Soviet transistor radios
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Adolfs Irbite

Lettonia (1910–1983)


He was the most famous designer of radios in the Soviet Union. Many tube radios were designed by him, in 1960s he designed the first transistor sets too, including VEF, SELGA and many other models.





This symbol was called “Quality Rosette” and appeared on products which were considered of superior quality (high class).










































The first time I saw one of these radios I was surprised by the care and precision which was dedicated to its manufacturing.
All these sets are characterized by a good strength and simplicity of construction and at the same time have a good sensitivity and selectivity.
The radios manufactured for the Soviet Union internal market have the inscription in Russian, those ones built to be exported have the inscription in English.
On many Soviet radios we can see the inscriptions ΜПИ (MashPriborIntorg) or TENTO, these are not factories or brands names but the trade names of the two companies that were working on marketing and export of these products.

ΜПИ (MashPriborIntorg) was a Soviet export Company, based in Moscow, who exported various technical goods (included radios) between 1950 and 1979. ΜПИ logo can usually be found on the radios, such as “Cosmos”, or on their package boxes.

TENTO (abbreviation of Technointorg) was founded in 1979 to export/import technical goods (included radios) and we can see this logo on the rear of many radios and their package boxes.
In the USSR there were many radio factories, some of the best known are listed below :


COSMOS and ORLJONOK mini-radios were manufactured by Sarapoul Orjonikidze Radio Works in Sarapoul, about 1000 Km  east of Moscow.


NEIVA radios were manufactured by Kamensk-Uralsk Radio Works, Russia


SELENA and OKEAN radios were manufactured  by Minsk Radio Works (Belarus)



SELGA radios were manufactured in Riga (Latvia): Popov Radiotechnika Works , or Radiotehnika RT , or RRR (Riga Radio Rupnica).


SIGNAL e SONATA radios were manufactured by Leningrad Radio Devices Works , S. Petersburg (Russia).


SOKOL ( GULL) radios were manufactured by the Moscow Industrial Union "TEMP" SU, (Federal State Enterprise), a company still working (active) in Moscow.

This company was born in 1914 like "The first governmental electromechanical plant", later it was renamed: Moscow Radio Plant "Temp" and finally it was named: Moscow industrial union "TEMP" SU.

The company is famous since 1980s for its radio manufacturing and the last generation products are: Aircraft automatic radio-compasses which ensure flight route and approach for landing procedure; FM radio-compasses which provide aircraft to aircraft approach including in-flight refuel procedure and search of people suffering distress in emergency Aircraft; receiver-display units operating with both Russian (GLONASS), and foreign (NAVSTAR) signals of satellite navigating systems; Emergency radio stations for providing bidirectional communication between aircrew in distress and rescue team.


VEF, acronym for Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika (State Electro-technical Factory), was a big company located in Riga (Latvia) known since 1932 for the manufacturing of aircraft, photo cameras and radios.

In 1991 the company employed 20000 workers and its best known products were: telephones, telephone systems and radios.

Subsequently the company had many problems and, after 1997, VEF was divided into six smaller companies, only three of them remain, they are the: VEF KRT, VEF Telekom, and VEF Radiotehnika-RRR which employ between 100 and 200 workers each.


You can see VEGA name on many Soviet radios, also on models of other brands such as “VEF”, “Selena” or others.

However there was a company in Berdsk (Siberia) named Berdsk Radio Works which produced radio sets branded “VEGA”.

I don’t know really if this brand was also used as a trade name or if the “Berdsk Radio Works” produced radios on behalf of other factories.



             My collection :












                              SELGA 404


                               SELGA 405




                              SIGNAL 601


                                SIGNAL 402


                              SIGNAL 304






                               SOKOL 403



                              SOKOL 308  







                       VEF-TRANSISTOR 10 



                              VEF 206  ( I )



                              VEF 206  ( II )

















Tento / Technointorg