LMT 214-2145 French Valve Radio

s/n 04715 


This is a very dirty French radio that I bought in 2003 from a junk shop in Vernon, Normandy for the princely sum of 10 Euros. The price was attractive, but the thing that interested me was that it was housed in a metal cabinet rather than wood, Bakelite or plastic. It has four wave bands and a pickup input:

OC 15-50m, PO 200-500m, GO 1000-1500m, OCE 10-170m and PU

Gordon Williams has advised me that 'Le Grande Livre de la TSF' indicates that LMT radios were made by:
Le Materiel Telephonique
46 Av de Breteuil
Paris 7e

LMT was founded in 1889 and later became part of the ITT group. Until recently it was a Thomson-CSF company (now Thales). It gives the Model 214 as the same character as the Model 204

This model was first manufactured in 1951 Valve line up and placement shown on back cover.

Five valves all miniature 7pin glass based 6BE6, 6BA6, 6AT6, 6AQ5 and 6X4 (Only two appear to be original)

Underside of chassis fairly clean and apparently untouched as most of the soldered joints have a dab of green paint. The coils and wave change switch are inside the aluminium box on the right. Note the glass encased paper capacitors.

The state of the mains lead indicates that it has not been energised for a very long time!

The steel cabinet is made in three parts joined together by lugs which are hidden behind the two soft plastic bands on either side. The set was originally two shades of green and has at some time been hand painted cream and light blue.

General view of inside prior to cleaning. Wave change and tuning achieved with one knob on the left and volume on/off control on the right

The first task was remove all the valves and test the capacitors and other components prior to energisation. This revealed that many of the resistors had higher values than their colour codes would suggest, though working on the maxim that "if it ain't broke don't fix it" these were left untouched. I then tested the insulation between the mains transformer and chassis and then gradually applied 250 volts DC from an external supply to the main smoothing capacitors. All seemed OK so then I plugged the set into the mains and discovered that both dial lamps were dead.

After replacing these and inserting the valves the set played! I was in luck, there was nothing seriously wrong, the wave change switch was noisy but a squirt or two of contact cleaner in the shielded box fixed that problem. Unlike some British sets such as Pilot and KB of this period which use the same valve lineup, this set has a fully isolated mains transformer with earthed screen so I have replaced the 2core mains lead with a 3core one and earthed the chassis.

I completely removed all traces of paint from the outside using paint stripper, abraded the rusty areas with fine emery paper, primed with red oxide and hand painted it in the original colours. The smooth finish was achieved by applying two coats of gloss paint and rubbing down with 400 grade "wet and dry" paper between coats. As the final appearance seemed too shiny I rubbed this down also and applied wax polish as a final surface.

The speaker cloth was badly worn and discoloured. Having learnt the hard way I soaked the cloth for some hours in a biological detergent and very gently agitated it prior to drying flat on absorbent kitchen paper. It was then ironed between two layers of cloth. Fortunately it was large enough to cut across the centre and reverse so that the discoloured areas are now hidden behind the glass dial.

Click here for circuit diagram