New Cossor Melody Maker (1928)


There can be few wireless enthusiasts who have not heard of the Cossor “Melody Maker”. In town or country – from far-away John O’Groats to the quaint little hamlets nestling among the coves of the rugged Cornish Coast – you’ll find the wonderful “Melody Maker”. You’ll find it in the homes of the well-to-do and you’ll find it in the humblest cottages. To rich and poor alike the Cossor “Melody Maker” has brought all the joys of Radio.

Although only introduced in the Autumn of 1927 more than 120,000 had been built by the end of the following March. A colossal quantity – easily establishing a record. And why was the Cossor “Melody Maker” such an astonishing success? Why did it sweep the country from end to end in such a dramatic manner?

First of all, the Cossor “Melody Maker” was an exceptionally well-designed Set. Its performance was far above the average. Radio from seven European countries was brought for the first time within the easy and certain reach of the man of moderate means. Secondly, its system of construction revolutionised Radio. The blueprint was abolished. Soldering was eliminated. Every step in its construction was made plain to the merest novice. The complete Receiver could be assembled in an evening – as simple as Meccano. Finally, the “Melody Maker” was an economical Receiver to build – one that compared favourably with factory-built Sets costing several times its price.

Its performance, simplicity and economy formed an irresistible combination – one which captured the imagination of the public and created the biggest boom in the history of Radio. Nearly £750,000 was invested in the Cossor “Melody Maker” by the public last season – clear proof of its overwhelming supremacy.

Why a new Melody Maker?

If the Cossor “Melody Maker” introduced last Autumn has proved itself to be so satisfactory, why change it? For two reasons: Firstly, because it is essential to keep pace with the progress of Radio. The invention of a wonderful new Cossor Screened Grid Valve (described in greater detail later) has enabled us to improve very considerably the performance of the “Melody Maker.” Secondly, because the developments of the BBC in relation to the new Alternative Programme Scheme demand a Receiver with a greater degree of selectivity than can be obtained with the “Melody Maker” of last season.

But there is still a third reason. The astonishing success of the “Melody Maker” effectively demonstrated the enormous number of people who actually enjoyed assembling their Sets. This hitherto unsuspected factor has influenced us considerably in our policy in supplying a complete kit of components for building the new Cossor “Melody Maker.”

The wonderful results that the new “Melody Maker” will give can be duplicated by anyone, because every Receiver will be identical – right down to the last screw. The danger of loss of efficiency through the substitution of unsuitable parts has been completely abolished.

Here, for the first time, is everything ready for building a superb Receiver – neatly contained in a stout box – at a most modest price. A handsome cabinet – every essential component – the Cossor Valves – even the simple tools required in its assembly. Just as the old “Melody Maker” with its simplified constructional system revolutionised Radio, so the new Cossor “Melody Maker” marks an even more important milestone in the progress of Broadcasting.

What Do You Need?

  • Good tone
  • Simplicity
  • Selectivity
  • Low Cost

The New “Melody Maker” gives all these to you.

Good Tone Comes First

The wonderful tone of the New “Melody Maker” delights keen music critics

You would not think twice of buying any Receiving Set that would not truthfully reproduce broadcast music. More than 80% of every programme is music – everyone wants music. Therefore in designing the new “Melody Maker” we paid great attention to the quality of its reproduction. Ever since Cossor Valves were first sold – more than five years ago – they have always been associated with superb tone. We decided, too, that in order to ensure the finest possible reproduction with the new “Melody Maker” – not only of the high notes but of the low notes as well – that it was desirable to design a Cossor L.F Transformer to suit the characteristics of Cossor Power Valves. This new “Melody Maker” owes its perfect tone – its majestic volume – its life-like re-creation of the music of the studio – to the perfect combination of valve and transformer working in absolute harmony. Nothing like the new “Melody Maker” has ever been heard before.

Then Follows – Simplicity

Even a child can work the New Cossor “Melody Maker”

You may not be a wireless expert yet you want your Receiving Set to give you the best programmes – from London, Paris, Langenberg, Rome or from the many centres of Broadcasting in Europe – without fuss or trouble. When you are not at home to use your Receiver, you want the other members of your household to enjoy the Radio. Until the advent of the Cossor “Melody Maker” last year few Receivers could be operated without technical skill.

The new “Melody Maker” – in spite of its enormous increased efficiency is wonderfully simple to use. Any member of the family – even a child – can work it. It’s as simple as a gramophone. Switch on – turn two knobs until the desired programme is heard – rotate a volume control to make the music louder or softer – and that’s all. What could be simpler? No elaborate “tuning” - no intricate instructions to be followed. Once the controls are set for any Broadcasting Station the “Melody Maker” is brought in or out of action by the mere pressure of a button.

