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PHILCO "Five Star Baby Grand"

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Front View [20K]

  • 1933
  • LW and MW Superhet
  • 5 Valves (Philco types 42, 75, 78, 6A7 plus 80 rectifier)
  • A.C. Mains
  • Original cost 14 14s (later reduced to 12 12s)
NOTES This set dates from the heyday of Philco design, which had started in 1930 with their first "Cathedral" style of set until they moved down-market in 1939 with cheaper sets in plain cabinets.

The set includes a somewhat crude tone control, which is simply a capacitor switched across the anode and cathode of the output valve.

An unusual feature of this set is that the double diodes in the '75' valve are simply wired in parallel whereas any sane person would use one for demodulation and the other for AVC. Apparently this is quite a common arrangement in American designs.

A printed paper label attatched inside the cabinet indicates that whilst the chassis, identified as a model number 260, was made in Canada, but the cabinet was made in England. The book "Radio! Radio!" goes on to say that the cabinet was made by the firm Carrington Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

A useful site for Philco related information is at PhilcoRadio.Com. Also there is a recently published book "Philco Radio, 1928-1942" by Ron Ramirez and Michael Prosise, ISBN 0-88740-547-9, though the book only seems to cover the American sets and omits anything to do with sets for the British (European?) market.
SERVICE DATA I got a copy of "Trader" service sheet 610 from a little old shop in Birmingham (Centre Electronics, tel 0121 706 0261).

The circuit and layout of the chassis looks remarkably similar to the model 263 of 1934 but utilising a mains transformer instead of the mains dropper resistor of the AC/DC model 263. The model 263 also had a better tone control (a selection of capacitors across the output valve!) and a tuning indicator
CURRENT STATE Complete but a little scruffy. The original electrolytic capacitors (the humungous great cans on the chassis) arn't actually connected, replaced by what looks like even older capacitors !!!

Two of the valves are replaced by Mullard alternatives (the '75' by a 6Q7G and the '80' by a 5Y3G). They are clearly not the same pin-out as the originals and are fitted via what are probably D.I.Y adapters.

The grill cloth needs replacing, but unfortunately seems to have been sandwiched between two plywood boards with no obvious easy way to seperate them.

The somewhat tired cabinet has responded well to some Mr Sheen Scratch Cover and a little polish. Immaculate? No, but there is now a lovely warm shine to the set and it looks good enough to display.
WHERE FOUND In a second hand shop for 50.

Chassis View [15K]

Page copyright
J.Evans 2000-2002
Last updated
6th May 2002