Meissner TRF receiver kit

Meissner 10-1106 Broadcast TRF receiver kit

I bought this radio in a no-label cabinet at an Antique Wireless Association annex-auction some years ago. The AWA folks had identified the radio as homebrew. Upon pulling the radio out of the cabinet, I noticed several Meissner-labeled RF coils and a chassis that looked commercial. Sure enough, it turned out to be the Meissner 10-1106 Broadcast TRF , a radio built from a kit. A broadcast TRF is capable of a wider audio frequency response when compared with the typical superhet.

Meissner 10-1106 Broadcast TRF chassis
Miessner 10-1106 TRF radio (48k)

This kit radio was introduced with an article in the June 1937 issue of Radio-Craft magazine entitled "A Simple T.R.F. Receiver With A.V.C." by Clifford Denton. A list of parts is included in the article with the major items, including the chassis, available from Meissner. With some variations, including eliminating the AVC function, changing the 6Q7 to a 6J7, and changing the volume control to an RF gain control, Meissner featured it along with another of their kits in a full page ad on the back cover of the November 1938 Radio-Craft (shown above). Notice that the price in that ad was $12.90 for all parts except tubes or speaker.

During World War II, it was advertised in Radio News and QST as one of several kits sold for "training purposes". Note that the price in the 1943 ad, still without tubes and speaker, had more than doubled to $27.00.

Meissner Ad for

Meissner states in its literature that no cabinet or panel was available for this radio. Any cabinet in which this radio is found is either homebrew or re-purposed from some other radio or source. The builder who constructed this cabinet did nice work with a fluted aluminum strip design which allows for air circulation.

Meissner chassis in homebrew cabinet
Meissner in Homebrew Cabinet (46k)

The same set was used by the Sprayberry Academy of Radio but was not identified as being the Meissner 10-1106 kit. The parts for the radio are prominently displayed beginning in a February 1939 ad. Various ads in Radio-Craft in 1944, during the war, show the set as part of Sprayberry training.

Sprayberry ad in 1944 RadioCraft magazine
Sprayberry Ad -1944 (44k)

Sprayberry ad from 1946.
Sprayberry Ad (56k)

Electronic condition and repairs

The power transformer for this set appears to be a replacement that fits well in place of the original. The set has evidently been worked on several times probably in different eras. One repairman replaced a screen bypass cap with one of considerably greater capacity. Since this did not negatively affect the circuit, I left that cap in. Several original caps in cathode bypass service were left in place as they seldom see any significant voltage and are bridged with relative low values of resistance. I replaced the critical audio coupling cap to the 6F6 input grid and other critical caps.

I also replaced a poorly-spliced power cord with a new polarized cord. An in-line fuse was added.

The heavy cardboard surround that holds the speaker cone to the metal basket had come unglued. After carefully repositioning the cone and using masking tape to hold the cardboard in place, I glued the cardboard back onto the metal frame.

After several safety checks and powering the set up slowly, it performed reasonably well. I tweaked the trimmers on the variable capacitor at the high end of the broadcast band. That is the only alignment possible in this TRF set. The tube gain is such that the set will sometimes oscillate at the lower end of the dial with the RF gain at maximum. This can be readily controlled by reducing the RF gain a bit. The ads for the receiver show a shield around the variable cap and the tube grid caps. This set did not have the shields. Adding the shields will likely prevent such oscillation.

This radio's Schematic and Parts List are available at this link.

Meissner published a number of catalogs with schematics and pictorial images of their kits as well as a wealth of information on the circuits. That Meissner "How to Build" INSTRUCTION MANUAL can be downloaded as portions via links on the homepage. Click here for the Meissner link. This TRF radio is on page 110 of the manual.

The Olson RA-48 four band Receiver was the previous item on the bench.

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