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In the package from ebay was a thank you note from Mary. I emailed her, asking where the radio came from. She replied that her friend got this radio at an estate sale, so she didn't know who built it. If it was an estate sale, we might sadly guess the owner had passed away.

The first thing that struck me was that the cabinet was blue! I didn't know they made blue ones.
It was a little rough, with lots of dust. It had once been shiny, which was my second surprise. I thought they were all matte black.


Inside I saw taped up wires. Two yellow wires went out through the vents in the back panel for external power. This caused some concern. What was used for the power? Was the polarity ever reversed by accident?

Little pieces of the back panel had been flaking off for decades, leaving the inside covered with tan dust.


I put batteries in it and turned it on to see if it worked. A crackle came out of the speaker that was so loud I jumped out of my seat! I wasn't expecting that. At least I knew the audio amplifier section worked. Here you see the empty battery holder. More about that later.

The radio did work to an extent. One of the short wave bands worked. It picked up three different stations, but these stations were spread across half the dial. The regeneration control worked on the other two short wave bands, but the bands themselves appeared to be dead. The AM broadcast band picked up all sorts of buzzing and interference, but not a single actual radio broadcast.


Dirt and paint specks. Somebody painted the room with the radio in it. A lot of old radios have paint specks on them. The radio probably ended up in the basement on a shelf collecting dust, ergo the dirt in the knobs.
The aluminum front panel is covered with a protective sheet of plastic which was going to come off, so I wasn't worried about the dirt on it.
Something sprayed onto the grill. What is it? Will it come off?

Here are the coils for the four bands. The coil on the left is for AM Broadcast. The round silver thing bottom-center is the back of the band selector switch. Notice the two coils on the right don't have ferrite slugs in the centers. They're supposed to be that way.
The other side of the circuit board.

The radio had been assembled with a combination of good and bad solder connections. A perfect example above.
In the center of this picture is a lifted trace on the circuit board. On the other side of the board is a transistor. Something pressed down on the transistor so hard it pushed the copper off the board. It is barely connected to the rest of the circuit by a tiny strip of copper that didn't break.
Here's the other side. Something smashed into the transistor and two capacitors. How do these things happen? I'll bet the radio was dropped and the batteries smashed into the circuit board.
Redoing connections is harder than making them the first time.

The battery holder had hardened over the years. It was so difficult to get the batteries in it I was afraid the back of the radio would break! It was expanded by placing bolts in it, heating it with a heat gun and backing the nuts off the bolts until the front was spread open.

Unfortunately, during the night it reverted back to its original shape. The plastic is so hard it's difficult to understand how something so thin can be so un-pliable. There was no choice but to replace it with a new battery holder. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a white one.
Some nifty Radio Shack battery skins were printed to go with the new battery holder. They are the design used in 1977.
Some advice: Never, ever use Duracell batteries in anything, ever.
"WOW! Where'd ja get the Radio Shack batteries???"
"I got them for free with my Battery of the Month Club card. I have FOUR cards!"

Editors note: I spent an hour reproducing the font on the battery. Then I saw on the card they once used New Times Roman. DOH!


The headphone jack. The jack is also a switch. In the center, the switch is closed and the speaker is connected. On the right, headphones are plugged in and the switch opens, cutting off the speaker. The AC adapter jack works the same way. If the radio is dead, these jacks are something to look into. I left those sloppy solder connections alone. The connections are so small I probably couldn't improve them.

I couldn't say the same thing about the AC adapter jack, but as you can see, they are very small.