Three RCA tube portables




Three RCA tube portables

Brand and type: All three are from RCA Victor. They were obtained at flea markets and radio fairs.
The left one is type 8BX5 from 1948, the smaller in the middle is type B-411 from early 50's. The one on the right is a 6BX63 from 1952, according to Mark Nelson.

Cabinet: The left one has a bakelite cabinet, the B411 looks like but is made of plastic and came with a leather bag, made of "genuine cowhide" as printed inside.

The grey 6BX63 is made of some "wonder" plastic. On video I have a commercial from the era, showing that the grey cabinet is unbreakable. How the sales guy does this? He stands on a ladder and drops it on the floor from about 2 meters. Then he steps down, picks up the radio and proudly shows the unbroken case, not a scratch on it. Not a single word about the innards which would be seriously affected of course! Only this glimmer boy smiling into the camera and talking nonsense.
Sometimes Americans are strange people to the more down-to-earth Europeans it seems. Let them be, they made fabulous and outstanding good industrial items.

As a comment I got these lines from Mark Nelson:
" Don't criticize Americans too much for their goofy advertisements (dropping the plastic radio to show that the cabinet wouldn't break) -- Europeans were making battery portable radios with mostly-useless battery-consuming tuning-eye tubes about then! We never got that silly (as far as I know)."
I think he's got a point there....

Tubes: The usual 7-pin 4-tube line-up for tiny B-411. The 8BX5 can also operate on mains and has an additional 117Z3 as a full wave rectifier. The big grey utilizes 5 tubes, an extra IF I guess. They all cover the mediumwave-band.

Controls: On/off, volume and tuning, that's all there is.

Condition/working: All are OK. Some scratches at the grey radio. Maybe dropped from the ladder a bit too much. They all work great.