Foreign Sets

Being based in the UK it is inevitable that the vast majority of the sets I encounter are of UK origin. The few sets I have encountered from overseas are either from manufacturers already covered or are one-offs.

Rather than cluttering the website with pages that are only ever likely to contain one set, I have decided to put all the foreign sets together on one page. Please note that this is not intended to suggest a derisory attitude to these sets, it is simply a way of keeping some sort of order to what is predominantly a British website, without ignoring the other interesting sets which I occasionally encounter.

Ian D Edwards said:

True to form the Russians/East Germans made valve sets after everyone else had moved to solid-state designs and produced them into the early seventies - lavishly polished cabinets with badly made printed circuit chassis are the norm. Unitra was one of the main brands.

Kaige 455C

Wavebands - SW, MW

Valves - Unknown

Date - Mid 1960s ?

Status - No longer in my collection (sold to Steve Pendlebury)

This interesting set came from a Radiophile auction, and cost �4.

The set was made in China, probably in the mid 60s, and has MW and SW wavebands. The tuning scale and rear panel are marked in both Chinese and English. The valves are a mix of 7-pin and 9-pin types having American part numbers and Chinese markings. All appear to be the originals.

The set was in working order and I had to do nothing to it. A pervious repairer had replaced an electrolytic smoothing capacitor beneath the chassis. The cabinet was rather scratched and battered, and the speaker fabric was tatty. I have now sold the set to a friend who has a much larger collection and was looking for some unusual items to add.

Saba Freudenstadt FD16 (with stereo decoder)

Wavebands - SW, MW, LW, VHF

Valves - 7 valves

Date - Early 1965

Status - Contributed photo and description

Brian Millson provided the photograph and the following description:

Saba is the Mercedes Benz of German radios and the sets are much sought after. This model dates from 1965 and has a stereo decoder. It is a 7 valve LW/MW/SW/VHF set and the VHF goes up to 104 MHz, but the tuning rod may be replaced so it will go to 108 MHz. There are 4 internal speakers and 2 external speakers. This is my favourite set and it has pride of place in the sitting room. I bought it on the German eBay site and it cost me about £100. It has both 3 pin and 5 pin DIN inputs for Pickup.

Unitra D-401

Wavebands - SW, MW, LW

Valves - ECH81, EF89, ECL86, Met Rect, Germanium Diode

Date - 1970

Status - In my collection

I obtained this interesting Polish set for a few pounds at a recent NVCF. Inside is a manufacturers label giving a date, presumably of manufacture or final test, of "7 Grod 1970". The smoothing cap is also marked "08.70", and similar codes appear on other components.

The valves are probably the originals - two are branded "Telam" and the other is "Tesla". The set is built on a PCB, while the mains transformer, rectifier, tuning capacitor etc. are mounted on metal plates. These are all fixed to the cabinet base, which is made from a rigid black plastic. A hardboard panel on the underside of the base allows access to the bottom of the PCB. The remainder of the cabinet is veneered chipboard. The waveband switch is on the side of the cabinet, and drives a linkage, which operates the switch contacts on the PCB.

I have not yet tested it, but would expect it to work with little or no repairs being required. Everything looks to be in good order, and there are no wax-paper capacitors to cause problems.

Steve Pendlebury's restoration of a D-401 is in the Recent Repairs section.

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No part of this website may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from Paul Stenning.
All details are believed to be accurate, but no liability can be accepted for any errors.
The types of equipment discussed on this website may contain high voltages and/or operate at high temperatures.
Appropriate precautions must always be taken to minimise the risk of accidents.

Last updated 14th April 2006.