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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Wed 07, 2021 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2293
Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
My first in 1959 was a Knight-Kit 2 transistor reflex radio driving a crystal earphone. Used two GE "Top Hat" transistors. My dad was a scoutmaster so we went on 4 to 6 camping trips a year to farmland just about 4 miles from home. Almost always went in the Fall and Winter to escape the miserable bugs, heat and humidity. A couple of times we did some kite flying and I got the idea to bring some salvaged small gauge magnet wire. We lofted a box kite with the hope of it staying up after sunset... I grounded the wire using a war surplus spade type trench shovel. Sure enough it was still flying and we were out in the field looking for satellites. I looped a couple of turns of the kite wire around my little set and stations came booming into the earphone. Of course, being a classic reflex set with only one tuned circuit selectivity was more or less a joke. But for a 13 year old kid on a starry night it was magical.
Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2021 1:51 am 
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Robert Lozier wrote:
My first in 1959 was a Knight-Kit 2 transistor reflex radio driving a crystal earphone. Used two GE "Top Hat" transistors. My dad was a scoutmaster so we went on 4 to 6 camping trips a year to farmland just about 4 miles from home. Almost always went in the Fall and Winter to escape the miserable bugs, heat and humidity. A couple of times we did some kite flying and I got the idea to bring some salvaged small gauge magnet wire. We lofted a box kite with the hope of it staying up after sunset... I grounded the wire using a war surplus spade type trench shovel. Sure enough it was still flying and we were out in the field looking for satellites. I looped a couple of turns of the kite wire around my little set and stations came booming into the earphone. Of course, being a classic reflex set with only one tuned circuit selectivity was more or less a joke. But for a 13 year old kid on a starry night it was magical.
Robert

Now that is a really cool story, and I'm sure an excellent memory for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2021 4:25 am 
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Tubologic wrote:
My very first transistor radio was a japanese ALIC my father offered me around 1964-65. I'm sure about the brand but from what I can remember (I was 4 years old !) it was a 2 transistors radio (as written on the front) and had a (small) speaker which seems technically unlikely...


Actually 2 transistor sets with speaker were quite common.

Here's one on ARF...

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=212856

The Windsor Coronet was extremely popular.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/windsor_c ... radio.html

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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Thu 08, 2021 4:55 am 
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35Z5 wrote:

The Windsor Coronet was extremely popular.

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/windsor_c ... radio.html

Looks wise may have sold it, but it was a Turkey in performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 09, 2021 5:55 am 
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Location: Lexington, KY, USA
On this page in this topic:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=56540&start=640

I show my first transistor radio, a Lloyd's. What made this particular radio interesting is that I got this model of radio for my birthday TWICE-once when I was 9 years old, and again, about 50 years later!

Other than having a too-thin case made out of garbage plastic, it was, and is, surprisingly good in terms of reception, rivaling my best Trans-Oceanic on AM. It was also incredibly efficient, running hundreds of hours on carbon-zinc batteries at very low volume as it put me to sleep listening to WBBM 780.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 09, 2021 10:44 pm 
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OldHack wrote:
On this page in this topic:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=56540&start=640

I show my first transistor radio, a Lloyd's. What made this particular radio interesting is that I got this model of radio for my birthday TWICE-once when I was 9 years old, and again, about 50 years later!

Awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Apr Sun 11, 2021 11:15 pm 
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I remember having different pocket transistors in the mid-late 60's but no specific radio comes to mind. I remember having a larger, but cheap, Sony "portable" AM radio in the early 70's.

The first radio I do remember is a Sony TFM-1000WB with AM/FM and 2 SW bands that I got for Christmas not long after discovering WWV, the BBC, VOA and AFRTS stations on a 40's SW upright and being in complete awe as a result.

I heard a lot on that Sony...!

After that I bought a Realistic DX-150A which I lost years later in a move...


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: May Mon 03, 2021 4:30 pm 
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I remember the first transistor radio in my family, but not too clearly. It was a leather-covered 6-transistor, satchel style (handle on top). Volume control on the front face at top left, round tuning dial top right. I think it was a Philco. My father ordered it and when it finally arrived I was never more disappointed in my life. I thought it was ugly and the sound was dull (in retrospect I think it might have suffered from poor high frequency audio response).

Later, I was given a nice transistor radio for high school graduation. Not long after, I put it on the roof of a friend's car while getting in. Then we drove off but forgot to grab it. It was the last transistor radio I had until I got interested in collecting.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: May Tue 04, 2021 12:19 am 
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allthumbs wrote:
I remember the first transistor radio in my family, but not too clearly. It was a leather-covered 6-transistor, satchel style (handle on top). Volume control on the front face at top left, round tuning dial top right....I thought it was ugly and the sound was dull.
Could it have been this GE? I think it's pretty ugly but it has 7 transistors, not 6.

