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 Post subject: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 12:38 am 
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Hello,

I am going to do an article for my local club newsletter with step-by-step instructions and pictures for the beginner getting into transistor radio repair.

So I started digging around in the boxes of radios that I have and found stuff like large multiband sets, micro Japanese radios, and the metal case Motorolas with the handle antennas that always break.

Not really ideal for complete newbs IMO, so I thought I'd ask here; what is a simple easy to work on (recap) transistor radio that you would recommend?
I got my start on a shirt pocket, Channel Master, with a very tight layout, so I was think something large and rugged, probably American-made...

Hopefully, I will be able to find what you recommend and pick one up for cheap on eBay.

Thanks in advance,
Henry


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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 2:09 am 
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The problem with trying to do demonstrations and teaching with most transistor radios is the simple fact that they are so "packed" and without good documentation of the circuit board traces, they can be maddening.

You almost need an actual "trainer" radio that is a transistor radio laid out in the open where you have room to deal with stuff.

I am not recommending this one, but what I am talking about is something like this... https://www.electronickits.com/amfm-rad ... ourse-kit/

There are a number of such things on the market for quite reasonable prices.

Curtis Eickerman

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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 4:46 am 
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When I started recapping radios I would buy a coat pocket size, due to the larger layout they were easier to work on. It took quite some time before I felt "comfortable " with shirt pocket sizes. It's probably better to start with a radio that already works. The only real cheap radios would be the $5 yard sale types. You can find some relatively cheap 9v pockets on Ebay if the shipping is reasonable. Like this K-Mart with two electrolytics. Desoldering is usually the most difficult part of it. I've found the Zeniths easier to work on but they're not cheap unfortunately. The Zenith Royal 40 and 50L (last version of the series) both used just two electrolytics. The Panasonic R-1027 from the mid 70s is a good performer, and uses three electrolytics, a 220uf, a 10uf and a 1uf.


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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 5:23 am 
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I would recommend the coat pocket or lunchbox size sets, assuming they are still relatively cheap on eBay. The PCB's have ample spacing between components, and the copper traces are superior to those of the shirt pocket Japanese sets, so they can withstand a hot soldering iron better.

Here's a few of mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 5:31 am 
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What about the Heathkit radios

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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 5:51 am 
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mrx wrote:
What about the Heathkit radios

He wanted "cheap on eBay". I don't think Heathkit receivers fit that mold.

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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 6:56 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 8:27 am 
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fifties wrote:
mrx wrote:
What about the Heathkit radios

He wanted "cheap on eBay". I don't think Heathkit receivers fit that mold.

"cheap on EBay" is not normally part of my criteria for acquiring anything....."cheap on Amazon"--with free shipping through Prime--will get you on the short list.

I would advise anyone with limited experience to not attempt repair of any widget where they do not understand how it is supposed to operate. this is a major reason for the wording of my sig......previously stated as "follow the current"......I was recently surprised to find myself attempting to help a relatively experience collector who does not appear to have a basic understanding of electric current

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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 4:16 pm 
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A problem in two different parts. For training, I would buy the cheapest dead radio at a flea market, which in case of failure can simply be thrown away. But for educational purposes, the best video I've seen is from Mr. Carlson. Check out one of the last, where he shows how replacing each capacitor affects the operation of the radio.

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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 9:22 pm 
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Thanks for everyone's replies,

My intent with my article was to provide someone with a basic understanding of radios (Like a tube guy) with instructions for recapping one of these things.
I was thinking along the lines of a coat pocket RCA or Westy, they seem to be pretty common.

Man, Greg I really have a lot of projects at the moment but I kind of want that dirty thing...


I Will post what I get.

Best,
Henry


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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 9:48 pm 
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You could start out by recommending one of these:
Attachment:
Transistor Radio Demo Kit.jpg
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https://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Radio-Kit ... 0823586376

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 11:15 pm 
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With any kind of electronic widget, you can get an overdose of "training"s imply by sitting down with the schematic ---and the actual hardware---and finding all the functional nodes--eg the main B+ bus, the key nodes in the audio stages, IF stages, etc.
((Do this on a tube radio first.....

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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 04, 2021 12:59 pm 
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the dirt common cheap ones.
the ones so common you often get them for not much more than shipping.
perfect trainers.
if the patient dies its no loss.


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 Post subject: Re: Best radio to repair for beginners?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 11:26 pm 
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Maybe consider the 2-transistor "Boy's radios"? Parts are typically well-spaced out.

Tom


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