View Full Version : Sony 5 303-W Micro Transistor TV

05-09-2013, 09:26 PM
I found a local ad for this Sony 5 303-W Micro Transistor TV.
Is it worth the $25 ? see pics

Sandy G
05-09-2013, 10:00 PM
Yep, these TVs were what launched Sony into the forefront..Even after 50 years, they almost always STILL work...Mine lasted from '62 til '69, when they landed on the was on 12-18 hrs a day..

Eric H
05-09-2013, 10:42 PM
Good price, I got one of those for $10 but it's not as nice as that one.

Believe it or not I picked up an 8-301W with the vinyl carrying case for $25 on Craigslist. The guy knew it was worth more on eBay but didn't care.

05-10-2013, 10:56 PM
No, it's not worth 25's worth more than that....:)

Sandy G
05-10-2013, 10:58 PM
Sony sold a blue GAZILLION of those in the Sixties..

Electronic M
05-11-2013, 02:05 AM
Yeah. I've got a 1964 model with something like a 4" screen that I found in a thrift in the early 00's for a probably less than 10$. I think they marked it as the smallest production set in the world at the time. It still works like a champ despite the vert hold being at one end of it's range, the UHF tuner needing a rubber band to replace the bad belt, and the built in rechargeable cells being toast.

05-13-2013, 07:21 AM
That power cord alone is almost worth that. VERY hard to find those Sony 4-prong cords WITH the set sometimes. Even harder to find that cord just by itself if you want one on your workbench. I have a 303 and a "305U" (or somesuch) with the UHF tuner. Both work pretty good, although the 303 I have does have an odd "silvery faces" problem. I was told this is a sign I'm losing the CRT on that set.

Even being solid state, both these sets take awhile to come up for some reason. Usually see these in decent condition for around fifty bucks....and "unknown" condition (that cord is almost ALWAYS missing)...for like $35. If it's in the blue case when you find it, It's likely complete with the cord in that pocket...and in running condition.

These are trippy to work on. chassis with all the PS upper and lower pc board that both sorta swing out. Everything is pretty tightly packed, but it's pretty easy to poke around and check stuff. Not anything as bad as trying to work on a 301 (EASY to work on...EXTREMELY hard to check anything while running)

05-14-2013, 03:04 PM
Even being solid state, both these sets take awhile to come up for some reason.

The 5" jug in these sets uses a conventional design indirectly heated cathode, which takes 10-20 seconds to warm up. Most of the small Sony CRTs that were designed later used a directly heated cathode for near instant warm-up, as well as much lower power consumption.


05-15-2013, 07:13 AM
Figured it was something like that, because when there finally is a's a fully sync'd watchable one. My uneducated guess was maybe a real low voltage filament. I've not had to do anything with these two little Sony's except some minor recapping of one's vertical section. The 305UW was folded over just a little at the bottom. That 303 almost certainly needs a CRT. I've been told that the "silvery" look in the contrast was a CRT problem. Cute little sets.....good pictures, but not a whole lot of brightness from either of 'em. I have an 'ol 700U (LOVE it's form factor!)..and that set also never gets too bright, same as the 301. I've come to conclude these early Sony's just don't do REAL bright snappy pictures.

Eric H
07-02-2013, 12:26 PM
I just got this one from the Goodwill Auction, I paid $5 for it but with shipping and handling it came out to $22.

It's pretty clean except the antenna is broken and they engraved their name and SSN on top and bottom of the silver front piece, (Gayle Sears on top and Linda Sears on the bottom, maybe mother and daughter?) the carrying case is nice! and it does get a raster though the vertical is a little short.

I have another one that I think has a good antenna and possible an unmarked bezel, maybe I can make one clean one from the two.

07-02-2013, 02:09 PM
I have one of those that works after recapping the sweep board but still has issues with the height drifting slowly as it warms up and periodically acting like the whole set wants to shut down. These are temperamental little beasts, not quite the reliable daily watcher I hoped it would be.

Dave A
07-02-2013, 06:59 PM
I had one...and may still have it somewhere...that was wonky but I pulled the boards from their connectors and cleaned the contacts with a pencil eraser and it did wonders. Just a suggestion for a try.

