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Three valve (+ rectifier) TRF receiver for AC
1931/1932 Homebuilt receiver with a wooden cabinet and a painted pertinax front plate, using a schematic issued by Broadcasting Association V.A.R.A. and designed by ir J. Rodrigues de Miranda of Nijkerk's Radio in Amsterdam. The components could be purchased there as well. The manual recommended parts made by the American firm Pilot and the Dutch firm Splendid, but the builders were free to use other brands. The price of the kit was around 85 guilders, without the tubes. The circuit was based on Philips tubes but in addition there was a wide choice of (cheaper) valves made by other brands. A comprehensive manual (opposite) with clear instructions made building the radio not too complicated.

The receiver has a HF amplifier, a detector and a LF amplifier. The heart of the unit is the specially designed "Varadijne" HF coil set with integrated wavelength switch, choke coil and valve base, made by Leko in Utrecht.
The HF tube is coupled with the grid circuit of the detector through a choke coil and a capacitor. HF influences on the LF section are prevented by a capacitor and a HF choke. The output valve is linked to the detector by means of a LF transformer.
The antenna is connected to the grid of the HF tube via a variable capacitor. Volume can be regulated using a gang capacitor connected to the aerial.
The power supply of the device is provided by a Splendid Junior power block, in combination with a Philips 373 rectifier.
The wave range of the radio is 200-580 and 870-2200 meters.
Most of the cabinets were homemade, but could also be purchased at a number of companies, sometimes complete with built-in speaker. Together with Nijkerk's Radio the V.A.R.A. also offered a loudspeaker kit: the Varabesk. A Phenomeen speaker was used in this kit. More information about this loudspeaker here.
There was also a schematic for a battery powered kit.
Socialist broadcasting organisation V.A.R.A. (Vereeniging Arbeiders Radio Amateurs or Society for Workers Radio Amateurs) was founded on November 1st, 1925 and focussed their broadcasts and activities on the working classes. Purpose of the Association was "to arouse the interest of the workers for radio telephony and telegraphy". One tried to achieve this objective by "offering their members a cheap and easy way to obtain devices and components".
Around the founding date, an average unskilled labourer earned 10 to 15 guilders per week; a radio cost tenfold, so not many workers owned a radio.
Already half a year after its establishment, in May 1926, a cheap one-valve radio was announced, specially developed for the V.A.R.A. by radio factory N.S.F. (picture opposite). It was for sale for f 55,-, and it was part of the membership fee of the V.A.R.A. It could be used with headphones, or by purchasing a 2-valve amplifier, with a loudspeaker. The receiver was not a great success; only a few of them were sold.
Because the first radio was only a one-valve receiver, the need for better reception, and a simpler control arose later. In the Summer of 1931 the circuit of the Varadyne was published. By offering it as a kit, the costs could be kept low, although with almost f 85,- it still was a bit expensive.
In Belgium, V.A.R.A.'s counterpart S.A.R.O.V. (Socialist Workers' Radio Broadcasting Organisation for Flanders) released the Varadyne under the name Sarovphone. The price was Bfr 1650,-.
In 1933, also in collaboration with Nijkerk's Radio, a second radio kit was introduced: the Varaband.
Data Valves Circuit
Serial number: 10655 (on the coil block)
Dimensions (hwd): 27 47.5 31 cm
Made in: 1931
Purchased in: 2011
Voltage: 220 V
Click on the valves or on the circuit for more information
In the first versions of the manual, the E442 was recommended as HF tube; in the 4th edition it was replaced by a E452T.

What was broadcast then?


Listen "Goeden nacht, Vara vrienden" sung by Kees Pruis with the Parlophone Orchestra, recorded in 1932

Top view of the chassis
Manufacture of the Vardyne coil units at the Leko company in Utecht

The Varadyne with matching Nijkerk Phenomeen Prima-Donna loudspeaker

Advertisement in Socialist newspaper Voorwaarts!, June 4th, 1931

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