Attachment:
Ugly GE Transistor Radio.jpg
Ugly GE Transistor Radio.jpg [ 119.62 KiB | Viewed 2009 times ]


Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: May Tue 04, 2021 6:35 pm 
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Dave Doughty wrote:
allthumbs wrote:
I remember the first transistor radio in my family, but not too clearly. It was a leather-covered 6-transistor, satchel style (handle on top). Volume control on the front face at top left, round tuning dial top right....I thought it was ugly and the sound was dull.
Could it have been this GE? I think it's pretty ugly but it has 7 transistors, not 6.


Dave

Ahhh.

Assuming the outputs are matched are fairly decent players, P-776A/B. Also a dark leather P-777A/B.
Has 4" speaker but only use three 1Ā½v batteries, maybe 225mw amp. Also has a dial light.

Philco had leather 6 transistor radio, here's a '59 T-6.

https://philcoradio.com/gallery2/1959a/#Model_T-6

There are additional models, check out other year galleries.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: May Wed 05, 2021 11:30 pm 
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Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
Circa 1960, a peddler made the rounds of "street retail hot spots" in my little town; at one of which (a car dealer) my father was employed. The peddler sold my dad a tiny transistor radio, not much larger than a pack of cigarettes, and which worked amazingly well. It came complete with a vinyl carrying slipcover and an earphone; it was powered by a nine-volt battery. Although I was too young to recognize what a technical marvel it was, it was a great source of amusement in our family for years... until it got left on the dashboard of our '62 Ford station wagon at a summer outing and, well, basically melted, Not a big deal, though- by that time (mid '60s) cheap transistor radios had become so pervasive that its loss was like spilling a Pepsi.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 08, 2021 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 12, 2021 12:59 am
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Location: Rochester, New York
Mickey Mouse radio. The one where the ears were the volume and tuning.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 08, 2021 6:34 pm 
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Quote:
Could it have been this GE? I think it's pretty ugly but it has 7 transistors, not 6.

Attachment:
Ugly GE Transistor Radio.jpg
Ugly GE Transistor Radio.jpg [ 119.62 KiB | Viewed 199 times ]

Dave, that's it exactly! Seven transistors and GE. Thank you! But I still think it's ugly. :lol:

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 11:47 am 
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Location: Athens, Greece
Mine was a Panasonic R-245 JB, MW/SW, AC/DC that my father bought when I was about 11 in 1962. We already had a 1955 Philips tube. The radio had poor selectivity but good sensitivity. It gave me lots of joy and happy listening but sadly I can't even remember what happened to it when sometime in the early 80s it disappeared from my life.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 12, 2021 11:52 pm 
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Location: Walden, NY USA
This was my first! My parents got me this Trancel 8 transistor radio. The copper color was stunning. I would listen to WABC late into the night with my earphone!


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trancel.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 19, 2021 4:04 am 
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Location: Pasadena CA USA
Christmas 1959, a gift from my parents. This picture is not the actual radio, this one from the internet, but I still have the actual radio and last time I tried it, it worked fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 19, 2021 6:07 am 
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Hey Jim, they used the same case for their early Transistor sets, as were used for their later tube sets. Here's a scan of my 4 tube H-563. The red switch on the side is for battery saver operation.


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H563 front.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 19, 2021 3:52 pm 
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Location: Pasadena CA USA
What did the battery saver switch do?

Funny the things that we recall from when we were kids. I recall that before Christmas I was with my dad at some store that sold radios. The store had both portable transistor radios and portable tube radios. Dad was asking the man about the advantages of one over the other. In retrospect I think my dad was watching me to see which radio I liked and he planned to return and purchase it for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 19, 2021 9:13 pm 
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J. Hill wrote:
What did the battery saver switch do?


Nothing really, LOL. It's marked "Save", with an arrow pointing down, and I guess was supposed to reduce current consumption from the A battery, in the lower position. I think it was more of a sales gimmick, and have seen the same thing on other tube portables.

J. Hill wrote:
Funny the things that we recall from when we were kids. I recall that before Christmas I was with my dad at some store that sold radios. The store had both portable transistor radios and portable tube radios. Dad was asking the man about the advantages of one over the other. In retrospect I think my dad was watching me to see which radio I liked and he planned to return and purchase it for me.

That's a nice memory you have of your dad, Jim.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember your first solid-state radio?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 20, 2021 1:56 am 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
J. Hill wrote:
What did the battery saver switch do?


I don't have that radio. Typically, battery saver switches cause the voltage supplied to the output stage is greatly reduced. On several Zenith lunchbox radios, it runs on 3 volts instead of the usual 9. At low volume, you really can't tell the difference.

Brett


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