Bush VHF81 (around 1964)
Though she may look plain to some, love made me by this radio.
Must have been built somewhere between 1960 and 1964.
A compact radio able to receive the FM band.
An AC/DC radio, so beware, her chassis may be live and touching
it may be a shocking experience.
And she is British. Brilliant.
In 2010, I bought this radio through the
Dutch forum on old radios
I liked the look of its typically 1960's wooden case and I was curious
to see what performance this AC/DC radio with VHF FM band could deliver.
I set out to fix it but didn't yet finish the job.
The Bush VHF 81 is an AC/DC radio that,
apart from LW and MW bands,
can also receive the FM band from 88-108 MHz.
Hence “VHF” in its type number.
It is quite compact, built on a vertical metal chassis that holds
all the electronic components as well as the tuning dial.
It comes in a wooden case.
Rumour has it that Bush also had a
model in a plastic case using a similar chassis, the VHF 80.
A view from the back at the vertically mounted chassis.
The valve line-up of the VHF81 consists of:
- UCC85 as FM frequency changer,
- UCH81 as frequency changer for AM and IF amplifier for FM,
- UF89 as first IF amplifier or second FM IF amplifier,
- UABC80 as AM detector, FM ratio detector and AF pre-amplifier,
- UL84 as AF output amplifier,
- UY85 as mains rectifier.
These all have 100 mA heaters for series connection.
When I collected this radio, the wooden case looked awful, having
a dried-out, cracked finish.
The inside was a bit greasy.
I removed the chassis from the case, unsoldered the speaker, pulled
the valves, removed the dial glass and started to clean the chassis.
The chassis looked much better after this, but the electronic repair
had yet to be done.
Alas, the tuning condensor didn't move easily and when I tried to turn
the tuning knob I broke the tuning cord.
It seemed the tuning condenser (a combination of 500 pF and
30 pF variable capacitors for AM and FM, respectively) needed
lubrication, while the tuning cord, a bit weakened by time, wasn't able to
convey the force needed to move it.
Chassis taken out of the case, before the dial glass was removed.
After this setback, I put the radio on a shelf and left it for some years.
But I will make it work again.