Roberts are probably more known for their transistor sets than their valve sets. They have a reputation for quality which, generally, they live up to. Some of their transistor sets made in the 1980s were not so good - but this is unlikely to be of interest to visitors to this site!

Roberts are one of the few companies that are still willing and able to supply spare parts for many of their older models (subject to availability of parts, of course). I recently purchased two telescopic aerials (for the R600 and R606) from them for about £17 including P&P and VAT. Email spares (at) with details of your requirements, and you should get a reply within a few days giving the prices. Send off a cheque and you will have the parts within a week. For general Roberts enquiries email info (at) and for information on the current models visit


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - DK96, DF96, DAF96, DL96

Date - 1954

Status - Contributed photo and description

The photo and the following description were kindly supplied by Peter Preston:

The green Roberts R55 is valved of course and has a B126 battery case inside into which is fitted one of Rod Burman's little 90-volt inverters; the AD35 case has two paralleled Duracell 1.5-volt D-size cells concealed in it to provide the LT. I actually have an original letter from Roberts, dated 19th August 1954, which introduces this receiver to their dealers at the forthcoming Radio Show at Earls Court.

Early ferrite rod aerial. Fully restored and recovered in original green leathercloth.

R200 (Early)

Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - OC44, OC45, OC45, OC78D, OC78, OC78

Date - 1960

Status - Contributed photo and description

The photo and the following description were kindly supplied by Peter Preston:

1960 6-transistor (plus diode detector) portable. LW & MW. Case recovered in original red leathercloth. Trims etc. renewed. Electronics fully restored and working. Uses single PP9 battery. This (early) version uses OC44/45 transistors.

R200 (Later)

Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - AF117, AF117, AF117, OC81D, OC81, OC81

Date - 1961

Status - Contributed photo and description

The photo and the following description were kindly supplied by Peter Preston:

1961 6-transistor portable. LW & MW. Case recovered in original blue leathercloth. Trims etc. renewed. Electronics fully restored and working. Uses single PP9 battery. This version uses AF117 transistors.

Tim Pullin describes the repair of a later model R200 in the Recent Repairs section.


Wavebands - SW, MW, LW

Transistors - AF115, AF117, AF117, AC127 OC81D, AC127, OC81

Date - 1961

Status - Contributed photo (left) and in my collection (right)

The photo (left) and the following description were kindly supplied by Peter Preston:

This proved to be one of my more successful restorations. I wish I had taken 'before-and-after' pictures. Earlier versions of this receiver had solid brass trims and these can be buffed and lacquered to look as new. The leathercloth for this set and, in fact, all Roberts' I've renovated, was purchased from A.E. Kevern, who have manufactured [and trimmed where appropriate] wooden cases for Roberts since the 1930s - and those grilles, so easily damaged, were made by Robert Bion & Co [Perforated Metals] - who still supply the ones used in the 'Revival' series.

'Roberts' logos, by the way, can be obtained from R&M Technical Services Ltd, Unit 1, 99 Warton Road, Isleworth, Middlesex. TW7 6EJ [020-8560-6644] - but unless you're a lottery winner, be prepared for a nasty shock!! This Company can also supply replacement handles etc. from the 'Revival' series, which may either be fitted as supplied or modified, if you have the old strap, to appear more like the original. Regrettably the turntables, which were bought by Roberts from Arcolectric, are no longer made; nor are the knobs with the solid-brass brights - so it's down to hunting around boot sales or secondhand shops - unless, of course, you're a BVWS member, in which case a free ad. in the magazine will almost certainly come up trumps!

I purchased the green set shown on the right in the auction at the December 2003 Wootton Bassett swapmeet for £20. It would benefit from a clean, but it is complete and in very good condition. It pops when switched on but there is no reception - so it probably needs some of the AF117s sorting out.


Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Transistors - BC148, BC148, AC128, OC44/OC45, AC187, AC188 (plus five more in the modules)

Date - 1968 ?

Status - In my collection

In common with many sets of this era, much of the circuitry is contained in two modules, one for the VHF tuner and the other for the MW/LW mixer/oscillator and common IF. I don't know what types are in this Roberts set (the service sheets do not say and I haven't dismantled it to look yet), but the Mullard modules were probably the most popular.

I would guess that the VHF tuner module contains two AF114 and an AF115 transistor, and the IF module probably an AF115 and two AF116 transistors.

Although it looks black in the photo, the vinyl trim and handle on my set are actually an attractive deep blue. The set was a gift from a friend of my father. It is in good condition, however the tip of the aerial is missing. It works on all wavebands, but I don't feel it is working as well as it should be. I have now purchased a replacement aerial directly from Roberts.


Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Transistors - BC149, BC149, AC128/T2, AC187, AC188 (plus eight more in the modules)

Date - 1974 ?

Status - In my collection

This set is a few years later than the R600 above, but still contains modules for everything apart from the AF amplifier. There are three modules in total, all Mullard types. VHF tuner is LP1402, AM IF is LP1181 and VHF IF is LP1185. The IF modules also contain the detectors.

In a break with usual Roberts tradition, this set is not powered by a PP9 battery - instead it uses six D-cells.

I bought this set for £10 at the Summer 2001 Wootton Bassett swapmeet. It is complete and working, however the aerial has been replaced with one that is too long, and a couple of the springs on the battery compartment are broken. I have now purchased a replacement aerial from Roberts, however the battery compartment is no longer available so I will need to repair what I have.

