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 Post subject: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Wed 20, 2019 6:42 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6362
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Yes---another "off the list" temptation... Saw this very nice looking radio on Ebay last month for a reasonable "Buy It Now" price and thought it would make a great companion to the earlier Hoffman Trans-Solar and Zenith Sun Chargers in collection---but after looking closely at listing pics it appeared that dial window had a hairline vertical crack, so passed it by. Think a week or so passed with no interest, so contacted the seller who told me that what appeared to be a crack was just a ball-point pen mark which rubbed off with his finger, so bought it after he sent more pics. Had also read that these were very good performers which had fueled interest...

An ordeal followed ! After purchase didn't hear anything back from seller for several days, so sent a couple messages which were ignored. Saw that they had a shop in Prescott, AZ so looked up number and phoned. He said he didn't know what had happened and asked girl if she had shipped and I heard her in background saying that she "didn't even know that it had sold" ! They still didn't seem too concerned and sent it out following Monday using that miserable USPS "Parcel Select" service which I've had problems with before. Took over two weeks to arrive and was sent to Kentucky, then Iowa and Ohio before arriving in Indianapolis ! They also said it was to be packed carefully---well, it was sandwiched loosely between two pieces of foam rubber and rest of space was loosely filled with foam peanuts. Fortunately, the bottom of the radio slid toward side of the heavy cardboard box and there was no obvious damage...

Very grateful that it turned out to be as nice (but smaller than I thought) as it appeared in pics... Immediately after unpacking, turned it on and placed in sunlight coming in through storm-door window---and it worked great ! Excellent sensitivity/selectivity as I tuned into my favorite low-power DX oldies station which it clearly received at good volume level ! Of course it still had the audio quality of a small pocket set due to it's size, but still an impressive little radio. Also heavy for it's size with chromed cast-metal front panel and sub-chassis for tuning mechanism. Made in Japan...

Appears to have been well cared-for, but does have residue & wear from use and will still need a good, detail cleaning and some polishing. May bridge electrolytics to test for improvement, but if none, will leave original. The leather case is a beauty itself and may have to display it to the side of radio...

Ebay pic below...

Stay tuned !
John


Attachments:
ARF BP-709 EBAY PIC.jpg
ARF BP-709 EBAY PIC.jpg [ 212.93 KiB | Viewed 808 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Wed 20, 2019 8:33 pm 
Member

Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1502
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
John - I've found that the Hoffman BP-709 XS takes less sunlight than the BP-706 in order to operate. I'm not sure if it is because the solar cells are more efficient or whether the radio requires less current, but the solar panels are the same size. - Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Thu 21, 2019 3:32 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6362
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks for info, Mark---imagine that the newer solar cells are more efficient...


Completed radio today... Instead of "formal" report, a casual list of "cleaned up" notes below...

Took pic of inside cover for reference and removed what was left of disintegrating battery holder support foam pad.

Disassembled to clean & align.

Solar panel female terminals slide on to mating pins attached to BATTERY/SOLAR switch sub-chassis.

"Sharp" name on speaker and electrolytics (perhaps company who built it ?), Hitachi transistors.

Plastic electrolytic caps surprisingly fine---bridged with new and no noticeable difference in sound or performance.

Slight 2nd IFT adjustment improved, others nearly dead-on. ANT trimmer made big difference.

Noticeably louder on solar power than batteries---surprised...

Mostly oily spots on cabinet and grille, went over a couple times with Windex dampened, then dry cotton rags. Carefully used toothbrush with Windex on "S o l a r" script. Polished solar panel multiple passes with Novus-2. Blew off lint & dust with compressed air.

Battery holder contacts like new---not a trace of battery leakage !

Cleaned leather case with only slightly water dampened, then dry cotton rags.

Back cover "latching tabs" extremely tight---installing cover worrisome...

Radio now both looks & works great !

Schematic found here: https://antiqueradios.com/gallery/main. ... mId=148415

Project pics below including one with RP-706 (sure wish I could find a handle or parts set !)...

Know a couple others here have this set also---what are your experiences ?

John


Attachments:
1ARF BP709 CAB & PRTS CLN.jpg
1ARF BP709 CAB & PRTS CLN.jpg [ 206.76 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
2ARF BP709 ELECTRONICS CLN.jpg
2ARF BP709 ELECTRONICS CLN.jpg [ 240.54 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
3ARF BP709 PCB TOP & SPKR CLN.jpg
3ARF BP709 PCB TOP & SPKR CLN.jpg [ 187.64 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
4ARF BP709 CMPLT INS (BAT HLDR OUT).jpg
4ARF BP709 CMPLT INS (BAT HLDR OUT).jpg [ 234.38 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
5ARF BP709 CMPLT INS (BAT HLDR IN).jpg
5ARF BP709 CMPLT INS (BAT HLDR IN).jpg [ 219.74 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
6ARF BP709 CASE CLN BK.jpg
6ARF BP709 CASE CLN BK.jpg [ 142.99 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
7ARF BP709 CASE CLN FRT.jpg
7ARF BP709 CASE CLN FRT.jpg [ 176.25 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
8ARF BP709 CMPLT BK.jpg
8ARF BP709 CMPLT BK.jpg [ 148.6 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
9ARF BP709 CMPLT FRT.jpg
9ARF BP709 CMPLT FRT.jpg [ 231.32 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
10ARF RP706 & BP709.jpg
10ARF RP706 & BP709.jpg [ 195.85 KiB | Viewed 771 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Thu 21, 2019 4:00 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3555
Location: Massachusetts
I like the earlier ones better, and the large Hoffman/Sony one.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Sat 23, 2019 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1603
Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
It looks to be in very nice condition. I have to say that if I had to choose between the two in your photo the red one would win, but I like both.


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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Sat 23, 2019 4:43 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6362
Location: Indianapolis, IN
I agree with you both as I also like the earlier models better, but this set is solid, very well made, and a really good performer---and does have neat, but simpler styling... And it definitely is a good companion to its older, American-made "sibling"...

Am sure glad to have found one this nice within budget ! Doubt that I'll ever find Hoffman's earliest model Solaradio within my means...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Mon 25, 2019 1:22 am 
Member

Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1502
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
The Hoffman Solar Radio Model 719 works quite well, but is probably the least expensive solar radio they made. I agree with John that the only way I'll ever get an early Hoffman Solaradio is if someone puts it on eBay for a low "Buy Now" price! - Mark


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Hoffman Solar Transistor radios.JPG
Hoffman Solar Transistor radios.JPG [ 40.87 KiB | Viewed 648 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Mon 25, 2019 3:09 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34531
Location: SoCal, 91387
Great pick up John, along with your usual excellent ensuing detailing.

That seems to be a somewhat rare set, and wouldn't the seller be surprised if he knew that the 1996 Bunis Transistor Guide assigned it's value range at $100-$150... :wink:

_________________
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins/////////////////////////


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 Post subject: Re: Hoffman Solar BP-709 XS project...
PostPosted: Mar Mon 25, 2019 6:13 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6362
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, Richard !

It's a heavy little gem of a radio and works very well---was sunny a couple days ago, so got the two Hoffmans and one of the Zenith 555's near the window for a little "play-time"...

Need to follow through on Weekend Hacker's idea of salvaging solar cells from scrapped lawn lights and make a small panel for one of the "garage" radios since it has a South facing window...

John


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