Cossor were a major British radio manufacturer, and produced a wide range of sets until they sold the rights to use the Cossor brand to Philips in the late 1950s.

Andy Crellin provided the following information:

I note in your comments of Philips/Cossor sets, that you mention that Cossor was taken over by Philips. This is not accurate. Cossor continued to trade for many years and still does, in Harlow Essex as part of the Raytheon group of companies, more recently explicitly as Ratheon Communications, where I used to be an employee. It got out of the consumer trade, but it did so by selling the right to use the name of "Cossor" for consumer products, not by selling the whole company. Cossor is very active in the IFF/Secondary Radar field as used at Heathrow and many other famous airports in the world and remains a world leader in this field. Last I knew, the Cossor name was part of a set of rights to use owned by Visionhire in 1988 or so (as part of the then Philips group). This company and the rights to use were being traded at about this time... as part of Philips' consolidation of its assets at that time.
I have found the Cossor/Ratheon Systems website, the Cossor name has now been dropped altogether as far as I tell. The US parent website has a search that lists Cossor in several places, including the restructuring that happened a few years ago.

Mains Empire Melody Maker

Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - S4VB, 354V, unknown (possibly ML4), unknown

Date - 1931

Status - Contributed photo and description

Nigel Hughes provided the following description:

Cossor Empire Melody Makers are not too rare because they were a very popular kit in their time. Being mains powered, they are practical radios and they make a joyful noise. Arguably, they should come with a health warning today as the leads to the speaker are at HT voltage.

This radio was sold as a kit for home construction in 1931, and is entirely bolted together. All the original components have screw terminals. The case has oak sides and top with a brown crackle-finish steel front panel. The base of the case is a galvanised(?) sheet steel plate, which serves as the chassis. The set has three valves plus full wave rectifier, for AC mains only.

Nigel describes the restoration of this set in detail in the Recent Repairs section of this website.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - 41ST, MVS-PenB, DDT, 2P, 431U (all Cossor valves)

Date - 1946

Status - Contributed photo and description

I would like to thank Simon Northeast for the photo and for the following information regarding the restoration of his set:

It is now working well on all wavebands producing a warm deep sound quality with minimal distortion and surprisingly high volume. I am running it on a simple wire aerial in a downstairs room near the centre of Sheffield and despite the rather inadequate aerial the set seems to be fairly sensitive on all wavebands. I have picked up SW from the US and Australia at night with very clear signals. The set is quite large and heavy which is typical of its period. It was owned by my Grandfather who purchased it in 1947. He has signed and dated the RF chassis and the base of the case. A missing knob has been found along with the original hardboard back with the makers label showing the valve lineup and the connections. This makes the set complete.

I have replaced all the perished rubber wiring, electrolytic and wax/paper medium value capacitors with modern equivalents because they were all leaking. All the remaining components are original.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - 1R5, 1T4, 1S5, 3S4

Date - 1946/47 ?

Status - Contributed photo and description

Thanks to Rüdiger Wendel for the photos and description:

I purchased the nice portable in 1992 in Llangollen/Wales for £10. Originally it was powered by a combined H.T. and L.T. battery. Using an external power supply for 1,5V and 90V it plays well on LW and MW - unfortunately only now and then. Some day I will fix the problem (bandswitch?).

494AC "Melody Maker"

Wavebands - MW, LW, SW

Valves - 7S7, 7B7, 7C6, 7C5, 7Y4

Date - 1949

Status - Contributed photo and description

Thanks to John Doyle for the photos. He said:

I inherited it from my late father and has been in our home for about 40 years. I don't know a lot about electronics but to my eye it is still a thing of beauty.


Wavebands - MW, LW, SW, VHF

Valves - 6AQ8, 6AJ8, 6BY7, 6AK8, 6BQ5, 6V4

Date - Mid 1950s ?

Status - Contributed photo and description

I would like to thank David Mouat for the photo. He says:

3 stage superhet, with excellent sound. Internal convertor allows the FM dipole to be used as the AM antenna. Missing volume/power knob. Bought for £3 from local second hand shop.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Valves - UCH81, UBF89, UCL82, UY85

Date - 1961

Status - No longer in my collection (unfortunately)

This set is electrically identical to the Philips B2G81U. Refer to this set for details and comments.


Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Transistors - Unknown - probably AF124/125/126 series and AC128's

Date - Early 1960s ?

Status - In my collection

One of a job-lot of trannies I bought as a single lot in an auction. It runs from four HP2 batteries. The battery compartment shows signs of damage due to leaking batteries. However I connected it to two power supplies (each set to 3V) and it works very well on all wavebands. The only problem is a noisy volume control.

I have now dismantled the set to see what transistors are used, but it is so tightly packed that I still can't see the markings. I can see two devices in the type of cans used for AC128s, in clips next to a small transformer. So these are obviously the output transistors. For the RF and IF stages, I can read the markings on one device (AF125) and see a few others of the same size so they are probably the same series. The VHF stages are enclosed in a can.

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No part of this website may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from Paul Stenning.
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The types of equipment discussed on this website may contain high voltages and/or operate at high temperatures.
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Last updated 14th April 2006.