Ekco valve radio model A21

s/n 3776

Ekco A21 Five valve AC mains operated table radio housed in a brown Bakelite case. This is one of the first valve radios manufactured after WW2. It was released in November 1945 and cost 16 16s plus 3 12s 3d.The set has three tunable wavebands and five preset pushbuttons (three medium wave and two long wave)

The radio uses octal based valves: ECH35, EF39,EBL31, AZ31 and EM34. The tone control is mounted on the left hand side of the set.

The underside of the radio was quite clean and none of the trimmer capacitors appeared to have been touched although the volume control and two decoupling capacitors seemed to have been replaced. I replaced the cathode bypass capacitor on the output valve but none of the rest really needed changing. The mains lead was replaced as was some of the rubber insulated wiring. The switch contacts were given a dose of switch cleaner, the tuning assembly was cleaned and restrung and the dial lamps replaced. The set was then energised without the rectifier valve in place, the dial lamps and the valves lit up and the open circuit voltage from the transformer secondary was checked and found to be OK. I then switched off and applied 120 volts DC to the main smoothing capacitors and measured the current drawn. After a while it dropped down to about 1 mA so I switched on and with a substantial aerial was able to hear stations on all three wavebands and two of the preset frequencies.

As I have a variable transformer I inserted the rectifier valve, switched on and gradually increased the mains voltage, nothing untoward happened, local stations came through fine but the short wave was fairly quiet. I tested the EF39 and found that it had very low emission and a replacement (by no means 100%) made quite an improvement. The frequency changer was also not up to scratch but I did have two CCH35 valves One of which was better than the other which I inserted to take the place of the ECH35. This brought in more stations on the short wave band. The CCH35 has a 7.5 volt heater so I was pleasantly surprised with its performance on a 6 volt supply.

Rear view without back cover