“Knife Edge” Selectivity

If you have already owned a Receiving Set you’ll have experienced the disappointment of being unable to pick up other programmes whilst your local Station is working. No matter what you did, you’ll have found that the local Station “drowns” the more distant stations with its greater volume. But now – with the new Cossor “Melody Maker” you will be able to choose your programme from where you will, free from any interference. A few degrees on the dials – and the programme from your local Station disappears as if by magic. Never again will you be tied to one programme. If you prefer opera to chamber music – if dance music is preferable to drama – if your mood calls for the lilting strains of musical comedy – the new “Melody Maker” will bring it to you. It will reach out into the air and bring it from Manchester – or Vienna – or Glasgow – or Madrid. The new “Melody Maker” is the Set of the future. As soon as the new high-power B.B.C. Alternative programmes commence working, non-selective Receivers will be useless.. With the new “Melody Maker” you’ll be able to meet these exacting conditions.

And Finally Moderate Price

In designing the new “Melody Maker” we attached great importance to its price. We aimed at a price so low that there would no longer be any reason why anyone should be debarred from the joys of Broadcasting. The abnormally low price of the new Cossor “Melody Maker” has been attained by eliminating two of the greatest expenses in Set manufacturing, namely, assembling and testing, with their consequent factory overhead charges.

Before you purchase your “Melody Maker” compare the prices of other three-valve Screened Grid Receivers - you’ll see that Sets costing more than double the price cannot give you better tone, greater volume, or longer range than the new Cossor “Melody Maker.”

The new “Melody Maker” can be built by anyone without the slightest Radio knowledge. Its construction has been reduced to the mere assembly of a few parts, without drilling a single hole, it’s as simple as Meccano. As a result you obtain a Receiving Set of the utmost efficiency at the bare price of the components. And you obtain a Receiver which has the professional appearance of a factory-built instrument.

The Wonderful New Melody Maker - A Year Ahead in Design

The new “Melody Maker” is a 3-valve Receiver of the highest efficiency using the wonderful new Cossor Screened Grid Valves. Some of the keenest brains in the Radio industry have been employed on the new “Melody Maker” for the past nine months.

It represents a tremendous advance in Receiving Set design – in many ways it is revolutionary. For instance, it is housed in an all-metal cabinet. A year or so ago, this would have been considered, even by experts, to be absurd. But to-day it is agreed that the all-metal cabinet provides the most satisfactory method of keeping out interference from the local broadcasting station. Further, the all-metal cabinet possesses other important advantages. It cannot warp – your own experience will provide you with memories of distorted woodwork due to the use of unseasoned wood. It is immensely strong and practically indestructible. The “Melody Maker” Cabinet is finished cellulose and is therefore impervious to the atmosphere. Damp, weather or extremes of temperature cannot hurt it. Its handsome and dignified design will harmonise tastefully with the furnishings of any room.

This Boy is not an Engineer – yet he builds intricate working models

He knows nothing of mechanics, he has no technical knowledge at all, yet he can assemble complicated mechanisms with the greatest ease.

“Simple as Meccano”

You need know nothing about Radio – yet you can build the wonderful New Melody Maker

Because it has been planned so that it can be built by anyone – wireless knowledge is unnecessary – the man who doesn’t know a valve from a condenser is placed on a level with the expert – so simple is the building of this sensational Receiver.

Anyone can build the New Melody Maker in 90 minutes

How the Melody Maker is Built in 90 minutes

The Secret of its Amazing Success

The secret of the extraordinary success of the new “Melody Maker” – its almost unbelievable selectivity – its uncanny ability to bring in Station after Station a thousand miles or so away – lies in the new Cossor Screened Grid Valve. This Valve is one of the sensations of the season. By its use it is possible to secure absolute stability of operation without the use of neutralising devices. The experienced Radio enthusiast will appreciate the significance of this. It means that distant stations can be tuned in with the greatest of ease without the Receiver going into violent oscillation. And this enables also the use of a circuit which definitely prevents interference being caused to your neighbour because energy is not re-radiated from the aerial. Because of the inherent stability of the Cossor Screened Grid Valve, a far higher degree of amplification is permitted. This is because, with ordinary H.F. Valves, a considerable amount of damping has always been essential in order to keep the Receiver readily controllable and free from oscillation. The ordinary H.F. Valve, therefore, could never be worked at its most efficient point.

No Outdoor Aerial Needed

How to make a Simple but Efficient Frame Aerial for the Melody Maker

Owing to the exceptional efficiency of the new “Melody Maker”, an outdoor aerial is not essential. Admittedly, of course, with an outdoor aerial more stations will be received, yet there are many who will prefer to sacrifice long distance in order to enjoy the great convenience of a frame aerial.

The frame aerial illustrated here is so simple that hardly any explanation is necessary.

