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Valve Radio

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transistor495

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Last week, I've seen a valve radio made by PHILIPS that is for sale. The seller tells that it is 50yrs old and it looks like same. Cleaned and beautiful on a 50cmX15cmX25cm wooden cabin. It is working fine and what I most like is it has all major Indian old city names written on the dial -so a user can easily track the local station on dial(?), however it looks like an interesting thing to me. Fairly used one and MW,SW/SW2 with antenna conn required on SW bands. Set is working fine and the guy asks for 20USD(INR1000) for that.

My doubt is how would I know whether there's any transistor radio attached inside and connected to the speaker :), I cannot open the cover and once sold, I won't be seeing him again!

Also I'm not at all interested if the set fails. I really don't know about the lifetime of valves, anybody thinks that they'll survive for over 50 years without any fail? It can be a repaired one?

Any comments on this? I'm really interested on this old dude.
 

Gary B

New Member
Another thing is to check for heat. Tube radios will warm a small apartment in the winter. :) Also, if it is an older high end unit (floor model as opposed to a table model) it may have a “Magic eye” tuning aid (popular back in the ‘50s). Guaranteed, no transistor radio in the back is going to get that to work.;)
 

Gary B

New Member
FYI, I used to get about a thousand hours life out of a tube in the late ‘50s to early ‘60s. It is quite possible that the owner got a new fangled transistor radio and just stopped using it so it has been in a time warp for the last 4 decades or so. It is still possible to get tubes for antiques (usually over the web) but, they are expensive and you really have to look hard to find an original or equivalent for some.
 

transistor495

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Just see how long it takes to come on, a transistor set is instant, a valve set takes a couple of minutes.
So if I want to hear an instant 5mins news headlines then, I need to switch it ON 5mins back :D, good idea though..I think I'll try it out. It may take 30sec to 1 or 2 mins right?

Another thing is to check for heat. Tube radios will warm a small apartment in the winter. :) Also, if it is an older high end unit (floor model as opposed to a table model) it may have a “Magic eye” tuning aid (popular back in the ‘50s). Guaranteed, no transistor radio in the back is going to get that to work.;)
Thanks. I think the magic eye is the modern tuning LED indicator :), what my doubt is they can easily cheat people by putting a modern radio with 'magic eye' even...however this is a tabletop one. Heat generation check is also a good idea.

FYI, I used to get about a thousand hours life out of a tube in the late ‘50s to early ‘60s. It is quite possible that the owner got a new fangled transistor radio and just stopped using it so it has been in a time warp for the last 4 decades or so. It is still possible to get tubes for antiques (usually over the web) but, they are expensive and you really have to look hard to find an original or equivalent for some.
Only 1000hrs? That is pretty disappointing :(

That's a point. It shouldn't been used for last 20years or so. I agree, they mostly dumb it into the store rooms or ceiling of the rooms. I've seen a couple of them few years back(not working).

I'm sure there are thousands of valuable rare models still present here, however only a few of'em are coming out for re-sale ;)

I'll be lucky to have a working one just for a show ;-)

Imagine we're getting a set that's not at all used made in 1950's, inside sealed box...kept in an air-tight container for years. That'll be a new smelling old fart...right :)
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
49 years ago I made an FM tuner and a power amplifier from kits. I played them every day for hours for a few years and even all night long many times.
The vacuum tubes in the tuner were never replaced but the ones in the power amp became mis-matched every few months and produced up to 20% distortion.

I had a hybrid colour TV made in 1971. It had two ICs, many transistors and a few vacuum tubes. The power tubes failed every year but the tuner tubes lasted for 25 years and still worked when the TV was thrown out because the picture tube got too dim.

My 1964 HH Scott stereo receiver still works perfectly and plays every day. OMG it is 46 years old!
 

Damo666

Member
Last week, I've seen a valve radio made by PHILIPS that is for sale. The seller tells that it is 50yrs old and it looks like same. Cleaned and beautiful on a 50cmX15cmX25cm wooden cabin. It is working fine and what I most like is it has all major Indian old city names written on the dial -so a user can easily track the local station on dial(?), however it looks like an interesting thing to me. Fairly used one and MW,SW/SW2 with antenna conn required on SW bands. Set is working fine and the guy asks for 20USD(INR1000) for that.

My doubt is how would I know whether there's any transistor radio attached inside and connected to the speaker :), I cannot open the cover and once sold, I won't be seeing him again!

Also I'm not at all interested if the set fails. I really don't know about the lifetime of valves, anybody thinks that they'll survive for over 50 years without any fail? It can be a repaired one?

Any comments on this? I'm really interested on this old dude.

Are you buying this off eBay? If so, just take the plunge as you have nothing to worry about as a buyer using paypal. If the item isn't exactly as described, paypal WILL refund you should you open a dispute. Hope this alleviates your possible worries.
 

Roff

Well-Known Member
In a 50 year old valve radio, some of the capacitors will most likely need to be replaced.
 

transistor495

Member
Forum Supporter
Here's similar looking dial I got after searching on net. Don't you think it's an attractive part :)

I think it was a world-wide design.
waveband.jpg


I think for all models from medium sized to large ones(including tabletop and floortype) might have this location dial. Some models are treated as mystery now. I'm asking whether the company have full details about all the models they've marketed in the past or not?

Philips India Ltd. introduced a lots of versatile models from time to time, some of them were utter crap I know. Now also a new AM/FM portable radio from them costs 10-15USD, where we'll get more attractive same or more performing sets with more attractive features for 5USD's. All of them fails in the FM performance, while AM with high sensitivity and audio quality.

In my opinion, there's nothing to fail in a modern IC based portable radio where everything is integrated onto single chip including audio.

Philips and Murphy were quite popular. I've a 70's model Murphy transistor set that has 2N360 Ge at power amp. They takes a sec to warm up after switched ON. I'm amazed that the set is working fine at a fairly good tone. When I opened it, it has taken me in a timemachine:)..they even have used pf caps made of winding a few turns of 34SWG on a 22SWG enameled copper.

Thinking about shopping for a valve set in a shop full of valve electronics(floor models/table models) sounds interesting :D
 

transistor495

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Forum Supporter
In a 50 year old valve radio, some of the capacitors will most likely need to be replaced.
You mean those wax capacitors? I'm not sure these sets have electrolytic caps.

Can you give me an idea about what are all the things need to be checked and replaced for a better performance, generally.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Many of those old E caps were filled with oil and made a mess when they blew.
 

transistor495

Member
Forum Supporter
49 years ago I made an FM tuner and a power amplifier from kits. I played them every day for hours for a few years and even all night long many times.
The vacuum tubes in the tuner were never replaced but the ones in the power amp became mis-matched every few months and produced up to 20% distortion.

I had a hybrid colour TV made in 1971. It had two ICs, many transistors and a few vacuum tubes. The power tubes failed every year but the tuner tubes lasted for 25 years and still worked when the TV was thrown out because the picture tube got too dim.

My 1964 HH Scott stereo receiver still works perfectly and plays every day. OMG it is 46 years old!

From that what I understood is power tubes usually fail early because they work more. That should be a common phenomena. Even a power transistor is subjected to early fail because they emit heat and draws more current comparing to tuner parts that'll be super cool.

Stereo valve FM is indeed a nice gadget....agreed ;-)
 
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