The British Library's Catalogue . . . was
the key to much of the information on this site. NEWS AND LINKS
Work continues to fill in the gaps in the material on this site - please visit regularly to stay up to date on progress.   And of course, there wouldn't be a News page without YOUR news and comments - keep them coming!   News items initially posted here will be incorporated into other pages later if appropriate.   News more than about a year old can be found on the News Archive page, accessible from this page.   Also on this page: links to sites of those who have helped, and to other sites of interest.

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.
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.
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News Archive.
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1 July 2018   John Pugh's Studio ‘E’ One-valver

John Pugh's Studio 'E' one-valver, top view.
Yet another Studio ‘E’ set - to my knowledge this brings the total to four built since the rediscovery of the BBC leaflet.   John Pugh has sent me pictures of his nicely made set.
He writes:
This is my attempt at recreating a long past memory.   Unfortunately, the coil is a Repanco DRR2 - I still cannot find the Teletron!   Other parts came from my junk box - sorry, I mean items in stock.   The Jackson caps are original, as is the valve, a DAF96.
The set is powered by an AA cell for LT, and a mains “Battery Eliminator” for HT of 64 volts.   It works fine, although there is a distinct lack of MW stations now.   Like your comment on your own set, reaction control is a little deficient at the LF end.   Please keep up your good work on your website.

Thanks to John for sending his pictures, which now appear on the YOUR DAVEY SETS page.   He may not have found the Teletron coil (keep looking!), but he has found some genuine wander sockets – very hard to find these days.   I wouldn’t mind betting that quite a few Studio ‘E’ sets were built with the Repanco coil and a wavechange switch – other coils were available in 1957, including the Repanco.   This coil has no aerial winding, but does have a long-wave winding.   John has shorted out the long-wave winding (blue to black) with a view to an experiment later.   Intriguing - I look forward to hearing about this.

Other recent news News up to around a year old follows.   Please see News Archive page for older items, including those relating to Gilbert Davey's death in April 2011.

9 May 2018
News from Down Under
Hello Les,   It is good to see you active again with the site.   As it turns out, we just had a meeting of the Crystal Set and TRF Constructors Group at my place recently.   The Group is a sub-group of the Historical Wireless Society of South East Queensland.   One of the sets that we played with was the Two Valve Set of mine that is featured on your site.   It aroused considerable interest, and a number of members left with all the construction details.   I was able to introduce about 10 members to Gilbert Davey and your site.   The meeting also fired up my desire to build more Davey sets.
As an aside, have you noticed the incredible prices that are being asked for Fun with . . . books on the web?   I have at least one and sometimes two different editions of each of Davey’s books.   I thank my lucky stars that I bought them when prices were sensible.   All the best, Dan Bedford, Brisbane, Australia.
PS: I notice that Graeme Zimmer (Zim) follows your activities and has enlightened you about the AM MW radio situation downunder.
[See below.]   Zim is a wiz with the ultra hi-tech computer radio wizardry!
Thanks for your message, Dan.   I’m enjoying looking at the Historical Wireless Society web site – some fantastic looking sets on there!   Well done for spreading the word about GWD and my site at your meeting!   I look forward to hearing about any new Davey sets you or your co-members decide to build.
Yes, the prices of Davey’s books have certainly gone way up – I often wonder if my site is the cause of it??!
You obviously know of Graeme Zimmer – have the two of you met?   He often gives very helpful and informative comments on the web site.
Yes, I know Graeme but only in this cyber world.   We communicate and share PDFs of old radio books from time to time.
Thanks to Dan for this news - stand by for some new Davey sets from Oz!

19 April 2018
A workmanlike one-valver
from Australia
In August, Peter Munro from near Melbourne, Australia, sent me pictures of his very workmanlike Davey one-valver.   This now appears on the YOUR DAVEY SETS page.   Peter wrote:
In 1979, I wanted to build a one-valve radio, but I was advised to build a one-transistor radio.   About ten years ago I came across Fun With Electronics at a book sale, and built the one-valve radio a few years ago.   I recently pulled it out again to replace the regeneration capacitor I had stolen.   I don’t know why I used 90 volts HT.
Peter's set is based on the version published in Fun with Electronics, 2nd edition, 1972.   The home-made coil has aerial, grid (medium wave) and reaction windings.   I like the nice chunky brass terminals!
Peter powered the set initially using ten PP3s in a plywood box for HT, and a single 'C' cell for LT.   He was a bit disappointed with the set's performance, and thought at first that it may have been because he was using a transformer to drive low-impedance headphones.   Trials with a high impedance earphone were no better, with not many stations to be found on medium wave, but Peter intended to try some high-impedance headphones.
These one-valvers usually do very well with a reasonable length of aerial, and Peter's 90-volt supply should have allowed the set to be brought easily to the sensitive point of just failing to oscillate.   I wondered whether the posiition in Australia was the same as in the UK, with broadcasters deserting the medium wave band.   Following the May 2018 site update, my correspondent Graeme Zimmer (also in Australia) advised that there is still plenty to listen to on medium wave there.
Hi Les, Great to hear from you as always, and nice to read the updates on your site.   Just a note on your comments re Peter Munro's set: Unlike Europe, the AM band is still healthy in Australia.   Still hundreds of stations on every channel from 531 to 1701 Khz. Regards, Zim VK3GJZ.
Graeme attached a screenshot of the band at night from his software-defined radio, which shows a well-populated band.   Also, the time of day can make a great difference on medium-wave.
I told Peter about this, and he has now tried his high-impedance headphones.   Results were much better, even with HT reduced to 45 volts, with about five stations coming in.   He does, however, have trouble with breakthrough from a Chinese language station 2 kilometers from his home, radiating at 5 kilowatts.
Peter has been hunting for a one-transistor radio circuit to build (as originally advised!), and I gently suggested that simple transistor sets with crystal detector front ends are very unselective, so they can disappoint, compared with a simple one-valver with reaction.   Nevertheless, I will be most interested to hear if Peter does build a Davey transistor set.
My apologies to him for the delay in putting his set on to the site.   I have recently been able to draw back somewhat from the charity work that has limited my spare time, so I hope it won't be too long before the next update.

