Steam Radio at G4OBK

I thought I would share this short video with SOTA operators that I made a few weeks ago, when I fired up an old Cossor domestic radio which I have in my shack:

Link: Steam Radio

73 Phil G4OBK


Nice - I can remember playing around with and “improving” those types of sets when I was a lot younger. Did I see Mullard valves in there?

73 Ed.

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Not sure Ed - I will check the next time I remove the back, waiting a while though as I may invalidate the guarantee hihi!

Not into repairing valve radios myself but I enjoy the channel of David Tipton from Australia a lot.

Great repair skills and a humor that I enjoy a lot. Maybe a recommendation for long winter days.

73, Joe

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Originally would have come with Cossor own brand valves Ed. Cossor had its own valve manufacturing division before selling it off mid-50s.

I’ve never seen a domestic Cossor radio or TV in the flesh, my only exposure is to old scopes and assorted military gear.

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Brings back memories … repaired and used

one of these using a signal generator as a BFO when I first started as a SWL in the 70’s.
Radio is long gone now.



French station is RTL Radio on 234 kHz


These old radios brought me to amateur radio.
I was fascinated by the magic eye tube, the engraved broadcasting cities and the sounds that came up when you cranked over the different shortwave ranges.
When I was 10 or 12 years old, I secretly listened to stations from far away broadcasting in German language at night. I wrote reception reports and waited eagerly for the qsl cards.
…since then the virus has infected me.

73 Armin


It was the same for me. My parents owned a Marconi T38A in the early 1960s and tuning around I heard a few AM stations on the miniscule section between 7.0 and 7.1. As they say, the rest is history. :grin:

The old radios had a wider frequency range …and if you turned the pointer to the very edge, you could (in Germany) listen to the frequencies of the police radio. The repeaters transmitted between 85 - 87,5 MHz
There was not much going on… of course this was forbidden and therefore exciting… :blush:

73 Armin

You certainly did Ed, B8G Loctals by the look of it. They didn’t last long, soon replaced by the miniature B8A types.

6V6G it seems was one of them:

Well spotted Ed! It’s a 6V6GT actually - a small bulbed version of the curvaceous 6V6G. I’d not noticed the bakelite base, compared to the metal bands of the other valves. Maybe the B8G version wasn’t available and the manufacturer substituted, or perhaps a service replacement because the original valve couldn’t be obtained.

Edit - this casts further light

It appears the Loctal version of the radio was made with variants having either the B8G type 7C5 or IO equivalent 6V6GT for the output valve!

Phil, you have fired up a load of old memories, thank you!

I can’t remember what our family radio was, back in the 50’s, but it had two short wave bands. It might have been an Ekco, I remember it had IO jamjars in it! I wanted a radio of my own so bought a one valve battery operated kit, and built it with a plumbers soldering iron. buying batteries just ate up my pocket money! One day I tuned below the bottom of the medium wave on it and heard my first radio amateurs on Top Band AM. This led me to being a SWL, and I explored the short waves on the family radio, discovering the 15m band which at that time was full of strong South American hams, and I was hooked!

I’d like to find a vintage receiver with the large IO tubes (or even the older 4-pin bases) to renovate: I remember with pleasure that the insides of radios in those days had a distinct aroma that you don’t get in modern radios, perhaps I’m too old to detect it now!

My early memory of such radios, as a young teenager, was finding out what 300 Vdc felt like, while finger tweaking a philips beehive trimmer in what turned out to be an anode circuit :crazy_face:
Amateur radio came later, but this lesson was very useful when it came to building big amplifiers!

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I’m a little younger than some of you guys, and therefore my introduction to radio was a little later. But the trajectory of the fascination looks broadly similar!

I requested - and received a clock radio for my 8th birthday. Soon I was tuning away from Radio 2 and discovering Piccadilly Radio and Radio Luxembourg.


In my teens I began making lists of what stations I could receive, adding shortwave to my coverage - though I had no idea that my niche personal interest might be shared by others.


That was until I heard “DX Programmes” about this on the English services of shortwave broadcast stations - Radio Budapest, Radio Berlin International, Radio Netherlands (Media Network with Jonathan Marks), HCJB (DX Party-Line), Radio Sweden (Sweden Calling DXers), Swiss Radio International (Swiss Shortwave Merry-go-Round) etc.

An unlicensed shortwave station called Radiofax fascinated me - did anyone else hear it?

I guess the main difference between me and most others on here is that even after starting to listen to the radio amateurs, I remained as a content dedicated SWL for the next 15 years. It wasn’t until I received an invitation onto the STELAR Teachers’ Crash Course in 2001 that I even considered getting licensed.

SOTA launched the folllwing year, and instrumental in that was a friend I’d made on that course - Alan @M1EYO - who got in touch and successfully “sold” SOTA to me.

Then 18 years went by in the blink of an eye…


Don’t they just!


I too was hit by the nostalgia virus in 2013 … no big deal, just to see a filament glow again after many years, hi.


Quite stimulating, as I recall :grinning:

Not as lively as the 800 volts on my old 70cm transmitter!

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