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Ye olde technical skills and my transistor radio

By Furry Jesus - 2 July 2009 18

I have a beautiful old leather-covered Panasonic transistor radio. Its sentimental value is almost completely based on the comfort it gave me when listening for breaking news during the bushfires, sitting on my roof watching the darkening sky and the gentle rain of embers and ash…

These days I use it mostly to listen to Radio National breakfast, to keep me in touch with what’s going on in the world so I can sound intelligent and well-informed when I get to work in the morning.

Unfortunately the volume control has been giving me problems, but I don’t know of anyone who has the expertise to repair parts which can’t be simply replaced by going to an authorised service centre.  Is there anyone out there who has the technical skills to do these old-world type repairs?

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Ye olde technical skills and my transistor radio
Furry Jesus 7:52 am 03 Jul 09

So many options…I might even open up the radio myself, and see if I can fix it!

Thanks to all of you. I knew if there was an answer, I’d find it here.

The cat did it 11:23 pm 02 Jul 09

Go to Jaycar for a spraycan of contact cleaner (Servisol electrical clean and lube- $11.50). If you need guidance on accessing the volume control potentiometer, have a look at the sci.electronics.repair faq pages at http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_Repair.html
Cleaner should fix it as long as the resistance track in the volume pot has not worn out, but if it’s as old as you suggest, this is what may have happened, and replacement is needed.

But if you’re not confident about getting inside the radio without causing collateral damage, take it to Anden electronics in Colbee Court.

f300 9:53 pm 02 Jul 09

wd40 in a pot will encourage dust into it… you can get a spray for cleaning pots that leaves no residue. Failing all else, take it to an electronics joint and get them to solder a new pot on there, easy.

Danman 7:27 pm 02 Jul 09

Orrite madjimi, ill play that, but I would recommend a compressed air product before any kind of liquid sprayed into electrical components….

astrojax 5:57 pm 02 Jul 09

it is all going to go digital soon anyway, innit? so will this technology be obsolete? very sad – knew a bloke once who had a fantastic collection of old bakelite radios – many wee very beautiful object d’art…

peterh 5:29 pm 02 Jul 09

try a compressed air product called compuclens, it also has other products in the range that allow you to clean a computer or radio safely, without damaging them. i use it for cleaning up old clock radios after they have been “kidded”. also have a soldering iron for the easier repairs. Anything that is beyond me, around to colbee court for a bit of assistance.

madjimmy 5:18 pm 02 Jul 09

Isn’t WD40 supposed to prevent corrosion Danman ?? That’s what it says on the can.

Danman 3:52 pm 02 Jul 09

Aarrghh WD40 is solvent based and corrosive….

I would try a can of compressed air.

grundy 3:19 pm 02 Jul 09

Those first two comments were a classic! 😀

Swaggie 2:52 pm 02 Jul 09

Try a crazy bloke (non Russian) at Sci Tech, 9 /49 Townsville St Fyshwick. If he cant fix it then it cant be fixed

chrispy 2:49 pm 02 Jul 09

If you hear scratchy sounds when you adjust the volume then it can mean that there is a buildup of dust in the volume potentiometer. In this case you can just take off the back off the radio, find the potentiometer (looks like a little can attached to the volume knob) and clean it out by spraying air or WD-40 into it. somtimes the resistive coating inside comes off so it will need to be replaced, any electrical repairman with a soldering iron can do it.

phototext 2:46 pm 02 Jul 09

Sounds like the volume control wiring is loose or that the pot is on it’s way out.

Should be easy to fix yourself. Open it up and have a look see.

V twin venom 2:30 pm 02 Jul 09

fnaah and I have obviously had different results with the Russian

V twin venom 2:29 pm 02 Jul 09

Hey there Furry. Try Mig Electronics at the Fisher shops. He is this funny little Russian, or similar eastern European, fella that is pretty old school. I’ve had TV’s and remote controls fixed by him in the past with good success. He’s an interesting character too.

fnaah 2:27 pm 02 Jul 09

Anden Electronics in Colbee Court are worth a look.

Whatever you do, steer clear of the crazy Russians at the Fisher shops.

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