At some point in the late 1950s or early 1960s, Ultra were taken over by the Thorn group of companies, who by this time also owned the Ferguson, HMV and Marconiphone brands. Thorn changed their name to BRC at one point, then changed back to Thorn in the 1970s.


Wavebands - LW, MW

Valves - UU60, AC2PENDD, ACTP and ACVP1

Date - 1934

Status - Contributed photo and description

Colin Carmichael provided the photo and the following description:

One of many short superhets produced by Ultra during the 30s, the 22 being the first and the best looking, in my opinion!.The cabinet is very Art Deco, with chrome knobs and trim and a mother of pearl celluloid "clock face" dial.

The dial shows wavelengths in meters only, the station names are in a pull out tray beneath the cabinet. This is called the "Lucerne Plan" (see Radio Radio page 106 & 108). The performance of this set is very good for a short superhet, but it does need a good aerial. Given this it is just as good as a 4 valve set, and the sound quality is brilliant with plenty of bass - ideal for listening to Atlantic 252 at full volume!!

It uses an "Ultra-scope moving coil loudspeaker". It is well built with a chassis that is great to work on. The speaker is attached to the chassis which saves unsoldering wires. It also makes it easier to balance if it has to be turned on its side. The cabinet has very unusual veneers which give it lot of character.


Wavebands - LW, MW

Valves - 2620, 7D7, 1D5

Date - 1934

Status - Contributed photo and description

Colin Carmichael provided the photo and the following description:

This unusual little set attracted me because of the "mother of pearl" dial and chrome trim. It was probably intended to be a local station receiver as it is 2 valve TRF! However it can get quite a number of stations and the sound quality is very good,despite the fact that it is does not have a very powerful output. The cabinet is very compact for a mid 30s set and the design is very attractive.

My set is missing the back, so if anyone has one, please send me an email: senga (at) greenhills.fsnet.co.uk


Wavebands - VHF, MW, LW

Valves - 6L12, 6L12, 6F18, 6LD12, 6P15, EM80, Metal Rectifier

Date - 1960

Status - Contributed photo

Christopher Capener provided this photo. He describes the restoration of his FM82 in the Recent Repairs section.

FM950 "Troubadour"

Wavebands - VHF

Valves - UCC85, UF89, UF89, UABC80, UL84, UY85

Date - 1957

Status - In my collection

This is a fairly low-cost VHF only set covering 87.5 to 101 MHz. The circuit does not any refinements, such as negative feedback in the audio stages. It is housed in a thin curved plywood cabinet and is built on a PCB.

I bought the set privately for £10. The repair is detailed in the Recent Repairs section

R786 (Coronation Twin)

Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - 1C2, 1F3, 1FD9, 1P11, Metal Rectifier

Date - 1953

Status - Repaired for a customer

This is an interesting and highly collectable set. It uses battery valves with series heater connections, and can either be powered from 90V and 7.5V batteries, or from the mains. The rectifier is only used for mains operation, when the HT and LT rails are derived using dropper resistors.

In the set I repaired, two of the dropper resistors were open circuit, and the other was visibly suffering from the heat. They would appear to be barely adequately rated for the job, so failures are not unexpected. The metal rectifier had also previously been bridged with a silicon rectifier diode, so this is probably a trouble area too.

The sound quality is nothing special, but it is certainly better than many sets using battery valves.

This picture was taken from Paul's Radio Museum web site

T402 and T406

Wavebands - SW, MW, LW

Valves - TH41, VP41, Pen45DD, UU6

Date - 1945

Status - No longer in my collection

This is a large set manufactured just after the Second World War. The grey painted chassis is substantial, with separate sub-chassis sections around the waveband switch wafers - it looks more like a piece of military equipment!

The set is not particularly sensitive, which is not unexpected for a three valve plus rectifier set. Sound quality is good, helped in part by the large energised speaker and solid wooden cabinet. These sets were certainly built to last!

Note that the speaker was positioned so that the energising coil section is close to the top cap of the TH41 mixer-oscillator. The speaker frame (which is not connected to the chassis) then acts as an additional aerial, with capacitive coupling due to the 5mm or so air gap! It really does make a difference!

This picture shows the T406; the T402 that I owned had the sections around the controls and speaker cloth painted black. This, I think, was a more pleasant combination.

This photo was taken from the Vintage Radio Database website

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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.