07-02-2013, 08:41 PM
I will recap the one that has the folded over picture pretty soon. These aren't very hard at all to work on with the boards that hinge out like that....and you can even run it like that for probing. I'm a bit sad about the 303 that almost certainly has a bad CRT. It's the first set I had in this "micro" collection...and have had it for nearly 20 years. My dad gave that to me.....and I kept it around and would turn it on every few months just to see it run, and catch the dwindling NTSC analog stations until now there are nothing left except the Mexican stations. Now, my dad is gone....and that set is in need of a CRT apparently :tears:

The 305 is way too pretty to sacrifice it's CRT for the 303....and only needs the recapping to get the vertical back to normal. I'll keep the 303 around and find a CRT from some basket case 303 or similar. I should have grabbed the one I saw on ebay not too long ago, but I wasn't aware the "silvery" look was likely a CRT problem. In the meantime, I'll likely recap 303 and try to get her as close to perfect again. I want to mostly KEEP that set as is...but working again. It's not a perfect example, but it is how Dad gave it to me. Maybe I will find it's complete antenna someday, because this one only has like the first two sections.

They are REAL easy to clean up Eric. Except for the recapping the 305 still needs, I had taken that set completely to bits to clean up it's cabinet to almost mint looking. It even has a perfect antenna clip (almost ALWAYS broken the forward half). I just gotta wait for a boring weekend and recap it's sweeps board and it'll be effectively "perfect".

Sandy G
07-02-2013, 09:00 PM
the little luggage case that goes w/them can hold a change or 2 of Drawers, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, couple pairs of socks, even a day or so's worth of prescription Pills..Just sayin'... (grin)

07-02-2013, 09:19 PM
The one Dad gave me the 303 in is still nice like brand new...and latches correctly. I'm not sure if the 305 ever had a case. The UHF tuner adds like 3/4" of width to the cabinet and it does not fit in the 303 case.

Did any of the other (305,307,etc) ever have the nice case? I know 301 did come in some sort of little carrying case....but I don't have that with mine. My little Singer TV6U did come in something that looks like a leather "Chinese take-out" looking case.

I also have a cool looking battery unit for the Singer that is mint looking...but I have to see if that REAL BIG battery is still available anywhere. Looks perfect, but never charges.

07-17-2013, 09:32 PM
Funny you would mention the little case Sandy. I just found a parts set (as mentioned's a BASKET case!). Oddly...the set looks like it sat in the back of someone's barn with the tomcats for 30 years (but has a good CRT!). It came in the little blue case...and for some reason THAT is PERFECT. They were very obviously not together that whole time.

I'll likely start using it to carry things just for fun.....maybe even a nerdy occasional lunch pail. The parts set is now without it's CRT and some of it's external parts my other 303 were it won't be hosting my existing 303W (because it already has a perfect case already). That case won't host a 305W either...because the UHF makes that set about 3/4" wider.

Sandy G
07-17-2013, 09:52 PM
As well as I remember, my dad paid something like $300 for my 303...A king's ransom in late '62. Oh, they gave you the TV, the little carrying case, the antenna matching doohickey, an earphone, a polishing cloth to keep it nice & clean, the owner's manual, & maybe a couple of other nick-nacks.. IIRC, the 303 was sold as a "Premium" product, as ALL Sony stuff tended to be, at least until the late '60s.

08-28-2013, 04:50 PM
Brought mine out of storage the other day to see if it still powered up okay. I need to recap it and would love if someone had a actual sony service manual they want to maybe sell me. Just PM me and I'll consider buying a manual. Don't really want a Sams as I have all my other items in Sony manuals. Checked my KV-4000 out too, and it works good. Just need new buttons. Another project for another day. :-)

08-30-2013, 10:42 PM

11-10-2013, 12:13 AM
No, trust me. I collect Sony from 1960 thru 5" Triniton kv5300. 5-303 are terrible for bad caps. I have bought 7 off eBay. Everybody claims ok. 1 out of 7 usuable with atsc decoder. I have spent 200.00 trying to fix one 303 with pristine case. I gave up and drove the tech nuts also. These sets have very cramped boards and look for 307 which came out 5 yrs later. Honest, I sell you a 303 for almost zero. I have boxes if them

11-10-2013, 12:16 AM
I have 303 SAMs and Sony factory service manual. Google Sony supplement that actually tabulates field tech input bout specific component fault and resulting defects. My advice, say bye bye to 303

11-10-2013, 12:18 AM
:banana:As well as I remember, my dad paid something like $300 for my 303...A king's ransom in late '62. Oh, they gave you the TV, the little carrying case, the antenna matching doohickey, an earphone, a polishing cloth to keep it nice & clean, the owner's manual, & maybe a couple of other nick-nacks.. IIRC, the 303 was sold as a "Premium" product, as ALL Sony stuff tended to be, at least until the late '60s.

Sony 303 are nightmares to service. Sony had terrible b& w quality issues. Small Trinitrons much better