Roberts Radio was a very successful manufacturer of portable radios in the UK. This RT1 was their first ever transistorised model, from 1958.

I was fortunate to find this one on an auction site for small money but it needed a lot of love, missing strap, broken logo, terrible knobs, broken clasp and really really grubby leather.

Grubby, like most 62 year old radios

On the up side, the electronics seemed to look nice an clean, with only moderate damage to the aerial coil. These early transistor sets have quite rare and delicate components that can be quite hard to obtain (see Pye Slim Six) But before I could really find out what the deal is, I’d have to strip this down, removing those knobs first.

Unfortunately, somebody in the radio’s life mega-glued the on-off knob to the shaft, which required some hacksaw-surgery to remove.
Minor problem with the aerial coil

After removing the chassis and carefully powering it up, I didn’t find much coming out of it. On closer inspection I had noticed a new dry joints around the decoupling capacitors. This brought life to the set. I later discovered that there was a break in the ferrite rod too, that allowed it to slip out of the coils just enough a throw off the MW tuning. This was very easy to fix once discovered. With those issues resolved, the overall performance of the set was very good.

The case was treated to a full clean up and repair, several coats of acrylic leather paint. New re-production knobs, new clasp, new handle made from a ladies leather belt. The speaker grill was cleaned up and straightened out as much as possible using paper weights.

Quite a few bits had to be ordered to complete this set, adding a fair amount of money to the original purchase cost. I think it was worth it though, I absolutely move this Radio!