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 Post subject: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 4:44 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Still can't believe this fantastic Ebay find !

I've really liked these radios, but NEVER thought I'd ever own one due to scarcity and very high cost---then a couple days ago this set "popped up" while browsing Ebay for only $79.99 "Buy It Now" with free shipping !!! You better believe that no time was wasted hitting that "button" ! Seller said it even worked somewhat !

Looked to be in very nice, clean condition inside & out other than the right side of cabinet where handle attaches being broken out, some serious bottom corner chips, and "chunks" missing from solar handle. Am wondering if this is an earlier version as it doesn't have "SOLARADIO" imprinted on handle, doesn't have slots in handle supports, and the ferrite-rod antenna is wound on rod itself and not on a "form" as all the ones I've seen on-line ???

It came today well packed, but rattled loudly when taken out of box. The ferrite antenna rod had come loose, but fortunately was okay.

Contacted seller to see if they had any history on the set and was told it was found at a local Goodwill store in Everett, WA !!! WOW ! Sure would like to know who donated it ! Highly recommend anyone in that area visit those Goodwill shops !

Am almost scared to touch this one as nice and "special" as it is ! It looks as though the broken "chunk" of side panel can be glued back into place, but the corners and handle are a different story. Haven't yet had a chance to apply power---maybe tomorrow morning...

Have already downloaded some interesting items found on-line about these including a PDF of the '57 Hoffman sales brochure in fairly high-resolution...

How many have one of these ? What are your experiences ?

A few of the Ebay pics below...

John


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ARF EBAY hof1.jpg
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ARF EBAY hof2.jpg
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ARF EBAY hof3.jpg
ARF EBAY hof3.jpg [ 263.14 KiB | Viewed 1892 times ]
ARF EBAY hof4.jpg
ARF EBAY hof4.jpg [ 377.19 KiB | Viewed 1892 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 5:12 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33336
Location: SoCal, 91387
Nice going, John! We had a discussion about this auction recently;

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=359770


The radio was also on the cover of the August '57 issue of Popular Science. Not too many Transistor sets can say that, lol.


Attachments:
Aug 57 Popular Science.jpg
Aug 57 Popular Science.jpg [ 395.46 KiB | Viewed 1886 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 5:43 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Richard---as you and many others here know, it is very rare to "stumble" on a truly good Ebay deal ! Several times have seen great buys quickly disappear before even getting a chance to move cursor to that "magic button"... Sure wonder what the seller paid for it at the Goodwill store !!!

Am really nervous as well as being excited about this radio and may take awhile to get into it. One of the individual solar cells is missing a "chunk"and am hoping that one that in parts stash is same size. Also need to find the "non-hazing" Super-glue to repair side panel...

Sure hope it turns out well !

By the way---I downloaded that P.S. cover pic and the pages of the transistor radio article... Think I used to have that magazine years ago...

John


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 20726
Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I see SONY embossed in the kick-stand. Were these made by Sony for Hoffman?

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 10408
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
SONY, Hoffman and brittle plastic...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/transisto ... 0094007826

Neat radio John.
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey Dave,

I've read that Sony provided the cabinets for Hoffman in unique colors, but Hoffman built the radio. Would sure like to know the details of this arrangement, though ! Just looked at Matt's TR-6 inside pic and the PCB layout is somewhat similar, but uses several different components. Think I have both schematics found on-line and need to compare the circuits out of curiousity...

Radio has a really good quality "feel" to it and this one sure doesn't look anywhere near 62 years old ! Other than the damage, it had been well cared for and probably rarely used.

Thanks Greg---Our posts just crossed !

John


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 10408
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Maybe Michael can provide some more information?
I haven't seen him lately.

Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Greg,

Will message him when time allows---had viewed his posts and website about these radios a couple times in the past. Very good pics and info !

Gotta be extra careful with this one !

John


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 10408
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Hoffman Transistor portable chassis-1109
P410 and Solaradio P411

Rider (transistor) Vol. 24
Four pages. pdf-page-58→
https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Rider-Manual.htm

Direct download: https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Ar ... tor-24.pdf

Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 15, 2015 2:02 am
Posts: 105
You got quite a score there John. Im sure it's really going to help round out your Hoffman collection.

I have the same one, same color etc if you need and pictures.

Im sure you may already have seen it but the real video to check out for these is Bill's wonderful talk on youtube at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaBYL-xwsUA

All the colors including an impossibly rare transparent Solaradio.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 10408
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Great video Shaun - thanks for posting.

Image

:) Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1389
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
John - Great to find out that you bought the Hoffman BP-411 as I'm sure you will restore it back to original condition! - Mark


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much Guys !

Greg---appreciate the messages & info, just replied !

Shaun---I saw that great video of Bill's awhile back when involved with the Trans-Solar. It was a real "WOW" ! Just noticed that my volume knob bright was missing, so maybe you could send a good picture so I can see what it looks like ?

Mark---I'll get it the best I can, but no way to get it back to original with the missing pieces of plastic. Very grateful, though, that they're out of sight when viewing front !

Did apply power a few minutes ago and it works/sounds great on strong locals ! Am sure that the electrolytics are shot... Am getting more excited now...

John


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Tue 04, 2019 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 10408
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
For the broken corner - Fiberglass Mat (support) and Bondo, then paint it.
It is what it is... :)

Ed Morris will do it if you're scaredy-cat. Lol
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 3:23 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 12, 2019 6:09 am
Posts: 145
What a find! That one (Solar or not or Sony) TR-6 style has been on my bucket list since day one. A bit pricey though, and I won't buy direct from Japan.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 5:19 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 13, 2009 5:09 am
Posts: 563
Location: Santa Clara, CA
I like the pictogram of a transistor in red on the dial face!


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1559
Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
Wow, what a great find!


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Guys !

Hope to get at least a little done today as far as disassembly of handle. Still haven't found another on-line that is "slot-less" and doesn't have the thumbscrews or "SOLARADIO" imprinted---have contacted a couple people so far who have these radios and they've not seen one, either... Also, looked at the non-solar P410 and handle is simple and completely different. Please post if you know anything about this !

John


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 10408
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Alan has a slotless handle version.
http://tabiwallah.com/radiowallah/Hoffman/kp411b.html

Your black anodized steel screws may not be original.
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: UNBELIEVABLE Ebay find---'57 Hoffman Solaradio BP-411 !!
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hey Greg,

I had seen that site awhile back---thought I'd remembered the "slot-less" handle arms mentioned somewhere, but couldn't remember where !

Do see that he also has the earlier ferrite-rod antenna, but his handle does have the "SOLARADIO" imprint where mine doesn't. And the side screws on mine are solid brass with similar "patina" as the brass connection plate inside radio and appear to have been factory "crimped" on the threads so that they will not fully unscrew. So am guessing that this radio even pre-dates his ? Will keep researching bit by bit...

Have started disassembly of handle and had to disconnect wiring & diode to remove from cabinet. Thought that one of the solar-cell elements was broken, but it appears that it simply became unsoldered from adjacent ones and slipped beneath due to the completely crumbled foam rubber support below---thankfully !!! Also, the solar-cell cover appears to be just a flat strip of 3/16" plexiglas or acrylic of some sort with white painted ends---so it could be recreated.

Took close up, hi-res pic of top of chassis for reference and am going to carefully remove original electrolytics and replace. Will keep them as is typically done in a small poly Zip-loc bag with any other original parts/pieces including loose plastic fragments which fell out of radio along with a dated note. Will be very easy to reinstall for future owner if they want originality over functionality... Just like to be able to use and enjoy my radios working as they should...

Stay tuned !

John


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