In December 2001 my wife bought me a bakelite radio for my birthday. I had first become interested in Tesla radios after a visit to Prague in 2000 when I found a little Tesla 305u in a junk shop. The owner insisted that it worked and it was tidy, but needed a good clean up, and he wanted the equivalent of about £30 for it. When I had evntually decided to go back to buy it the shop was closed and sadly it was near the end of our stay, so it wasn't to be. It had, however, stirred my interest.
Over a year later and after deciding to buy my first vintage radio I started looking around for a suitable purchase. After many visits to ebay and various other internet collectors realms I happened upon Past Times Radio. I was originally looking for a Bush DAC90A, a classic of it's time, and still both popular and plentyful, but whilst browsing the 'for sales' on the site I came across another Tesla 305u and my thoughts returned to these little radios. Not only was there a 305u for sale, but several other of the Tesla Talisman range including a curious 'double decker' 307u and a beautiful 308u.
The 307u was not a double decker, but was a tatty 307u with a spare shell that could be used as a replacement. Here are a couple of other images of it in the state it was in when advertised:
The back panel, as you can see, looked in a poor condition and would be near impossible to repair, but when I made initial contact with the vendor he told me that he had found a near perfect pack panel to replace it. It turns out that he is quite a fan of these little Teslas, and has owned and sold many over the years (hence the two or three he was selling). What the heck, I thought... it's only money, and I bought it.
12th December 2001
I have now had the radio for several days and stripped down the two shells. They have cleaned up nicely and the replacement one sparkles. The replacement back panel is in very good condition but was slightly warped. A little steam and pressure has flattened it. The nobs have cleaned up quite well, but are a little yellowed.
Now for the electrics... I have given it a bit of a clean up and removed most of the dirt and cobwebs. The dropper resistor is broken and looks dead so that will need replacing. One of the valves, the UY1N, is also dead so will need replacement. The other valves look fine. The underside looks in fair condition, but the exposed to is very dirty and it is dificult to tell. There is also a bulb holder missing, but a replacement is on it's way.