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 Post subject: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Oct Sun 29, 2017 4:49 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4965
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

This is one of two radios that I wanted from a large group I recently purchased. First became interested in this model when I saw an inside pic of one on Ebay with its surface-barrier transistors and long ferrite-rod antenna---and it only required 2 "AA" cells for power. Little did I know about what surprises lied ahead !

Radio was filthy and had a lot of dried adhesive tape residue on speaker grille---took a lot of cleaning and rubbing with Isopropyl alcohol being careful not to remove the silver trim paint. The tuning knob was covered with crud and was scuffed & scratched once clean---took many passes of Novus-2 to make it presentable... A previous owner's name is on back cover in gold script covered with fingernail polish---will leave it alone for now as I need to test acetone on inside area to see if it is safe for this plastic. Radio turned out much better appearance-wise than I thought---thankfully...

Ferrite antenna rod was broken and had been simply wrapped with some type of heavy decorative cloth tape which I removed before gluing with Superglue gel---there was a small "chunk" I couldn't get into position, so left it out. Antenna leads had broken and a previous owner had simply twisted enamel coated wire around ends and coated with glue---no electrical connection ! They'd also replaced one of the broken terminals on mounting strip with a thick piece of solid wire and made the same type of "connection" coated in glue---good grief ! But after repairing all these connections, replacing the two electrolytic caps and re-installing antenna, radio still dead unless I brushed my fingers across certain points on PCB bottom and different stations would zip by ! After glancing at an Ebay pic of an "unhacked" PCB, discovered that the antenna end lead had been attached to oscillator terminal of tuning cap and I'd put it back where found ! Made proper connection and was now able to receive a couple stations at the wrong points on dial. Audio would cut out intermittently, too, and located/repaired a cracked PCB trace by mounting hole. After adjusting oscillator trimmer to restore tracking, dial accuracy excellent and performance very good. Tweaking ANT trimmer raised level to excellent. 2nd & 3rd IFT very close as they were, but adjusting 1st IFT about a 1/4 turn turned this set into another WOW radio ! Super sensitive & selective across band picking up my favorite low power oldies station 70 miles away with ease. Tuning cap is a bit stiff and it's a bit difficult to tune stations dead on with the sharp selectivity---another set that could use a vernier tuning cap ! Another big surprise is how good the sound quality is coming from that small speaker ! This is another simple 6-transistor set which easily outperforms some of the tuned-RF equipped radios in collection... Amazing little light-weight radio ! Anyone else have one ?

This was a fairly quick "squeezed-in out of curiousity" project, so didn't take as many pics---see below...

John


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1ARF T64 before.jpg
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2ARF T64 CHS BEFORE MINUS ANT ROD.jpg
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3ARF T64 ANT ROD SUB-PROJECT.jpg
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4ARF T64 CHS CMPLT BOT.jpg
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5ARF T64 CHS CMPLT TOP.jpg
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6ARF T64 CMPLT CVR INS.jpg
6ARF T64 CMPLT CVR INS.jpg [ 233.62 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]
7ARF T64 CHS INSTLLD.jpg
7ARF T64 CHS INSTLLD.jpg [ 194.02 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]
8ARF T64 CMPLT BK.jpg
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9ARF T64 CMPLT FRT.jpg
9ARF T64 CMPLT FRT.jpg [ 202.95 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]
10ARF T64 SIZE COMPARISON.jpg
10ARF T64 SIZE COMPARISON.jpg [ 207 KiB | Viewed 474 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Oct Sun 29, 2017 7:37 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 11950
Location: San Jose, CA USA
This radio has a bit of a story to tell in terms of the sourcing of its components. Japanese speaker and RF/IF transformers are a harbinger of things to come just a few years later...

Hard to believe, but for a few years, Philco was one of the world's largest producers of transistors -- mainly for their computer division that few people even know existed.

These transistor sets do work surprisingly well after a recap and alignment.

_________________
Tom K6VL


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 Post subject: Re: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Oct Sun 29, 2017 8:16 am 
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Joined: Nov Sat 26, 2011 4:09 am
Posts: 8088
Location: Texas. USA
Tom Albrecht wrote:
This radio has a bit of a story to tell in terms of the sourcing of its components. Japanese speaker and RF/IF transformers are a harbinger of things to come just a few years later...

Hard to believe, but for a few years, Philco was one of the world's largest producers of transistors -- mainly for their computer division that few people even know existed.

These transistor sets do work surprisingly well after a recap and alignment.
The Philco high-frequency surface-barrier transistor was the first transistor that was suitable for high-speed computers.

Amusingly, the TX-0 computer had them encapsulated in 'vacuum tubes'.
Attachment:
TX-0_computer_Philco_surface-barrier_transistors.jpg
TX-0_computer_Philco_surface-barrier_transistors.jpg [ 160.38 KiB | Viewed 460 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Oct Sun 29, 2017 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4965
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Guys !

I've read about the surface-barrier transistors' computer "connection", but have never seen or heard that they were enclosed in tubes---very interesting ! Appreciate the pics !

Still amazed how well they perform on low voltages in Philco's early sets---very good radios...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Nov Wed 08, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
It amazes me the great sound these manufacturers could get from a 3 volt radio. Very nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Nov Thu 09, 2017 2:33 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4965
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks ! Yes, Philco had several radios that operated on 3V including at least one "lunchbox" size set, the T805-124 which has a tuned-RF amp stage. Very good performing & sounding radios...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Philco T64-124 --- An amazing little radio !
PostPosted: Nov Sun 19, 2017 4:39 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 4965
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

After playing this radio a bit, it developed an intermittent where the audio would become slightly distorted. Tapping on one of the output transistors made it come & go, so was concerned that it may be bad. They were mounted flush to PCB for some reason, so wanted to at least lift them off surface a bit to see what might be underneath. Didn't realize earlier that this radio was designed for ease of servicing---removed knobs and 3 screws and the PCB easily turned over bottom of case without disturbing wiring. Looked like one of the transistor leads was poorly soldered, so desoldered both, raised them off the PCB surface as far as leads would allow, then resoldered. There was also another trace over cracked area which checked okay previously, but decided to add another jumper while radio apart as a preventive. Installed batteries and radio worked flawlessly---even while tapping transistors...

Still can't believe what a "hot" little radio this is---even with weak batteries putting out only around 2.3 volts total, it kept up with the GE P-865 performance-wise ! Of course the volume was lower at that voltage, but still sounded good after repairing intermittent connection... Just amazing---a real "sleeper" as us car guys would say..

John


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