green has copied this coil - without the tappings - on his own "conjectural" Studio ‘E’ set (commenced before the leaflet came to light), and has achieved good results - see YOUR DAVEY SETS.   I have not tried this coil on my new Studio ‘E’ rebuild (see My Studio ‘E’ Rebuild), but I have no reason to doubt that it would perform equally well in this set.

Note: If you follow the Studio ‘E’ leaflet's layout, the coil will go on the left of the set as seen from the front.   The leaflet shows the valve mounted centrally in the slot, but in order to place this large home-made coil in the correct position, it would be necessary to shift the valve well to the right as seen from the front of the set.
 
Components, vintage:   Geoff Davies Radio, (tel: 01788 574774, email: geoffdavies (at) fsmail dot net) sells a good selection of valves, vintage components, sundries and radio books.   He also often has interesting items of equipment that could serve as projects in their own right.   No web site, but you can subscribe to his monthly list.
 
Control Knobs:   The annual National Vintage Communications Fair (q.v.) is a useful source, as also is ebay.
 
ebay:   http://www.ebay.co.uk/   What would we do without ebay?   You can find just about anything on ebay if you keep looking, and I have had extraordinarily good service from many sellers who understand what they are selling.   Some sellers do not.   In the case of components, this often means that the seller is unable to say whether the item is in working order.   For books, there is often no information about which edition of a work is on sale, or (worse) incorrect information.   Caveat emptor!
 
Headphones:
 
  These always seem to be on offer on ebay, but sellers sometimes don't understand what they are selling and have not tested them.   It can take several attempts to buy a satisfactory pair, and knowledgeable sellers such as those at the National Vintage Communications Fair (q.v.) may be a safer bet.   Test a pair by putting them on, and connecting a 1.5v cell across the leads; a healthy crackle should result.
 
Maplin:   http://www.maplin.co.uk   Vast range of modern components, electronic equipment, test gear and sundries.
 
National Vintage
Communications Fair:
  http://www.nvcf.org.uk/   Held every May at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, and open to all, this one-day event staged by the British Vintage Wireless Society (q.v.) must be one of the best opportunities to buy vintage equipment, parts and reference material.
 
Resistors:   Several ebay suppliers have stocks of vintage "new old stock" resistors.
 
Sleeving:   The old yellow "Systoflex" sleeving seems to be available no longer.   I made vintage-look sleeving by stripping out the centre strands from white nylon pull-cord, then painting it with knotting varnish.   Geoff Davies Radio (q.v.) stocks 2mm bore black vintage-look sleeving, useful when you want to cover a joint mid-way along a wire run, but rather big for general use.
 
Tufnol sheet:   www.directplasticsonline.co.uk stock Tufnol sheet in a variety of grades and thicknesses.   The modern equivalent of Paxolin.
 
UK Vintage Radio Repair and
Restoration Forum:
  http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/index.php   Invaluable source of information and advice on all aspects of vintage radio.   Threads detailing useful suppliers, components and equipment wanted or on offer, basic and not-so-basic technical issues.   Some very funny and entertaining threads too!
 
Valve data:   The National Valve Museum at http://www.r-type.org/index.htm is a "virtual" collection of valve data, photos and articles covering theory and practice.   Another good source of valve info is http://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/.
 
Valves:   Most types still seem to be available as "new old stock" via ebay.
 
Valveholders:   From ebay sellers, Geoff Davies Radio (see Components, vintage), or at the National Vintage Communications Fair (q.v.).
 
Wander plugs and
socket strips:
  Paired wander sockets seem to be hard to find now.   See My Studio ‘E’ Rebuild for how I fabricated my own from 1/16" Tufnol and sheet brass.   Maplin (q.v.) stock modern single equivalents.
 
Wire, connecting:   Tinned copper wire can be salvaged from old stranded house-wiring cable.   Other alternatives are 15 amp fuse wire (expensive, though), or insulated equipment wire from Maplin (q.v.).
 
Wood screws:   Brass screws are good to use where appearance is important, but it is always a good idea to form the thread in the wood with an equivalent steel screw first, so as to avoid the risk of shearing-off the brass screw.
 

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Suppliers do change their lines, so please check with them before ordering.   I would be glad to receive your contributions (suppliers, sources, ideas, dodges) for inclusion on this page.