It consists of two slats 28” long fastened at the centre to an upright wooden support. The long and short aerials are wound on opposite sides of the frame on brass hooks covered with rubber tubing. The Long Wave aerial has forty-three turns of No. 32 silk-covered wire. The Short Wave aerial requires only ten turns of No. 24 silk-covered wire. You will require 3 ounces of No. 32 wire and 2 ounces of No. 24 wire. Each aerial begins and ends on a small ebonite terminal block screwed to one arm of the frame. The aerial not actually in use should be short circuited. When using this frame aerial do not connect it to the terminals A and E of the Cossor “Melody Maker”, but connect it in the manner shown to the first coil holder by means of two wander plugs.

What Wireless Means to You

All the World’s News, Views and Entertainment at your finger tips!

No Home complete without the New Melody Maker

An Average “Bag”

23 Stations in One Evening! Every one Loud and Clear

The Stations listed were received on a new Cossor “Melody Maker” on August 23 rd., 1928, in London, between 9 p.m. and 11.15 p.m. A standard 100-ft. aerial was used. Conditions were not good, many more stations being heard at good strength, but were not identified on account of fading. You will find this list of value with your “Melody Maker”, the dial settings given are approximately correct (they vary slightly according to local conditions) and will help you when searching.

23 Stations Advertisement (Popular Wireless, October 20th. 1928)

The Valves to Use – and Why

The new Cossor “Melody Maker” is a wonderfully efficient instrument. The results which it gets, even in unskilled hands, are largely due to the fact that it is so perfectly balanced. Valves, coils, transformers, condensers, grid leaks, choke – every single component has been selected to harmonise and to work as one complete unit.

The new Cossor “Melody Maker” has been designed to use 2-volt valves – and no others. There is a considerable economy in using 2-volt valves. A 2-volt Accumulator costs only one third of the price of a 6-volt Accumulator of the same capacity.

The three Cossor Valves to be used are: Cossor Screened Grid Valve (S.G. 220), Cossor 210 R.C, Cossor Power Valve (220P).

It is imperative, of course, that these valves are used in their correct sockets.

The Cossor Screened Grid Valve was described earlier. The Cossor R.C. Valve rectifies the oscillations already picked up and amplified enormously by the first valve. Its responsibilities are great – any other type of valve would throw the whole Set out of balance. Upon the Cossor Power Valve depends the quality of the music – the sweetness of tone of the new “Melody Maker”, its superb volume, and its life-like qualities are largely controlled by this last valve.

The Circuit of the New Cossor Melody Maker

List of Parts required to build the New Cossor Melody Maker

Contents of Cossor Melody Maker Carton

The Cossor “Melody Maker” Complete Kit, obtainable from any Wireless Shop, includes all the above packed in sealed carton ready for assembly, costs only £7 – 15 - 0.

Building Instructions

Click here for building instructions

The following text appears directly below the Second Stage and describes how to fit the two tuning condensers and the reaction condenser to ensure that the body of each condenser is insulated from the front panel.

On the panel are mounted two Ormond Logarithmic Condensers, one Keystone Condenser, One Peerless rheostat and one "push-pull" switch. The three Variable Condensers are insulated from the metal panel by means of the ebonite bushes supplied. The method to be adopted in mounting the Ormond Condensers is as follows: Insert the ebonite bush in the panel so that its shoulder sits evenly within the hole provided for it. Around the end of the bush which projects through the metal panel, place the ebonite washer. Now insert the main bearing of the Condenser and lock in position with the brass hexagon nut supplied. The Keystone reaction condenser is fitted in a similar manner, but instead of a metal locking nut, one made of ebonite is used. Note that the ebonite washer must be inserted between the metal panel and the condenser. Brass nuts are used for securing the rheostat and the switch to the panel. In the case of the former, the circular insulating disc supplied must be inserted between the rheostat and the metal panel. To fit the Slow Motion Dials: First release the screw in the brass centre bearing, then bolt the dial case on the front of the panel with the condenser shaft in its correct postion within the centre bearing. Finally, rotate the main shaft until the vanes are closed, and lock the screw with the dial readiing indicating 100. The knob on the Keystone Condenser is also secured by means of a small screw, and the pointer should be at the top when the vanes are half in mesh. Before fixing the knob on the rheostat, press the shaft towards the panel to ensure a good positive contact between the resistance element and the moving strip. The pointer on the knob should be at the top when the rheostat is off.

Related Articles

Kit Constructors' Notes (Wireless World, January 23rd. 1929)

Initial Price Advertisement (Popular Wireless, October 27th. 1928)

Example of radio before and after restoration

Customized version

Here's an example of the same radio, except that a radio dealer of the time appears to have discarded the lid, sides and rear of the metal case, together with all four corner brackets, and assembled the baseboard and front panel into a nice wooden case. The end result is a very attractive unit. I've had this radio for over forty years now and bought it for a song compared with today's prices. It still works - a credit to Messrs. Tucker and Pearce of Swindon - though it probably took a little longer than ninety minutes for them to build!