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PHILIPS 838U

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Front View [16K]

  • 1935
  • LW and MW wavebands
  • T.R.F. with (primative) AVC.
  • 4 Valves (VP13, SP13, PEN26 and CY1) plus baretter type C1
  • A.C./D.C. Mains
  • 9 19s 6d
NOTES One of the Philips "Super Inductance" range and one of the last TRF designs produced by Philips. Philips had stuck to the traditional TRF design whilst all around manufacturers were jumping onto the superhet bandwaggon. They finally succumed to the superhet in late 1934 when they introduced their model 588

At the time, radio station frequencies were always changing meaning that those few sets, such as this one, that had printed station names would quickly become out of date. To get around this, the station names have been printed onto cellophane which can be slid up under the dial surround and may thus be "easily" replaced.

Valve Piccy [5K]At last, I've actually come across a set that uses that odd side-contact style of valve bases. Its also the first set I've come across that utilises only half-wave mains rectification. Another weird thing is the volume control ; it works by varying the gain of the first RF valve.

Dial Drive ArrangementsAn unusual feature of this set is the rather unusual tuning dial drive arrangements. The control knob friction-drives the semicircular "thing" attatched to the tuning capacitor spindle. The pulley wheel drives a steel (?) belt around a number of pulleys. A pip on the belt slides into a slot on the front dial pointer assembly, allowing the chassis to be slid out without having to disconnect the dial pointer.

(Is it just me or does that chassis pic look like the engine out of a VW Beetle?)

Check out the size of the dial illumination bulb! (just left of center in above chassis view). The heat from this beast has caused the cellophane station name sheet to wrinkle.

SERVICE DATA A copy of the "Trader" service sheet, dated March 7th 1936, was on CD#1.
CURRENT STATE The wood looks rather good in the photos. However the finish really has had it so the set will need refinishing, thought the veneer and underlying plywood is very sound.

At first, I thought the permanent magnet loudspeaker plus "mains transformer" audio output transformer weren't original, but thanks to the many people that pointed out that they are correct !

On the underside of the set are two wodden strips that look as though the were meant to retain perhaps an instruction sheet that could be slid in and out. Can anyone confirm this, or indeed provide me with a copy ?
WHERE FOUND Another donation from Richard, in exchange for bunging a few caps and some wire and polishing a few valves in a Bush VHF41.

Rear view [14K]


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J.Evans 2000,2001
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THE 1930 RADIO GALLERY
Last updated
23rd November 2001