When connected to an external 9V power supply the set works very well and sounds very good.


Wavebands - MW, LW

IC - TAD100

Transistors - Unknown

Date - 1969 ?

Status - In my collection

This set was the first in the UK to use an IC (Integrated Circuit) to replace several transistors (11 according to the Trader sheet). The IC contains the whole RF and IF stages, and a crystal filter is used to obtain the required selectivity. In practice the performance is very good - better than some of the seven-transistor sets in my collection.

Three transistors are used in the output stage. The Trader sheet (1884) omits to give the type numbers of these, but from the pinout diagrams I would suggest they are probably OC71 (or maybe OC44 or OC45), AC187 and AC188. I will dismantle my set and take a look sometime.

I purchased this set for £15 (I think) via an advert on Malcolm Bennett's Vintage Radios website. It was in working order but required cleaning. The Roberts logo also required repainting. Now the work is done it looks very presentable. It sounds very good too.


Wavebands - MW, LW

IC - TAD100

Transistors - OC71, AC187, AC188

Date - 1971 ?

Status - In my collection

This is a later version of the RIC-1 above. The styling was changed to the more modern (and cheaper) style of Roberts other sets in the early 70s. The speaker is also smaller. The circuit is very similar to the RIC-1

This set was given to me. Although it worked, it needed a lot of cleaning and TLC. Full details are in the Recent Repairs section.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - DK92, DF91, DAF91, DL94

Date - 1951

Status - Repaired for a customer

This is a mains (AC only) or battery operated portable set. The mains/battery changeover switch is located in the back of the set. A battery-only version was also available, model RP4. Unlike many portables, this set contains a good-sized loudspeaker and gives reasonably good sound quality.

The problem with using sets like this today, is that dangerous mains voltages can be accessed merely by opening the rear cover and placing ones fingers under the chassis onto the back of the switch. The back is held closed with a clip, so that it could be readily opened to change the batteries. To comply with current safety standards, the back must be secured such that a tool is required to open it. This is probably not a problem from a practical point of view, since there is no need to access the battery compartment now. However, this could affect the appearance of the set, which some restorers would find unacceptable.

The repair of this set is described in the Recent Repairs section of this website.

The rear photo (right) was taken from the Vintage Radio Database website


Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Semiconductors - 6 Transistors and 2 ICs

Date - early 1980s ?

Status - No longer in my collection

This is the second most recent set on this website - indeed it is probably too new to be here! However, the set is in my collection (it is actually in our bathroom and is used daily), so I feel it deserves a position here somewhere.

In addition to the normal manual tuning, the set has five preset stations on VHF operated by the pushbuttons on the right. These are set up by means of adjustment screws on the rear of the cabinet (they are in fact preset resistors which control a varicap tuner). The set would have been supplied with a suitable screwdriver (which inevitably gets lost), and there is even a clip on the back cover to retain it.

The set is mains powered only. It contains a reasonable sized mains transformer powering an amplifier capable of delivering around 2W RMS - not bad for a transistor set! Sound quality is reasonable, but nothing special. The dial lamp bulb should, according to the service information, be a 6.5V 0.3A type. However, this is run at full voltage and does not enjoy a long life. After replacing two such bulbs in my set within a year, I fitted a 12V 2.2W type instead. This gives ample illumination for the scale, and has so far lasted over five years.

My set has a "British Wireless for the Blind Fund" label on the top of the cabinet. I acquired the set when I was repairing a number of sets for the Fund several years ago. It was not a current model and the telescopic aerial is broken with no suitable spares available (their sets have large coloured ends on the aerials for safety reasons), so they regarded it as scrap.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - OC44, OC45, OC45, OC71, OC72, OC72

Date - 1958

Status - Contributed photo and description

Photo and description kindly supplied by Brian Millson

This is the first of the Roberts commercial transistor radios. It has 6 transistors and dates from 1958. This set originally used a 6 volt battery which is no longer available but mine uses a 9 volt PP9 with a 3 volt ceramic dropper. I got it for £15 at Wootton Bassett but it has since been restored recently by Graham Gosling at East Coast Wireless.


Wavebands - UHF TV

ICs/Transistors - unknown

Date - unknown

Status - In my collection

The TVS1 UHF Television Sound Receiver was made by Roberts for the "British Wireless for the Blind Fund". It takes advantage of the fact that a television license is only needed for the reception of television pictures; equipment that only received television sound is exempt.

This unit is mains powered and uses a six channel varicap tuner (the type whereby you initially tune in the station by twiddling the pressed button). It has a telescopic aerial for local reception and a standard aerial socket (on the back) for use with a roof aerial. The sockets on the top are for connection to an earphone and a tape recorder, and could no doubt be connected to other equipment for those with hearing difficulties.

I understand that more modern units with digital tuners and less fiddly controls are now issued by the BWBF.

I bought this example on eBay for about £30. Apart from some slight wear to the Roberts badge, it is in excellent condition. It works OK, although I found it difficult to tune for no buzzing when connected to the UHF output of a video recorder or satellite receiver. Sound quality is disappointing considering the size of the speaker and the wooden cabinet (lacking in bass and treble), but for its intended purpose I assume clarity was more important than fidelity.

It is one of those items that is worth having in a Roberts collection, but is unlikely to ever be used.

This website, including all text and images not otherwise credited, is copyright © 1997 - 2006 Paul Stenning.
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.