Bush VHF80 s/n 343/09064

The VHF80 7 valve AC/DC radio first introduced in February 1960 and cost 15 17s 2d plus purchase tax. It has long (1050-1935m), medium (187-560) and VHF (87.5-100 Mhz) bands. The valve line up is UCC85,UF89,UCH81,UF89,UABC80,UL84 and UY85. The VHF80C is a slightly later version. This is an early model as it does not have connections for a tape recorder.

As far as I have been able to find out the VHF80 and VHF80C are electrically the same, the former has gold trim and a black tuning scale, whereas the VHF80C has light grey trim and a red scale.

When I acquired this set in it was not working, the mains lead had been severed but was apparently complete but very dirty and the gold paint adjacent to the volume and tuning knobs had worn away. The first task was to remove the set, speaker and grille from the Bakelite case and to wash the case in hot water and washing up liquid. The case was then cleaned with "T-Cut" automobile polish reviver. The gold areas were repainted by hand and rubbed down with very fine "wet and dry" paper.

After the thick layer of dust on the chassis and valves was blown away I energised the chassis via a variable transformer there was a sizzling sound as the faulty mains filter capacitor heated up. After replacing it and equipping the set with a new mains lead there was complete silence though the valves and dial lamps all came on. The first good sign was when I touched my outside aerial to the  ferrite aerial on the chassis I was able to tune stations on long and medium wave though the volume was barely audible and when it was plugged into the vhf aerial socket the FM band stations could just be heard. I then checked the output transformer and speaker and they turned out to be OK which was the second good sign. I then embarked upon replacing the various wax capacitors and the low voltage electrolytic.  Switch cleaner was applied to the wavechange  switch contacts the valve holders and the volume control.  With the valves back in place the radio seems to work quite merrily.

Some History

Bush rose from the ashes of Amplion who made speakers for British Gaumont cinemas and thus had links with the film industry.The radios were advertised in Gaumont cinema foyers as "A Gaumont British Product".  Murphy experienced problems keeping at the forefront of technology and lost creditability with their dealers, many of which changed over to Bush. At some point Murphy became part of Bush and the company trade as Bush - Murphy in Chiswick, London. In 1945 because of their links to the film industry, Bush Murphy became part of the Rank empire and changed the name to Rank Bush Murphy (RBM).  A new satellite factory was opened in Plymouth in 1949. During the mid 70's (When they were one of my major customers! I worked then for RCA Solid State having previously been with both Mullard & STC) ) they moved the entire operation to Plymouth.  In 1972 the name was changed again to Rank Radio International (RRI). Following several years of mounting losses  they tied up with the Japanese to become Rank Toshiba in 1978. This lasted just 3 years, and in 1981 finally folded. Toshiba became sole owner of the Plymouth factory. The Bush name now belongs (along with Alba) to an importers in Barking, E London.

Thanks to Colin Boggis for this information

Have a look at this site for a very comprehensive and interesting history of Bush radios http://www.bushradio.co.uk/