Ever desired a great, excellent consider the within a 1950s radio, together with superb discourse on the internals as well as the function of numerous elements? After that don’t miss out on [Adam Wilson]’s repair and restoration of a 1956 Philips 353A, a job simplified by a digitized duplicate of the solution handbook. [Adam] provides loads of great pictures, as well as tips on what it takes to bring vintage electronics back to life. What’s not to like?
Vintage electronics like this are often chock-full of components that deteriorate with age, so one doesn’t simply apply power to see if it still works as a first step. These devices need to be inspected and serviced before power is ever applied. Even then, powerup should be done with a current-controlled source that can be shut down if anything seems amiss.
Devices like these largely predate printed circuit boards, so one can expect to see plenty of point-to-point soldering. Vacuum tubes did much of the hard work, so they are present instead of integrated circuits and transistors. Capacitors in the microfarads were much larger compared to their modern equivalents, and paper/wax capacitors (literally made from rolled-up paper covered in wax) handled capacitances in the nanofarad range instead of the little ceramic disk caps of today.
One thing that helped immensely is the previously-mentioned Philips 353A service handbook, which includes not only a chassis and component layout, but even has servicing procedures such as cord replacement for the tuning dial. Back then, a tuning dial was an electromechanical assembly that used a winding of cord to rotate the tuning capacitor, and replacing it was a fiddly process. If only all hardware was documented so well!
The end result looks wonderful and still has wonderful sound. As a final tweak, [Adam] added an external audio input cable as a nod to the modern-day age. Now, we have in the past seen a small LED screen integrated convincingly into an antique, yet in this instance [Adam] maintained the initial appearance totally undamaged. You can see it at work, playing some Frank Sinatra in the brief video clip ingrained listed below.