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 Post subject: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda radio
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:29 pm 
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For a few years I've been curious as to what radios were like in China back in the 50's-60's. Well, on Saturday we received a number of donations.One was this:
Image

Its a radio made by the Nanjing Radio Factory, Nanjing 南京无线电厂

Its a Panda 601-3G.

According to radiomuseum this is the following I could find concerning the company:
Quote:
"Nanjing Radio Factory (if taken the true translation) produced military products as a core factory of Central Wireless Electronic Factory. In 1952, then still named Nnjing Electro Factory 南京电工厂, sent some engineers to the USA to get a start with an American product into radio manufacturing. They could then assemble the Philco 46-806, a radio for the tropics. Soon they sold it as Hongxing 红星 501 which is in English "Red Star". But there was not a greater production.

The follower was Hongxing 红星 502 in 1953. Also in 1953 they produced the first radio tubes, see separate history about it."


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I have no idea how old the set is. Given that Chinese manufacturing standards were far behind western standards its possible the set is newer than it looks. All in all its actually fairly well made and it still works fine.

Given the rarity of vintage chinese sets in th US we will be keeping this as a museum display item. I won't recap it either as its neat to retain all of the original chinese components.


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 7:13 pm 
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What a neat find! :D

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 7:50 pm 
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Really cool. Good decision to leave it alone. Thanks for sharing.

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Quote:
...we will be keeping this as a museum display item.


What museum are you referring to Bob? Is this a museum near you in the Bay Area?

Dennis


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 8:20 pm 
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Yup.
The California historical radio society in downtown Alameda.
If we get either unusual or rare radios from unusual places we tend to keep them. I feel with this set it would be a shame to replace the original capacitors. I actually talked to a member today who sold this radio years ago. According to him it's from the 50's. So it's been taken well care of


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Very nice indeed! I like the green light in the fish, is that an eye tube?

Russ

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Yup. Its an eye tube. Who says communists can't be a little creative?


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 11:51 pm 
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What a terrific find, and an excellent decision to leave it all original. In a museum setting it wouldn't be plugged in and turned on anyway, would it?

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 12:36 am 
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No, we wouldn't have it running unless one of us was around. I did leave it on for about an hour yesterday and it seems to do ok. Trying to replace the tubes would be problematic for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 1:42 am 
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Thanks for sharing. Good that it works, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 1:56 am 
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Cool indeed... The closest I have is a "Spring Thunder" transistor portable. It was exported to the UK about 5 or 10 years before China made radios started coming into the USA. As I recall, it is a very good performer with 7 transistors. Have not put batteries in it in about 20 years.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 3:02 am 
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Nanning is a city in China. I think it was a base for the provisional govt in the days of Mao.
That radio dial seems to be Anglicized for export to North America, the Standard BC band.

The Panda T-15 is an AM/FM transistor radio, appears to be recent production, but is described as an 'elderly' type.
I wonder if the Nanning Radio Company is still producing electronic products for sale in the West?

"PANDA T-26 Radio All band Desktop FM radio portable The old man type semiconductor"

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 3:41 pm 
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I seriously doubt this was ever made for export- especially to the US: we had a trade embargo against them that wasn't lifted for decades after this was produced. Given that everything is in Chinese inside and out also is a strong indicator it was for the domestic Chinese market.

I did find the story of this radio in particular.it was bought years ago on eBay and came from mainland China.


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 5:14 pm 
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bobwilson1977 wrote:
No, we wouldn't have it running unless one of us was around. I did leave it on for about an hour yesterday and it seems to do ok. Trying to replace the tubes would be problematic for sure.


Just my recurring recommendation about running old radio equipment... My bench has an AC outlet with a wind-up 60 minute timer in series with the line.... When I get distracted away from the bench (as I frequently do), it is my pretty good guarantee against damage from faults that don't draw enough current to blow safety fuses or breakers.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 5:39 pm 
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Hi Bob. I also obtained a Chinese made radio from eBay about 10 years ago. No one else bid on it, I was very surprised. It is a big heavy set with 4 speakers. The speakers aren't as big as on some of the German sets, so the sound isn't quite as powerful, but it still sounds good. It is in great shape. When I first got it, I looked inside and the speakers looked brand new, and said Made in China. I thought they had been replaced recently, but a friend who did some work on it said they are all original! Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the interior, but the back panel has a lot of Chinese lettering as well as English. The name on the radio is Peary. There is some Chinese lettering in front, but only next to each band. I am guessing the set is 1958 - 1960 vintage, but don't really know for sure.


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File comment: Chinese Radio, ca. 1960
Chinese radio for ARF.jpg
Chinese radio for ARF.jpg [ 52.57 KiB | Viewed 445 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 6:01 pm 
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It would be nice to find one of those! Thanks for posting the images.

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Although not an exact match, this one may be close:

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/nanjingrf_panda2906629483_601_12a2.html

Offhand, I'd say the date of the Panda set is more like 1964 or so. I once communicated and made a trade with a collector in China. He told me that it wasn't uncommon for manufacturers to produce the same or very similar models for years at a time. He also said that a lot of the European radio "knockoff" styling continued well into the 1970s.

Sets from China made in the early to mid 1950s were uncannily similar to Soviet made sets of the same era in both styling and construction. By the late '50s into the '60s and even beyond, the styling more closely mimicked sets from Germany. Construction quality of the ones I've examined in person, which has only been three, is like a cross between lower end European sets and Japanese export sets of the same era if that makes any sense.

China wasn't exporting radios in those days and it's uncommon to find one in the US.

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 6:41 pm 
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We had a member here at one time who lives in China, and displayed home-grown consumer electronics. Here's the thread;
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=197831

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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 8:20 pm 
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The only thing that is just a tad disappointing about this radio is that it kind of lacks originality from a style perspective. It looks like any number of typically European radios: a square wood box with complicated dial glass up front. Its always been a curious thing for me that of all nations that made radios back then, the Americans were about the only country with truly unique designs whereas everyone else used the same general european styling for theirs.


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 Post subject: Re: Here's one you don't see often: vintage chinese Panda ra
PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2019 12:59 am 
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Does it have variable voltage taps? They may have hoped to export them to some English speaking country at some point, otherwise why English markings on the dial?


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