Earlier News: Please see News Archive page for news more than about a year old, including items relating to Gilbert Davey's death in April 2011.

Links to those who have helped:
(Links in this and following
sections were last checked
on 11 JUNE 2018.)
Sites marked * have kindly added links to this site - my thanks go to their Webmasters.
BBC Written Archives Centre has assisted with documents, information and copyright permissions on BBC material.
British Library is the gateway to the British Library's vast resources.   Under "Catalogues and Collections", select "Explore the Main Catalogue".   Anyone can use the Catalogues, but you have to sign up as a Reader to see books etc.   The catalogues are sometimes awkward to use, but they were the key to much of the information on this site.
Kelly Books   Source for two 1950s copies of Radio Times.   Many other vintage backnumbers in stock.
Practical Wireless   Under their previous owners (PW Publishing Ltd), Practical Wireless published my tribute to Gilbert Davey, and gave me permissions and much help in making available images of his pre-war articles.   The magazine is now owned by Warners Group.   Their online radio bookstore at handles subscriptions and orders for archived issues (back to 1965) on searchable CDs.
Maurice Woodhead's extensive site covers circuits, component data, restoration etc.   The details of the Teletron HAX coil pointed to the probable identity of my similar 50s-vintage one-valver coil.
UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Forum   Hundreds of discussion threads on all aspects of vintage radio and audio.   The BBC 1-valver! thread was one important inspiration for this project.

Other sites for radio and tv - history, restoration, resources:   British Vintage Wireless Society - events, auctions, resources, and a beautifully produced Bulletin for members.   The Society also caters for vintage television interests.   Paul Stenning's archive of component and servicing data, vintage radio documents, and vintage technology books.   Currently raises an internet threat warning on my PC.   Lorne Clark's site, with good theory pages, and an excellent page on electrical safety.   * Mike Smith's site, now archived, but a vast eclectic radio technology and history resource.   "Grandad" tells "Junior" about vintage technology - reel-to-reel tape recorders, radiograms, telephones with dials that you dial . . .   Beautifully written.   A charming French video showing the step-by-step manufacture of a triode valve in a "cottage-industry" way that makes you feel you could do it too!   Richard Booth's repair service for vintage radios and amplifiers, "Junk Shop" for new and salvaged spares, and a growing resource of tuning dial images.   * Site belonging to Tony Thompson, author of Vintage Radios.   An ample resource for anyone interested in any aspect of vintage radio.   Martin Kempton’s excellent site with a wealth of information on current and past TV studios.   * Terry Guntrip's cornucopia of vintage tv entertainment, programmes and milestones, with many movies and audio clips.   Hours of fun!   Visit Terry's companion site for vintage radio entertainment memories, facts and clips.   Interview with Vera McKechnie recalling her early career including her time on the Studio ‘E’ programme.   British Pathe's youtube archive of films on numerous topics - but search "wireless" for radio topics, or "cycle radio" for two cycle radios!

See also CONSTRUCTION RESOURCES page for links to component suppliers and other sources of useful information.

Sites relating to the
Boy's Own Paper:   Informative pages on Boy's Own Paper and Boy's Own Annual.   Phil Stevensen-Payne's "Galactic Central" site with extensive indexes of children's books, comics and magazines.   Steve Holland's site, British Juvenile Story Papers and Pocket Libraries index, operates as a satellite of "Galactic Central", and lists the contents of many editions of Boy's Own Paper.

Webmasters: If you would like to add mutual links, please let me know.   If you want to use the "Valve" logo (copyright ©) that heads each of these pages, don't use the transparent GIF image, which can look tatty on other colour backgrounds.   Ask me to send you my non-transparent JPG image.