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Old 04-28-2004, 12:45 PM
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Show us your vintage pocket transistor radios!

Decades before the Sony Walkman, shirt or coat pocket transistor radios were a must have for any of us growing up between the mid-1950's to the 70's. Not much larger than a pack of smokes (and some actully smaller than that), these single battery powered sets came in a huge variety of colors and styles. They delivered to us The Beatles, The Mamas & The Pappas, and news such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy with the tinny sound of a little speaker.

Here is a Sony 3F-66W from the late 60's. I found this in a little shop in Ybor City, FL a few years ago. Not a scratch on it, and played perfectly. I think I paid 8 bucks for it. Has the leather case, and the antenna is still there with the little red ball on top. This is a 9V AM/FM.
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:47 PM
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Here is the same radio in it's leather case. Still has a crease in the strap.
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:54 PM
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This is a 1967 Westinghouse H-902P6-GPA. Man! That's a lot of model number for something so small! This little set is like new, and the only wear is the slot where you put a penny to open the back... and it's really minor wear. This radio wasn't used much either. It's AM and 9V.
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:18 PM
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I got this Silvertone 4204 by mistake. I saw an ad in ARC several years back for a red Silvertone 4204 radio for 5 bucks. I thought it was going to be a tube set. Sears obviously used the same model numbers more than once, so i was really surprised when I received this little transistor radio in the mail. It's got a few scratches here and there. Evidently was used quite often. It's AM with a round 9V battery. I put a connector on it for a square battery to see if it worked (which it did), but the square battery won't fit in the case. I believe this set is from the early to mid 60's.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:30 PM
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Solar Power!

This little radio belongs to my 93 year old neighbor. It's a Hoffman model PP-706 "Trans-Solar" AM radio. It uses either a 4.7v mercury battery, or the solor panels on top of the set. She paid $75.00 for it back in the late 50's! That was quite a bit for a transistor radio. Hoffman made several models of transistor sets with solar panels.

The little set works great! On a sunny day, the solar panels give it plenty of juice to pump out the tunes. It will even work under a 60 watt light bulb.
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:36 PM
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Since 4.7v mercury batteries are no longer available, I was able to slightly modify the connectors and use a 4.5 photo-flash battery to operate the set. I wrapped electrical tape around the battery to make it a little fatter so it wouldn't move around inside the compartment. Worked like a charm!
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:49 PM
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Wow I didn't know they even had solar cells in the 50's! That's got to be one of the niftiest little radios I think I've ever seen.
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Old 04-28-2004, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimiJohnB
Wow I didn't know they even had solar cells in the 50's! That's got to be one of the niftiest little radios I think I've ever seen.
When my neighbor first told me about her little radio, i thought she was mistaken telling me she had a solar powered set she bought in 1958! After seeing it, I was amazed!

I'm not at all surprised that she bought this radio. Even at her age, she's one to like the latest in technology. Buying a solar powered set in 1958 would certainly be high-tech!
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:23 PM
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Although not the most attractive, this Kensington 8 transistor set plays pretty good. I can't find a model number on it, but I'd guess it to be late 1960's. I've also got the little clear plastic carrying case that came with it.
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:35 PM
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Truetone model DC3906C. This 9v AM radio plays really good. I've got the box it came in, and the original reciept.
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 03:38 PM
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Here is the Western Auto sales ticket... dated Sept 4, 1963. This radio sold for $2.99 back then!
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Last edited by Charlie; 05-02-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 04-28-2004, 05:49 PM
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My fave

Here's one of the faves from my collection. One of the first I found at a garage sale. Two transistor radios were called "Boy's Radios"
and were labelled as such on the back. This subjected them to lower tariffs as they were classified as toys rather than radios.

Next time you watch the movie "Hud", look closely in Lon's shirt pocket and you will see this radio.

BTW, the Hoffman solar was the first practical use of solar cells, made possible by the invention in 1954 of solar cells and the fact that transistor radios did not require the wattage of tube portables.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...,2139125.story

The Hoffmans are some of the most desirable to collectors and fetch 100 - 200 in good condition.

Lee
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Old 04-28-2004, 05:51 PM
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OOPS here's the pic

Better late than never
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Last edited by Charlie; 03-26-2006 at 02:57 PM.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2004, 06:35 PM
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Solar

That was an interesting article. I am somewhat surprised that battery/solar powered consumer items are not offered more often. I am sure that solar panels have come a long way since the 50's, and that they would be able to power some of the small electonics we use today. The only thing I see them on in the consumer market it calculators. If they could power a small radio such as the Hoffman, why not make them on today's products?

My neighbor's Hoffman has very few hours on it. She told me they used it now and then while working outside years ago, but in the past several years, it is only used during power outages. I've noticed that she is very firm about holding on to it. She feels that it's the best little radio she has ever owned (and during her 93-year lifetime... that's a lot of radios!). She just won't part with it!

That boy's radio looks great! Very attractive looking! I assume that only having 2 transistors limits its range?
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:47 PM
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Yeah, doesn't pull in a a lot of stations, but plays just as loud as more complex radios.

Keep working on that Hoffman. Let her know that you're someone who really appreciates the history of it!
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