On the bench today… is a little Orange pocket radio.

Hello and welcome to todays vintage technology workshop.

On the bench today is a little orange pocket radio.

Now I can hear some of you saying, “well, what’s the point in spending time on that”. Well, I have fond memories of listening to radio comedies on one of these little noise boxes when I was little, so there is a certain level of nostalgia fuelling this repair, plus there’s the whole “why not” point of view.

All radio’s need love.

All these little radios seem to conform to the same basic design, and they were everywhere in the seventies and eighties. I had one of the black ones and really wanted a green one but never managed to get hold of one.

Here you see me going through the motions, faultfinding the radio and measuring things along the way.

The lighting changes a little during the video, as this is because it is spanned between the two workshops one and two, so you’ll notice the test equipment change as well.

This is purely because of time constraints and other work coming in taking precedence where necessary.

It’s the first video of mine with multiple camera angles too. Fun.

I’ve tried to reference the American and English descriptions of various parts of this radio to make sure I don’t leave anybody out, so apologies if it’s somewhat confusing at times.

On the bench today… A Roberts R881 Radio.

Just a shortish video on a Roberts R881 I picked up recently with no audio. It looked like a fairly decent radio, and didn’t cost too much, so will probably be popped on the keeping shelf.

Here I delve into what popped and how I slightly modified it to not pop again.

Radiocruncher looked at one of these not too long ago, so I won’t go into extreme detail regarding the fault-finding process, I’ll leave that up to him 😀

Here are his videos timed to the points where he looks at the R881

Have a look and subscribe to his channel, as he does look at all sorts of radios and lots of other technology, plus check out my youtube subscriptions for more great content.

If you would like to buy a piece of refurbished vintage technology, visit 27 New street, The Barbican, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2NB.

Replacing SMD Caps the easy way.

A short video to make up for the missing footage from the ICF-SW1 video.

Just one of the many ways to replace SMD capacitors. This is the way I like to do it, it might not be everyones cup of tea, but it works for me.

Walking the caps off of the board can have it’s disadvantages, as damage to the tracks through stress can happen.

You can also, of course, use thermal tweezers, but these have the disadvantage of heating up both pads at the same temperature, which might not be optimal.

If there is space and no plastic components on the other side of the board, it may be worth using a board heater to raise the overall temperature of the board to aid removal and refitting of the components, but this is optional.

Flux is Amtech soldering Flux NC-559-ASM.

Static protection is a clip on wrist band.

On the bench today… A Sony ICF-SW1 – Video!

The first Vintage Technology workshop full length video. Enjoy.

Here I show you a strip down and repair of a Sony ICF-SW1 world band radio.

Just in case you were worried about static damage, the cloth has been treated with “Servisol Anti-Static Spray 90” and as such acts as a soft antistatic mat. If you are worried about damaging one of these delicate radios, then I would recommend a grounding mat and a ground strap.

Sorry about the condition of my hands, I had been handling some workshop chemicals, which had peeled the skin off in places. Note to self, wear gloves. 🙂

On the bench today… A ‘Knight Rider’/Gala, radio watch.

Bit of a special one today. A ‘Knight Rider’/Gala, radio watch. 🙂

After a few dry joints, a clean up and a couple of new batteries…

…it’s all up and running again.

With all of the electrical equipment all over the place it’s actually doing quite well. Had to record from a pair of headphones into the mic, but you get the idea. 🙂

On the bench today is… A Selina Vega 215

Today’s ‘On the bench today’ is a finishing up of the repairs to this Selena Vega 215.

The main board has been re-capped, and is now fully working, all that needs to be done now is the power supply and amplifier board, to be re-capped as well.

Here is a picture of the old capacitors that need to be changed.

The old capacitors have long since dried up and will be replaced with a more modern type pictured above.

Also there is the problem of the non-standard mains socket, which could not be re-sold in its current state. It will need to be replaced with a UK standard socket.

Careful grafting of the new socket in place.

Nice and neat.

Pat testing done, All okey.

All sorted and ready for it’s new owner. 🙂

Promotional / odd-bod bits and pieces.

Just thought I’d share some pictures of the promotional / odd-bod bits and pieces collected over the years working for Sony/Panasonic/Technics etc. The Sony Discman thermometer is particularly rare, I’ve never seen another online, it was given to me by the tech team at Sony around 1988.

Lots of pens 🙂


One of the Panasonic mugs is one of those thermal jobbies, which reveals the branding when hot.

And a few umbrella’s too.

I just don’t think companies out there are interested in promotional items as much as they used to be. Sad really, as these are really nice things to show off your brand.

If I find any more odd stuff, I’ll pop it here.

Ultrasonic cleaner repair. Part two.

Here’s part two of the ultrasonic repair. Replacement ultrasonic resonator fitted.

Still didn’t work, strange, measured the new unit, and it’s 3.8nF, measured the old unit and its 5.2nF even though it’s marked 3.7nF.

The circuit is looking for approximately 3.7nF, so the new unit is correct. Then I noticed there’s an extra capacitor fitted to the circuit that the larger ultrasonic cleaner doesn’t have.

I’m guessing this is because there are two ultrasonic resonators in parallel, so the capacitance would have to be doubled, so I thought what the hell let’s match the other cleaner and see what happens, took the capacitor out and the thing works fine.

I guess I’ll have to experiment to find the perfect resonant circuit, but for the meantime things are okay. I’m assuming the wound coil is not the correct mH to make the circuit run properly.

Just a side note, if you want to test an ultrasonic cleaner, the best way to visually see how it’s performing is to place a piece of aluminium foil in it, and switch it on, if all is working well, the aluminium foil will be dissolved in the places where the ultrasonic cavitations are the strongest.

On the bench today is… A Sony TR 1829.

Okey, a bit special this one, it’s just over fifty years old, so needs a little love and no new components if at all possible. The idea is to preserve this radio as it has it’s box and instructions in mint condition.

Got the manual ready for the setup.

Careful strip down and hooked up to the test equipment.

All good to go.

Playing some classical music.

On the bench today is… A Franken-Roberts.

Well, the ‘Franken-Roberts’ lives, found some NOS displays that I bought years ago, because they were cheap 😀 Anyway, fitted one (after finally finding a manufacturers pdf of both displays) and bingo, it’s alive.

Repaired the psu and I think I’ll relegate it to the workshop as a background noise machine. Another job, jobbed.