Wireless of the Week this week is a Pegasus 'Tabletop' model. With a name like 'Pegasus' it sounds like something which should date back to the dinosaur era, but in fact this valve radio only takes us back to 1935. Pegasus were a small wireless company based in a back-street Factory in Leeds, but closed down before the outbreak of World-war II, as they couldn't compete with the bigger names in radio. Hence little is known about them today, and examples of equipment built by them are not common. Confusingly, they called a lot of their radio's 'Tabletop,' which is a little odd, since mine is in a floor-standing knee-high wooden case! If it appears to be knee-high then almost certainly it IS a table model as many pre-war sets were that big in order to look more imposing!
For all the anoraks out there I have this week chosen a picture which shows the innards of this Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) set, for those who wish to admire those glorious valves! Note the picture is sourced from the Internet, and is not the exact one I have. Nonetheless, with coverage of the Long and Medium wavebands, and the variable tone control set to it's most mellow position, sound can clearly be heard emanating from the sets large, round speaker.
Another unusual feature of the set is the tuning-scale - it is calibrated in Kilocycles, and Kilocycles only, very unusual, as most radio's and broadcasters in those days (and indeed for many years afterwards) were nearly always calibrated in metres - especially here in Great Britian! Certainly as far as British made radios are concerned, this puts this wireless set a good 50 years ahead of it's time! Valve line-up is: Tungsram 4106, Tungsram 4106 (both R.F. stages) MH4 (A.F. amp.) MKT4 (Output) and DW2 (Rectifier.)
Pegasus Ltd traded from 1932 to 1939 and their demise could potentially have been due to their use of Austrian components, the supply of which must have been tricky to negotiate by 1940. They were made in this factory (shown here derelict in 1951, now probably gone)
I have a Grundig 2035 from the start of FM in the UK in 1955 with FM to 100MHz I run it occasionally - a great quality set. The band was increased to 108MHz when the emergency services were relocated but I can remember listening to the Police for a while. I think it was only illegal if you USED the information you heard.
The reason for German sets being so advanced on FM was that they lost the war - as a result all their medium-wave and long-wave frequencies were taken by the victors. Germany needed communications so they were forced into the VHF band and so gained initial technical advantage. The Grundig and Siemens sets of the 1950's certainly performed well.