There was a close connection between Dynatron and Philips; Dynatron were taken over by Ekco in 1954. Ekco then merged with Pye, which was subsequently absorbed by Philips.
The following is an expert from John’s excellent website (http://www.dynatronmuseum.org.uk):
The Hacker brothers Ron and Arthur were self taught, with no professional training. Their avid reading of technical information made them experts in the radio field. They started their own manufacturing company in 1927, in one room above their fathers grocery shop in Maidenhead. Because the brothers were aged 17 and 19 they used the name of their father, H. Hacker. The trade name adopted was “Dynatron”, and the company name was later changed to “Dynatron Radio Ltd” in 1936.
Their philosophy from the start was to design and produce radios of the highest quality, incorporating all the latest technical advances. They aimed at the luxury end of the market, making sets of high specifications combined with beautiful cabinets. In 1934 they produced the “Ether Emperor” 17 valve radiogram, selling for 130 guineas – a serious amount of money in those days!
During the second world war they produced airborne guidance systems for the R.A.F. The company expanded from approximately 70 employees to 160 during this time, and due to demand the weekly production was raised to 57 hours.
The post-war period was difficult for Dynatron, due to markets conditions and shortage of materials. In 1954 the company was taken over by Ekco, both Hacker brothers being retained as joint managing directors. In 1959 the brothers parted company with Ekco and set up Hacker radio. Once again they aimed at the top end of the market, and gained an enviable reputation in the trade. Due to an increasingly competitive market and cheaper imports Hacker went into the hands of the receiver in May 1977.
Soon after the Hacker brothers left Dynatron, Ekco merged with Pye in December 1960. In 1967 Pye was absorbed by Philips, and in 1981 Philips sold Dynatron to Roberts Radio.
Arthur Hacker died in 1981 and Ron died three years later in 1984. What had started as their boyhood passions turned into several successful companies producing radios and televisions that eclipsed most of their competitors. The Dynatron museum is dedicated to the memory of the Hacker brothers and to the preservation of the Dynatron products they produced.
Robert (bobbyball) added:
“There is of course no correlation between “Philips” and “Pye” chassis through much of the 1970s, as, although Pye had been “assimilated” into the Philips empire, the “deal” as far as I can make out was to allow them to keep using their own designs until such and such a date, after which “Pye” branded sets were in fact Philips designs – such as the G11 for example. I think there were at first separate factories making the “same” chassis as there were definitely “Philips” G11’s and “Pye” G11’s for a while.
The first Dynatron sets were indeed the Pye hybrid chassis which continued through it’s many incarnations as Glyn describes, until the Pye “solid state” 110 degree delta tube chassis was similarly “tweaked” and given a fancy cabinet and the Dynatron name. Eventually the G11 chassis was used in Dynatron sets and finally, if memory serves me right, the K30 chassis which was one of the “Kleuren” (might have spelt it wrong) series chassis designed and produced not in the UK, the G11 having been “our” swansong….”
My sincerer thanks go to Richard at the Dynatron Museum for providing these very rare images. If you have any experiences of these products please do get in contact in order that I can update this page.
Engineers Past Experiences
Rich (slidertogrid) advised:
“I worked for a Pye dealer during the late 1970s and wondered why the Pye 205 series was produced alongside the G8 , and yet they did a 20″ Philips that looked like a G8 but had the cheapo nastio pye 713 chassis with picture size and brightness on the same control!
I really disliked the 731 series they seemed to cook up really early in life, I can remember a not so old Dynatron with a 731 chassis being stripped out and a new set put in the cabinet for the customer as the original chassis had been so unreliable that they were fed up with having it constantly repaired for different faults.
The last version 725? reverted back to a 90″ tube and was much more reliable and worked well sold as a basic model when new, I bought loads from a dealer when they were around 6 years old because the tubes looked past their best, I found two carbon resistors on the crt base in series with the heater supply they looked a bit cooked with flaking paint, replacement gave the crt a new lease of life, did very well out of them!
I cut my teeth on the Pye 205 and admit that they were not the best chassis but they worked quite well and were very fixable.
The firm I worked for got a good 10 years out of the 205s, they were the offered as decontrolled rentals in the days when the rental of a new set required a large deposit.
I went to the Len Briggs lecture when the G11 came out and left thinking ” a point three call rate?” we shall soon be out of a job! the reality was very different, the good old (new) G11 provided us with loads of work !
By the time they were a few years old and had all the mods done and the cap changed new button unit etc they became quite reliable and again slogged on for years. Its just a shame it was so poor from the start!
Not sure if Dynatron sets got the G11 chassis but I always thought it was a bit of a rip off to put a cheap set in a posh box and charge loads for it! At least when you paid over the odds for a B&O you got the money spent on the chassis…”
Robert (bobbyball) advised:
“I have a version of it called the “Chelsea”. It has slider controls and 6 push buttons and I think the chassis was designated “717”. CRT type A47-343X. Just as poor as it’s predecessors, with the “combined brightness and width control” previously mentioned.
The Philips Model “G18C570” with said “A4” chassis does indeed look like a “baby G8” as it has the same “electrobutton” unut and sloping on-off switch as well as the rotary controls. Dark secrets lurk inside however… Fiddled with mine for hours if not days trying to get a good picture on it, which despite it’s regunned tube, it failed to give. At the back of one of the sheds at the moment…Nice looking set though.
Yes I think the 70’s era Dynatrons were a bit of “mutten dressed as lamb”. The Pye solid state chassis using the 110 degree delta tubes that they used latterly was a pretty poor show altogether. The “notorious” printed IF panel and melted pots on the convergence panel are two “disasters” that readily spring to mind. The 90 degree tube version of the chassis, not used in Dynatron guise, was much more mild mannered and fared better.”
“Certain Dynatron mono sets fitted with the Pye Group 67 chassis had a better sound output stage employing a push-pull amplifier. About 1960 Dynatron produced a TV set which had an ultrasonic remote control. The handset was a transistorised unit, not your usual pinger. Functions were channel stepping and volume up and down. A motorised volume control was used. There is mention of the Dynatron remote control system RC1 in the Newnes Radio and Television books.”
Gezza123 advised :
Dynatron also made the 1967 of Dual standard with Multi-Band Tuner and I.F. Panel, all models except the TV-95 had motorised channel selection operated by press-button or remote control.
MARLBOROUGH TV-100 & TV-100-CH
“I was selling and fixing Dynatron sets in the 70’s, the cabinet was the selling feature, one or two tweaks to the electronics but they did not make the sale. They were customers who wanted a piece of furniture and doors to hide the set behind. Later cabinet companies made cabinets that would take a variety of sets, and when the set needed replacement you could put a new one inside. Not quite a pretty when the doors were open but much more practical.
Quite a few manufacturers made sets with doors in the 50’/60’s and one job I used to do was to strip the electronics out and leave the shell to be converted into a ‘Cocktail Cabinet’ by a member of the household. I don’t remember most of the stock faults but I agree with the comments about the 90 degree Pye chassis being much more reliable than the 110 degree ones. The wired remote controls always had faults but shortening the cables by 6 inch at the hand set end always gave a fix until the wires broke again.”
NB: This section is under consideration and awaiting further source material. If you can assist with this please do contact me.